Monday, 17 December 2007

Who..what...where!? - How to Go About Choosing A God or Religion by Larro

I constantly run into (it seems) people (fundies) saying I'm gonna burn in hell and all that jazz. This because I don't believe in the Christian god. So what if I chose to believe in some other god. Would that be okay?

Let me start by laying out some guidelines. 1) I must adhere to the historic record or otherwise documented instances I can site or reference; 2) I can't go by what somebody else says is THE right religion or god (it has to suit my needs). So let me go about seeing if there's any one god or religion I could buy into...

How about the oldest in recorded history? Sorry Christians. It's not Christianity.

The oldest religion on record was the religion of Sumer (c. 4000 BCE). Hence the oldest divine being was either Apsu or Tiamat or both. It seems Apsu was more of a place than a personification of a deity. So I guess I go with Tiamat on this one. Oops, scratch me worshiping her. She's dead, killed by Marduk at Creation. Her dead corpse was used to form the heavens and the earth. She possessed the Tablets of Destiny, though, which conferred upon the god Enlil his supreme authority as ruler of the universe.

So let's move on to Enlil; he's the "Ruler of the Universe" after all (seems this story keeps getting more and more complicated). Enlil was also "Lord of the Command" (sounds intimidating).

So how do I worship Enlil? I can't find any information on this. I suppose I could just "claim" him as my god and be done with it. Could it be that easy? Oh, but I have to have faith that Enlil exists. Is there evidence to prove this? Probably not but there certainly is evidence that people worshiped Enlil. He was the first deity to be worshiped. Can't be all that wrong being the first, right?

What if I go with the earliest gods of my ancestors. I'm of French, German, Swiss, Irish, Scottish and probably English descent.

We find that ancient European people are derived from the Celts. What or who did they worship? Who was their supreme deity? Seems they held to a polytheistic tradition, much as the Sumerian's did.

...there are different types of deities, general and local. General deities are the gods and goddesses the Celts invoked for protection, healing, luck, honour or many other needs. The local deities or Genii loci, were more like spirits of particular feature of the world around them. Each mountain has its own protector, every ancient tree has its own spirit and every river is protected by its goddess or god. wiki

Oh boy! You should see that list!

Alright! Alright! How about we move ahead in time. Let's find out which is the biggest world religion. After all millions of people can't be wrong, right?

Christians, you may jump up from your chairs now and rejoice with glee! Thirty-three percent of world religious adherents subscribe to Christianity. Do I need to pick a denomination? Sure, why not.

Let's see here... According to there are around 968 million Catholics as opposed to 395 million Protestants (the two biggest Christian denominations). So we see that there are more people who put stock in Catholicism, that many people can't be wrong! Right?

Maybe I should just go with the most popular in my area. At least I can find like-minded individuals to share my religious beliefs with. Boy, this is proving harder than I thought. Okay, here we go. Where I live (the general area) there are 43,000 Catholic adherents (the 2nd biggest block of church-goers), but let me check Protestant denominations as Protestant is the biggest block of church-goers at 58,000 for Evangelical Protestants and 47,000 Mainline Protestant totaling 105,000 adherents.
The biggest Protestant denomination in this area is the United Methodist Church at about 14,000 adherents.

However, above all, there are approximately 299,000 individuals who don't identify with any given religion at all.


Thank you for reading.


Interested said...

Larro, you always surprise me! I like this post particularly because it puts it all in perspective...well, sort of! Thanks anyway.

BEAST said...

I wonder if there is a God for mass orgies....hell, I won't mind being a Reverend of this horny religion!


Modusoperandi said...

I don't know what Tablets of Destiny are, but they sound cool.

Larro said...

What caught my eye was the "ruler of the universe". Made me think of He-man and the Masters of the Universe. LOL

songcatchers said...

Great blog Larro! He-Man, lol, that's funny.

tina said...

I think I know where you got the idea for this! Very interesting post from you, I mean not the norm, I do like all of your posts, don't get me wrong.
Beast, your mind is always in the gutter! lol!

Pyramidhead said...

What about the great tank god of the scantily clad beauties. Thats the god for me. P. S. you have been tagged Beast to do a list of your top 20 albums.

Anonymous said...

I like this article because my atheism is based on history and supported by science.

Nice work.


James said...

I like Buddhism best of all the major religions. The don't believe in a "God" and are barely a religion. In fact it is often called the religion of no religion, the religion of psychology and the religion of science.

Buddhism greatly embraces science and the Dalai Lama has said that if science proves an aspect of Buddhism to be wrong, then Buddhism must change and adapt accordingly.

There is no Pope, Prophet or other "leader." It is all up to the individual. There are no commandments, merely guide lines.

Buddha wasn't a "God" but merely a teacher.

I am sort of a Buddhist I guess as I practice meditation and follow several of the Buddha's teachings but I don't believe in everything that is taught and that is A-O.k. to Buddhism. He even advised not to accept anything he or others say about Buddhism unless we think it makes sense and feels true through one's experience.

I don't know many religions that encourage you to doubt.

Sorry to go on about Buddhism but I find it the most fascinating of the "religions" out there. Basically all that Buddhism is about is living a life in balance and teaching relaxation techniques.

Oh and I like that they don't try and convert or say that they are the only religion that should be followed. Most Buddhists are very tolerant of homosexuals as well.