Friday, August 10, 2007

Religion and fiction, part 1

As anyone who knows me in real life, and likely online, will realize, I am not the most religious of people, at least by modern standards of what a religious person should be. I don’t go to church. I don’t pray, or at least not very often.

But I do enjoy talking about religion. I love studying religion, from a historical standpoint and from a philosophical one. I love playing devil’s advocate, voicing the strengths or weaknesses of the opinions of any side.

I do believe in a supreme being, call him or her or it god or Allah or Johnny Depp. I don’t know that this supreme being needs to be worshipped, or even wants to be. I just flat out don’t know.

I do tend to believe there is some shred of truth in Christianity and Judaism, if for no other reason than certain portions of those religions make sense to me from a “reasoning” point of view. And there’s also the matter of Biblical prophecy. Sorry if I sound like a nut, but it seems to me much prophesized in Daniel, and to some extent Revelations, is coming true daily before our very eyes. But I’ll admit, it might all be coincidence.

I’ve studied Islam some, read the Koran, and don’t quite come away with the same impression. To me, the Koran does have a lot in it that makes sense, but so much of modern Islam as an organized religion is not based upon the Koran but upon traditions that have been passed down through the years… and many of those traditions to me don’t make sense logically. However, I freely admit much of the tradition of Christianity and Judaism also do not come from their holy literature, but the difference is that within those cultures I can tell the difference. I simply don’t know enough about Islamic culture to tell that difference, at least not easily. Buddhism has a lot that makes sense to me, but there are also parts of Buddhism that seem silly.

I find least appealing Hinduism, Mormonism, Scientology and the old guy on the street corner in Chillicothe, Ohio, who used to try and sell me pickles out of a jar. I don’t mean to offend anyone who adheres to any of these systems of belief, but for me they seem illogical. I’ve studied a little bit about all of them, but I’ve found little I felt was logical, or “reasonable.”

For the most part, I reject atheism completely. To me atheism is way to egoistic, and the idea of a creator seems more logical to me than that we exist by chance. Come on, the very gears of the universe are complicated beyond what humans can imagine; to my way of thinking, there almost has to be a creator or, at least, some sort of creation that wasn’t mere happenstance.

Oh, and let me add that I detest … DETEST … evangelical work of any kind. It’s advertising. It’s public relations. That’s all it is in this day and age. Everyone has heard about Jesus by now. We all know. If we still decide not to do anything about it, and we go to hell forever because of it, then you can point at me from your heavenly reward, shake your head and go “tsk, tsk, tsk!” At that point, it won’t matter to me. And if you’re out spreading the word about somebody else besides Jesus, I don’t need to know any of that stuff either … and I don’t need to buy a pencil.

So, call me agnostic, if you will. Maybe even call me a Deist, because I definitely tend most toward those beliefs. You can even call me a Christian, and I won’t be tooooo offended.

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