in my not so humble opinion, religion is a very dangerous vehicle to hitch a ride on.
we humans have a deep inborn need to believe in "something", in order to make our journey through life a little easier. life is a state of chaos, we are often unable to accept. our ego insists, i am in control ... we are not. result, we require an explanation for when "the wheels come off".and so, we invented "god's will". we use "god's will" to explain the inexplicable, as a bulwark against the unacceptable.
we use "god's will" as a shortcut to acceptance. raging against chaos is a painful waste of time, in acceptance we find healing and eventual peace.
we are born into a family, a tribe, a race, we love to belong! in our groups we find the security of similarity. we also love to believe we are smarter than others, that we know a truth which others don't. we enjoy feeling smug in our lifestyle, our beliefs ... we have a deep need to believe that we are right in our understanding of the chaos. if others believe differently ... well, they are obviously wrong!
many of our "beliefs" concern matters outside of the physical realm, they are impossible to prove. Humanity is nothing if not resilient, we invented faith.
what do we have so far? ... we have "god's will" to explain the chaos, we have "faith" to prove the unprovable. in our need to feel part of the tribe, we invented "religion". religion is a club where we meet to discuss "god's will", drink tea in church halls and decide, as a group ... how to persuade the "other" tribes that they are wrong in their belief system. wrong in their understanding of "god's will". they are simply wrong and we are right and best they had convert to our way of thinking ...if not, for sure they will be doomed forever.
faith requires us to suspend logic, strange in a way, in all other endeavours we are expected to think, to question, to use our logic. i can't remember exactly when i started having a problem with the "blind faith" required to be ... in my particular case .... a good christian.i think it might have started with the thought that many good and loving people were condemned to an eternity of hellfire, simply because they were born into a different faith. then there was "god's will" insinuating that the force which created the universe was not pure and sublime, rather nasty and vindictive. i personally believe we live in a physical world and in this world physical events happen, sometimes good and sometimes awful.
i refuse to believe that the great energy, the source from which we all come and to which we will all return is hanging out somewhere, deciding on which child should die, which peoples should be taken out this week by flood or famine. also this idea that god desires humanity to sit around worshiping him and singing his praises, how ridiculous is that? by the by ... interesting that we chose our god to be a "he". when the book of wisdom was written, the book which sets out the rules on how we should spend our living days ...men were obviously firmly in control.strikes me, we made god in our own image, rather than the other way around.had we made our god female, more motherly, perhaps we would live in a whole new world. would a female god have been so eager to look down upon her creation, her children and decide that the tribes of israel were her personal favourite and to hell with the rest of them. would she have created people who by nature, love their own sex and then condemned them for doing exactly that? would she have expected humanity to believe without question, in an invisible and omnipotent god. we were born with five senses, seems like a cruel, childish game to condemn us for eternity for not having total faith in an invisible god.
in the end we must all come to our own understanding, our own sense of knowing. we should remember that we have not reached this place because we are smarter than others. we each arrive at our own personal spiritual destination, no one is more right and no one is more wrong. we each live our own life, we walk our own path. me, myself, i am a rather arrogant person, with an unrelenting desire to be right. my path insists on teaching me that while i may well be right, this does not necessarily make someone who holds a different view wrong.