Saturday, 23 February 2008

Condemning the Church, A Pragmatic Religious Theory

I am always astounded how many blogs are entirely focused on religious beliefs. Though i disagree with blogs that concentrate entirely on religion i also feel that to completely disregard the topic is myopic. In that vein i feel my blog is lacking without some deep insight into what i week, my thoughts on communism, or not..

The starting point of my belief on religion is that there is a hell of a lot of indoctrination in the world. The Nazi's loved their indoctrination, so did the Communists, but nobody loves it more than the Christians. I mean just look at the traditional Christian system in all it's glory, the church scaremongers, the people listen out of fear and bring their children up to fear God and lead a good life, the proletariat are kept under control while the bourgeoisie live it up downtown in Bentleys knowing that their country is safe. Nothing is more sickening than someone who believes because that is how they have been brought up. The only way that you can truly believe in something is through self-discovery. If you are brought up in the world in a devout religious family then your mind is automatically blinkered to all the possibilities and in order to decide what you believe you must be objective. Therefore the only Christians that i have true respect for are those who have a reason for believing, those who have really thought about God and questioned their beliefs and those who have either felt God's presence themselves or who have examined all the possibilities objectively and come to their own balanced conclusion.

From my introduction you should be able to gather that i have THREE main problems with Christianity. The first is that i dislike the church. I feel that it is possible to believe in God and lead a wholesome life without going to church and i fail to see what the church truly offers. Firstly why on earth are there so many denominations, it is absolutely ridiculous and all that it does is foster a hostile environment between all Christians, never mind the hostile environment that exists between Christianity and other religions. I find the distinctions between the denominations truly laughable as well. Protestants split from the Catholic church because the Catholic church was obsessed with money through such ideas as paying for your sins to be absolved. Even more hilarious is that the only reason that the UK is more Protestant than Catholic is because Henry VIII wasn't satisfied with his lot. Protestants, take a look at the man who brought the religion in to England; it is clear that Christian morals where at the forefront of his mind when he executed Sir Thomas More for having denied the authority of Parliament to make Henry the head of the Church. This emphasises the political nature at the heart of every denomination. I also find it ridiculous that the Presbytarian church can have at it's core the belief that the Pope is the anti-christ, and if that isn't an overtly political and laughable statement i don't know what is. My answer to these issues is to avoid the church like the plague. In my opinion the church has two purposes, 1) it is for people who are not intelligent enough to come to make up their mind on issues themselves, 2) it is for those who are so insecure with their beliefs and themselves that they need a weekly confidence boost. Jesus wanted the church to spread the word of God and teach people of Christianity, all very well in a world where the population is illiterate and not that bright but people nowadays are fully functionable independent human beings who should be left to their own devices. We are autonomous; why should we hear of God second hand through the church when we can search our own souls?

The second problem i have is with people who believe because that is how they've been brought up. I am lucky to have Christian friends who i respect because of the fact that i can see that they have came to the decision themselves. The main question i pose to any Christian on this issue is "what are the chances that you would be a Muslim if you were born in to a Muslim family?" My belief is that the vast majority of Christians in the world are only Christians because of their upbringing and though this is all well and good for concerned parents who don't want their children to go to hell it can also be viewed as the pinnacle of indoctrination; that people have subscribed to your desired way of thinking before they have even been born. For this reason i refuse to accept Christianity until i have come to my own decision on the matter. I'm an Agnostic with Christian sympathies, however i will fully admit that i have not been pro active in searching my soul for God, therefore it would be irrational for me to be Christian.

My third problem is with so called "Bible bashers." I honestly cannot think of a worse thing. It is entirely unnatural to the autonomous lifestyle of human beings for someone to run around desperately trying to convince you of what you should do with your life. Once again i go back to my point about Jesus, namely that it was all very well publicising a relgion in 30 AD, however the entire world knows of the existence of Christianity now and it should be left up to each autonomous member of the human race to decide FOR THEMSELVES whether they want to subscribe to its ideals. For someone to actively seek to "convert" you is so unnatural that it is unhealthy. Only a fickle human can be converted by someone else and this is not a true belief. I am not however saying that people should be so withdrawn from society that they should only listen to themselves and disregard the views of others. By all means i agree that by talking with believers you can unearth some excellent arguments on what the good reasons are for believing in God, however, my argument is with those who actively seek to convert rather than to inform. There are enough fickle people in the world, you shouldn't feel any sense of achievement in changing their minds.

