What is Religion? I found this thought floating around my brian the other day and I can not decided the answer. Here is some personal opinions, I am open for a healthy debate, discussion or any feed back.
IN MY OPINION, I want to be very clear about stressing the fact that this is my belief ONLY. I am not againts anyones religious befiefs nor do I discriminate against or downplay what anyone else believes in. I was brought up Catholic, I am now athiest for my own reasons, however I am always interested as to what others have to share. Feel free to explain why you believe I am wrong, but please do it with intellagence and reasoning. I will not be a victim of slander, nor will I slander anyone else. IF you do not wish to hear my ATHIESTIC opinion please do not read on. :-)
Why is it that when someone refers to cultism we are immediate to relate it with negativity, where as, persons who openly share there church going experiences and beliefs in public as seen in a much brighter positive way? Is religion of any denomination not a cult? Essentially, any group participationg in exclusive ideology and ritual practices, which worship and devote there entire lives meaning to a person, object, or spirit is considered a cult. It's in the dictionary. Therefore religion, in my opinion, is a cult.
The reasoning behind why we don't referr to certain religions as cults is because a "cult" in the sence that most people use it pertains to a body of worsipers who idolize a faux person, place, spirit, object ect. Religions of the world have been around since the dawn of mankind, therefore they have gained a lot of followers, and apparently at some point when you have enough worshipers, the worhipee, or idolized being is then considered real.
Way back when, mankind had not a clue as to what the earth was. They did not know how the sun could rise and set everyday. They could not explain the change in seasons, or where participation came from. They couldn't say why thurder clapped or lighting flashed. Reproduction was a mystery along with why we all died. Sickness was mystery. There was so many things that man didn't know how to explain. In order to inform the younger generations of what to expect in thier futures and years to come they told stories. Stories of a man in the sky who made it rainy or sunny, cold or warm, day or night, he was the one who put caused reproduction, this being was awesome and all knowing, he was our, and the earths creator. Basically this is how all religions began, thousands of years went by all over the world the same stories being told over and over, new ones being made, old ones being added onto. Civilization becasme civilized because in a time before standard law enforcement the unlawful were thretened with eternal damnation, and the good were promised eternity in heaven.
More years went by and stories brached off and spread. There were the Romans, the Jews, Christianity, Muslims, there were wars over the small differences between each. It was not until recently, the past couple hundred years that we scientifically started being able to prove why things happen the way they do. Take notice to the fact that each generation less and less people believe in these religions. We used religion to describe what couldn't be proven, and as long as there is uncertainty belief in a higher power will exist because whenever I ask why people believe, 7 out of 10 times the answer is "Somebody had to create all of this" Which by all means, I agree the world and how everything works and came to is awesome, it is all explainable. Someday, not anytime in the near future or our lifetimes the human mind will be capable of grasping some concept of what the universe is and possibly even create a scale so we understand just how large or small we really are in this whole place. If humanity continues on for another 100 million year (which most likley it will not) but IF it were to happen I am almost certain we would be able to explain things that now are completley unconceivable.
When all is said and done, though I personally am not a beiliver, I am glad religion is around. If somebody were to come along today and have stone cold proof that religion and gods absolutley positivley did not exist the world would turn into utter chaos. Panic sticken people would go absolutley ape shit because they cannot accpet that there is no life after death. I think that is the biggest fear of being a non believer is that there is no where once you are gone. It is a scary thought but let me just say this. Before birth there were millions of years where you didn't exist do you remember? Or for that matter do you care? Our brains create our entire world, they control our sences emotions, everything your seeing now, your seeing because of a process in your brian where there is absolulty not one spec of light. Every thought you ever had is created by your brain. Once you are deceased you have NO BRAIN ACTIVITY therefore everything you know no longer exist, you know, you feel, you see, you taste, smell hear nothing, you are gone.
thats all I have to say on the matter. like I said feel free to voice your own opinions.