Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Cotard's homegrown philosophies: Religion is the product of impatience

My religious background

I went to catholic primary schools and a catholic college for a year. I never really got into it, but I did do the whole 'first communion' thing. I only really attended church on religious holidays. When I was about 13, I learnt what the word hypocrite meant and decided I didn't want to be one... so I stopped attending church services. I also realized I had only been attending church to appease certain family members. Since that time I've considered myself to be an agnostic rather than an atheist.

Why agnostic and not atheist?

As a kid I had a keen interest in all things maths and science. I loved absolutes and had a disdain for 'grey areas'. One of the reasons I found that religion wasn't for me was that no one could come up with a convincing, evidence-backed argument, as to why it should be. By the same token, no one has managed to prove to me the non-existence of gods and angels and all of that biblical and koranical (is that a word?) stuff. Hence agnosism (I'm just making words up now) and not atheism.

What happens when you die?

This is where my own little philosophy goes a bit strange. While I think that the existence of god(s) cannot be proved (or disproved), I do believe that there is more to death than being buried or burnt. There's just too many ghost stories and the like, to just be written-off as the products of nutters and whack-jobs. Still, I don't know for certain what happens when you die, and I'm not in a hurry to find out.

What am I getting at?

While I don't profess to be an expert on all things theological, I don't think it'd be a stretch to say that most religions deal primarily with what happens post-life. This, in my humble opinion is where the trouble starts. Different religions prescribe different actions for their followers in their lives, to ensure they get the most out of their after-lives. The prescription of these different actions is often at the heart of religious conflict and the motives for religious martyrs.

Why do people have a desire to act a certain way to ensure they have fulfilling afterlife, when there is no iron-clad guarantee that these (sometime extreme) actions will deliver?

The solution

My suggestion is that we all just wait. Leave religion until after we die. All will be revealed in time.

Sure, it wouldn't hurt to be nice to others and lead a wholesome life, just to be on the safe side. But surely, all the time and energy spent by religious folk hypothesizing, praying, worshipping, fighting etc, would be better spent in other areas. Life is for the living, and should not be spent coming up with theories about what happens when it comes to an end.

Religious people are just impatient.


At 2:28 am, Blogger jenny said...

this may indeed be a miss-reading of what you mean, but just for the sake of it i want to add that being nice to others and leading a wholesome life (i guess moral is what you're getting at here), has nothing to do with religion as far as i'm concerned. i've been an atheist my whole thinking life and i adhere to the above. my point is that i dislike the idea of moral belonging to religion and not to people. anyway. other than that i think you've made a good case :)

At 12:18 pm, Blogger ozbhoy said...

I couldn't agree more with yourself or Jenny.

I am also an agnostic and believe organised religion to be utter rubbish.

I also object to religions having a monopoly on values.
I would much rather stand next to someone that won't kill me because they know it to be morally wrong than stand next to someone who won't kill me because the magical man who lives in the sky told them not to.

And if their is an afterlife I'll just recant on my deathbed.

At 1:37 pm, Blogger cotard said...

Yup... I don't need no god to tell me right from wrong and good from bad. I think it's human nature... for most of us anyway.

At 2:24 am, Blogger Melina said...

I think you hit the nail on the head.

At 9:42 am, Blogger Loz said...

Personally I think that has been a very interesting read. It amazes me that not many people even know the meaning of agnostic. I am one. I will wait until the day to find out. Although until that day I will continue to thank the lord whenever I have been in a position to thank him. Even being agnostic I find it strange that when faced with a near death experience (i.e. an inch away from a massive car collision) I found myself not only thanking the lord but praising him. I wonder if the athiest's would find themselves thanking the lord, they supposedly don't believe in if let's say a terrorist walks on a bus and the bomb fails?

At 12:30 am, Blogger jenny said...

loz: this atheist wouldn't but of course i cannot speak for all of "us".


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