Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Religion: Poison and Faith (H2, 2nd Installment)

A belief is not true just because it is useful. (Henri F. Amiel) This quote by philosopher Henri F. Amiel comes to mind every time a religious person tries to convince me to turn onto religion to "save" myself. People talk about faith this and faith that; they talk about redemption and giving ourselves to The Lord.  But the way I see it is that all religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few. (Stendhal) So, why would I have faith in a foundation like that? I have faith. I do. But my faith comes from elsewhere and its embedded in something/someone else. As Nietzsche once said, "A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything," and, "Faith means not wanting to know what is true." So, what is faith and what does it prove? 

As I stated in my previous instalment, I tolerate religions and religious people, and go as far as treating said people as if there was no difference in them and I, because there isn't; we are all humans, we all live in the same world and we all come from the same origin, whatever that origin is. My problem with religion is not that it is the belief in a celestial being we cannot see nor hearMy problem with religion is that people blindly follow it and once they are in they refuse logic and the pursue of truth any further. I believe in believing in something, especially if that something makes you happier by ways of self love, selflessness, kindness, acceptance of others, forgiveness, etc. But when using "faith" as an excuse to, practically, give up the human thirst for knowledge and logic I cant fathom it, and most importantly, when it is used to bully others that don’t follow the same faith. Since the dawn of time religion has been used for evil purposes, from the Romans and their strict laws and massacres, to the Latin church launching the Crusades and even Hitler and his Nazi campaign stating, “We demand liberty for all religious denominations in the State, so far as they are not a danger to it and do not militate against the morality and moral sense of the German race.”  

Throughout history tyrannical leaders that used religion as a weapon found that being charismatic strengthen their influence on others and thus used their charisma to attract followers. Take for example, Sun Myung Moon who is the founder of the Unification Church, which has become worldwide since its origin in 1954, and whom has set himself up as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Moon has amassed more than a million followers who all believe that homosexuality is evil and whom champion the Holocaust. Does anyone question his extraordinarily lavish lifestyle? Not even Jesus made a cent. What about "Rev. Paul Hill who walked up to John Britton outside an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida, and shot the doctor to death. Hill was part of a Christian extremist group called the Army of God, which taught that abortion was legalized murder." (John Blake, writer) How about Tamerlan Tsarnaev? The mastermind behind the Boston Marathon bombings who had taken in a twisted version of Islam that had 4 people killed and hundreds injured. Lets not forget Hitler whom used his distorted religion to massacre 6 million Jews and 5 million others.
Religion can be poisonous. As author of the book God is not Great Christopher Hitchens puts it, "religion is used by those in temporal charge to invest themselves with authority." Religion is man-made. Let me touch a little on the Bible. Even the men who wrote the Bible cant seem t agree on what their prophets actually did or said. Its hard to believe in a book that changes every couple of centuries. I guess that’s where faith comes in, but isn't that faith in the humans that wrote it instead of a celestial being.  

Religious sects throughout history have used their religious powers to assert their authority on others and inserted laws to help them (their beliefs) survive the tides of time. For example, the Roman Catholics and Islam whom demanded that when one of their own marries a person of a different religion, their children must be brought up as the mentioned religions. And as Marquez Comelab, author of The Tyranny of God, puts it:  
"Another effective strategy for religion is to prohibit or restrict people's ability to marry a member of a different religion. If a religion wants to dominate, it should install rules that minimizes the chances of its believers to be converted to another religion. If we perceive a man to be more assertive and dominant than a woman, then it might be a good strategy for a religion to allow men to marry women of other faiths but prohibit women to do the same. This is the only explanation I can think of to make sense of Muslim marriages." 

Now, briefly onto faith. I believe you should have faith in something and/or someone. I don’t believe you should blindly have faith in something/someone that a person (other than yourself) has put forth and then because of said faith you stop searching for the truth because it has everything there is to know for you. The beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything. Once God (or Satan) is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chance... logic can be happily tossed out the window. (Stephen King) I am with Socrates when he says that we should never stop the search for truth. Why should we!? Truth is something we can see and even touch, something we can full heartedly experience. Anyways, faith, in my opinion, should be in something that you find on your own, something you truly stand for and makes you happy. Throwing logic and truth away isn't the way to find our human spiritualism and get true ascendance to happiness, it isn't the way to treat others with love. These things we find when we search in ourselves and see them for what they really are. 
All the things I am saying may point towards me hating religion/s, but that isn't the case. I believe religion can be positive and rewarding in its own self. My point here is that religion has the ability to be poisonous and can be a devastating weapon in the wrong hands. Don’t believe anything coming from anyone I just quoted, hell, don’t even believe anything I have said! If I want anything to stick in your mind about what you just read is that you should not blindly follow what others say, but, rather,  follow what YOU feel is right and what brings YOU happiness. Read, listen, watch and learn from others but always keep in mind that you and you alone are the sole proprietor of your soul. If there is a celestial being to follow, follow the one in your heart. 

Word Count: 2,514


  1. Of course, some religious people are equally convinced that non-believers are blind. I'd say that a percentage of each camp, of every camp (it's always a mistake to reduce complexity to a binary dilemma) is in fact incapable of "seeing" things as others see them; but a larger percentage is capable but just not interested. That's why Julian Baggini's "sermon"* caught my eye - he's an atheist, but he's interested in finding and engaging with religionists who genuinely want to see how things seem to people like him. More of that attitude across the spectrum of variable belief would be welcome.

    * http://athphil.blogspot.com/2016/12/an-atheist-church-sermon.html

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