Originally Posted by Jenova
""My own opinion is that the intellect of modern man isn't that superious. IQs aren't that much different. Those Indians and medieval men were just as intelligent as we are, but the context in which they thought was completely different. Within that context of thought, ghosts and spirits are quite as real as atoms, particles, photons and quants are to a modern man. In that sense I believe in ghosts. Modernman has his ghosts and spirits too...the laws of physics and logic...the number system...the principle of algebraic substitution. These are ghosts. We believe in them so thoroughly they seem real."
"[Ghosts,] They are unscientific. They contain no matter and have no energy and therefore according to the laws of science, do not exist except in people's minds. Of course, the laws of science contain no matter and have no energy either and therefore do not exist except in people's minds...It's best to refuse to believe in either ghosts or the laws of science."
-excerpts from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
The book goes on and on about this for about a whole chapter but those are my most favorite and what I think to be, the furthest reaching parts. Pirsig here has a very valid point, society over the past few hundred years has migrated from a more spiritual one to a more definitive one. A society based more on reason, numbers and more well-sounded explanations. As we all know this idea is not new and the debate has gone on for hundreds of years and will continue to go on for a hundred years more.
The idea that religion gives something for an individual to live for is completely subjective. The greatest and most wide-spread monotheistic religions being, Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam are consequential, restrictive, and law encompassing religions. To put it more simply "Do this you go to hell...do this your going to heaven...sex is for procreatoin only...you mother must have Jewish blood." Some people need to a part from a social institution such as this to lead lives of moral goodness, humanity and civility. Other on the other hand find that it is self-satisfying to be a good person, to help others and to give means to live a decent lifestyle to those who cannot afford one on their own accord and actively participate in other forms of charitable works. And still there are others that live by not a single moral conviction and do what makes them happy regardless of the implications it may have on others around them, maybe to them religion is "out of style" and for the sad part many people do believe. But this does not mean living a life of compassion is not.
Religion, faith and spirituality are things I believe to be lived by an individual individually. The views and beliefs of one Catholic to another or a Jew to a Jew are bound to be different. A personal relationship with God, or a good self-handle on your own spirituality I find is the best solution for all. Although I do not at all find this to be doctrine, I strongly believe that people doing good for whatever reason they find suitable is good enough and that as long as there is no oustanding harm being done to one another that is good enough. So yes, are these religious wars absolutely contrary to their very own religion and much of the time based on misinterpreted or miscontrued texts? Absolutely.
So I say to myself, I am not going to take up the cross of a faith created thousands of years ago that has created problems for itself, I will not become part of an insitution and thus, their problems become mine. I myself am able to be a good person, kind-hearted and caring without the consequences of a fiery eternity after life. Being able to do my miniscule part in making this place where I live better is enough for me.