Today some church guy (I think his name was Chris) revisited my doorstep and talked to me (again) about why the Bible is good and yadda yadda yadda and handed me a piece of literature which, frankly, I doubt I'm going to read. It reminded me of a conversation I had with Kim a couple days ago about the subject.
I don't really remember the specific details of that conversation. I think it was about the ramifications of religion in the world, either way, that's what I'm going to be writing about.
I do not, nor will I ever claim to be an expert on any type of religion (irony gods, please don't turn me into a monk....) the following is just my thoughts on the subject. If you find holes in what I say, feel free to tell me. Just don't be a twat about it. Also feel free to tell me your opinions as they are always welcome.
Let's start with some pros and we'll work from there. One pro of religion is all the hope it brings to people in their time of need. For example, while I was in a coma in 2004, buddhism kept my mom sane and gave her hope that I would pull through (which I did, obviously, though it did get pretty shaky at times). Depending on the religion, the existence of an afterlife or a "promised land" gives people something to be good for and I guess keeps people in check, because really, if we knew that there was no Heaven and there was no Hell, people would be shooting each other in the face left and right over small disputes. I mean, why restrain yourself when the end result will be the same? Although there is always the basic human instinct to futher the survival of the species as a whole... so would we have naturally created order regardless of the existence of organized religion?
Speaking of organized religion, I hate it. A lot. I think there would be a lot more peace in the world if we didn't have to label our beliefs and pick a side. I mean, sure, organized religion does give people a sense of community in which you can meet people who believe the same thing, and if it ended there, that would be great, but it doesn't and it never has. The religious group is never big enough and what happens is that people try to force their beliefs onto you (like Chris) and when that gets out of hand, you get things like the crusades and other religious cullings and wars or people visiting your doorstep every friggin Sunday morning. Another thing about organized religion is that there are so many people who claim to be a part of a specific religion and yet are ignorant as hell about it; it's like they're a part of it because they think it's trendy or something. That really pisses me off because, I think, it's just plain disrespect to the other people who believe it, are devout, and actually take the time to learn about why and what they believe in.
I think I'm going to stop here. I have a crapton more to say, but my mind is just too jumbled (and I guess, emotional?) right now for me to write anything coherent.
So what do you think? Is religion good or bad?