Saturday, September 1, 2012

Religion (uh oh)

To be clear, my posts are never intended to hurt or ridicule anyone. When I write these blog posts, it is because I have stumbled upon a topic that interests me/has interested me. Today I am just going to state my viewpoint.

I grew up catholic. When I got into college I gave nondenominational Christianity a shot. This is not coming from someone who has never been exposed to organized religion, I have; I have been baptized, reconciled and confirmed. I know what I am talking about.  Recently it has occurred to me what Christianity actually is. Someone hands you a book and says "this is the word of god, live your life by it," you flip through it, maybe get a warm fuzzy, and just take people's word for it that that is directly from god, nothing has been lost in translation, there have been no edits, no politics, just God. I know now that that idea is pretty much crap. There are many versions of the bible for those reasons. The first testament began as oral tradition which was eventually consolidated, and the gospels were written decades after Jesus' death. The first version of the bible was not compiled until the 5th century at Nicea. People might argue that we take other ancient text with the same amount of seriousness. Aristotle, for example. And that's true, the difference is that Aristotle didn't necessarily make outrageous claims, he simply presented logical reasoning. No one is asking you to base your life on Homer and Aristotle the way they are the Bible. I am not as familiar about the history of the Qur'an, but I would take that and various Buddhist texts with the same grain of salt.    

Now, I sit in the categories of agnostic and/or religious pluralist. I know that that sounds wish-washy and annoys the shit out of people, but I don't care. My reason for this viewpoint is that I feel like there is no way, at this point in human existence, of being sure what exists and doesn't exist. You could say there is no solid proof of the existence of God, and you would be right about that, but that doesn't mean that there isn't one or several entities in the universe that embodies one or a few of the characteristics we traditionally attribute to God. There is nothing we know about the origins of the universe that can totally deny the existence of a deity, so it makes no sense to me to actively disbelieve something; atheism isn't for me.
It also happens that I think most world religions have some nugget of truth in their messages, some more than others maybe, but that doesn't matter.

I have also heard the argument many times that in order to live more fully you must discount the possibility of an afterlife. That has never been the case for me, I take the most comfort in ambiguity. It's not that I am counting on an afterlife for my second chance, but if I focus exclusively on the fact that this is my one shot, I am not inspired, I get depressed and think about death. So I just try not to obsess either way, I just say "is what it is".

As always, comments are encouraged

What are your thoughts on Spirituality and why?


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