Saturday, December 16, 2006

Question of the Day: Why am I so offended by the very idea of religion?

There are, of course, thousands of practical instances in which faith and organized religion are detrimental for our society. But instead of continuing to dwell on these, I will attempt to describe my personal philosophy, to explain the great offense I feel when someone claims to know the truth; to know God, to know The Answer. I will attempt to explain why it hurts, why there is an inevitable crumbling of society, a devaluing of all that is decent, and why problems occur when the value of truth is reduced to nothing; denigrated to myths and stories, when fairy tales are revered enough to kill for, and to die for.

There is something wrong when the truth can be so easily dismissed in favor of an easy explanation, when the most important thing we can ever hope to know, the very truth of our existence, is convoluted and ignored. There is no concern, in a mind where religion reigns, for ever actually finding out, actually really knowing, actually confirming the truth. In a society where the easy way out is not only accepted, but worshipped, there will be no truth. Never will religion lead to a real answer, a tangible answer, a legitimate understanding. Never will mankind find the answer if they are convinced they already know.

“There is no god higher than truth.” -Gandhi

“The gift of truth excels all other gifts.” -Buddha

The truth, to me, is almost sacred, and the tainting of the truth, the assignment of a value to this unknown quantity, is almost blasphemy. It hurts to see something so beautiful as scientific truth shunted aside for an easy pseudo-explanation.

The truth is that we don’t know the truth, and people need to stop pretending. And start trying.



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