Sunday, 11 May 2008

Of Course We're The Real Deal! Would We Lie To You?

I tend to take a sort of ‘we’re all screwed anyway’ view when it comes to religion.

Any religion you’re part of will claim that it is the ‘one true’ religion and all the others are just so much snake oil and hen’s teeth and mumbo jumbo.

This is all good and well for you if you happen to be a member of the one true religion that gets to assign you your afterlife accommodation but what if you’re not? What if the rules you’ve been diligently following your entire life has had someone somewhere getting very tetchy and making copious and snarky notes on what the heck you’ve been playing at?

And what if you are part of the one true religion that is the one true religion except you’ve been following the wrong tenets?
How do you know which bits of your rambling, multi-authored, badly edited, 'everything is a metaphor except for the bits that aren’t metaphors and are deadly serious guidance for life' text are the ones you should be observing? What about the ones that kind of contradict each other?

There are great chunks of my one true religion’s teachings that I sort of just ignore on the basis that they were recorded about 2000 years ago by fallible humans who may have been trying to give themselves a social leg up as they jotted down what they thought they’d been told. I assume that any being great enough to create a universe wouldn’t be too petty about that sort of thing. Of course I might be wrong.

Depending on which angle you're coming at it from it could be sort of like when you are pulled over for speeding by the police and you’re sitting there being given the treatment and want to protest or give an explanation but in your guilty heart you know that you knew what you did was wrong, that you had been told it was wrong and haven’t a leg to stand on.
Or even worse, it could be like getting charged for committing an offence you weren't aware existed in a foreign country and still having no legs for standing type activities as I've been reliably informed that ignorance of foreign laws isn't a valid defence.
If we are all being closely watched by a cosmic notary - who has a list of virtues and failings all being ticked off as we muddle our way along - they're probably not much for excuses or leniency.

If I shuffle off my mortal coil and find myself face to face (or incorporeal equivalent) with an admissions clerk tapping its pen beside the column that lists how many adulterers I failed to stone I expect I’ll be told that I have only myself to blame.

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