I’ve often heard people of other faiths, specifically Christians accuse those, like myself, who are non-believers of being evil, condemned to an eternity in hell or influenced by Satan and many variety of other not so nice things. I have to ask myself why someone of any religion that claims to be about love and compassion would even say such things in the first place. Then there are the ones who say people who say things like that aren’t really behaving as their faith should but “God” still loves me anyway…. even though, according to the Bible for example, I’m a sinner and really am going to spend an eternity in hell for not believing. So either way I look at it, I’m a condemned woman.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the history associated with most faiths. How many religions out there can honestly claim their “faithful people” aren’t guilty somewhere down the line of committing outright murders, waging wars, decimating entire villages, cities, countries, committing genocide, literally taking the lives of innocent children and adults…. and for what? Personal gain? Definitely. Greed & Power? Certainly! IN THE NAME OF “GOD”? Undoubtedly! You will find it stated in the very books these religions base their faiths in, however, the excuse will not be so blatant as to admit it was for greed, power or personal gain. There will be many stories of how sinful these cities or places were and how God commanded they be cleansed with no regard for the innocent who are undoubtedly murdered as well. There are stories all throughout history of wars and battles fought in the name of “GOD” and with God’s approval. It doesn’t take a historian to know this either. Just open a book and read about it a little or do a bit of research on the internet even.
Now, with that said, I will move on to the next phase. I will ask you to keep an absolutely open mind and be honest with yourself as you read through this. Imagine for a few minutes that you are a child again with a completely clean slate. Your mind is free of all knowledge of any religion or God-like entity, nobody has ever told you one single thing about it. As a human being, we are all instinctively prone to seek out love and affection as well as offer it in return as we learn very early in life that love, affection and compassion are very fundamental elements to our survival and mental well-being when we associate with others. So, with that said, imagine how it feels to be that innocent child again who grows to love and respect others as it is a socially accepted norm amongst most all people. You become an adult, and your mind is still clear of any sot of religious influence. You know people are born and people die because that’s just a simple fact of life and you experience the joys and heartbreaks that go with life events. It is a part of your instinctual knowledge… not something you are taught by others, but just a part of being human.
Now, with no prior religious influences, a clean slate, and not lacking in the basic nurturing necessities in life, what do you believe about life, death, existence and yourself? Do you feel there is something more? Do you sense something else in the universe besides life and death and existence or is it merely hope that there is something more? With a mind naive of religious influence, how do you explain these things? How do you know the difference between right and wrong? Well we know we learn the difference between right and wrong through social interactions with others and these behaviors are learned by experiencing positive and negative reactions from others based on the things you say and do.
So you’re a good person who feels the need to understand life, death and existence, and you may even feel a greater force at work…. but you just don’t know what that force is. Why? Because nobody has ever given you any information about it. So how you do you define what you’re feeling and how do you know it’s real? This is where religions begin to form and as society organizes itself and others also share their needs to understand the meaning life, death, existence and the feelings. They begin to cultivate a religion based on experiences, events and other things that are meaningful in their lives. Religions become powerful tools for those who want to lead people and are often corrupted for personal gain, power and greed but then there are those who lead with good intentions. Religion can be a very powerful and positive influence just as it can be bad.
There are poeple who claim to have spoken with their respective “God(s)” and many believe they are messengers for “God”. Who knows what influences people to claim these things or if they are legitimate claims or not. Unless we’ve witnessed it ourselves or found proven facts in history, we just simply don’t know.
But back to a mind unaltered by religion. For that brief moment that I’ve asked you to imagine a world that knows nothing of “God”, how did you feel? Perhaps lost? Willing to seek answers? Hopeful? Would you feel as though something were missing or would your life be full and content? If you were raised in a world where religion was never taught, would you honestly choose the faith you believe today? And if you would, ask yourself honestly… WHY? I’m not here to convince anyone they are wrong. If anything, this could very well be a test of faith that you could look back on positively later…. but you simply must be honest with yourself.
To be free of religion, with an open heart, open mind and a life full of love and compassion, you are in a state of innocence. You don’t know any different. Your mind is free and your conscience is clear. Are you happy to be in this state or do you prefer to follow a path already laid out for you such as a faith that condemns you to hell and leads you to feel guilty for believing any other way? A faith that in the very core is responsible for countless deaths and murders? A faith that dictates every aspect of your life and again, makes you feel guilty for enjoying the basic fundamental pleasures in life, yet promises you eternal life if you conform?
With that said, I want you to consider one last thing. If your mind is innocent of these faiths but are good of heart, are you an evil person? Should you be condemned? If there is indeed a God, should you be denied the rewards of eternal life and be cast out amongst those who would do you harm? Of course not! No more so than the innocent children who have undoubtedly died at the hands of religious men and women in the name of “God”. So I ask you this, if you know of these religions yet you choose to be free because you HAVE opened your mind and HAVE cleaned your slate, not by upbringing but by choice, why should that make you any different than one who never knew any different? Because you chose… of course. But because you chose a path that is fresh, new and unpainted? You chose a path to discover on your own, a path of innocence, untainted with the blood and deaths of those before you? You chose a path not based on your upbringing but on rationale and reasoning, relying on the core instincts you were born with? Is that the path of a person unworthy of a just and loving “God”? I will leave it to you to decide… but this is a breakdown of how I rationalize religion and faith and why I choose the path I walk. 🙂
The main point I want to make is that without society influences, you will most likely never adopt any particular faith or religion but will find yourself walking a path of your own, just as I do. Most people who follow a particular religion or faith are people who were raised by that faith. We are in effect a product of our society as well as our upbringing. Many of us never challenge our core values and accept them as the only truth while others look further and see that there truly ARE other walks of life, they begin to question and when you start asking questions, you start getting answers. And through answers, you begin to learn. This is why I ask for you to have an open mind. 🙂