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Religious Interpretation

Updated on March 9, 2012
A guide to religion for Atheists!
A guide to religion for Atheists!

There are many religious sectors in society today ranging from Christianity to Jediism. The latter of these is one that perhaps is not taken so seriously but arguably is considered by some as an idea no more feasible than the former.

What is Religion then?

To some Religion is a home, somewhere they can turn to when all else in the world seems unfriendly and unaccepting. To others it is the centre of everything they believe. A strict guideline of how one should live life and the basis of all moral decisions. Religion is used as a tool for evil, good and everything in between. The crusades were launched in the name of Religion letting it be responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths. Terrorist attacks and violence between many nations of the world can also be accredited to Religion. Whilst being the greatest source of hatred, it is also the greatest source of love. Religion has been used to create hospitals, missionaries, homes, orphanages and charities.

The question 'What is Religion' seems to have no answer as it is something that depends on the person to whom the question is addressed. An atheist might say Religion is the giant prank played on the world whereas a fundamentalist might say that Religion is everything that is good or necessary in the world. The interpretation of Religion is something that is much talked about but hardly understood.

Do YOU believe in God?

God, Allah, Buddha, Zeus - all deities who are supposedly omnipotent and omniscient that is to say all loving and all knowing. Both those descriptions can be argued against for any of those Gods but nonetheless God is a being who is unfathomable to the human mind. Belief in God can range from belief in Religion or a practise to belief in God and Religion and everything that it encompasses. Many people believe in God yet not in Religion. They argue that Religion is flawed and is mans creation but that there is a God. Some believe in Religion but no God. Atheism is a Religion in itself, but one which aims to unite those who do not believe in God. My personal opinion is that yes, Religion IS flawed, it DOES produce evil and CAN go very wrong BUT only because mankind IS flawed, produces evil and goes very wrong. It is important not to make God and Religion one thing. They are separate. Religion is mans way of worshipping God, but as man has capacity for evil, so does Religion and as a result, all the terrible things that happen in the name of God are actually in the name of Religion, and at that, man's Religion. God is something quite separate.

There is much opposition to religion in the modern world. Authors such as Richard Dawkins have incredible success in writing anti-religious books showing that the support for Atheism is vast. However, these writers miss one crucial point in their onslaught to prove God does not exist. I will use Dawkins as my example, he states that he can prove with his various scientific theories that God does NOT exist. Well what he has got mixed up is that he can (debatably) prove that man's God does not exist. What i mean by this is that he can come up with arguments which disprove what man says about God, which conflicts the bible and the church and the way in which religious people say and religious theories. There is a difference here, He cannot disprove that God, separate to man's theories of God, exists. And i would ask, if such an entity as God does exist, in all his awesome power, how could we possibly expect to completely understand him? To rationalise something that is so irrational. The idea is ludicrous. There is no doubt, that Dawkins' book is a great book, excellently argued and laid out, brilliantly expressed and so on, but i still cannot help feel a little bit sorry for a man who is so anti-religion that he tries to create a religion out of anti-religious people by preaching anti-religion. This is all very contradictory.

That is one argument i have against anti-religious and active atheist people. I shall now give one that i have against religion. People get the true meaning of Religion and of God so very wrong. And it is sad to see Religion used as the excuse for so many monstrosities. I went to an Alpha group meeting a couple of times just to experience what sort of thing went on there. I had heard some fairly weird stories, mostly bad, about Alpha but i was surprised to see that actually it was just a very nice community of people gathered together. Food was given out freely, a very interesting talk was given and then a group discussion, all very interesting. Sure, I did not enjoy the songs that were sung, but that is just my personal taste but apart from that i thought it was a very good thing (and not once did anyone ask me for money!). However, my group leader said something which made me think to myself, this young man, who tries to be a religious inspiration to others and a good person has got the true meaning of Religion, or in this case Christianity so very wrong. He said that only those who believe and who actively believe in Jesus Christ may go to heaven, I found others agreeing with him, and this belief seemed something that was not questionable to anyone in their eyes. There are the obvious questions such as what happens to the morally correct and loving tribe of Africans who have never heard of Jesus Christ - is it not a little unfair that they should never go to heaven? But then i thought, the idea of God only letting those who believe in Jesus Christ into heaven is the same as only allowing the 'cool kids' at school to get an ice cream purely because they are cool. It is almost an act of bullying. It is religious naivety. An all loving God would never allow such a thing. If God is just and fair and the supreme being then surely he would allow those who are WORTHY into heaven and those who are NOT, not. Not just the cool kids who believe in Jesus Christ. This shows how wrong people interpret Religion. They distort it to their own advantage they make up rules that benefit them and condemn others. The message of true Religion is so confused amongst the false messages that it is no wonder Atheism has grown so rapidly.

