I am constantly amazed at peoples' ability to function in and navigate through a sensible, physical world ? and still cower behind the variable B.S. of their particular superstition. I am also amazed at the number of political candidates who seem to think I'll consider their belief in spirits and invisible friends to be a qualification for a job that will allow them to affect my life.
Any belief system that posits an omniscient and omnipotent deity like Christianity or Islam also predisposes its followers to assume the most arrogant of postures ? created in the image of their god. Simultaneously, they are enjoined to believe that they come from "sin" and must spend their lives preparing for some brass ring when they die. No wonder that "believers" can't appreciate the sense of awe and wonder a convinced atheist feels when looking out at the vast grandeur of the galaxies and the spaces between them. We are intimately aware that there is something greater than ourselves, but it's right there in front of us ? not up in cloud-land ? and it is part of us and is our source.
How would I react except with patient bemusement when the Vatican says it's ok to believe that there may be intelligent life on other planets. That's big of the Pope to concede such a thing ? credible authority that he is with his red shoes, dress and funny hat.
How would any reasonable person react except with outrage and disgust to some of the barbaric practices protected and propagated under the shield of religion ? mass public circumcision of boys in sports stadiums in the middle east, "honor" killings (murders) of female relatives who had the audacity to be looked at or touched (or assaulted) by a man not related to them, wholesale "shunning" of congregants who dare to question the "true faith" of their church, excommunication of those who end their marriages as if the administrative infrastructure of their faith system had any real authority over them. How else but with incredulity should I respond to those who assert that they have found "the way" and proceed to convince me with their circular reasoning and reliance on null authority?
Those who cling so stubbornly to their faith without examining it from outside suffer from a kind of fear peculiar to the small-minded. They fear that, without the over-arching protection of an agency (God) upon which to hang responsibility for their own creation and upon whose glory to hitch their destiny-wagon, they will have to fall back on their own inadequate devices to determine right from wrong. Surely, being mere humans (although claiming the apex of so-called creation), we cannot possibly have any way to determine right from wrong without the omniscient guidance of a God - "Great Sky-Father" - who himself exhibits the manners and ethics of a spoiled child.
Don?t get me wrong ? I absolutely respect anyone's right to have any religion they choose. I absolutely do not respect the religion itself, or its practice if it impinges in any way upon my life. Religion is intellectually dishonest and dangerously obstructive to real personal growth, and I will not be dragged along by the slipstream of your flight heavenward. I will never grant any authority over my life to any one who tells me ? especially with a straight face ? that they will explain "God" to me. When the rapture comes, can I have your car?
posted 4 years, 10 months ago
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