These are my thoughts on religion
I don’t believe in god and like to think myself as an Informed Atheist.
My parents are Methodists and my sister and I were brought up to attend Sunday school every week and I finally stopped my association with the church when I was 18. At 16 I had become a Sunday school teacher myself and grew to question the material I was given to use in the lessons. I did not believe that god made the world…nor anything after that.
My mother told me I was wicked and evil for not believing in god. The more I thought about why I do not believe the more I wanted to explore religion in general. It felt like being on the outside of a tank studying the contents but not being part of it. What I saw in religious history was social control by men during a time when they wanted power in their societies, and there being no better way of doing that with a god that no one could dare to question. With that came the power of the religious men who ruled the nations each with their own brand of religion. Listening to people talking about how everything ‘is gods will’; is to me hearing how no-one wants to take responsibility for their own actions or accept that things do happen without a reason – deal with it and move on. We all die of something, whether our bodies can no longer regenerate cells and repair itself, or illness; that is natural, there is no design by a deity when that will happen. Death by war, accidental death or murder is not natural and is caused by man.
I studied the History of Science at the University of Leicester and for my final year I chose ‘Science and Religion’ with Professor Brock and this is where I learnt how different religions have been constructed from the beginning of the human race. There were seven students in this class and some who were devout Christians, I asked one fellow student if it dented his belief in god and he replied that it did not change his belief in anyway.
We learnt about the bible and how long it took to write, the context of the times it was written, and re-written, culminating with the study of the learned men who research the original writings and various translations which changed the context of the writing.
Throughout history the revelation of scientific theories has meant that religious belief has had to be adjusted and manipulated to cope with the anomalies.
The increasing explosion of population puts a strain on geological and other resources so men fight for their patch. In 1798 Thomas Malthus wrote An Essay On The Principle Of Population which I read in its entirety. Thomas Malthus was a minister who within his writings talked about the earth only being able to sustain the number of people it can feed, the same as animals. Yes, his writings were very controversial and certainly racist, but he approached the idea of people’s relation to their environment theories that Darwin and Wallace would have read and pondered upon in their evolutionary theories. Darwin struggled with his religious belief after publishing his Origin Species, although came to be content with god designed evolution as well.
When I look at Islam, I wonder why any god would decide that women were inferior and not seen with equal power in society. Here is where I say: please don’t try and convince me that women are not repressed as human beings in the Muslim faith. Nature vs nurture – Muslim girls grow up being taught their place as decided by Allah/Patriarchal leaders and male followers .
Circumcision in girls – so that is acceptable? No of course not, but it is done in the name of religion for no religious reason that anyone can fathom apart from the repression of women by the men who rule in the name of religion.
I am not advocating women’s liberation because that is a nonsense; we are human beings with different strengths and weaknesses that give us a natural ability to survive as a species.
The more I read and studied the more I understood what religion is and what its effect has been on the world.
War is being raged in the name of religion and it matters not which faction of religious parties are fighting or in which country because it is about power of male leaders in countries where on the whole, women are repressed and dominated.
Faith; why should people have the need to have faith in something to be happy. Without faith most people would be unable to cope with mans ability to be so cruel, so inhumane.
Okay, some would say where does ones sense of morals come from if not from religion, although its debatable whether all religion have a good sense of moral living. The need to survive in animals creates tolerance throughout the animal world, and we are just another animal who happens to have evolved a larger brain.
I have Alzheimer’s and Fibromyalgia, and hypermobility so that I now have arthritis. I have a headache in the right side of my head every day which I have had for several years. It turns out I may have brain damage from trauma to my head as a child (my mother always aimed for my head when she hit me regularly). These things just are; some is a genetic predisposition, the damage of my brain comes from someone who believes fiercely in god. Ironically my mother’s own vascular dementia was first noticed in church, having gone to the toilets and not able to find her way out again.
I cannot understand why anyone needs to have some higher person to be able to love themselves, to know how it feels to be a nice person and not hurt anyone else, and enjoy each day without the promise of a (non existent) heaven. To know what is good and what is bad.
I simply, have no need for faith or religion.