The Dark Side of Religion

Alejandro - Hialeah, Florida
Entered on September 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I consider myself to be an atheist. I do not believe that there is a “God.” The reason why I’ve typed the word “God” in quotation marks is because I have my own personal definition for the word “God.” To me, a “God” is a powerful, supernatural being that is watching over everything on this planet and controlling natural events. I have no belief in the existence of something like this. However, I do consider that perhaps there exists some kind of grand entity beyond the universe. This entity, that is most likely very complex, may have created all the universes……….. or maybe just ours. But I believe that the universe functions on its own with no “divine intervention.” The entity can be explained by science. Science might eventually one day discover it.

So speaking of science, I believe in scientific research and its search for the truth. As long as science remains respectful towards religion, I will always support it in any conflict it may have with the church. The church has been proven wrong throughout history by science and it just disturbs me how the church tried to eliminate scince during the middle ages just because it came in conflict with their “ideals” and the Bible. To me, the Bible is just a story that led to the religious dogma that is very unnecessary in most cases.

The only part of Catholic teaching that I agree with are the Ten Commandments. This is because the Ten Commandments is basic morality. Morality that I’m sure would have still been followed even if people wouldn’t have been threatened to go to hell if they did not follow them. To me, something immoral is anything done that unnecesarily hurts another human being, in any way, if that person did not deserve that action to be done to them. If the person did not deserve that action, it is because he/she has not been immoral. As long as done responsibly, i do not see anything hurtful about sex before marriage. If you do not go to church, nobody’s going to suffer or die. But if you do to others what you would not want to be done to you, then i belive you are guilty of what religion calls a “sin.” When the church teaches basic morality to children, it is not because God said so, it is because as humans we are intelligent enough to know what is beneficial for all society. When the church aids the poor in developing countries, it is not because God threatened to smite them if they did not. It is because as humans, we tend to feel compassion for those in need, picture ourselves in their situations, and do what we would have also desired to have received from those better off. Spiritual guidance can always come from within once one has learned to value life, never quit on trying to reach goals, and performed good actions that have influenced the lives of others. This spiritual guidance is called ego, pride, self-respect, and the will to face any challenges that can stand in your way.

The only true religion to me is the one in which you live your life to the fullest, without harming others out of greed or envy, having influenced others in positive ways, without quitting out of fear or despair, constantly self-improving, and tolerating other people who tolerate you. If there is a God, he would not mind if you did not belive in him or her (Yes, it could be female, too!). He would have to be democratic, allowing one to think what they want to think and feel what they want to feel without guilt and do what they want to do and say what they want to say, unless it broke the limits of his “laws,” which would be given to him by us, because he/she would be the product of our intelligence. Scientific research and always tyring to create “a more perfect union” among the nations of this world would be the key to salvation.

And salvation would be knowledge, understanding of knowledge, application of knowledge, and the formations of horizons to further knowledge. Damnation would be ignorance. Science and religion can be the wings of the same bird. That bird is our minds.

“Gods” were invented by ignorant people who had no way of explaining the science that was occuring around them. The enforcement of dogma was used to control others who were also ignorant; to turn them into one big herd of sheep whose ignorance only allowed them to go into one direction. The same direction the oppressed enlightened men such as Martin Luther, Galileo Galilei, and Copernicus. The same direction that started the wars between Catholics and Protestants, the same direction the led to the Spanish Inquisition, and the same direction that led to the migration of Puritans from England into the New World. Dogma is an invetion of man with great flaws. Religion is a characteristic of man, and the only flaw it contains is us.

This I believe: religion comes the part of the soul that wants fufillment, from the part of the mind that wants enlightement, and from the part of the body that makes us who we are: our brain. Science comes from there, too. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The human brain produces our quest for knowledge and our spiritual yearnings. And that’s somehting we all have in common. The “God” who is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient is us united as a species, working together, and spreading our ideas for a better world.

God bless…….