Egads. This topic alone could account for a month’s worth of posts. Oh well, a distillation.
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* Being religious is not the same as having faith or belief.
* Institutionalised religion is the cause of more broken dreams, broken lives, broken futures, and broken societies than any other human creation.
* The trappings of religious rituals exist primarily to benefit those who perform them.
* Passing off extravagan places of worship as artistic and architechtural marvels? Sure. Saying they have been made so stupendous in order to highlight how great that religion is? Sure. But trying to convince people that these structures are so grand because they are meant to inspire worshippers? Fail. True faith can be inspired even in a tin-shed.
* It’s hilarious that people will heatedly defend the concept of God being a super-natural entity that can shape worlds and create life – but mock readers of Sci-Fi & Fantasy books that describe various types of immensely powerful intelligences that match that same definition.
* If you truly believe in your religion, you will not be accommodating of other ones. You will not partake in their festivals, you will not visit their places of worship, you will not bother knowing about or understanding their rituals. Because if you do, then you believe in the concept of a divinity, not your Divinity. Which means you are not Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Shinto, or any other sort of religious – you’re spiritual.
True religious belief demands fundamentalism. Or, as better put by the genius of Pratchett-
If I thought there was some god who really did care two hoots about people, who watched ’em like a father and cared for ’em like a mother … well, you wouldn’t catch me sayin’ things like “There are two sides to every question”, and “We must respect other people’s beliefs”. You wouldn’t find me just being gen’rally nice in the hope that it’d all turn out right in the end, not if that flame was burning in me like an unforgivin’ sword. And I did say burnin’, Mister Oats, ‘cos that’s what it’d be. You say you people don’t burn folk and sacrifice people any more, but that’s what true faith would mean, y’see? Sacrificin’ your own life, one day at a time, to the flame, declarin’ the truth of it, workin’ for it, breathin’ the soul of it. That’s religion. Anything else is just … is just bein’ nice. And a way of keepin’ in touch with the neighbours.
– Carpe Jugulum