Friday, November 04, 2005

You Gotta Have Faith. Or Do You?

This article has been written in response to an on-going discussion on The Roost.

I look at faith as a type of trust relationship. If I have faith, then I am trusting in something. I have faith that the sun will rise yet again tomorrow. I trust the nature of the star to continue to burn as it always has, yet I also know that it is equally in its nature to one day burn out. Hopefully I will not be here to witness this event.

When I look at religion, I do not trust religious leaders, or tomes written a very long time ago. I do not have faith in something I view as being created to placate or rule others with fear and retribution. For the same reason the majority of us no longer worship the sun for fear it will not rise again, or perform sacrifices so that our crops will grow this season.

Faith in God is truly a blind faith because there is not a definite logic behind the trust relationship. Just because someone believes in Thor because they have witnessed the thunder claps on a stormy night as proof of his existence, still does not make him real. It's a perception and a delusion, not a reality.

Looking at a blade of grass and marveling at its complexities then drawing the conclusion that some intelligence had to have created it is simply based in faith, and that's it. Digging up artifacts created by others who believed in the same fantasy's still do not make them real. Unearthing statues of Athena does not make her any more a real goddess then finding old scrolls of lost Bible stories.

One of the few religions that can be argued as having a decent stake in reality is Buddhism. I'm not a Buddhist, but they teach real lessons about real things. They teach about human nature, and nature itself. They are not about scaring their followers into their teachings by fantastical stories of Hell and fallen angels.

This is why Christianity is beginning to lose its grip on the population of this planet. Their teachings are scary fairy tales, and people are beginning to seriously doubt teachings that were handed down from their parents. The issue about the pledge is extremely important to Christians because this has been a great brain-washing tool for them, and they are about to lose it.

I was raised Christian, went to Sunday school, and learned the golden rules. As I got older things did not seem to make sense to me. I began to feel like something was wrong with me because I just didn't get this whole God thing. Trying to “heal” myself, I approached the leaders of our church asking some deep questions about my religion, God, and whatever I could think of. This was a huge turning point in my life because many of the replies were that there were no answers, it just came down to faith.

My doctor doesn't get away with that line of reasoning with me, and the people running my life and my children's lives are not going to float that one by me either. People can get upset and feel like I am being harsh to their belief all they want to. The plain fact is, I will not trust a religion.

There is zero need to be religious. We can get together and enjoy other's company and support without having to believe in an all-powerful being. Religion offers little other then making us feel guilty and unworthy. Religion has been the root cause of bloodshed throughout our history and it is still going on today. This is why I have turned my back on religion and turned toward reality.

A movie I find interesting is “The Matrix”. In it we find that people have been blindly following something that wasn't real because they were content.

There are times when I feel like Neo when he was brought out of the world based on faith, and into reality. I am still surrounded by a large number of people who are content in their belief, and that's really OK with me.

I do think that religion is used as a crutch because people want to believe that there is something more then their own mortality. They want to believe that their loved ones are in heaven waiting for them to arrive, because it eases the pain of the loss. Most importantly, they want to feel like they belong, and church provides this womb where they can feel secure and protected.

I'm certain that many of you will read this and become very offended that I would say such things, but it is my belief just as you have your belief.

For the most part Christians, and the various off-shoots of Christianity, are wonderful people. I do not hate Christians, nor most people that follow various religions. I think there is room enough on our fantastic planet for everyone and what they choose to believe in. Where I draw the line are those beliefs designed to harm others. The second your belief system turns into hate, and the desire to wipe out those who do not believe as you do, then your time on Earth has expired and you must go.

Christians, Buddhists, Wiccans, Native Americans, whatever can all live together in peace, and so far seem to be making a good attempt.

This article is not about harshing your world, insulting your religion, or calling you names. It is about what I believe and why I believe how I do. You may find it a twisted misguided belief, and you could possibly be correct. In light of that, I welcome any sane discussion on the thoughts that I have shared with you through these words. Come equipped with your wits, and share your view on what I have written.

Have I made you think?

4 comments:

  1. Thanks, great read. I weigh in much the same, with a bit of a different take on it. I eschew faith in the face of the quest for knowledge and experience. Maintaining an open mind requires that you have faith in only one thing...that you--a human--can't know everything. And perhaps a second thing...that you have to be okay with that. I just started a blog, but don't know if it's cool to post that here. So I'll just leave off with a "Thanks."

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  2. Thanks for the comment Red.

    you--a human--can't know everything

    Buy is that the truth! That's why I enjoy writing my articles so much. If you look at the lower right side of my website you'll see the purpose of the website.

    Do not come here to learn
    For I am not your teacher.

    Do not come here to teach
    For I am not your student.

    Do not come here to follow
    For I will not lead you.

    Do not come here to lead
    For I will not follow you.

    Come here with an open heart
    Come here with an open mind
    Come here to share your tales.

    Together we will find answers
    Together we will find questions.

    - Rick Henderson (1 May 04)


    I enjoy the hunt for knowledge, and have been known to change my mind and thoughts based on good discussions.

    If you'd like to plug your site here go right ahead. I'm not a purist and as long as someone is not blatently doing so just to advertise their site without making a fair comment, I would welcome the occasional plug.

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  3. Thank you for this post. I have a hard time articulating these same feelings...I will just direct people here!

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  4. Thank you for stopping by DC. Glad you enjoyed the words.

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