Life

The Roast of Religiosity

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.

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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.

The-Myth-of-Sisyphus-225x300Well, 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.

Amen.

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Life

“to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”

I had to write something today. At the beginning, I thought about typical “happy September” post with few cool autumn pictures attached. But something was bothering me. One single thought had stuck in my head and didn’t let me move any further. And now, after few hours of thinking about it, I finally want to share it with you.
I’ve been traveling for the past 3 months, visiting Israel, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and Thailand (good list, huh?) and, honestly, I enjoyed talking to backpackers more than meeting the locals. The thing is that every one of them is totally unique with his own life story and philosophy. I have spent hours talking to them about their life and their personal experiences they had had while traveling. And there was only one thing they had in common; only one idea we all  shared: never stop, never settle down, never stop exploring. It is your life and only you can make it count. Life is not easy. It is not easy to give away all you have and hit a road. But the payback is still much greater: you are not only living your life, you’re living it the way you want it.

We all know the story of Odysseus and Nausicaa, and his decision to come back to his family and home. I like to think that myth doesn’t tell the whole story. I like to think that after coming home he realized that something went terribly wrong. I like to think that he escaped a life he had been given. Because the only mistake a human being can make is make nothing at all.

And I challenge you, guys, to live a good life.
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