Religion; The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Tom Waits – What Keeps Mankind Alive.

I do not find religion inherently flawed. Communities should be close-knit, and support each other’s lives – religions consistently do this. Everyone sharing the same philosophy facilitates that interaction. But, the majority of today’s religions have an assumption at the core of their beliefs.

Assumptions, treated as fact, are essentially just self-deceptions. As stated in the Paradigm Primer, that behavior has negative results. Therefore, practitioners of those religions, embody those results. Therefore, the religions which revolve around assumptions, are unhealthy and detriments to society.

But again, there are positives to religion – when devoid of those delusions. Strangers congregating, sharing their lives as family – what could be better? Often, these communities promote charitable acts. I spent a year and a half volunteering for religious organizations, and went to a Christian church mass every weekend for 6 months.

I, personally, saw the benefits of that type of socializing. And those people, though possessing the negative results of delusion, nevertheless attempted morality. At Habitat for Humanity, while I was there, we built.. 10 homes, from the ground up, for families that desperately needed them. A neighborhood containing a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, of people whom had been mistreated by life. Refugees, handicapped, families with sick children, etc.

These homes were not merely given – an extensive qualification process resulted in nearly nonexistent abuse of this generosity. Part of the qualification was the families, before finally being granted a home, was putting in 500 hours of “sweat-equity.” The families of this neighborhood, hand in hand, built each others homes, alongside volunteers – from laborers, to those in charge. This is how society should behave.

At the Salvation Army, I helped give thousands, likely hundreds-of-thousands, of pounds of food to families in need. They also distributed school supplies, clothing, provided chaperoned activities for children, a humble summer camp program, hot meals, women’s and men’s gatherings.

At Christmas, along with the food, we also included toys. This was not a simple program. We collected thousands, likely hundreds-of-thousands, of dollars worth of brand new toys. To distribute them, each family signing up for food also signed for their children, by age and sex, up to 12 years old. Some families had 7 qualifying children.

Near Christmas, in a little room connected to the massive warehouse that housed the ocean of toys, we laid out a wide variety of toys – so that the families could choose what they wanted to give their children. We also, on a first-come-first-serve basis, gave out free Christmas trees, which we personally gathered from a tree farm that was kind enough to donate. These were top-quality trees.

Remembering all this, frankly, has me crying at the moment of writing. But that does not prevent the negative influences to society, that religions, which revolve around delusion, create. For, when delusion reduces the strength of individuals and society, they are less capable of being charitable. And a strong society needs far less charity.

So, the “good” is solidarity. The “bad” is psychologically crippling humanity for millennia. The “ugly” happens when those crippled minds start wars, subjugate the masses, rape kids, exploit each other, and all the other shit so common throughout religious history. Not to mention their general incompetence compromising every socioeconomic system they’re a part of.

Yes, I’m aware that people who aren’t religious also commit these crimes. But, if the majority of humanity weren’t delusional and insentient, and thus helpless and savage, how often would those crimes occur?

 

My experiences were only at specific branches of the organizations. I can’t say whether or not other branches are so moral. Nevertheless, I suggest contributing time and money. Both happily take cash.

Habitat for Humanity is split into two main functions. One does various degrees of home building, and depending on the branch, accepts groups or individuals to volunteer as laborers. Their “ReStore” is essentially a thrift store for construction materials, tools, major appliances – as well as anything else they have room to sell. They also accept donations of construction materials and tools.  

For Salvation Army, give change to the bell ringers at grocery stores – that’s the majority of their income, which they give back almost entirely to the community. Donations of food, cloths, school supplies, anything useful, may also be accepted. Those donations may find their way to their thrift stores, or directly to those in need, depending on who receives them. Volunteering is possible, depending on branches.

 


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~ by Louis Naughtic on August 5, 2016.

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