Bag of Tricks: Of Gods and Men

You see, I had this weird dream (is there any other kind of dreams, by the way?) about going back to my old high school and talking with a priest about my religious convictions (or, arguably, the lack thereof).

The short of it is, I believe there is a god, of sorts, I don’t belong to any religion, but I share many beliefs with a few of them.

Before going any further, there is probably some need for definitions, just so that you know how I see things.

God:

To me, what we call “God”, with or without capitalisation, is a representation of the universe. God is the universe, the universe is God. The alpha and the omega. Whatever.

We, as part of the universe, are part of God. You can say it’s a variant on Heinlein’s “Thou art God” in Stranger in a Strange Land, or Minbari beliefs in Babylon 5 (something to the effect of “we are the universe made manifest, trying to comprehend itself”).

Religions:

I used to be an atheist, despising religions, before I noticed that, by doing that, I was just another extremist, dissing those who happenned not to think like him. I dind’t like this idea, so I reconsidered my views.

After a bit of thought, I found out that what I didn’t like about religions is the idea of dogmas (yeah, I know, duh!), beliefs so firmly set that you need at least a major war and a few centuries to see them move. I won’t name names, they know who they are.

Religions appear to me like major administrative bodies: they don’t create, they just manage things. And they also have a nasty tendancy to fire (sometimes quite literaly) those who happen to have other ideas.

Beliefs:

Call it beliefs, call it ethics. Think of it as a set of rules for day-to-day behaviour, guidelines for living in a human society. Even terminal nerds need some…

Take for example, the Ten Commandments, which I believe most of you are fimiliar with): “Thou shalt no kill” is fairly obvious to me. So is “Thou shalt not steal;” it’s common sense.

Others bother me a bit more, like “Thou shalt no covet your neighbour’s wife.” You could say it’s a variant of “Thou shalt not steal” in a society where wives are considered as a little bit more than property. I think that’s a matter of personal choice and free will; consenting adults and stuff.

Bottom line:

Human societies need rules, because common sense, well, isn’t that common… The whole idea is to make a few, acceptable sacrifices (of money, liberty, whatever) for the common good.

My major problems with religions is that I don’t trust large administrative bodies. I can live with democractic states, because, in a way, democratic representation ensures that the people in charge somehow reflect the wishes of the population.

Naive? Maybe. But then I’m a trusting fellow.

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