So what is the message of 'true' Religion?

The message of true religion is simple and the same for all religions. Whatever you decide to be, whether it Atheist, Agnostic of Religious, it simply does not matter. What matters is that you live your life in a morally correct way. All religions (even Jediism) teach that 'good' is what we should aim for. To help others, care for others, do charity, be good people, and to LOVE. That is the message of Religion, the true message. Not that you must eat fish on a a Friday. Do you really think God will be overly concerned with your fish consumption of Fridays, I think he will be more interested in the good deeds you do.

That is my interpretation of Religion.


Can only people who have accepted Jesus Christ go to heaven?

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© Chuckbl - Hubpages - Moon Project


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    • godfire75 profile image

      godfire75 5 years ago

      I enjoyed your article and soaked it up. I'm not a professor of knowledge, nor can I offer up scripture when needed. Being raised by a preacher I can share with you that the Bible does clearly state before the second coming all (Everyone) ears that are of age of accountability will hear the gospel. Again I'm not the go to guy on scripture although it shouldn't be hard to find. Also we won't be judged how our human limited minds think.Our brains won't be read, scanned or judged. Its about what's in your heart and the true goodness within. FYI most of us don't even really truly know ourselves, we think we do based on the limited flesh bound learning from birth/brain. Therefore its vain to worry about good people or children going to hell.Its not by works either, in other words Trump won't be ahead of anyone. Also first will be last last will be first.You know that drink guy that lives in an alley somewhere? Well a few of those lost flesh infected souls will be smiled upon greatly because the word says we will be rewarded according to our fruits that bloom from the fact that the drunk bum in the alley just so happened to save 1000 lives in WW2 when he took out an airplane that would of hit the uss America.Yep ironic as it may seem this is how it goes down

      According to scripture and my interpretations. There is much more to share, I will try to look up the nkj scripts up for you, I hope this helped

    • profile image

      Derdriu 6 years ago

      Chuckbl, What a careful, reasonable, thoughtful article on one of the two subjects most open to argument, controvery and dispute: politics and religion!

      Thank you for caring and sharing,


    • profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago

      The true religion is islam

    • Old Pete profile image

      Old Pete 6 years ago from Brighton UK

      I sense you have an interesting journey ahead of you!

      I enjoyed your response which didn't seem to be very short!

      I'm sure you are right when you suggest that the Christian religion is outdated - a man-made tool with an emphasis on fear. But I think we have to bear in mind that it may have been appropriate in an earlier day and age when the majority of the population were 'uneducated'.

      I found your comment about no such thing as a Christian faith interesting. I've never thought of it that way. It is something personal and inevitably based on our own personal experiences of life. My journey has been very unusual - there weren't many 30 year olds in the 1960s who had the chance to become trainee computer programmers, and not many people who had been treasurers of an Anglican church who subsequently spend over 20 years in a Sabbath keeping church that has in the past, not unreasonably been described both as a cult and a sect.

      It's true that faith is seen by some as an ignorant persons answer, but I have to be honest and say that I often have more empathy with some atheists than I do with some evangelical Christians who think they has all the answers.

      We can't prove either way whether God exists. Many Christians point to Romans where Paul says we have no excuse. I would suggest that that was probably true amongst those that Paul was writing to. But I have grandchildren - children of atheists - who have no idea whether God exists. If we listen to the rational and logical arguments God probably doesn't exist. But then the Christian faith is neither logical nor rational - and there is certainly nothing logical nor rational about the death and resurrection of Jesus.

      In this day and age some have a faith while others have none, and who are we to pass judgment?

    • chuckbl profile image

      Charlie 6 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Pete, I see what you are saying about the differences between Christian Religion and Christian Faith. Annoyingly I just wrote a very long reply to you and the page refreshed and it deleted, so I'm afraid you are only getting a short reply now! The thing about faith is that it belongs to each person. It is a very personal thing and I would argue that there isn't really such a thing as a Christian faith, just a personal faith. It is different for absolutely everyone, from every sector of Christianity.

      But yes they certainly are different. Christian Religion gives us laws and rules to follow and tells us various things, most of them probably made up by man (if not all, depending or not on whether there is a God obviously). Religious interpretation is so varied and that it comes down to personal faith in how it is eventually interpreted by each person. I have faith that there is a God, a weak faith, but a faith nonetheless, although as you state in your blog, I do not believe that a God would send all those to hell who did not read or understand his Gospel, that is not within my understanding of what God would be like. My faith relies upon God being a supremely good being and my common sense dictates that if there is a God then he would not section people of on anything but rather judge them on their actions.

