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Re: [existlist] Digest Number 162

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  • Mandy Bright
    Religion.... It affronts my sense of self determinism to have an institutionalised religion impose a structure on my thinking. I find it patronising. My
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 25 6:03 AM
      Religion....
      It affronts my sense of self determinism to have an institutionalised
      religion impose a structure on my thinking. I find it patronising. My
      mother, who is older and, I am sure wiser in her way, tells me that I " just
      have not found the right religion yet..." and, "it will become more
      important as (I) grow older" and even "Don't you think that they impose a
      structure on your thinking at university?"

      Apparently, for many people it is comforting to have a structure - a
      narrative and a set of rules that "explains it all". Especially as we age
      and mortality becomes more and more of a threat to our existence , it must
      be wonderful to be surrounded by a group of people who assert that there is
      more to life than this.

      And if you don't buy the stories, ask yourself, "what is truth ?" To a
      large extent, it is relative and subjective. (For all intents and purposes
      the earth was flat, until we collectively agreed to believe otherwise... or
      was it?) If everyone around us asserts that something we wish to believe is
      true, then it is so - and we can allow ourselves to dispense with the angst
      of worrying about our place in the universe and accept "it". Then, we are
      freed to go about the business of carrying out our own special, God divined
      roles. By following the guidelines that are mapped out in the doctine, we
      are less likely to damage others in "our fold" and will also support the
      smooth operation of the society out of which our own religion was born.
      (Quite functional in its way).

      But then, consider the flip side of the coin... It must feel so cosy to
      "belong" to be "loved" - by God and the church community... "If only
      others would come, and be with us, they could experience this sense of
      ethereal oneness with the universe - which must be "true", because it feels
      so strong and so right..." ( And it really does)So, missionaries are sent
      forward to "spread the word" , to share, to recruit. And, if they should
      chance upon others who worship a different variant of god, then they know it
      is their duty to convert, to educate, conquer the heathens, save their
      souls, bring them home to meet the true God...
      And then, there is resentment and distrust at best, or war at worst...


      "Prayer is asking God to make it rain. Faith is carrying an umbrella" -
      From the toilet wall of a friend who believes!

      Mandy.
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