There is a reason that I used the same artwork from the last post… except turned on it’s side… for this post. And the reason is this:
Death is a matter of perspective. I don’t mean death itself. That seems fairly straightforward. I mean what happens to us after we die. It is the great unknown. And humans hate not knowing stuff. So we get really good at two things. Looking for answers to the questions we don’t know the answers for… (that is called ‘science’, and whatever else you believe in, you should believe in science)… and, when we can’t find the answers, we make up our own answers.
There are only two real possibilities; either we die and go nowhere, or we die and go… somewhere. Religions claim to know the answer to the unanswerable, the unknowable. They all say that, if you follow their guidelines, their rules, you go somewhere great. Or you come back again. I have studied all the great religions, and I just can’t bring myself to accept that it all comes down to which of us chose the correct religion, and then followed its rules correctly. And everybody else is going somewhere bad. Because they chose wrong.
The other alternative is that all the gods exist, and are sitting around a huge table somewhere, arguing over a few thousand souls here, a few hundred souls there. But what I find most annoying are the people who are so sure that they are part of the only real religion, and everybody else is just an idiot who is going to get a horrible surprise handed to them on the day of their death. Most of the time, the people who are most sure that theirs is the right religion are the worst at following the rules suggested by that very religion they hold so sacred that deal with how to treat their fellow human beings.
I am not judging anyone who believes in any religion… although I allow myself to judge their actions. I think that people have ingrained, deep within their DNA, a need to believe that things are being watched over by a higher power. That it can’t all be just random. That is too scary. I also think that people are hardwired to fear the unknown, and, as I said, death is the greatest unknown of all. We concocted stories of better places that we can earn our way into when we shuffle off the mortal coil. And priest classes arose, setting themselves up as the keepers of the keys to these kingdoms.
Most people don’t choose their religion. They have it handed down to them. If your parents tell you stories from the time you are very young, you tend to believe the stories. That is just the way humans are. If you tell your children to be good, and pray before bed time,and that then they will go to a land of milk and honey, that is harmless enough… even if they soon forget the being good and praying part as they grow up. But the sad thing is all the people who have been sent off to their own deaths, or to kill, in the name of those religions. Now, if you are reading this as a White Christian, you probably immediately assumed that I was talking about suicide bombers or Kamikaze pilots. And I am. But we send our kids off to war telling them that our gods are on their side too. And we used it to justify some pretty horrible things in the past.
I know I have said this before, but I think it bears repeating.
If your god says it is okay… or even good… to kill other human beings, maybe you should try to find another god.