This is a weird concept I’ve been working on for quite a while.
I was raised as a Christian kid.
Baby Jesus was a bit of a bad ass, and certainly had some sweet tricks.
I learned from a young age to treat others with the sort of respect we would show ourselves. If a man takes your tasty burger, you should offer him your Sprite as well.
That is a cornerstone of Christian faith.
Now, Christianity comes with what some might term “significant baggage”. A lot of stuff in the old testament is, frankly, a steaming crock of shit. The sort of thing an utterly demented psychiatric patient might scream from the top of a hospital building.
In his underwear.
In the dead of night.
After having covered his room with strange hieroglyphics.
Having said that, there are certainly nuggets of gold throughout the bible that we can all learn from.
I think it’s a good manual for how to live a positive life, if you ignore the bits that are absolutely batshit insane.
If you’re looking for the cause of the majority of the worlds pain and suffering to date – religion and nationalism are right up there. They’re both incredibly dangerous, like a fine Japanese kitchen knife. Treat them with respect and they are useful tools (though nationalism having much use at all is highly debatable). Treat that thing with disrespect and you’re going to do significant damage to yourself and to others.
I am a theist, undoubtedly. I, like many others, feel that the universe is far too vast and too awesome for human-kind to sit on the highest rung of existence. We do our best, old human-kind, but we surely fail a lot more than we succeed.
There must be something bigger than me, but Earth is littered with a huge array of religions. They have good points and they have bad. Your default is most likely simply down to the geography of your birth.
I’ve decided it’s a lot easier just to pick what I want, and discard the chaff.
Thinking about it now, this sort of thinking is probably why there are so many different, fractured religions in the wild today.
Still, I’m not advocating the spread of your, or my home-brew religious beliefs. This is about developing your own, personal, private code.
It’s the stuff you use to judge good from bad, the foundation of your moral compass.
If there is one thing 2017 needs, it is a functional moral compass.