Religion escapes logic. Anything not logical cannot be true can it? Well, then is life true? Are we living it? Life is the most illogical thing you can expect to have. The Big Bang theory says we have less than 1% chance of being who we are, probably closer to 0%. Then there is the theory of God. If there is a God, then who came before him?
In Buddhism, it is believed that there is no end, and there is no beginning. It doesn’t involve itself in how the world started, as there is no use to finding out. It teaches ways to improve our lives, both the individual’s, as well as society’s. In Buddhism, there is no “God” that you pray to. Buddha is an enlightened being, and nothing more than that. He doesn’t answer your prayers, he doesn’t answer your wishes; what he can do is teach you the way to achieve enlightenment, like him, or her.
Buddhism has become almost a religion to many people because of cultural influences. We see people going to temples to pray for things, to pray for well-being, for riches, for magic numbers they can use in the lottery. A lot of these are cultural influences, and not because Buddhism is a religion.
In Catholicism though, there is only one God. HE doesn’t accept competitors, and if you pray to other Gods, he will punish you. Well, this is according to the Bible, which is the word of God…or is it?
I believe that the Bible is not written by God, as we so understand it. I believe that the Bible is a message by well-meaning people. The passages in the book are mere messages sent out from enlightened people, something like Buddha. Jesus can be compared to Buddha, both spread the word of peace and love. The Bible is a medium of getting through to people.
If you have taken any social behaviorial class, or any book on that subject, you’d know that a message has many parts. There is the sender, the actual message, the medium that the message passes through, the actual message heard by the reciever, and the receiver’s perception of that message.
So the Bible is the message. But the people who wrote the stories in the Bible had a goal, one the same as Buddha and Jesus, to create a better world, and better people!
The Bible may not hold historial truths, but it gets the job done in converting us to be better people. Do not take it too literally, unless that works for you. Everyone will, and should, have their own interpretation of the bible, and life in general. Religion may not work for everyone, that’s why there are atheists.
Do it, and if it works, stick by it.
The following is a parable quoted in the ezine, Rondout, called A Wise Woman; the author is unknown:
A wise woman who was travelling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveller who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food.
The hungry traveller saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveller left rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime.
But, a few days later, he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. “I’ve been thinking,” he said. “I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone.”
Sometimes it’s not the wealth you have but what’s inside you that others need.
What makes you think that the bible is written by well-meaning people? That silly book. I mean really. And who is Buddha? Who cares? Why not stop to think for ourselves? We’re constantly taught to look to others. Don’t know what to believe? Well, try a bunch of religions, they know everything. A word (albeit a very controversial one) of warning: Religions are all bullshit, just as much as politics and big-bird.
Religion is not bullshit. Whether or not one chooses to believe or not is up to the individual.
Religion is not an end in itself — it is something that helps one through life.
The thing that makes me think that the bible was written by well-meaning people is that many of the stories in it encourages us to be, in the usual sense of the words, “better” or “nicer”.
Buddha is Buddha. The people who care are the ones who associate with him.
If I ask, “who is Devin Cabot? and who cares?”, the answer would be the same: the people who cares who Devin Cabot is are the people who associate with him.
People who stop to think for themselves are often the ones who realise the importance of religion or spirituality. A person who doesn’t think for him or herself usually doesn’t care about spirituality, for he or she is too busy living to think.
Whether or not one thinks for him or herself doesn’t matter, for it is up to the individual to decide whether or not to think.
“People who stop to think for themselves are often the ones who realise the importance of religion or spirituality. A person who doesn’t think for him or herself usually doesn’t care about spirituality, for he or she is too busy living to think.”
This seems to be a stereotype. Where’s the evidence to support these claim? Most atheists I know of, including myself, spend a lot of time thinking. In the US, most academic/scientific people are irreligious, while most of the general population is religious (http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/sci_relig.htm).
Speaking of stereotypes…religion is not as benign or helpful as religious people think, since religion fosters misconceptions about nature, including stereotypes about people (see webpages on religious intolerance http://www.religioustolerance.org/relintol3.htm). Misconceptions distort people’s view of reality, making it difficult for them to effectively solve problems. This is the problem with hallucinating or being mentally insane. “In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies”
Too many people think that prayer or belief in god(s) will solve problems.
And being religious isn’t as hurtful or harmful as non-religious people think. Again, it’s often the case of looking at others different from oneself, and making judgements on it.
When I used to be more religious, I used to think that those without religion were somehow (I know this is definitely no the correct term, but to prove my point…) “inferior”. Over the years, as I slowly moved away from religion, I started thinking that people who were involved in religion were in some way being “deluded”.
However, it isn’t that either way people are somehow wrong or right. Religion seems to me, a phase that all people go through, inbuilt into the human condiiton perhaps. Whether or not we believe in orthodox mainstream religion or not is not the case; but most people believe in something bigger than themselves, and that belief sometimes manifests itself in monotheistic religions, sometimes in not, and sometimes we just supress that feeling altogether.
Religion is a complicated subject, that I think can never be satisfactorily discussed. Like whether durians are nice to eat or not, religion is a very personal thing, and everyone will have their own opinion.