…in mixed company. So here goes. If you value your faith, please do not read any of this. Say Uncle mentions some atheist ceremony (ehem).
Some say that atheism is a religion because, like any other religion it requires faith in something that cannot be proven– the non-existence of god. I don’t know if I have that much faith.
Then there are those who have faith in something that has been proven wrong over and over– socialism.
In my observation, most organized religions are control cults. Many are death cults, socialism included. It seems that humans have a built-in want or need for religion.
Homo Sapiens is an interesting species, to be sure. Our innate creativity and our tendency to form paranoia cults would appear to go hand-in-hand. Darwin wrote about such things in his famous book that no one ever read before condemning it, and that only a handful of people have ever read. They don’t have to read it, I guess, because they’ve already been told what’s in it. By people who never read it. He called it something like “correlation”, but I forget the actual term. It refers to features that come in seemingly inseparable pairs. Black skin and a higher incidence of sickle cell anemia in humans for example. He points to many others in different species. I make the correlation between creativity and paranoia through my own observations.
If God gave his only son to save us from our sins, and yet we’re all the children of God and we all die from this Earth… What?
If God gave his only son in the ultimate sacrifice, and they’re now together in heaven forever, where’s the sacrifice? If the crucifixion of Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice, and yet we are to regard our life on Earth as a petty thing compared to eternity, how is the crucifixion any sacrifice at all?
Why didn’t Jesus ask Mary, or one of his diciples, to nail him to the cross? Hey; it’s for the good of Mankind. Why wait for a trial and all the hoopla?
If Jesus gave his life for us, then Pontius Pilot and the others did a service to all of Mankind, no?
Many other people suffered, and do suffer, as much or more than Jesus did, but they have the added disadvantage of not knowing for sure their place in the afterlife, or even whether there is an afterlife. What about them? Seems to me, practically speaking, that Jesus had it easier than a whole lot of other people.
If God created everything, including Satan, then God created hell, and he surely must still love his son– Satan. I wonder of Satan ever writes, or if this father/son relationship has any hope for reconciliation. (I dreamed I met Satan and his chief minion a couple months ago. They looked a little silly and seemed a but surprised. I told them; “I was just checking in to see how you were getting along.”)
If God and Satan ever make up, who will be charged with torturing us for all of eternity for not embracing Jesus as our savior?
If everyone who accepts Jesus as their savior will go to heaven, no matter what, and even the best people who don’t, won’t, that seems rather unfair, doesn’t it?
If the reason we believe that Jesus is the son of God (and again; aren’t we all?) is that he performed magic tricks, and if faith is everything, why did Jesus have to perform magic tricks to prove himself? I mean, couldn’t his message have stood on its own merits? And if the magic tricks are our proof, why not give us one that would last through the millennia, like, say, hand over the periodic table of the elements, or the universal law of gravity, or something equally awesome? As it is, all we have is the second and third hand hearsay of a few individuals, who ostensibly got their proof and yet demand pure faith from us. Seems rather unfair, no?
If Jesus had the Most Important Message Of All Time, the message that alone could lead us to eternal life, then why does he seem to have never put any of it into writing in his own hand? Seems a cruel trick to send your one and only son (but aren’t we all the sons and daughters of God?) to deliver The Most Important Message Ever and never teach the kid to write, or have him travel the world, or set up a radio station or something.
I think these are all perfectly reasonable, fair questions and observations. Anyone trying to sell me religion (and there have been many) will have to answer them. I’ve asked them before and gotten the response; “This proves the folly of casting pearls before swine” which, I must say, just happens to be the same sort of response (though in more eloquent form) that I get when I ask socialists to demonstrate the validity of their assertions. I add that in both cases I am being asked to deny that one that makes us human– the thinking, reasoning ability of our brains. Some people really, really hate that, believing that we should live much more like the other animals. ‘Cause we deserve to suffer. Because we suck.
I’m all for freedom of religion, certainly. As I said; I believe it is inherent in the species, but since the Constitution proscribes the formation of a religious government, or much more accurately, a government religion, how is it that we have anything resembling socialism in our government?
Update: The science fiction (Arthur C. Clarke being a good example) dealing with alien races who either placed humans on Earth or gave us our intelligence, seems to be an alternate form of religion. While it doesn’t directly assert the existence of a God, it does the same thing. It asserts a Higher Power far beyond our ability to understand, it denies, discredits or downplays the Long March of the development of our species, and shows disbelief (a lack of faith?) that something as complex as a human (or do we merely flatter ourselves?) could arise all on its own with nothing but the seemingly mundane forces of nature. One thing the alien super race genesis theory does that religions typically don’t do is; it leaves open the possibility that we may, millions of years down the road, at some point reach that intergalactic traveling, intelligence giving, god-like state ourselves.