Well my rant is coming to an end but i'd like to address a few other miscellaneous points. Fate...what a load of rubbish. The idea that your life is mapped out for you and that you have nothing to worry about because God will have decided your path, seriously, this is not natural. Any Christian should live their life morally but they should not sit back and wait for something to happen merely because they have been told that God will provide for them. Fortune favours the pro-active and only those who are prepared to go out and take risks will find themselves fulfilled. I'd also like to float the one main idea that stops me becoming a Christian. The power of the church from the 1st century AD to now has grown exponentially (with a slight downwards curve recently). In my opinion the fact that the Church in the 11th century was practicing canonic law on the citizens of the state and in the middle ages the church was in effect more powerful than the state, highlights PERHAPS the true purpose of the church, to control. This belief is that of Karl Marx, that religion is the opium of the people and it is this argument that i find most difficult to disagree with. The rich have always looked to control the poor. I am not trying to advance any Communist propaganda here, i'm not a Communist, but this is merely a fact of life. From the Patricians in Roman times to the Feudal system, power has been a drug for the wealthy. The powerful must have thanked their lucky stars when Christianity came along, with its theories on morality, on respecting the laws of the state, of not killing, stealing, of respecting thy neighbour etc. The bourgeoisie will always fear the proletariat and what binds the proletariat from acting is the fear that the bourgeoisie has imposed on them, that of religion. Though i do not accept that theory as fact, i must admit that from the very limited fields that i have studied in my life so far, that theory fits smack bang in to place.

Anyway, i'll stop here in order for you all to go and prepare your exorcism kits.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Boxed up creativity

Well I wrote this a few months back, and it's been perching on the right hand side of my blog since then but i've been hesitant to admit authorship, it always feels like you are opening yourself up to ridicule if you do. Anyway, here it is, I still feel it's unfinished despite not making any changes for a month now.

Beauty will save the world,
The noble wanderers,
That plunder silently.
Midas whispers.
Quick! Grab as much as you can before it all turns to dust,
Or before you do.

Fight nature, become young again,
Let your wondrous man-made light shine forever,
Care about yourself, you deserve to.
Don’t feel selfish anymore.
Are you lost?

I don’t know where we’re heading,
Anguished and alone.
Close the curtains.
Keep the vultures at bay.
Are you delicate?
Are you beautiful?
I doubt it.

I took the first line from the novel "the idiot" and developed it from there, ok it's a little bleak but it's basically my belief that beauty is becoming more and more difficult to find in a world ravaged by economic gain. I sound pretentious.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

28 (or more) Days Later

It was surprising to come on blogspot for the first time in a good while and see my view count go up a bit so at least i know i'm preaching to a proverbial choir (or a man and his dog) now. It's been a very busy few weeks back in Oxford, lots of tough work and adjusting to having a social life to having an antisocial life is difficult. Still, i've managed to have alot more fun this term, getting out to the cinema, clubs and pubs significantly more. Also, to give you a hint of my dancing professional ability i'll stick a photo or two on of our last college fancy dress party, i was off the hook, i mean seriously, check out the pose....

I'm also heading home for a few days on the 13th of February so i'm looking forward to that.

OK, in a family guy "here's what grinds my gears" style i'm going to have to make a verbal assault. If anyone can inform me to why people seem to think that the word 'lose' as in, to lose a football match, is spelt loose PLEASE let me know. Don't worry, i know its a pretty petty pet hate but it's a hate nonetheless. Hilariously i tried to explain the distinction to one of my friends and asked him to change his msn so that it has lose instead of loose and he responded curtily "no".

Right, a short post for now and i'll do another when i get back home.