I think it is part of the human condition to absolutely, categorically, unequivocal, want to categorize things. It is a very odd thing, but we as a species generally try and think of ourselves as beings of higher intelligence. This usually translates itself into rational thought. Rationality is the quality or state of being reasonable, based on facts or reason. Rationality implies the conformity of ones beliefs with one’s reasons to believe, or of one’s actions with one’s reasons for action.
But because of this need for reason, we need to be able to qualify things around us. And the problem here is that there are somethings, that even with our intelligence, even with all our science, or with all our faith we cannot know for sure. But we cannot admit this to ourselves so we construct walls of reason around us, we create our beliefs, and they are what keeps us sane. But of course a great deal of people don’t really like to think about it too much, we prefer to have other people do our thinking for us. So long as we can gain a rudimentary understanding, that will console us that yes, really, we do understand the universe. And that we are all part of a great big plan.
Now what is interesting today, is that Atheism become a big thing. Richard Dawkins The God Delusion for instance made a great case for Atheism. Which is great, I for one welcome when people question their previously held beliefs. After all everyone should try and work it out for themselves. But the strange thing is it helped popularize Atheism.
I think you see where I am going with this. There are some very very clever people out there, much more clever than me, who can rationalize and completely defend their point of view. However there is also a whole lot more people who have signed up to Atheism without really putting much thought into it.
What happens then, is you have entire groups of people who define their beliefs as the rejection of other peoples beliefs. That’s not a belief system, that’s just being lazy. And you know what I really really hate? Being grouped with these people.
If you have read my previous posts (and if you haven’t yet, please do) then you will know that I do not subscribe to organised religion. But here’s the distinction, that one key little word organised. You see I believe that organised religion is a human construct, it dates back to time before we could even record our thoughts. And yes in some cases it can be extremely silly, misguided, hilarious, or downright stupid (not necessarily in that order). But here is the thing, it provided laws and organisation to early humanity. Back when our species couldn’t even collectively tie our shoelaces or lift the toilet seat to have a wee, religion helped make sure that we had some sort of society, and also hopefully put the fear of god into people who wee on toilet seats. Or at least it should in any decent religion.
But this was all well and good when we were a planet of simpletons, and man-child’s. But what of today? What is organised religion’s place in today’s world? Personally I find that a lot of the older ones, religions that have been here for hundreds and hundreds of years, are growing stale. And their sell by date has probably expired.
Put it this way, remember the first commercially available computers? Then remember the first computer games? Sure you could play your little 2D games on those systems, but as games got better you needed to keep upgrading your system, until the point you simply have to get a new system, because great as the old one was it simply can’t handle the specs of the latest Call of Duty.
Well I think the average human intelligence has had several upgrades since the dark ages, we’re not stupid. Lazy maybe, but were certainly generally smarter, or more educated and exposed to more easily accessible information at our fingertips. In other words were less likely to believe thunderstorms are the results of some angry dude up there looking for his hammer, or feel the need to sacrifice some orphans if there’s a drought.
But the problem is that religion by its very nature finds it very hard to get with the times. You can’t just pop in a disc and update a religion. You can’t simply install a patch 1.0.1 to make thousands of years of institutionalized beliefs compatible with the present world. So it is no surprise that more and more people are becoming disenfranchised with the whole concept of organised religion. But here’s the flip side. These people still need something to believe in. So the Atheism bandwagon has become a very popular ride to jump on to, after all there’s not much to think about is there? Just reject all other religions, and if you don’t understand something, just shrug, because science can probably explain it, because honestly who has the time to think too hard?
I don’t believe in organised religion, I believe it had its place in the old world, but it is too out of touch with present times. But that’s just me, if you believe otherwise, good for you, I genuinely hope you are happier for your beliefs. But here’s what confuses me about Atheists, if they really believed that there is no religion, that there is nothing after death, then why on earth are they always so smug??? I mean I don’t know if they’re right or wrong, and honestly no one knows with absolute irrefutable certainty, but if they were right what is the point of anything?
I can understand those annoying door to door born again Christians, yes they can be supremely annoying, but at least they believe they’re trying to save my soul. So fair play, even if they are possibly misguided (and who’s to tell?), they’re doing what they believe is right. But how an Atheist can be so smug still astounds me, when your argument basically amounts to all religion is wrong, and were all going to die, and that’s it, so nothing really matters, why do you care what others believe in?
Again some Atheists are very very clever people, who might absolutely be right, but we can’t know for sure. In fact no one can ever know for sure. It’s the great mystery of life, we don’t know where we come from, we don’t know where we’re going, we don’t know what the whole point of it all is, and we may never know. All we have is different groups of people who are all equally persuaded that they know what will happen.
I am not an Atheist, and neither do I subscribe to any specific religion, I suppose if you really wanted to be a dick about it and push me in a corner about it, I might most closely associate myself as an agnostic.
But my point in all of this is it really winds me up when people get behind ideas and movements they do not fully understand, and it is infuriating when they try and group you with the rest of them.
I have not decided what I believe in yet as I don’t believe there is any real evidence one way or the other. But if you believe in some deity or other, and this gives you happiness and purpose in life then good for you. Hell you’re even free to believe that were all going to die and existence is ultimately pointless, that’s cool too I guess.
But I haven’t decided what I believe in, in a sense you could say that my choice not to chose is a choice in itself. So please don’t associate me with anymore –ism’s- some of us like to try and work it out for ourselves.
Thanks for reading, and if you enjoy my writing please feel free to suggest a new topic for my next post, I try and keep my topics as varied as possible and always appreciate input.
Until next time!