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Religion is Perplexing

There are both positive and negative aspects to religious belief. On the one hand, religions offer a sense of community and personal enrichment. They help individuals stay connected to their faith, fostering a sense of unity with God and promoting moral values.  There are spiritual feelings being full of grace, being in the rapture, taking communion, and feeling so wonderfully pure.

The path is full of promise, and the first few steps are very compelling and beautiful. Then things go down hill.  You have thousands of religious groups to pick from.  Each has its dogmatic beliefs.  None of them updated their beliefs to include science. There are cults that are extremely dangerous. There are religions which do not let you have the proper medical treatment. Extreme cults promote suicide. Some religions have child marriages and forced marriages. .  You are subject to intense discrimination if you don't have the correct sexual orientation.  Some religions are corrupt.  Most religions practice censorship and heavily restrict your free thought. 

What is the solution?  Make up your own religion.  Include that which is good and true and leave the rest behind.


This list

1. **Religious Extremism**: Some very religious individuals or groups may interpret their religious texts in an extreme and literal way, leading to acts of violence and terrorism in the name of their faith. This kind of extremism can result in harm to others and damage the reputation of the religion.

2. **Cults**: Certain religious groups or cults with charismatic leaders can manipulate their followers into harmful actions, including mass suicides, child exploitation, or other abusive practices. In Jonestown, Guyana in 1978, over 900 people drank cyanide-laced Kool-Aid.  In 1997, the Heaven's Gate cult committed mass suicide and 39 people died.  In 2000, 300 members of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God were found dead in a Kanungu, Uganda church.

3. **Discrimination**: In some cases, extreme religious beliefs can lead to discrimination against individuals who do not share the same faith or beliefs. This can manifest as discrimination against people of other religions, the LGBTQ+ community, or women.

4. **Denial of Medical Treatment**: There have been instances where religious individuals or groups have refused medical treatment for themselves or their children based on religious beliefs, leading to preventable illnesses or deaths.

5. **Suppression of Science**: In certain religious communities, the rejection of scientific principles, such as evolution or climate change, can hinder progress and scientific education.

6. **Divisiveness**: Very religious individuals who hold extreme beliefs may isolate themselves from mainstream society or create divisions within their own communities, leading to social fragmentation and a lack of cooperation.

7. **Child Marriage and Forced Marriages**: Some religious groups practice child marriage or forced marriages, which can have severe consequences for the individuals involved, particularly children and young girls.

8. **Institutional Corruption**: In some cases, religious leaders and institutions have been involved in financial or sexual misconduct, damaging the trust of their followers and the reputation of the religion.

9. **Sexual Repression**: Extreme religious beliefs about sexuality can lead to sexual repression, guilt, and psychological distress. This can affect an individual's mental and emotional well-being.

10. **Censorship and Suppression of Free Speech**: In certain religious societies, there may be a culture of censorship and suppression of free speech, stifling critical thinking and open dialogue.

It's essential to understand that these examples do not reflect the majority of religious people, and religion itself is diverse and complex. Most religious individuals lead peaceful and harmonious lives, and their beliefs promote positive values, such as love, compassion, and community. The negative consequences listed above are primarily associated with extreme and harmful interpretations of religion.


Less horrible, but still very important, religious beliefs direct people to do things that are expensive and detersive.  For instance, in Mexico, expensive churches are built in the poorest villages. activities that could be channeled to more productive ends.  Large expensive temples and churches have been constructed using the money of the poorest people.  Religion organizations make it appear that God wants money and that the money will be multiplied and given back.  Scientific facts are superseded by 

It's like a baited hook: religions encourage complete faith, financial support, and evangelism. To navigate this, you need to become an editor, discerning the parts that enrich your life while discarding those that clash with scientific understanding, induce guilt, or hinder progress. Essentially, you become the curator of your own religious experience.

For some, religion is a personal journey within the realm of the mind. It encompasses both truths and myths that influence our emotions and consciousness. God, in this context, is not a physical entity in heaven but a guiding presence within our thoughts. It's a belief that God created the universe and its laws, which aligns with the principles of science.

Our inner self, the "I-ness," experiences spirituality firsthand. Through prayer, chants, or requests for guidance, we connect with God, who serves as our teacher and source of comfort. This approach suggests that you don't need to accept everything wholesale but can pick and choose what resonates with your personal beliefs.

Religions are not directly linked to the physical universe, but rather work through our consciousness, making God's nature and consciousness itself a mystery. While we may not understand everything, we do recognize our consciousness. Being religious is more of an inspirational and storytelling journey than a scientific one, often requiring metaphorical interpretations of religious texts.

You can establish a personal connection with God, finding answers and solace. Rather than rigid commands, envision God as a friend who provides guidance, joy, and love. Nonetheless, established religions should strive to adapt to contemporary times, revisiting traditions to ensure they align with evolving knowledge and values.

One troubling belief within some religious traditions is the prohibition of blood transfusions, which can lead to tragic consequences. Such harmful practices should be subject to legal consequences, as religious institutions should not be above the law.

While some aspects of traditional religions are outdated, the core human experiences and values they address remain relevant. In a modern, technologically advanced world, religions continue to offer insights into the human condition.

Science should not entirely replace religion. There's a distinction between "Science" as a belief system and science as a method of inquiry. The former can sometimes lead to reductionism and dehumanization, while the latter can offer insights into complex moral issues like abortion.

Relying solely on religious texts as proof of truth is problematic, as these texts can contain inaccuracies and inconsistencies. This can foster intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on rigid dogma. Many religious institutions display hypocrisy, denouncing certain scientific advancements while readily using the products of science.

Balance is key in all aspects of life, including addressing primal urges and spirituality. Overindulgence in physical desires can interfere with spiritual growth.

The diversity of interpretations within religions often leads to conflicts and division. Dissent is sometimes suppressed, and inequality, especially regarding gender roles, is prevalent in many religious structures. This raises questions about the nature of an all-powerful God allowing innocent suffering.

Nevertheless, faith in a personal God can provide comfort and guidance in life, nurturing our inner selves and fostering deep joy. It's an ongoing journey that requires introspection, adaptation, and an open mind.


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