Religion is overrated. It has been like that from the very beginning, when man had found his first stone and praised it, until today. Although experiencing different religions, digging into them and talking to religious people brings up the question: “What had happened that religion and evolution went the opposite directions?”
I believe that there would be a lot of controversy here, so if you’re afraid that your religious feelings might be hurt, simply press the cross on the right hand side of your screen.
Back in 20th century (and even earlier) philosophers treated religion and philosophy equally for it was disputable: you could either accept one idea and make your mind up to fit it, or simply make an argument. Same thing with religion that – at some point – allowed a concept of critical thinking to mix with the whole theistic multiplicity. And it stayed that way for a while. Society, at the same time, has been developing rapidly and, having no answer to any of upcoming questions, had tried to find them somewhere. Like…in the church or mosque or synagogue. And that was a moment when religion had turned back to its ancient times. Rome was founded by Romulus, and – the funny coincidence – the last emperor’s name was Romulus as well; religion was, too, a man-made creation, so it was a man who flushed it down with his ignorance and stupidity. Don’t get me wrong, not one man, of course, but the whole bunch of them, we call them monks, priests, rabbis, etc.
Few months ago I was sitting in Tel Aviv on the beach, sharing thoughts with a good friend of mine. So, eventually, we started talking about religion (note, back then I was bachur yieshiva – religious college student) and after a while she shared the idea that made me re-think and re-read everything that I’d known before. Back in the ancient times people needed an example, a real world story or something else just so it make them believe in some kind of supernatural thing (or creature) above. And, as you might have guessed, Bible had served their needs flawlessly. Unfortunately, the world is way more complicated right now and sometimes connecting a particular need with a “real source” gets impossibly hard. Of course, we should have elevated high enough to get rid of ol’ day’s mentality and needs…but, oh well, what can we do. So, for all of you, who have suffered from illogical and complex explanations from the Bible point of you, I’d like to confess: I would have been religious… only if they hadn’t spoiled it for me.
When people start to over-think religion and forget that it is a belief and not a weapon, the bad things start to happen. Like praying for gay people (in hope that they turn right again) or saying prayers because your 14-year old son is masturbating, or writing AMEN under the Facebook pictures, or force people to believe, or bless them every time something important is coming. So, when you talk to any of these “believers” you start to feel a bit irritated simply because you are not accepting the rules of their game. Unfortunately, there are no winners in that game. And, the most important, there is a really strong barrier between believers and atheists and it will never be destroyed – the unquestionable faint in God which will not allow any religious person even start considering other side’s arguments. And that’s it.
Well, I strongly believe that 90% of so-called religious people are just scared for their life (or soul?) and, by practicing the religion, they’re just paying off their afterlife insurance. There are no atheists in the foxholes, they say. You better be prepared. As for me, though, I like to chose my own path. After reading Camus’s “The Myth of Sisyphus” I was simply fascinated by the image of Sisyphus Camus had pictured. A man who had made his own decisions throughout his life, a man who had fought with gods, a man who had built his own happiness carried his stone with a smile, dignity and respect. It was deadly heavy, but it worth it. His life was worth the punishment he was sentenced to.