- Religion and Philosophy»
- Exploring Religious Options
Why Do We Feel a Need to Follow a Religion?
I was raised in a fairly strict Christian home, so I carry a lot of that baggage. I even went through a phase in my early 20's when I considered myself a devout believer in Christianity and the word of God through the Holy Bible. All my adult life I have had an underlying belief in the Christian God and have tried a few different churches to satisfy my spiritual needs, but they all left me feeling that I wasn't being true to my own beliefs. Was I only trying to find meaning through religion because of my Christian upbringing? I read the entire Bible again over the past few years, and it finally hit me......this book that we call holy is a load of crap. It is full of violence, silly laws and stories that make no sense whatsoever. I began to look at other religions like Islam, Buddism and Hinduism and found them all lacking. I'm not writing this to criticize religion....if you believe and it works for you, I say more power to you, but you may be fooling yourself. Let's take a look at some of the fallacies of religion, particularly Christianity.
1. There is power in Prayer: People say that God answers prayers, but how can we know for sure? A child is cured of cancer because people prayed. Is this a miracle? Does it prove the power of prayer? I might say yes if all the children in the world with cancer were cured through prayer, but we know that they are not, so it only proves that it is random. Or is God discriminate with his blessing of curing cancer? Why would that be so? Does God sit in the heavens picking which prayers he will answer with yes or no? I don't think so. Does he decide to have an earthquake in one place and a typhoon in another? I don't believe that either. It's all just random my friends. Pray away if that is what gets you through the day, but don't be too surprised if your prayers go unanswered......nobody is listening.
2: What will happen when I die? Most people are afraid of death, but what is death really? To me it is simply the cessation of my existence. The world was here before I arrived and it will continue after I am gone. Why does there have to be more? People cling to the notion of eternal life, believing that if they believe in Christ and lead a good life, then eternal life in paradise will be waiting. Other religions believe in reincarnation. so that we get to start a new life when this one ends. We live and then we die and the best we can do is enjoy life while we are here.
3. Religion makes us moral. This is by far the worst argument for being religious that I have heard. How can believing in a god make us moral? Aren't most people born with a moral compass? I believe that people are naturally moral. I've never wanted to hurt anyone, let alone kill another human or even an animal for that matter. I don't want to have sex with children or rob a bank or lie to people. I am a good person and most of you are too! Yes, there are some sick people in the world like sociopaths, psychopaths and pedophiles, but these people are sick. Christians will tell us that we are all sinners, but what is sin? I understand the ten commandments (even though the first 4 are plain narcissistic) and the rest are really just common sense, except for the one about not coveting; I never got that one because it is impossible not to covet. Religious leaders would have us believe that we need to constantly repent, so that we will feel guilty enough to fill the collection plate.
Most people are religious out of fear of punishment (eternal damnation) or due to the influence of the culture they have been brought up in. It is only when we apply reason that we can see the truth. Science has brought us out of the dark ages and into the light, so embrace it. The universe is endless, so how can our little planet be the only one to have the capability of sustaining life. Just open your mind to the possibilities. Can there be a creator? Certainly there can and that is why I consider myself a deist as opposed to an atheist. I am not going to write a whole lot about deism here, but here is a great link to give you all the information you need. http://www.deism.com/