This Is Not A Boring Story About Religion

October 5, 2009
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In the trolley bus, I was just blankly staring out the window. Suddenly, the train slowed down in my vision.

I was just coming back from student law court where I volunteer as a student lawyer. It's like mock trial. I was playing game on my shabby calculator. Suddenly, I had an impulse to look at people that were sitting around me.

A girl talking on the phone. A high, shallow, yet soft voice. Sounds like she's talking to her friend about her little sister. My eyes move on.
A guy seemingly in mid-age. Reading a newspaper. Casually dressed--a stripe shirt and a pair of khakis.
An old guy. Looks really tired. There were deep furrows in his brow. Looks like a construction worker.

In a silent trolly car, a question struck my mind.

'Why are these people here?" "What makes them do these things?" I thought. My thought process continues.

I don't remember if I tried to answer these questions that popped up in my mind. Seconds ticked by before I concluded with the final question.
'Why do we, human beings, live?' 'What are we living on for?'

See, this was the question. Good question. I don't know why. I don't know what for we're living on. And I came to realize, this was the question that th e mankind has strived to answer right to this moment.

That's why religion is so powerful. Religion gives meanings to people's lives. To some, God is the meaning of life. To others, Buddha is. It differs in every religion. Sorry, I don't know enough to list them all. Islam, Buddism, Christianity, and so on.

Also, there was this one guy in France who didn't believe in God. If we think there is no God, there's no one who can judge what's right and wrong. Think about it: why is it bad if I killed a friend? No one is going to judge me. Well of course, I would never kill a person. And other people will judge me if I did. But still, if there was no God, there would be no one to really say that's morally wrong and that's right. Get my drift? So this guy names Jean Paul Sartre said something like this, "what matters is our choice. we may choose to kill or not kill a person (well this is rather extreme)." Now, I don't understand 100% what he says, but Sartre, this guy was one of the guys who tried to answer the question.

I also thought this, like we learn in biology class. It says we evolved from a little thing. We used to be something like monkeys and chimpanzees. Biology explains that we live to reproduce. Just to make and rear our children. To continue the existence of human being. But then try to answer this question: Why are we the way we are right now? why did we evolve to be humans? Couldn't have we been more like dragons or aliens?

A sound of rumbling in my stomach. I think to myself, 'Oh yeah, I haven't eaten since lunch.' Putting these not-too-easy-to-answer questions aside, I pull out a chocolate bar from my backpack.

Suddenly, the train was at its full speed again.

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This article has 17 comments. Post your own now!

ShellyToll said...
Apr. 12, 2016 at 9:22 pm
I'm sorry but I have to respectfully disagree. I'm not Christian, I don't believe that there is a God up there judging me. When I'm alone, the only person judging is me. It's because of my own beliefs and morals that I don't kill someone. I don't think it's right to end the life of another living creature. That's why I'm a proud vegetarian. I value life even without Jesus or anyone else looking over my shoulder. I don't discriminate against others due to things like gender, sexuality, ethnicity,... (more »)
Bookworm134 said...
Dec. 8, 2015 at 10:26 pm
I respectfully disagree with this, as I am an atheist. I have many "morals" that I live by, so morality is not dependent on the belief of God. I do believe, however, that people's different opinions matter, and what they believe matters. Well written : )
blues_are.still_blue said...
Mar. 26, 2011 at 12:42 pm

1) People give meaning to their own lives. "god" is not required.

2) Morality is not dependent on religion. I'm an atheist, and i can easily say that i'm far more "moral" than many of my religious counterparts. Also, i'm not moral to get the approval of a sky-daddy. I'm moral because i realize that there are 7 billion other people on this planet and we have to figure out a way not to kill each other.

3) You obviously know next to nothing about evolution if you think that we just... (more »)

contemplater replied...
May 10, 2011 at 12:10 am

1) God is not required to have a life with meaning, but is it a life worth living?

2) Morality is not dependent of religion. It is dependent on the person who makes choices in life. We are not trying to get approval from a 'sky-daddy', we are trying to obey God, which happens to be approved by God

3) I agree with you here. Dragons? Really? Though evolution is ONLY a theory, it is a theory that deserves to be put through the scientific method properply.

185441 replied...
May 10, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Author here.

1) I have no mention of deity as a necessary part of human life. Nor do I claim it should be. Yes, I agree with you, people give meaning to their own lives.

2) What you got away from this writing is partly incorrect; I have not made a statement saying morality and religion must exist together. And morality is not an absolute standard. You claim you are moral, but who are you to judge yourself more moral than anyone else? Morality, in its own strict terms, is an iron... (more »)

contemplater replied...
May 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Im am confused with your comment. Are you directing this to me or blues_are.still-blue?

Your statement in your article about evolution is loaded. 'Is evolution even real? If so, why' or something like that would be better, I think.

185441 replied...
May 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm
My reply is mainly targeted at blue's comment. But I think, as author, you are being a little nit-picky (my apology for the poor word choice, couldn't think of a better word; I'm not trying to pick a fight here). I mean, just look at the bigger picture. My mention of evolution is merely an example that I am presenting here. I agree with you that the paragraph needs some work, though. Thank you for your comment--I appreciate it.
blues_are.still_blue replied...
May 10, 2011 at 10:03 pm

1. Whether it's a life worth living or not is subjective. Are you implying that people who don't project meaning onto their lives don't have as full a life? One could interpret your response as encouragement to commit suicide. 

I never said that you mentioned that we need a deity for life. I said that your writing implies that god is required for people to find meaning.

2.Actually, your entire paragraph about the french man implies that without god, morals hold no meaning. ... (more »)

185441 replied...
May 10, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Before I start, I should point out that this essay is an articulation of a train of different thoughts--thus the speaker sitting in a trolley train.

1. I also agree with you that whether one's life is worth living is subjective. I do not understand where you get an impression that my response encourages suicide. "People give meaning to their own lives." -> Do you find this sentence troubling?


2. I still don't think you understand why I wrote about morality. What... (more »)

blues_are.still_blue replied...
May 11, 2011 at 3:06 pm
Thanks for clearing up all of that; i actually accidentally ended up responded to both you and Contemplator within only one comment, which i can imagine confused you. I still dont quite see why you defend religious methods of defining morals even when you admit that they are undefinable, but i guess that's your own view.
Singinstar said...
Nov. 10, 2010 at 7:12 pm

i think that was cool how you worded everything. and i also think it has a good message


Kelz1141 said...
Oct. 23, 2010 at 10:55 am
I'm not really sure what point you are trying to make in this.
HisPurePrincess This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 10, 2011 at 7:16 pm
i second that.  are you for God or what?  I don't know really what you were saying.  it sounded cool but yeah... said...
Oct. 14, 2009 at 10:59 pm
I enjoyed this article. There's a lot to be said about religion - even that's an understatement. But in this, you simplify that down to the core basics: What religion is, and why it's here. The way it's presented is interesting. I like how you use ordinary people to describe something extraordinary. The idea, the mood, the overall feel of the article is great. One thing I would work on is your transitions between points. Try to connect your next point to your previous one. Al... (more »)
Apple replied...
Oct. 14, 2009 at 11:02 pm
What part of this article did you feel was particularly not clear enough or awkward? If you could point that out for me, I would greatly appreciate it.
Apple replied...
Oct. 14, 2009 at 11:05 pm
I also intentionally dragged on here and there to make it little bit casual and colloquial. I really did not want to make this a heavy piece that you really need to sit down and think about to understand, hence the title.
Apple replied...
Oct. 22, 2009 at 10:33 pm
Thanks a lot!
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