I find it really interesting to hear about different religions. I wonder how people (and young people at that!) can know so much when it seemingly requires an encyclopeadic knowledge of a vast quantity of texts! It would be like studying full time for a degree in addition to everythig else you have to do!
I just find it quite fascinating (growing up in an atheist society, I am learning about my religious heritage as I go along). In truth, all the rules, especially the ones from the Leviticus and Deuteronomy, are quite obscure to say the least! However, I believe that in their totality they teach us something essential - that in a civilized society there are laws that govern how we have to behave to one another, and that we all, from illegal immigrant up through the president, have to live by it.
At the same time, it is quite amazing how many rules are still relevant. For example, my friends and I were recently discussing a potential moral dilemma. Say a friend asks you to keep some money for him, and you get robbed. Do you have to reimburse your friend? Well, apparently Judaism has answered this question centuries ago - yes if you received anything for keeping the money, no if you did it for nothing
I think it's easier to know so much about your religion when you either grow up with it... but most religions also encourage daily meditation and study... so yeah... it's not that hard... and they have degrees for them too
What good does it do for the World, for other people if you study the Bible / Koran / Thora like an hour a day - but don't do anything selfless or helpful? And some of those oh-so-believing Christians / Muslims start spewing nonsense around, about "real" marriage, and God's laws etc. Take the Pope, a highly intelligent man, fluent in Latin, good pianist, spent his entire life learning and reading about Jesus and God - and what does he these days? Says that there shouldn't be any condoms distributed in Africa. Hurray! What a freaking waste of time, energy and resources. And all those evangelical organisations in the US, in other countries, waste all that money and energy on stupid campaigns that protest something that actually would never affect them.
Even if I did think that I have a problem with stuff like gay marriage (which I don't), as a good Christian (which I am not) wouldn't it be better to make a priority list, like:
1. End all wars
2. Cure all diseases
3. Help all the orphaned children
4. End domestic violence
5. Help disadvantaged people all over the world
6. Save the environment
4783. Develop floors with an ecological automatical cleaning device, so vacuuming will be outdated
11985. Try to rebreed Dinosaurs (creatures of god, after all)
19873689906. Get gay marriage banned
What I would like to see from lots of religious people in the world: read the important parts of your scriptures, and not some outdated footnote and stick to the basic rules, like altruism. Less talk - more meaningful altruistic action.
Last edited by Medusa; 05-01-2009 at 10:49 AM.