A Summary Of 5 Mainstream Beliefs For Those Too Lazy To Research Themselves
I don’t know about you, but I’m frustrated with all the material you have to mow through to get a basic grasp of what ideas are out there when it comes to God, the universe, etc. “Why can’t anyone just have a nice one-page summary of this somewhere?” I use to think. “What, am I actually expected to read for myself? PFT.”
Then a dim bulb brightened. And this post was born.
That's right, folks. Your problems are over. These summaries are here to answer every question you’ve ever had about the meaning of life. Okay, more specifically, about religion and philosophy.
Great, you think, but what does this have to do with book reviews? Why, everything. Mankind’s existence is nothing but a novel, an elaborate tapestry of unpredictable twists and turns. A lot of time and energy has been dedicated to discovering purpose, and this struggle is the constant, ongoing climax of our story.
That is why I have undertaken the task of condensing all of the main proposed answers to this problem. These solutions have been asserted by philosophers, theologians, and utter nobody’s throughout the centuries, and this list is by no means exhaustive. But hopefully it will give you a nice idea of all the theories out there.
So put aside those boring books written by “experts” with fancy degrees. What do they know? Everything you ever need to understand about religion and/or philosophy is right here—and it’s 100% unbiased and factual.
1) Christianity (interestingly, the last mainstream belief that asserts that a big-wig god came down to chill on earth)
The belief: that literally the most Powerful Being in the universe—and I’m talking even bigger than Google—decided to try His hand at carpentry. But after 30 years or so of this, he decided that it wasn’t for him, and instead embarked on a mission as a controversial preacher. He taught his followers the importance of bread, taking a stand for what is right, paying taxes, and turning over tables.
These teachings were just too radical for the local authorities, however. Eventually they nabbed him in the middle of the night like a bunch of wussies, nailed him to some wood, buried him in the ground, and said “good riddance.” But the joke was on them, I’m afraid, because this Carpenter busted out of his tomb three days later like a boss and they were as embarrassed as a kid caught with his pants down in the bathroom.
He then hobnobbed on earth for about 40 days visiting friends and family until he finally went back up to the sky. The good news is that you can totally follow him one day. You just have to die first.
Biggest misconception: These people have sticks up their butts and hate gays. No, no. These people are generally a decent set who have to put their pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else. Some of them (get this) even have potty mouths that would bring a rosy flush to your momma’s cheeks. And any Christian woman out there will tell you that she is more than happy to have Christian, Ricky, or Sammy give her his fabulous opinion on her shoes.
2) Mormonism (strangely, the only mainstream belief that makes glasses a focal point of their theology)
The belief: that a guy who liked to hunt for trinkets took a stroll in the woods one day and had a vision of some glowing men. These fellas gave him glasses and a hat, which he accordingly used to translate a new version of the Bible. He wrote this translation on some golden plates. But then he and his followers were dumb enough to lose them, and so they had to start all over again. This second translation was not as good as the first, but it was good enough to attract a large number of believers. This trinket-hunter was eventually arrested, locked in prison, and gunned down.
Biggest misconception: These people like to wear magic underwear. Actually, they call it a “garment” and it doesn’t really look like panties at all. And it certainly has no magical properties. No matter how cool that would be.
3) Buddhism (confusingly, the only mainstream belief that really likes shaved heads)
The belief: that a prince with alarmingly curly hair—who looks nothing like the fat, jovial fellow you see on fountains at Wal-Mart (curse you, commercialized Western advertisements, you lying bastards)—rejected his decadent lifestyle, sat down under a really old freakin’ tree, broke free from all his passions with some serious meditation stuff, and decided to retire to be anti-social in a cave for the rest of his life.
But he was continually bugged by others to spread his message, and after thinking it over he decided, “Sure, what the hell?” Today his followers can be identified by their tendency to sit under waterfalls and think really hard (showers and bathtubs are for losers, after all). They also had something to do with Yoga. In fact, they’re so good at it that it’s like they practically invented it or something.
Biggest misconception: These people are tree-hugging hippies who live in mountains and eat granola. Actually, they just kinda like to live by themselves (total respect for that), though they admittedly have an odd love of shaving their heads. One never quite gets use to the shock of seeing a bald man from afar and then realizing that you are in fact looking at a woman.
4) Agnosticism (paradoxically, the only mainstream “belief” that objects to the term “belief”)
The belief: that all beliefs are useless except the belief that all beliefs are useless. These folks think that human knowledge is about as valuable as two chunks of steaming poo, and are simply of the opinion that science is convoluted and incomprehensible enough without bringing something non-material like God into the picture. So, since you can’t really know anything, why bother? You might as well just insert your head beneath the grinding wheels of a giant truck and end it all right now.
Biggest misconception: These people are wishy-washy and have no firm set of values. Nah. They just like to keep their options open. Really, really, really, really open.
5) Atheism (oddly enough, the only mainstream “belief” that really digs monkeys)
The “belief”: that no belief is right except the one that the universe exploded a really long time ago. From there, teeny molecules bitch-slapped one another until they finally found a way to get along and make stuff. These pieces were then nice enough to form Earth and all its life. This took a really long time. Then after a gazillion years or so, monkeys began to get bored with being monkeys (wouldn’t you?) and decided to branch out a bit. Thus, they evolved into Man and from that point on, Man has proceeded to screw it all up. Also, when you die you’re nothing but worm food.
Biggest misconception: These people are all arrogant jackasses. Hey, now, not all of them. Your average neighborhood atheist is just like you. He enjoys booze, cigarettes, and laughing at people when they fall down.
Now, equipped with such a concise and utterly factual summary of the main beliefs of our day, you can be happy that you’ll never have to read another book ever again. Go out there and share these unshakable truths with everyone you know. The world will thank you for it.