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
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.
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.
**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.
**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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.