Saturday, March 11, 2006

Annoying The Faithful

On The Roost Tsykoduk wrote an article titled, “Is faith allergic to sunlight?” in response to criticism from a reader called, “Obidavekenobi” that, “The percentage of your posts that deal with bashing the Christian religious world view is rather high. It sometimes disturbs me.”

Since most of you know that I love a good discussion on religious topics I just could not resist weighing in on this one. By all means head on over to Tsykoduks site and read the full discussion, but since my reply to this article was long-winded, as usual, I thought I would post it on the Handbasket as an article as well.

So grab a soda, swallow some Exedrin, and be prepared to once again read my seemingly inexhaustible ramblings on religion, faith and the zealots who perpetuate the ongoing saga that affects us all.

You seem to demand ‘proof’ for everything, and anything less than that is ‘blind faith.’ - DaveJustus replying to Tsykoduk


According to Dictionary.com, faith is,
Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.


An example of this type of faith is something like having faith that air will be around for a long time. You are confident that it will be around because you know truthfully that it is around now, and has been around in the past.

You can have faith in a person to do something for you because in the past they have always come through for you when needed.

Blind faith, on the other hand, is believing in something without any proof or track record. Following the writings of people from long ago does not warrant faith, it warrants blind faith. The exact religion is irrelevant. Most man-made religions require blind faith because they offer you intangible hope for the exchange of your obedience to their laws, rules, or teachings. It really is that simple.

By researching many religions throughout the world we see similar stories that have been created by humans used to explain things like their natural surroundings, their existence on this planet, and why they should be in power and control over what you do.

Have you ever spoke to someone who has quit smoking and now seems to be a zealot over their new found freedom from the nasty habit? They are elated and wish to share their success and happiness with others. Normally at the expense of making everyone else around them nutty in the process, especially people who still smoke.

I have undergone a similar transition when it comes to religion, and I think this is what is going on with Tsykoduk as well. It's not that we enjoy “bashing” other religions, we just want people to learn exactly what being the follower of a religion means.

I feel that in a way following a religion you have not studied deep is slavery to an idea others made up a long time ago. I continuously find it amazing that people refuse to learn about their own religious system, and are literally blind to its teachings without even knowing what they are agreeing to. To me, these people are blissfully ignorant.

Be Christian, Buddhist, Islamic, Wiccan, or whatever floats your boat, but actually study a learn what it is you're giving your life over to. Many people attempt to discuss this topic based on how they have always lived or believed, not because they have any substantial proof to back up their religious choice.

Good intellectual discussions on religion intrigue me. Poorly thought out religious mud-slinging does not. I'm not a religious person (oh really, never would have guessed). So unless you roll up your sleeves and bring out the big guns on why you believe how you do, there's no need to discuss religion with me.

My views are simple because after digging deep into a multitude of religions for the past 20 years or so, my belief is direct, and my resolution firm. I will not follow anyone, or any religious doctrine, without good cause. I have yet to find that cause, so my belief is in the natural world. I place my dedication to those things that I can influence, and try to act as a positive force in this world.

At times this is sometimes interpreted as an attack on religion, because the religious folk get very offended if you point out the short comings of their belief instead of sitting down in their “thinking chair” and providing a well researched point of discussion on why I am incorrect in my observation.

Our freedoms are not to be taken lightly, I will defend to the death a persons right to believe and practice that belief any way they wish short of harming others. You will never see me champion the cause of removing those rights.

When a religious zealot even whispers the possibility of preventing someone else from exercising their own rights, or attempts to force their belief system on others, then I take offense, and so should all of you who want to retain these rights. I'm not just fighting for the freedom of Christians, but for Buddhists, Wiccans, and those who worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Hmmm, perhaps I over-extended my two cents.

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