Sunday, June 29, 2003

I've been mulling a number of things over tonight. Among them: why do people have such a strong need for religion? While there may be some truth in seeing organized religion as a means of control (and a very effective one at that), this overlooks the large number of people who have deeply held religious convictions without attending church.

Religion has got to be one of the controversial of topics. Is there any easier method of offending someone than to call into question his religious beliefs? Even fairly insignificant details can become the subject of heated debates and severed freindships or family ties. There is something- almost desperate- about the way a person will defend their spiritual values, like a drowning man clinging to a raft, however sodden it may be. I think that's the main root of the issue. To confront the fear that our lives may be without any higher purpose or meaning than simply to exist as we are is too threatening. Such a notion scares us so badly that we'll attack the person who brings it to our attention.

Perhaps there is an afterlife. For my part, I'm inclined to doubt it. It doesn't make sense; what could possibly be done in a second life (without a body, besides) that we couldn't already have accomplished or attempted in the first one? As far as I can see, the only afterlife we have is in the matter of our corpse, as it returns to the earth, and then to plant and animal life once more, and in the memories and effect out life had on the people we knew, and in turn the people they know.

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