I can be annoying with my opinions, which I have convinced myself are excellent even though I suspect they probably sometimes aren’t. For example, I sometimes get in trouble on the subject of religion. Imagine that. And this is a subject that seems to be coming up a lot in conversation these days.
Most of my friends and family don’t like religion and for very good reasons. Humans have used religion to justify the world’s worst horrors, as well as day-to-day hate and exclusion. But to me, that’s not religion. That’s misuse of religion by flawed human beings. Flawed human beings would (and do) misuse something else if it weren’t religion.
I am not a member of organized religion but I like learning about religion because it provides insights about local cultures and opportunities to reflect on bigger issues. When I travel, I go to religious ceremonies and services. I’ve learned a lot from these experiences and my religious friends, like Father Rigo and Rabbi Me’Irah and Robby in Louisiana.
I realize that by now most people who got through the first paragraph here have returned to their instagram feeds. But I persist.
I believe humans have an inherent need for spirituality. The American philosopher, William James, wrote a lot about this. James was a scientist who justified faith and belief (but not religious dogma) on the basis that they give life purpose and meaning.
My own theory of why spirituality gives life meaning and purpose is that human genes have perfect memory of the universe. https://kimmie53.com/2016/10/11/somewhere-near-the-intersection-of-quantum-mechanics-genetics-and-religion/#more-7388. As far as I know, no one with any credentials has picked up on my theory, although quantum biology and epigenetics seem to be in the ball park, but using actual scientific methods.
And of course, for many years, scientists have acknowledged that theories of quantum mechanics are increasingly sounding a lot like eastern mysticism.
So I guess my point is that it’s a good thing to be curious about other people’s ideas about religion or god or spirituality, whatever you want to call it, because it might add meaning to our lives. And maybe instead of getting nervous about people’s religion or apparent lack of it, we should consider Martin Luther King’s dream that everyone should be judged on the content of their character.
I think the next time I get in trouble with my opinions on this issue, I will say my opinion is only that we should be asking a lot of questions instead of having opinions.