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Hollow Religion

It is easy to ignore religion. When you live in Britain, religion is often a quaint and backward set of clearly incorrect beliefs; or a scary thing belonging to other people.

I’m not a student of theology, but some things are clear to me. I’m only really considering the idea of revealed religion. Religion which takes an arbitary premiss, or set of assumptions and states them to be absolutely and unrefutably true, irregardless of observation or reasoned analysis.

I’m a little annoyed about the way that religion has been imposed on me throughout my life; it has been a harmful process. Luckily, for as long as I can remember, I have know christianity to be false in all of its main precepts. Even so, I have had to endure hymns and prayers, havest festivals and assemblies run by the local vicar.

This association of metaphysics with an institution and set of beliefs so ridiculous it is hard even to form a coherent critisim of them (Noah’s Arc?), has severely set back my ability to understand life physically and philosophically. In the last few hundred years humanity has established an understanding of the universe and the mathamatical, physical and philosophical systems that constitute the human condition which is both startling and, I would argue, profoundly beautiful. This view is obscured.

The destructive force of revealed religion is not only the amorality of making decisions based on your perception, or theological disscussion, of the consequences to you in a future life. In religion, are you asked to risk hell to do the right thing? Or does the right thing always reward you with eternal life? Or in some traditions, both the right thing and the consequences are in the arbitary realm of the grace of god. Its destructive nature is primarily the way it damages our ability to communicate about life and existence. We are forced to separate our observation from our disscusion of religious and spritual ideas.

Instead of looking around us, and being able to talk about our lives in the context we find ourselves: fragments of dust in a majestic cosmic symphony. We are reduced to arguing over the existence of “god”, about reincarnation, and supernatural power. We are asked to consider if certain animals are dirty, or sacred. To consider certain actions, things, writings or people as perfect, or complete, and others not.

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