It has come to my attention that some people with whom I interact seem to think I need to be more concerned about my everlasting soul. They also seem quite concerned that I have rather a cavalier attitude when it comes to matters of religion. To be honest, my only religious references come while shouting through a car window or after stubbing my toe trying to find the bathroom at night. This disregard for things ecclesiastic appears to get in the craw of those who have a much more pious take on the world…and other world for that matter.
Don’t get me wrong, I recognize that religion has resulted in some significant contributions to civilization. Much of our great art, whether in the ancient world or in more recent times, was inspired or paid for by religion. The High Mass of the Roman Catholic or Anglican churches is a thing of theatrical beauty. Sadly, the Catholics have fallen into a whole lot of foolishness like using English, allowing happy guitar playing nuns, modern dance and a plethora of colourful banners expressing banal sentiments that were presumably made my kindergarten students allowed access to alcohol. At least the new Pope , who makes the Taliban look progresive, says it is ok to celebrate the Tridentine Mass again. We also have an almost countless assortment of wars, battles and genocide inspired by god inspired folks that makes the history of the world rich and complex. Personally, though, my sense of logic makes it impossible for me to entertain the possibility of a supreme being ( excluding possibly Bourdain).
I don’t think the general presumption that to be good or moral requires a belief in god is reasonable. To me morals are innate and suggesting that morality must be imposed by an external force is just plain foolish. And the thought that there is some omniscient being who looks down benevolently or otherwise is too bizarre for me to even get my brain around. Yes I have people telling me that I cannot look at the “beautiful and complex world” and not recognize it is the work of a supreme being. I believe in Occam’s Razor and look for the simplest and most obvious explanation. When I look at the world, ignoring the fact it is not all beautiful, I see the amazing work of nature and evolution. When faced with a choice between the imperfect but logical concept of evolution and a magical man sitting in a place no one can name…I think my answer is obvious. And speaking of which, why is it every good thing is the work of god and every bad thing attributed to evil?
If I had children, and fortunately for humanity I don’t, and I raised them to never question my authority and fall on their knees and say how wonderful I am, I might be judged a bad parent and rightfully so. Yet this scenario is accepted as normal in the whole concept of god. I must be missing something.
I will continue doing what I think is right and reasonable based on nothing but my own morality and my sense of what is best for society. Ultimately, we are all responsible for one another and I know what i do affects other people. I don’t need the crutch of god to impel me to do this and if I ever end up in a trench faced with imminent death I will not start talking to some higher power and begging for forgiveness…I will think of my family and friends and the dreams I have accomplished and I will be happy. But if god suits you I say great and good for you….just don’t try and convince me.
That being said, the next Jehovah’s Witness that shows up at my door better run for his or her life.