196 Some Thoughts on Religion:
As I start this, I am acutely aware that some people may take offense at my ideas and believe that I am, somehow, mocking their beliefs. This is not my intent at all! However, in the light of my becoming ordained as a minister of the Universal Life Church in order to fulfill my daughter’s desire to be married on the day chosen by herself and her then-to-be-husband, during the pandemic (see #177 in the archives), I found myself with a real desire to consider, somewhat seriously, how I feel about religion and religious beliefs. So, for the past several months, I’ve been trying to figure out (mostly to/for myself) how, and what, my feelings are about such things. That’s the background of this post.
The Universal Life Church was founded of the basic belief that we are children of the
I like this because it’s about as free of specific doctrine as one is likely to find and, it establishes the idea that one’s religion is personal to oneself; it does not have to conform to someone else’s idea of what it is SUPPOSED to be. I like that, as I am sure that I have not yet found “THE ANSWER” in any of the various religious practices I have yet heard espoused. It’s also true that the idea of beliefs being personal appeals to me.
In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument;
I suspect the reason for this is that scientists are trained to understand that science is based on the idea that we accept as true those things which appear to be supported by the best evidence available. Hence, science adopted the idea that the Earth was flat because the available evidence supported that idea. Once the evidence against this notion seemed more supportable than that for it, the earlier idea was abandoned. Much the same can be said of many ideas from the “superiority” of one race over another; to one sex over another; to one culture over another; to meat-eaters over vegetarians (or, vice versa); to democratic vs autocratic political systems; and on, and on.
I think it's perfectly possible to explain how the universe came about without bringing
I have probably spent too many words discussing these issues, but (obviously) I find them difficult, confusing, and upsetting. I do, however, agree with Garrison Keillor when he said, “Anyone who thinks sitting in church can make you a Christian must also think that sitting in a garage can make you a car.”
Next time, I plan to take a stab at trying to explain more specifically what I DO believe beyond just discussing the Golden Rule and what troubles me about what I see all too often around me in “religious” practices. That is, of course, if I can be at least this coherent about them.
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Just personal comments about things which interest me (and might interest others).