Monday, February 27, 2012

The religious argument. It burns me.

The following came about as a result of my thinking about the argument about contraception. I didn’t include it with that, partly because it was getting quite long as it was, partly because it would detract from the point I was trying to make. So it does hinge a bit on the contraception debate, is what I'm trying to say :P

I’m going to phrase some stuff here as if I were contemplating the religion of it. Because I am. I’m not anti religion. I’m anti using religion to make others do things your way. So let’s put it like this: if you take away my right to use free will in a decision haven’t you taken away my ability to make the ‘right’ decision? If you make it so that the will of your God is forced upon me, haven’t you excluded me from the ability to become righteous? I’m trying to find my way here, to how the argument that ‘God said so, therefore it’s law’ makes any sense in God’s big picture. Aren’t we supposed to be living a good life, making good choices that reflect our faith in God? How can I make ‘good’ choices if you’ve taken away all the ‘bad’ options? If I can be called righteous even though I had no part in making myself so, what is the point?

Alright, I’m going to try to see a little further into the other side. So there is this whole sanctity of life argument. Which I have many opinions on myself. But I want to think from the point of view of someone else today. The problem is, I can’t find anything to back up the conviction that life begins at conception. I mean obviously from a purely scientific perspective, it does sort of. But which part of being alive is the important part in this argument? Obviously simply being alive isn’t enough or God would be insisting that we all eat nothing but seeds - or maybe not, is there anything we can safely eat on that premise? Dirt doesn’t seem very appetising. The important ‘line’ is what? The soul? When does that arrive? It seems to me that this God fellow hasn’t actually given us enough information to KNOW his will on this one. Which is OK because he gave us free will for just this sort of occasion. Reason. The trouble with reason, is that what you reason isn’t necessarily what I reason, and who are you to tell me I’m wrong? Just another fallible mortal I’m afraid. Yes, I know, you might think you’re special because you’re one of God’s chosen people. But you see that’s just your opinion, and mine differs.

It irritates me greatly when people use the ‘God said so’ argument, because the only evidence you have for this is written by fallible humanity. And no matter how much more special you may think the leaders of your Church are, to me they are just people. Every bit as fallible as everyone else is. Think I’m wrong? Go have a look at the history of your religion. Every church has its douchebags, just like every other part of human endeavour.

Religion is very important to very many people, and in many lives is a very good thing. The trouble is which religion is right? I have no idea, and due to a number of personal convictions, I have chosen to go with, none of them. But given that there are way more religious denominations than I can be bothered counting, and each of them differs in a number of ways from each other, who then should get to tell me how I should run my life? Pretty simple. None of them. Having actively chosen not to follow any religious organisation it becomes none of their business. I live in one of the many countries in the world in which Church is, at least in principle, separate from State. Kudos for me, I suspect it might be inconvenient to be an agnostic in a religious State. FYI Church dudes, this also means State is separate from Church. This can be a massive bonus for you. Think about it before you start getting too excited about running the country you’re in. If nothing else ‘attempted religious genocide’ looks really bad on your resume.

Don’t get me wrong, many people treat their part in religious debate with decency and respect. It’s perfectly possible to have beliefs and not be a dick about it, 98% (a guess) of people manage it on a daily basis. Unfortunately the ones that don’t manage it have a tendency to be loud about it. It’s not limited to those who believe in a God or Gods, Atheism and Agnosticism have their share of douchebaggery too. It’s part of the human condition. Some of us are dicks. Even those of us that aren’t dicks have our bad days. I’m not sure I count myself as ‘not a dick’ either, I have been known to be quite vocal in my opinions. On the plus side (for my potential dickitude) I don’t expect you to change your mind just because I told you my opinion.

Peace. Out.

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