      Heaven and hell become part of personal faith or rather what each person believes in, this is emphasized by the fact that if everyone was to image their own perfect heaven, it would all be different. I am not sure if I believe in a hell, if there is one I would imagine that it is reserved for the very worst people who have absolutely no good in their hearts at all. I think everyone else, even if they do not lead particularly good lives, as long as they have some good in them would go to heaven. But again I do not know and cannot know if heaven or hell exist, I hope heaven exists, but I am unsure. The only evidence I can call upon is that of people who have out of body experiences when they momentarily die on an operation table and sometimes they can tell the doctor exactly what he was doing when they were supposedly dead. Likewise, the whole white light at the end of the tunnel thing as well. But there is no point trying to prove something like this - that is the beauty of faith. A lot of people will call faith an ignorant persons answer and easy way out. Where is your proof for God? I have faith I don't need proof, and for many people that would be correct, but it is, I think, something more than that and something much more valuable. I don't think it is necessary, in fact I don't think it is necessary to believe in God or anything about Religion, as long as you live a good life, then if there is a God I am sure he will love you as much as the next good person.

      Christian Religion is in many ways very outdated. Hell was used politically and socially in history to get the Church what they wanted (money in medieval times) and also as a tool of fear. I think we have progressed enough now to realize that it was a man made tool and something not from God.

      I like to think my common sense let's me understand God better than any Religion can teach me now. I don't know if there is a God, but if there is, I imagine that he couldn't care in the slightest about half the religious things that religious people take so much trouble over. (Fish on a Friday kind of thing). Anyway, I have rambled on a bit, and this answer isn't nearly as good as my last but nevermind!

    • Old Pete profile image

      Old Pete 6 years ago from Brighton UK

      A very thoughtful Hub!

      Have you ever considered that there might be an enormous difference between the Christian RELIGION (the ideas of men) and the Christian FAITH?

      I cannot remember a time when I didn't believe in the existence of God but I have been outside the walls of traditional Christianity for some 40 years.

      I seem to have developed a bit of a reputation for asking some of the awkward questions to which there are no easy answers. I'm now 76 and recently brought together many of my thoughts on my own blog - The Room of Grace -

      What makes you think that anyone goes to heaven (or even hell) when they die?

    • chuckbl profile image

      Charlie 6 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Paladin and Pay, thanks for your replies. Paladin, it is funny that you should mention alpha group because I went to a couple of meetings out of interest and had a two hour argument over that very point - my response then and now is that John 14:6 does not mean that people have to outwardly accept the person jesus christ but rather his ways, his truths and what he teaches. You don't need to have heard of him to do that - you just need to be a good person who does good things.

      Regarding Jediism - that was a slight joke on my part - there was in britain (I think two census' ago now) an option under "what religion are you?" to put Jediism because there were over 30,000 people who had said they belonged to that religion, thus, making it an official religion!! Maybe I will write a hub on it for amusements sake!

      Pay, I agree with your points, but the point I was trying to make in the article about Dawkins is that his "atheism" is very different to the atheism you have outlined above. He actively says towards the end of his book that he would love it if all atheists could get together in a sort of anti-religion kind of sense, thus, in a way making it a religion of atheism! So, I suppose you could say that his atheism isn't for people who don't collect stamps but for people who come together and campaign against collecting stamps!

    • pay2cEM profile image

      pay2cEM 6 years ago from Nashville

      Sounds like you're on the right track! A few things I wold point out:

      1. Religion, by definition, is a set of beliefs pertaining to the cause, nature, and/or purpose of the universe...usually with some supernatural agency attached.

      2. Atheism is not a religion, although many religious folks try to define it as one in order show that the atheist has their own realm of faith/belief. Atheists don't believe in the supernatural, and LACK a belief in God. The best way I've heard it put is that: Atheism is a religion in the same way that NOT stamp collecting is a hobby.

      3. I'm pretty sure that Dawkins stated in The God Delusion that it's impossible to disprove God's existence. But although it's impossible to disprove, he was "99% sure" that God did not exist.

      Overall, well thought-out, and good points. You're obviously honestly seeking (as am I), and you seem to be on the right path. Nicely done.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 6 years ago from Michigan, USA

      An interesting hub, chuck, but as I understand it, those folks in the Alpha group were correct -- at least according to what Jesus himself supposedly said in John 14:6 -- "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

      As an atheist often prompted to ponder religious issues, I have my own succinct definition of religion (which, of course, is always subject to refinement): A ritualistic embrace of the supernatural.

      I'm curious about your mentioning of "Jediism." I'm unfamiliar with that religion, though I'm assuming it's somehow based on the Star Wars phenomenon. That would be a fascinating hub!

    • chuckbl profile image

      Charlie 6 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks, will do!

    • profile image

      Joan233 6 years ago

      Very enjoyable, keep writing!