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What's It Like To Be Religious?
I was baptized as an evangelical Lutheran, however, I remember absolutely nothing of being religious. I never lost faith as far as I know, as my mom was an Atheist and we moved away from our religious family down in the south. (Not implying the South is bad, I love that place, well, some of that place). Anyhoo, I was curious on why I was an Atheist and what MY beliefs were, so I decided to delve within the arcane world of philosophy! This is what I've observed:
Religion is a need to know something without actually figuring out the problem. Think of those kids in your class who constantly huddle around to copy answers instead of actually figuring out the damn homework. I see religious people as those kids, but with obvious different intents. They legit think that they have the answer as it has been really just spoon-fed to them by whomever raised them. People don't really convert unless someone influences them to do so. Even for adult matters such as someone surviving a freak accident, or going from poor to rich, no doubt religious influence will get them believing that God had given them their fortune. They also think this way because the other option is realizing that it just happened at random, good for you. They want to feel special. They want to feel like God actually gives a crap about them, and their egoism is so tied into thanking God yet flattering themselves with the idea, they forget the main problem with this.
“Why did God give a crap about them? Who the hell are they to be saved as opposed to anyone else facing a dreadful crises. Why didn't God stop Hitler? Why doesn't God stop women from being rapped? Why doesn't God end world hunger?”
"Well because it'd be easy on humanity!"
"Then what the hell is up with the guy who claims to be saved by God? Or anyone else you revere who claims to be saved by God?"
Myriad people do claim thus, but even MORE people AREN'T saved by some old man in the sky. If he did save them, then why not the others? With the answer of helping humanity makes it to easy, then either he must be completely passive, always intervening, or be a selective jerk and save a random kid from being killed by a car because he decided to go in front of it (natural selection) instead of saving a bunch of people who truly deserve it, like the holocaust victims, victims of rape, murder, and execution from false claims (framing murder). In the end, I'd imagine it'd feel like constant self-flattery that God actually cares about you and not, well, all the people I listed earlier.
Then people do it for the afterlife. Heaven o Heaven above. The most nihilistic and putrid of all conceptions, not because it itself isn't pleasant (it obviously is), but because in reality it screws people up. It makes them believe that there is some good in death, and that there is some other side that one most waste this life to achieve! How is it nihilistic? Because I've heard Christians say how this life is simply a trial for the next! How exploring human nature, finding and exploring your dreams, and daring to feel 'fun' are a sin and WON'T get you into this magical (not to mention boring as hell) happy-go-lucky land ruled by a giant sky-daddy. They act that they don't have to do s*** in this life! Thus they make no contribution for actual important causes, like human rights or (naughty word) SCIENCE! They are wastes of meat! They spend their days praying and being basically bored hoping their is something on the other side, but their isn't. People are scared of death and want comfort.
But the more you fear death, and the more you try to dissever yourself from the thought of death, the closer you are; anyone who lives without danger and exploration are themselves already dead. They fear what they are; they're horrified at the atrocity at which they have become! This human-hating, God-loving, anti-fun and anti-dangerous people are disgusted with themselves, thus become more obsessed with the idea of Heaven, thus try harder because they fear of it all being in vein! Why don't they simply revert?
Fear controls their every move. They are so scared of all that love truly has to offer, that they have no idea how to! I honestly believe that they don't know how not to be religious! They are so obsessed with this idea because of how much they hate their lives, how much they hate their own selves, that they don't want to risk it! Fear clouds the concept of danger, exploration, asking questions, learning = Realization, knowledge, purpose, and happiness. They continue to believe in Heaven, too, because it can't be disproven purely for them. No man nor women has ever pioneered from the realm of the dead and confirmed Heaven's liability, thus they think that it must be because it can't be necessarily disproven, thus they strive even harder, and in the end, hate life and themselves even more.
I suppose on this side of the matter, one would feel endless ambition towards a beautiful (nonexistent) light, but with a drive composed of self-hatred and austereness deprived from pure Fear. FEAR.
Lastly, pity. I don't like religious people because I also see them as weak. I see them as weak because they need all these stupid things that one doesn't need! They need morals, purpose, and fear so that they themselves may feel good and safe and sound. They also try to care for others, reverse-leeching their own energy into other's which, in the end, feeds the pointlessness of their lives as they are probably religious and god-loving/fearing individuals.
"Christianity is the religion of pity." - Nietzsche.
It is. They show nothing on true self-improvement! That kind of self-improvement, like happiness, overcoming problems and mankind's shortcomings, as well as science, are shown as sinful, and thus driven out by fear! And through pity, as religious people feel obligated to do thus, they must help all those who haven't 'found God' or are in need of help. It offers no way of learning and figuring out problems for yourself!
And who is the biggest altruistic bastard of them all? God himself. People (first part hint hint) pray and beseech him for blessings and other such things, thinking God is pitiful enough to offer that, so they don't have to learn to do it themselves. And when I see this lack of improvement overall in humanity, what I notice is practically a halt in darwinism. We aren't improving, or evolving. Religion is one of the amazing forces to HALT Darwinism and impede us from overcoming out of the very thing that normally keeps us from doing this, fear. (IRONY).
So, in the end, a religious person, from what I see, feels safe, secure, pitiful and altruistic, narcissistic and egotistical. But also scared and terrified, as well as self-loathing, deathly ambitious, perfectionistic, and all-together bitterness.
A better question is, "What don't religious people feel?" The greatest joys of life, and the farthest expansions of knowledge and self-reflection.
But of course, these are all the ramblings of a moronic philosophy wannabe.