Ricky M.'s Thoughts

My thoughts on life, relationships, religion, spirituality, the paranormal and more.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Is Religion Logical?

Earlier, there was a caller on the phone and she asked me if I had a certain channel on my cable t.v. The caller was one of those people who preach religion. She was talking about salvation. To cut the conversation with her, I just claimed that I was a buddhist and that I didn't believe in God. She then asked me if I was worried about my salvation since I didn't believe in God. Knowing a little about Buddhism I said that salvation to me is not due to the belief in any deity but due to how you treat other people and thru discipline of the mind which can be acquired thru meditation. I also added that if she does not meditate, she herself may have trouble with her salvation. I further asked her why the God in the Old Testament is very different from Jesus Christ. God in the Old Testament was very strict with loyalty to himself and allowed slavery and polygamy to occur. After a few more discussions, she just closed the phone on me without any notice.

Religion is alive and well on earth. It is here to stay at least for the next few generations and will be shaping the political landscape of this planet. It is something so much a part of our lives and yet we must ask ourselves, is our religion necessarily true, or is it just there to give us hope and keep our ideas of right and wrong in place.

Even if we just take the bigger religions existing today, we can see the differences, differences which sometimes will even conflict each other, differences which will show that not all the teachings of the religions can be true at the same time. On Jesus Christ alone, some believe he is God and man, others belief he was a prophet at best. Some believe in a creator God. Buddhism has no idea of a creator God. If you include other groups outside religion, the situation even becomes messier. Some believe that Judas was bad, others that he was good. Some believe that Jesus Christ never got married, some believe he did. The variety is astonishing, and yet some people believe in their Religion with no question.

What is this thing called faith? According to Webster

1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs
synonym see BELIEF
- on faith : without question

Funny, there is no mention about logic. Number 2 says, "firm belief in something for which there is no proof". Is this true? If so, what is the difference between 'faith' and 'blind faith'. Is faith then synonymous with superstition?

Of course there are things we believe even if we currently have no proof. But personally, I feel that ideas based on faith should never be passed on as truth unless the ideas have passed thru a logical process. I went to a religious group before and they were giving me advice on life, and she said that that idea was "according to their spiritual book". That was the only time in my life that I have heard such a statement come from a religious person. I felt so elated knowing that some people still have the decency to separate belief and truth. Remember, beliefs are not necessarily true.

Other people believe in their religion because of their sheer number. They assume that if their religion weren't true, they wouldn't have had that many devotees. Haven't they heard of marketing? If everything was based on truth, there would be plenty of salesmen and marketing people out of a job. There would be a lot less commercials on t.v. and less billboards on the streets.

Answer the next few questions truthfully. What is your favorite country? What is your favorite school? What sex would you want to be if you were to be reincarnated? What is the best religion?

What is the similarity of all these questions? If you'll notice, the answers to them aren't always arrived at logically. A lot of the answers are heavily influenced by loyalty. Did you choose your religion due to loyalty? Does one have to be a statistician to say that the religion you are born into is usually the religion you will have, possibly for the rest of your life. When one strays from his/her original religion, the usual answer would be to give his/her religion a chance, he/she should read more. How about giving the other religions a chance. People hesitant to read about other religions are like people afraid to try out computers and get out of the stone age. It is not necessary to remain in the religion your were born into.

Others have transferred at times when they were depressed and their religion could not alleviate them. Then another religion lifted them from their depressed state. Should decisions be made in a time of depression? This is like a person who is heartbroken from a previous affair and was courted by a person. He/she then answers her/him on the rebound. Are decisions made in such circumstances necessarily correct or even reasonable?

When diffent theories come out which question previous beliefs, I get to see different writers stating that there is not enough proof to say such things. One even said that the new ideas would not stand in a court of law. The big question is will any religion really be able to stand an inquiry in a court of law. It is really a matter of relativity, all sides may not be able to give proof beyond a reasonable doubt, but some are just more believable than the others.

I feel that no belief system should claim or even insinuate that they are always correct. If all belief systems just claim that their ideas are 'theories' and based on certain spiritual books then there wouldn't be much argument, would there?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Religion may not be the truth, but maybe it is serving its purpose to the many who are either lazy to discern right from wrong or people who are plain unrighteous. Maybe there's really a time to believe that Santa Claus exists,and then there is Jesus and so on.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good analogy on transferring religion during depressed time is as lousy as getting involved with the next suitor after being dumped and heartbroken.

11:40 AM  

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