- uploaded: Mar 9, 2008
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What is The Real Purpose of Religion?
When it comes to religion, alternative perspectives are considered highly suspect and are subject to intense scrutiny, held up to impossible standards of proof, while the accepted paradigm is lightly handled and can pass with little or no evidence at all. Those who step outside the box are dunned with requests for credentials and bibliographies, while believers in the mainstream ideology require no credentials except belief and seem not to need to read much at all, including the very 'sacred scriptures' they defend. Moreover, when doing investigative research into religion, dating back thousands of years, one must use a variety of sources, ancient and modern [a very basic and widely accepted tenet of academia!]. If one uses works too modern, the hue and cry is for 'primary sources!' If one uses material 'too old,' the criticism is that it is 'outdated.' Hence, the religious scholar is put in a double bind, while the critical fanatic is never satisfied.
These apologists fail to realize, or else are hoping that no one else realizes, that this argument, as specious, sophomoric and ultimately ineffective as it is, damns Christianity as much as it will ever damn critics of Christianity. Where are the Christians' primary sources authenticating their bible, which, as it stands, is rife with demonstrable historical inaccuracies and therefore itself meets no academic standard's criteria for acceptance as a primary source?
Are 'good things' in religion? Of course there are: Nothing can be so encompassing and be all bad-or all good. The good within religion is in accordance with human nature, inherent in the human conscience, such that it is not a product of religion but a nucleus. In other words, what is good in religion is already innately good and does not need religion to make it so. Many human beings are innately good; they would behave in a decent and empathetic manner, no matter what religion they believed or disbelieved. Moreover, the goodness and morality found within any given religion generally exists within other religions-thousands of them-and in secular ideologies as well
Thousands of years before Jesus, there was another passion story told about a God man, born of a virgin mother, in a stable. He travels about with his followers, preaching and performing miracles, including turning water into wine. Eventually, he incurs the wrath of the religious authorities, who are appalled that he refers to himself as a god. He allows himself to be arrested and tried for blasphemy. He is found guilty and executed and crucified only to rise from the grave three days later, where the women weeping at his tomb do not recognize him until he assumes his divine form-as the God Dionysus/Baccus. This picture reveals to you the icon for this ancient story that predates our "Jesus Story" by thousands of years. You see this personified solar deity and his "crucifixion" on the Cross of the Sun depicted in the religious icon that predates Christianity by thousands of years.