Watered Down Religion

There are two things about the “religious type” that have always bothered me. Besides the fact that a large majority think they have the answers and you just need to be enlightened.

1. Nowhere in any religious text, that I can find, does it tell a practitioner they are free to pick and choose which laws, rules or commandments they wish follow.
2. Nowhere in any religious text, that I can find, does it tell the practitioner they are free to modify, adapt or change any laws, rules or commandments for any reason.

This includes the common excuse that there was a different social structure when the holy scriptures were written. If their god was so powerful and omnipotent wouldn’t he / she have taken that into consideration before allowing someone to put it in a book with this God’s name on it?

So some of my biggest questions are;
1. Why do people water down, thin out or dilute their religious doctrine when they are so forceful in beating up others with it?
2. Why do people not see the hypocrisy in this practice?
3. How do people read two guiding principles, one placed right after the other, and they follow one but not the other?

I can only hypothesize. My current thinking is most people simply cannot follow every single rule outlined in the religious text. Thus they pick and choose which ones THEY deem to be the most important. This selection process then allows them to build their arguments (e.g. With the exception of some sects of Hinduism, homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of God.) while ignoring all the other directives outlined on the very same page from which they selected this one.

Another hypothesis / observation is some people simply cannot bear it. They see a lot of inconsistencies within the text, they do not have answers as to why, but they simply want to carry on in their faith. (Regardless of how irrational that sounds.)


Now let us add a different spin; “Relief – A Quarterly Christian Expression”. In their self-described words they even admit to what I have always seen as the biggest faults within religion.

“Relief: The amazing truth in life--there is a place outside of desperate pain,
anxiety, and self-loathing. “Peace that passes understanding” has become
cliché, but we can’t deny the truth of it.”

It is the religion itself that causes the desperate pain, anxiety, and self-loathing. In my opinion the peace only comes after you realize that the whole thing is a bunch of bunk. As an old saying goes, “if you are carrying a heavy load, just set it down.”

I have seen some comments or write ups about the site and how they are accepting and publishing letters and articles from all walks of life. (Not just Christian) Some see this as progress and progressive. I can’t say I agree with this perspective simply because of the two big issues I have. So not only are the people of the “Relief” publication watering down their religion, they are still absolutely 100% wrong.

This does not mean we cannot or should not communicate and have discussions. Communication is always a good thing. It simply needs to be understood that the approach to their version of religion is still just another approach and they still have not obeyed the directives of their God.

In closing – Every single religion I have found is domineering and oppressive to its followers and creates the perfect space in the human psyche for self-loathing and destructive thoughts or addictions. No matter how you slice it, there still is nothing peaceful, wonderful or good in any religion.

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About Me

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Houston, TX, United States
I live in Houston Texas, married to my best friend with two wonderful kids (both teenagers). I enjoy philosophy, psychology, theism – atheism, quantum computing. I work in the technology industry with focus on energy and computer theory. I love to engage in discussions of rationality, logic, and reasonability.

Introduction

Growing Up…
I had a great childhood. I had loving parents and a very easy life. I never wanted for anything. So I was never “mad at god”. I did have a lot of physical problems as a child but I never “blamed” them on anyone or anything. I was just born that way. I believe my parents were “religious” because of my physical birth defects. Because of these defects I spent a lot of time in the hospital as a child. Several times I was close to death. I believe this had a lot of influence on my parent’s belief system.

I have lost friends and family, I have experienced hardships. But that is just life as it happens. I did not have a great first marriage, but I did have two great kids come out of it. I am now married to the most wonderful woman on the planet and am very happy. For the most part life is good. Some have even told me that I have never “found god” because I have never truly suffered in life. That argument doesn’t hold water, but is interesting.

I begin questioning my Christian upbringing about age 10. I was asking questions and wasn’t getting satisfactory answers. I was raised in a small town in east Texas; this does not provide a whole lot of exposure to other religions. As I aged and begin to learn more I found it interesting that there were and had been so many religions and gods throughout the history of man. I begin to question why some believed in one god while others believed in theirs. I wondered how anyone could prove, or at the very least have some level of confidence they were worshiping the “right” god.

I can’t say I ever lost my faith. I never really had any. When I was young of course I didn’t know I was an Atheist. I just didn’t believe what everyone else was telling me. With my friends it never really came up that “I’m an Atheist”. When I told my mother I didn’t believe in god she just dismissed it as something I was going through. My father was indifferent to my proclamation. My closest friend is Jewish. I try my best to honor his belief system and he reciprocates.

Focusing Thoughts…
Once I realized that there were so many different religions it just seemed clear to me that none of them were real. Then I learned that there was a name for what I believed and it is called Atheism. Once I found others who believed as I did I begin to learn more about the religions and how they controlled so much of our lives. I wanted to know as much as I could about all of them. I even wrote an anthology paper in collage on how everyone could be worshiping the same god, just using different names.

I find it extremely easy and comforting to be an Atheist. Life is very simple, and so much less complicated. I follow simple rules for living; be nice to all living creatures, and the earth. Don’t think that you are better than anything or anyone else. I don’t think this is an original way of thinking or living but I don’t subscribe to it because it is part of some other philosophy, it simply feels like the “right” way to live.

I do tend to “pick on” Christianity more than other religions simply because it is the one that is most prevalent and intrusive in my life. While I think extremist or radicals in any religion are responsible for a large majority of the damage done to humanity, I also believe anyone who follows that religious teaching is responsible. You are responsible because you do not get to pick and chose which part of a religion you want to follow. Saying that you are against gay marriage while you are eating a bacon sandwich just doesn’t cut it with me. (If you don’t understand that last sentence look up the Christian bible and refer to the book of Leviticus.) If you only pick out the parts of a religion you want to follow you have just created a new religion.

I do make it evident in my life that I am an Atheist. I have a bumper sticker on my vehicle, I have sayings and quotes around my desk at work or around my house. I do this to let others know who they are approaching if they want to engage me in conversation or wish to ask questions. Just as others put “fish” on their vehicle or place religions symbols around their house.

Why am I an atheist? Because I ask questions and ask for the answers to be empirically evident. I consider my self to be a rationalist. I do not believe in faith, nor do I believe in statements like “we can not comprehend.” Do I have all the answers to life’s questions? Well of course not. It just means that we don’t have all the answers. I also believe that when we die, we just die. We are no different that any other living organism in the universe Wow is it really that simple? Yes it really is that simple. We just keep investigating the world around us as we have done throughout history. I have enough answers to get me through this thing called life. I will enjoy it while I am here and try to help those I care to help along the way. I will do so based on a moral compass in my heart, not one dictated by a religion.


Have a great day
TK
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