Religion has been an increasingly fascinating topic for me since my teens, just before leaving secondary education. So interesting a day can no longer go by without it crossing my mind, for whatever reason. Maybe that is just a part of growing up. Curiosity is a gift we all use to some degree, yet the doors to other ideas and beliefs are down corridors we rarely dare to tread, and these are the doors I have found to be much more colourful as I’ve matured.
I have also paid close attention to how, over the years, it has developed and played a part in the lives of people around me. One of the main points I feel I need to address in my blog is how the grey area surrounding religious/superstitous belief has contributed to a lot of negativity in the world. We are trying to progress. But to do that we need to get over our differences in ideology. A mammoth task indeed.
Religion is everywhere, putting it as bluntly as possible. And it’s still playing a huge role in our society, if not all societies. Everywhere we look we are constantly reminded of this, the good and bad. Religiously inspired architecture that has shaped much of Europe, for example. The still ever present street preachers bellowing out their personal preferences to passers by. The fantastic charities set up by certain sects. Regardless of our opinions of religions influence- it is there.
Some feel the small annoyances religion brings do not outweigh the bigger, more positive inputs that it has contributed, or the positivity and hope it brings to people that need it.
I would be the first to sympathise when due. Travelling to work every day I appreciate the view given to us from our parents, grandparents and generations before. Whether it is a castle standing strong against the test of time, or a church steeple still dominating the skyline amongst the constant growth of modern day civilisation. It is definitely a thing of beauty, when one considers its age. Most notably the craftmanship and dedication to achieve such buildings, regardless of how relevant our appreciation is to the inspiration of its construction.
But then I try to imagine living in that kind of society. The way of life present at the time. A one flawed with vague scientific speculation but heavy punishments for thinking outside the norm. When little was known but execution was more than appropriate for those who dare to question. How is it that jail and punishment could be so nessesary and brutal for a time when nothing (nothing worthy at least) was set in stone?
“Common sense is not so common”
A quote by Voltaire in 1764, or at least was along those lines, summing up (although greatly an understatement in my opinion) the philosophers thoughts on the shenanigans religious folk got up to in his day. Lets face it, women were still being burned as witches in much of Europe. In the year 2014 it’s different, of course. Being European we now have to travel long haul to find such an activity….
What I urge any reader regardless of belief is to consider the fact that our opinions we have formed over the course of our lives could in fact hold no weight when confronted with rational thinking. But how can we do that if some people use religion for support, whilst others use it for power and control? Some after a strong personal spiritual experience, others because it’s family tradition. My first question in my first posting is to the world of WordPress:
What are the reasons behind your religious thinking?
You have my undivided attention.