I disagree strongly with Christianity. Well, all devout religious communities for the most part however I am choosing to pick on Christianity specifically. I believe the beauty and benefit of religion lies in the unique and personal connections and convictions. Established rules and matter of fact orders seem nonsensical and really, what’s the point? Why put unnecessary and burdensome constraints on the only life that we’re conscious of? I find Christianity to be the most misleading simply because it gives a human figure the G-dly power of immortality (Jesus Christ). I think it best not to rely on the idea of a second coming or any sort of endlessness. The odds really aren’t that convincing so my advice is to concentrate on how you can live the most fulfilling life in the world you are in now. The one that tells you, you got about 75-85 years. Also, I think it’s counterproductive to answer the question of existential purpose with the promise of redemption in the afterlife. Selflessness is promoted through the promise of heaven. Doesn’t seeking compensation go against the very nature of selflessness?
The more definitively a certain faith answers the mysterious questions of existence, the more delusional the religion. It can’t be healthy to be convinced of any one explanation for existence when clearly no one knows for sure. Or rather, many people claim to but the reasoning of Osama Ben Laden, Pope Benedict, and Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shneersohn seem somewhat contradictory. Remember, we are born into our religions, we only believe what we believe through way of teaching. Every Perception and interpretation is given and received by humans; ones as clueless and imperfect as we.
On the other hand how can it be healthy to be sure that consciousness is insignificant and accidental? I think it equally deceptive to believe that every aspect of nature is comprehensible. There must be some roadblocks in our mind preventing us from knowing the “whole truth.” We are just animals, granted we’re smarter than most, but we are just a product of something bigger, something grand, something that we cannot rule out as mysterious. Faith in the unknown, submitting to the idea of a dimension we only see glimpses of in aura is a way to live fully in the appreciation of everything life has to offer. But it is impossible to be sure so why do we keep trying?
I don’t see why people have to be so narrow-minded. I’m not denouncing the idea of G-d at all. I’m only saying that what makes faith truly challenging and therefore gratifying- is that it is and always will be- blind. That means accepting that one doesn’t know for sure and that one chooses to live up to particular standards only because they personally believe it is the best way for them to spend their lifetime. All these religious records that claim certainty are kept by humans, humans who each contain personal biases and altered perceptions. Why can’t people see Moses, if he existed at all, was just a guy who held up two stone tablets and said “Hey guys, look what G-d gave me.” That doesn’t mean G-d actually did. How much can you really trust another human being? Especially one you never met. It is the nature of man to want to be certain- to want to be immortal- No one is above intentional deception while in the act of self-preservation.
And yes many, many rules and regulations promote hygiene, foster a sense of community, tradition, purpose, mental and physical health. All these things lead to a sense of fulfillment and inner peace. All I’m insisting is that you develop a healthy skepticism. Question what you’re told for the purpose of leading a true and fulfilling life. Societies, religion, social constructs and standards are all created by other humans trying to make sense of existence. We are all creatures and therefore no one knows the best way to live, the best way to love being alive, the best way to feel significant, and the best way to contribute… We just all fashion something from the merge of values imposed and perceived. In a lot of ways we are just functions; different solutions from different variables. There is no right direction; only the direction we are programmed to take. At some point we have the opportunity and awareness to program ourselves and follow a new pattern if we choose to. Just think about it.
I read that conversation is believed to serve the same purpose for humans as grooming one another does for monkeys. To me this says that our imposed societal practices deemed essential are only complex manifestations of our innate animal instincts. The pursuit of knowledge is nothing better or worse than self sustainment. It’s ok- it shouldn’t have to be. It’s ok to do the things you love simply because you love them and want to enjoy being alive and not because they serve some deeper meaningful and righteous purpose. Let’s exposes the bullshit as bullshit and accept the challenge of taking care of ourselves. As far as I know, we only live once. And to me this means I need a healthy dose of mind numbing selfish pleasure, physical health, sense of accomplishment through school work and societal contribution, and oh my favorite- love.
Here’s my own personal plug, caring about others and being cared about is my favorite thing that life has to offer. It’s not everything, no one thing is, but it just feels so damn good. I do leave myself a bit vulnerable in my constant emotional involvement and attachment. But when hurt, I do bounce back eventually and I do learn from my mistakes. Despite the inevitable heartache of rejection and abandonment I wouldn’t trade friendships for anything in this world. To know someone and love someone so intimately compensates for the existential emptiness I believe is universal. Genuinely caring, whether the act is self-serving or not, fills me with what can only be described as a natural high.