My published articles could make it seem as if I were a satanist, so here’s my stance on any and all religions, including satanism.
As always, I start my essays with a definition:
“-the service and worship of God or the supernatural
-commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
-a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
-a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith”
Parts left out for brevity. Hyphens added by me.
Fundamentally, any religion consists of 1 to 3 of the following:
1. Sacred texts;
The example of Christianity has the following:
2. Sacraments and churches;
3. Wine, beer and liquors, especially in monasteries, though this part doesn’t really contribute to the religion;
Here’s my point:
I. You can read the texts and an intelligent person can understand the several levels of metaphors without believing in a supernatural being.
II. Rituals are performed to achieve a certain effect. If you can achieve that effect in a different manner, you don’t need the ritual.
III. You certainly don’t need to be religious to take drugs.
So, does religion as acted out by most practitioners have any value?
I have several theories on that:
I. Metaphors can pass through people’s weak logical capabilities. In a brain the size of a human’s, something must be able to process information, presumably the subconscious.
II. Religious gatherings motivate people to behave according to the sacred texts, e.g. by peer pressure or by causing feelings.
III. Religion always contains values. A community that shares the same values works better together. Not everyone can critically analyse religious texts and extract correct deductions, but more people are able follow simple instructions (though not all), thus causing more harmonious coexistence.
Next, I want to give some reasons why organized religion is problematic, which show that you´re better off dealing with religion as an individual in most cases:
- All major christian groups have changed the statements from the bible to suit their own needs. The bible is against divorce, against women saying a single word in church, against female priests, against homosexuality, promiscuity, feminism, letters of indulgence being sold, churches becoming rich of their followers. If your church involves or encourages any of those things, you can´t call yourself a real Christian, because you are effectively spitting on your only sacred scripture, the bible.
- The etymology of “religion” is unclear, but it seems to have originated in either “reading again and again” (for the sake of analysis, or from “reconnecting” (with god). If your church doesn´t do those things better than you could on your own, you are robbing yourself of religious success, independently of whether a god exists or not.
- Here´s a quote from Wikipedia, because it´s easily accessible and accurate enough: “Newer research shows that in the ancient and medieval world, the etymological Latin root religio was understood as an individual virtue of worship in mundane contexts; never as doctrine, practice, or actual source of knowledge. In general, religio referred to broad social obligations towards anything including family, neighbors, rulers, and even towards God. Religio was most often used by the ancient Romans not in the context of a relation towards gods, but as a range of general emotions such as hesitation, caution, anxiety, fear; feelings of being bound, restricted, inhibited; which arose from heightened attention in any mundane context.” This last sentence explains why people (used to???) flock to religion.
Lastly, just to piss the right people off: If you believe in an almighty being listening to your prayers, you are delusional. I’d realized 3 ways of proving such a being doesn’t exist at 16.