Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hope and War

Religion can give hope or ignite war. It is such a powerful set of ideas it should be respected for its strength if nothing else.

I love to think about how much a devout person of one religion believes in another religion, probably not very much. Then it becomes clear that it is just an ideology, that can be accepted or rejected. If it were truth, there would be only one.

Although, if religion helps people make sense of this life or understand death or just helps them wake up in the morning, then it is a wonderful thing. It is a marketing strategy for hope.

I am feeling like it is almost too personal to write about on the blog but I have been forced to think about it lately because of our upcoming wedding. War is on the horizon with my family and I can feel the rumble of troops marching towards us...


  1. I think that religion came about simply to help humans understand nature. Like children, we invent a story to explain what occurs naturally. The Ancients could not scientifically explain how the sun moved across the sky so they made up the story of racing a shining chariot across the sky.

    I believe that faith is your personal relationship with your god or higher power and religion is how you express that relationship. That makes the faith the important thing and the religion less so.

    Intellectuals will say religion is for those that are ignorant of the science. But there something to be said for the reassuring rituals of religion and peace that comes with true faith.

    The problem is that some extremely religious people think that their religion should be the only one.

  2. There are many powerful fictions, illusions and delusions in life. That is not the primary reason to tolerate them or cultivate them. They must improve both individual life and life in the larger world.

    The problem with god-based beliefs, at least the monotheistic ones, is that their inherent logic makes them totalitarian, intolerant and, in extremis, extremely violent.

    As for the wedding of two people, the laws of partnership and the wisdom of secular philosophy provide enough guidance. No need for fictional reassurances, even if this is a dark age.