There are lots of reasons to shun religion. On this video, Sam Harris describes one of the best reasons in less than three minutes. It's well worth a watch if you've ever believed that your religion was true, while others are false.
Harris says that Christianity holds that unless you believe in Jesus, you're doomed. Seems like bad news. But wait! Islam says that unless you believe in the Koran and the teachings of prophet Muhammad, you're also doomed. What gives?
Even worse, other religions say the same "you're doomed" thing.
The India-based faith I followed for over thirty years, Radha Soami Satsang Beas, teaches that unless you are initiated by a "perfect living master" (supposedly one with God), you are doomed to suffer endless rounds of rebirth in this decidedly imperfect world, bound by chains of karma which can only be broken by meditation under the guidance of the aforementioned guru.
So who are you going to believe? Christianity, Islam, Radha Soami Satsang Beas, or any one of the thousands of other religions? Almost every religion makes an exclusive claim to truth, yet they can't all be right.
How are you going to make sure that you aren't doomed by choosing the wrong one?
Well, Harris makes an excellent point. He asks the Christian next to him, who he seems to be debating, if he's ever lost sleep over being doomed because he isn't a Muslim. The answer, one must assume, is a hearty "No!"
This is exactly how non-Christians feel about Christianity, Harris says. More generally, it is exactly how everyone should look upon every religion.
Since religions make all sorts of competing claims, and many (or most) say that you're doomed if you don't sign up with their particular faith, the only way to be sure you aren't doomed is to embrace every religion in the world.
Assuming you can find them all. Assuming you will be accepted by all. Assuming you won't be chastized by some religions for simultaneously belonging to others. Assuming that you are correct in believing that at least one religion is true, even though you don't know which.
All that sounds complicated, and it is. Here's a simpler approach:
Don't believe in any religion.
Sam Harris summarizes the absolute folly of religion here..... great clip.
Posted by: David Lane | November 20, 2011 at 10:51 PM
What is the exact definition of Doom, and being doomed? I need further details on what exactly a pool of fire is? What is the fuel source, that maintains a fire into eternity? Likewise, what is the temperature, in degrees F, at which this pool burns at? After, burning(me or you) for say a week, could I just get use to such a heated environment and go on doing my thing. I will have lots of company, I'm not going to be lonely or bored.
Posted by: Roger | November 21, 2011 at 11:46 AM
Roger, my exact definition of being "doomed" is to be forced to watch Republican presidential debates for eternity, not being able to close one's eyes or ears, doomed to listen to Cain, Bachmann, Perry, et al spout inanities without stop.
The doom of others may differ, of course. Amazingly, some people might consider that listening to Obama give a State of the Union address over and over would be hellish.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | November 21, 2011 at 12:06 PM
"......being "doomed" is to be forced to watch Republican presidential debates for eternity, not being able to close one's eyes or ears, doomed to listen to Cain, Bachmann, Perry, et al spout inanities without stop."
---Brian, you could stop all that doom stuff, by just simply believing in all religions. Stack em all up, believe in ALL, then paradise shall be yours. Trust me.....
Posted by: Roger | November 21, 2011 at 12:15 PM
Back to the realm of pure seriousness, I demand a scientific investigation into how Almighty God created this place of Doom.
So, how big is this lake of fire? How did Almighty God create an energy source that fuels this monsterous fire for eternity?
Currently, how many doomed Souls exist in this lake of fire? Any over crowding issues, worth discussing? Let's begin the project.
Posted by: Roger | November 22, 2011 at 08:58 AM
I once rode my Harley down to Doomville, where I camped out on the shores of the Lake of Fire.
On the way, I picked up a couple of really hot babes and a bottle of Jack at the local tavern, and we had us a hell of smokin time of it that night.
The lake is as far and wide as the eye can see, but its actually quite shallow. A small child could wade across it with ease.
That old devil who is the long-time caretaker had some flamin skull-shaped tiki lamps along the pathway that leads down to the boat-dock, where the old bastard had a knarly-ass boat named "Perdition".
He also had a bunch of pet snakes that would slither around and bite anyone who complained about the sulfur fumes and warm weather.
There were also a lot of old bones littering the narrow charcoal black sand beach. Apparently they were unfortunate lost souls who had failed to get 'some of that ole time religion', before they went out on that boat.
Yet all in all, it was a groove.
Posted by: tAo | November 22, 2011 at 05:28 PM
tAo,he he...he,peace man
Posted by: Moongoes | November 22, 2011 at 10:42 PM
It just warms my heart to read your documented empirical observations of Doom and the Lake of Fire. Your message was filled with scientific inspiration. True, it warmed my heart, however, the reference to the hot babes warmed another part of my body. That was really nice and special. I now can see the birth of DOOMology and the advances to come. Much much thanks....
Posted by: Roger | November 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM
The next question ...which has already been explored is... Why do we believe ?...its all pure psychology...which in itself is relative
Posted by: Dogribb | November 23, 2011 at 05:06 PM
Belief, maybe just gives an excuse to develop some will power then break out regularly with some bizarre rituals and have a blast practising the vocals and meeting people from the community once a week.
tAo, that lake of fire story got me smilin'.
Posted by: Catherine | November 24, 2011 at 01:49 AM