Thursday, December 23, 2010

Why Religion Matters.

This post is not about discussing the validity of god, in whichever form you which to represent god, Jesus, Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, God, Buddha, Anguta, Shiva....you get the point (and to anyone considering criticizing my vocabulary in describing the aforementioned deities, I know what you want to say, and I don't give a flying shit), this is an article about why I believe religion is a good thing, and if you don't want to be offended you may want to just stop reading.

Swearing in a religious commentary, Oh Heavens!
This brings me to my next point, I am saying what I feel, I will swear (cuss for you southerners) in this article, because regardless what you believe god never gives a list of bad words, and yes there is the whole “god's name in vain” thing, so maybe I should tone down the G-D's and J-C's, but seriously swearing is a way of conveying emotion.

Ex.
I love chocolate cake. (what you think when you hear this: OK good for you)
I fucking love chocolate cake. (now: Shit get this motherfucker some cake ASAP).
Google Image search says there is a difference too! Surprisingly no porn for "f-ing chocolate cake".  (don't go to page two cause then the porn starts and it's gross, now your going to do it,  I'm sorry)
One last point before we dive head first into this game of everyone picking sides and telling me I'm going to burn in hell (more on that later). This post is not about one religions superiority over any other religion, from that I state that I grew up in a Presbyterian home, went to catholic school and studied Eastern Religions for my 1st B.A. In that light, I will be using "god" (lower cased) as a pronoun for any deity across all faiths and traditions, if this offends you then again please stop reading, it'll only get worse.
 
Now we can begin: 
So a lot of people say, "Andy why did you get a degree in Religious Studies if your agnostic."

“To perpetually disappoint my parents, of course.”

No, the real reason is I love religious history, it's the history of the world and it is essential to the fabric of society and how we, as mankind, arrived at where we are today.

“Wait you went to college for something that interested you?”

Yeah to do anything other would be like getting married because, you thought it “was about time already” or because you knocked up that chick you were dating cause you were six beers in and she was raring to go in the cracker barrel parking lot, just to leave her for the first 20 year old who comes along because you need to relive your 20's, you're a giant tool. 
Both these men were Business Majors in the game of Life.
Religion is the undisputed origin of society, without religion in at least a basic form society could not exist. If you think this is translates to “society is about to collapse,” well sorry to burst your bubble but a new religion already exists, it's a Polytheism, and it consist of tons of “idols” you have around your home or in your magazines or... I'm just preaching now and I sound like a lunatic.

This is how the origins of religion was explained to me by Rabbi Chorny (yes that is indeed c-horny get over yourself):
Man was originally afraid of the Lion, Lion was god, because the lion could kill man, then one day Zach killed the Lion, then Zach became god. Then one day Zach was Struck with lighting and God became an unseen force in the sky. The End.

If you ignored my story and it's moral and your focused on the fact that I'm not Jewish (despite the last name) but I said Rabbi, yes when you study religion (in a real college not some bible college in bum-fuck-Egypt) you tend not to study only one religion from one point of view.

If you paid attention to my parable (yes, that's right like Jesus told, infer what you want) you realize that it's a pretty simple leap of “faith” for a primitive human to make, no one would make that leap today right? (I want to poke fun at a specific fringe religion but I promised not to)

That was from a man of the cloth? Are Rabbi's considered that? They were cloths (clothes) too, don't they?

Back to the point at hand, Religion is good, there are bad/evil people who take advantage of their power over their congregation and use them for self serving purposes, YES. That does not make religion bad just as The University of Michigan isn't bad because Ted Kaczynski got his doctorate degree there. (Yes, that's a Unabomber reference).
God hates me?!? WTF! Argg... 
I won't get too deep into the whole hell issue, but to put it out there hell is a concept approached in such a diverse way that it is easy to say that if hell does exist, god has been very unclear on the issue and that your best bet is to just not be a horrible person and well read on...

We have already agreed that religion played a fundamental rule in the origins of organized society, (By “we” I of course mean me and my goldfish, who are starting to get sick of my ramblings so they may just be agreeing to shut me up), so the next step on our journey is why people would want religion to begin with.

Hope!
Think about how society would manage if each individual thought about their lives in purely biological terms. The greatest success your life can be is to live long enough to reproduce, THAT'S IT! Yeah no one's building new forms of communication based on those rules to the game, thus the introduction of something more to live for. An afterlife, a promise of prosperity, maybe some virgins (imagine 100 stage 5 clingers! no one wants that, terrorists didn't think that one through, although the entire "blow myself up" concept seems kind of short sighted to begin with).

So time for a little Andy philosophy: (if you want to stay on topic skip till after Sponge Bob)

My concept of reality is that i.e. if you begin with nothing you can't create shit, not even little rabbit pellets. So my conscience (not my sense of right in wrong, but my sense of self, the only thing that tells me that I exist at all) must have existed since the beginning, especially if its determined that my conscience will live on for eternity in heaven or hell (I hope you gays are appreciative of my support, because I have a lot of explaining to do at the gate). So where was my conscience prior to being ME? I don't know just as I won't know why it's so damn hot and this goat man keeps whipping me if I end up in hell. This comes from my understanding that your afterlife self in completely unaware of your [there is no word for this state of being] self mistakes or accomplishments. Therefore although my conscience lives on he (I will forever be a man no matter what form I take including but not limited to sponge) will not know why what is happening to him is happening, good or bad, therefore could I not already be in Heaven/Hell/Purgatory? Exactly! Same with you. 
Sponge Bob is just Reincarnation Propaganda, Hinduism comin' for your kids.

Back from that little side trip. If you're exhausted I understand but look at those good christian children above and do it for them!

So religion gives people hope, and hope is good because it creates a sense of wanting to do what every religion, that has ever had more then 10 followers, preachers to its followers...

BE A FUCKING GOOD PERSON!

It's that simple. And in that basic form all religions are the same. The differences of language and beliefs which all conveniently correlate with societal customs of the region or tradition are all created by humans trying to convey their religious experiences to their peers. Try being Chinese and describing a “white” god to your friends when none of them have seen a white person, or try explaining to a baptist in middle America that Jesus look like a Jew, so instead of Brad Pitt imagine this guy...
He even has a snake, Jesus had a snake story right? No? Moses. Same Difference they were all related anyways.
On the topic of that kid with the Jew fro and huge nose, check this shit out http://bit.ly/92xaHA

So am I saying that all the gods of all the religions around the world are just one in the same represented in different forms to reflect the values, traditions and cultures of individual communities and that all the arguing and fighting is simply the greatest case of fucked up misunderstand?

Maybe, I don't know. The title already told you I was an Agnostic, and I'm the variety that doesn't really care, if god is indeed up there he knows that I am not a horrible person, that I treat people fairly and even though I swear and get angry and support the gays and break all kinds of dogmatic rules, don't go to church and don't actively ask him for guidance that I am a good person, I am living by the rules of religion not because I read it in a book, but because I know that for society to maintain composer that I must lead by example, and that maybe I feel religion is for others but maybe I have my own relationship with god, because is god not within each of us.

Religion is simple, its not about Sunday mass, its not about quoting every verse from a book written by men, its not about being "right", it's about one thing, one thing with many names,

Community, Charity, Semblance, Friendship, Honesty, Trust, Faith, Humanity, Humbleness, Comfort, Care, People, Society, Kinship, Love....

and of course overall,

BE A GOOD FUCKING PERSON!

Remember when this happened Moses was kinda both a thief and a fugitive, so Mosesaurus  may be are current leader for "Baddest Dyno."

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