Tuesday, 30 October 2007

I Believe

I believe that religion is the greatest evil to ever befall this Earth. No other single thing has caused so much death and suffering.

I believe that religion is used as a tool by the powerful to exploit the powerless.

I believe that religion suppresses thought, knowledge, and ultimately wisdom.

I believe that there is no reliable objective evidence to support any religion. I believe all we ever have is the subjective word of the faithful.

I believe the philosophies of the Bible and the Koran have been irreparably corrupted by those who claim to believe in them.

And I believe that in a thousand years what we know as Christianity, Islam and Judaism will be as irrelevant and quaint as the ancient Gods of Greece and Rome are today.


Spoon said...

Don't forget, a wise man once told me: if you're not working FOR god, you're actively working AGAINST him.

Bianca said...

Hi Matt, has something specific happened? I just finished Pratchett's Small Gods so its all ringing a bit true but it seems a bit of a sudden rant by you.

Matt said...

Last night I was watching a great documentary called Children of Abraham.
It made me angry.

Callie said...

I am so looking forward to you and gareth catching up on the weekend! I'm getting popcorn for Kate and I.

Spoon said...

Angry? I never would have guessed!

paul said...

I hear bells ringing. It's the apocalypse! No, wait, it's just a slight mental illness.

Anonymous said...

I believe that war, death and suffering are caused by power-hungry megalomaniacs some of whom use religion for their own purposes.
I believe that if there were no religion there would still be death and suffering - just different excuses for bringing it on.
I believe that religion can suppress thought etc., but love of God brings freedom, balance, knowledge and wisdom.
I believe religious Christianity has done horrific things, but to Biblical Christianity we owe the basis of social justice and humanitarianism that we like to think underpins our nation. (Whether it really does or not is another argument for another day)
I believe the fool says in his (or her) heart, there is no God - and objectivity (whose objectivity, by the way?) isn't all there is in the world of knowledge.
I believe the Bible is the Word of God and, as such, is incorruptible. People are corruptible and will use the Bible for their own ends.
I believe when this world no longer is, God will still be. And He loves you, Matt.

Shannon said...

Anonymous, welcome to Matt’s Blog.
While your comments are interesting, and welcome, what would be nice would be to know who you are… put a name to the point, that sort of thing. As I am sure you have noticed, Matt’s blog is quite the debating corner, again, it is hard to debate a stranger.
There is no judgement here, Anonymous.

The Wife said...

Anonymous, you are right... in that your comment proves your personal corruptibility and arrogance.
Many, many people are able to be free, balanced and intelligent without having to read or believe in the bible.
Matt does not believe in God and does not require his love or blessing... He has quite enough from real people.

And don't call my husband a fool, fool! He is the best person I know. He loves with a full heart and a true lack of judgement. Maybe you should take a lesson...

Spoon said...

Who would have thought that such an innocent post would have sparked such controversy.

No wait, I was thinking of that other one about Oktoberfest.

As Shannon said, welcome Anonymous, but in the same way that Matt can't have made that post without expecting a bit of "reply" likewise your comment will no doubt spark a few "2 cents" to throw into the collection plate. Here's mine.

I think it's a bit odd to say that the bible is "incorruptible". Right now I'm reading Monkey, which is a Chinese text written in the 1590s. The version I'm reading at the moment was translated in the 1940s and is widely regarded as one of the best translations. But even I do not suppose that this translation is a exact reflection of the original text. The very nature of translating means to interpret, and as far as historic texts go, this one hasn't really changed since it was published and has only been translated the once.

The Bible (and I assume we're talking old and new testament) was written much earlier, has gone through countless re-workings and is written in a number of different languages. For it to be able to survive all that without any form of corruption must be some kind of miracle!

But I suppose that's the point, isn't it.

Anyway Monkey's just got up the bit where he's got his Wishing Staff and has started calling himself "Great Sage, equal of Heaven".

It's tops.

(oh and nothing annoys an atheist more than telling them that God loves them, or that you are praying for them. Don't know why it irks us so, but it's like fingernails down a chalkboard.)

Gregory J said...

I believe that if He exists, then the devil also exists.
I believe if they both exist, then the dichotomy of pure evil and pure good is perfectly expressed in these two personifications.
If He exists, and is therefore 'good', then:
1 .He does not want us to worship him
2. He does not want to lay rules for us, he allows for and discourages strict obeyance (on penalty)
3. He would always love us and never abandon us to the devil *EVER*
4. He would *NEVER* have spoken to us or sent prophets as we are human and can choose to mis-represent him.

I believe that we only need to be good people in ourselves. If we feel true love in our hearts, then relgion, age, race, sexuality, gender, culture or the million other differences on this world we share do not matter *AT ALL* to him if He exists.

I believe people like you anonymous have been subverted by those before you who say we MUST follow their values and their beliefs, lest we fall into evil.

I beleive the world changes and we must change with it.
I wish to learn and grow, I dont wish to stagnate and follow those who's views and beliefs like yours, which generate anger and sadness.

Sam Sejavka said...

Hey, Matt

Thanks for linking up Sails.

Re: the religion thing. Have you seen Jesus Camp? Richard Dawkins believes indoctrinating anyone under thirteen into a religion is child abuse, well the evangelists in this doco do it in spades.

Did you see the Richard Dawkins 2-part doco on religion? Can't recall the name, but religion drives the guy crazy - to the point where he can't credit it even with cultural values ...

Matt said...

Hi Sam. Yes, I enjoyed Jesus Camp a lot. (Enjoyed may not be the right word. It disturbed and frightened me, but in a good way.)
And I am a big fan of Richard Dawkins. I think he goes a bit far by saying that religion has no redeeming features whatsoever, but he does say a lot of things that really needed to be said.

Budge said...

here's my 2 cents, for what they're worth. (2 cents, i believe)

I have a vested interest as a MMOG (see dusk till dawn; really) but it also means i think about this stuff a lot.

I think religion is like sex, politics or science; it holds a powerful sway over our identity and we use it to define ourselves as individuals and as a community.

i think if you're going to lay the blame for george w at religion's door, then you also need to credit it with martin luther king. like anything with great power, used well it has the potential to do enormous good. Misused, enormous harm.

i find myself often caught in the conundrum; by doing what i do i like to think i'm helping people; making their lives better at the time when they're shittest. i'm working in one of the few organisations that will exist without government approval, and so is often the first one in to call them out when they're screwing over the poor or the outsider.

but it's the same organisation that wants to keep its immunity from anti-discrimination legislation. people in it do horrible things to the world. for me, the question is one of balance. does it do more good or bad? i spend a good portion of my time undoing awful judgmental concepts of god that other ministers have put into people's heads. it seems to help, but is it the right thing to be doing, or should i get out of the game altogether and let the fundamentalists just have it?

it's a question i live with every day. dawkins annoys me because he doesn't allow for that question. he picks the most extreme examples of religious stupidity and tells me that's all that i am.

as soon as we start dismissing eachother's necessity to work through their ideas (anon, i'm talking to you here) we get ourselves further from truth, not closer.

rant accomplished.

Sam Sejavka said...

Matt, you're a man after my own heart