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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1233176-Religion-What-am-I-supposed-to-believe
Rated: ASR · Article · Religious · #1233176
World religions, contradictions, and questions
         When it comes to religion, I was raised Christian.  I went to a Christian church every Sunday.  I went to Christian school all through elementary(before it became too expensive).  This was my way of life growing up.  This was a "normal" life as far as I was concerned, and it this is still "normal" to the majority of people in the world today.  As I got older I began having questions about my faith.  It's not that I didn't believe in God, but I began to see contradictions in the world regarding religious beliefs.  When I was younger, I did not see these things in the world.  The main question I had was, what am I supposed to believe with all of these contradictions in the world regarding religion?  Also, which religion has the most accurate beliefs based on real accounts from the past, and which religious beliefs are not accurate, and how do you know this?
         
         These questions of mine all stemmed from information I heard, read, or watched on television, Internet, and other people.  One of these examples is the 9/11 attacks.  I could not believe that these Muslim men were doing these terrible acts because of religious reasons.  Why would God want a person he created to hurt, or kill, someone else he created.  The God I grew up knowing would never want me to hurt anyone else.  So why are these people attacking the United States, killing thousands, in the name of their God?  Which God is the "real" God; the one who tells his followers to respect man, or the one who tells his followers that man is evil and must die?  This is an extreme case, and I in no way relate this group of Muslims to the whole Muslim community.  It boggles my mind to think about this, but this is reality.  Religious beliefs are so different depending on your culture and the way you were raised.  As a child you are not given a choice regarding your religion.  You are told what is right and what is wrong, and that is what you are forced to believe.  Is this really the right way to raise our children.  To tell you the truth, I don't know.  This is something that the parents of these children need to ask themselves. 

         I am the type of person that wants facts and hard evidence of something before I believe it.  While I was growing up, I would ask my Mom how we knew Jesus was real, and she would just say "He just is, you have to believe".  At the time, that was a good enough reason for me but not today.  How do we know that he is real?  How do we know that the Bible is not just some book that was written a long time ago for story telling?  I don't know the answer to these questions, and I don't ask them because I feel I will be looked down at by society.  Most people do not think like I do, so they would probably take offense to questions like these.  I think this is why most people just go with the flow when it comes to religion.  They go to church, pray, and have certain beliefs not because they necessarily want to, but because they feel it's the "right" thing to do.  Or in other words," everyone else is doing it".  I have a great respect for people who don't follow the crowd.  It's not always easy to take this route, but in my opinion, its more honorable.  I know people personally that claim to be very religious but they only became this way because of something negative they did, or something negative that happened in their life.  It's ridiculous to say your a man of God right after you cheat on your wife multiple times.  To me it's just an excuse, and a way to clear your mind of this.  As another example, what about all of the stories of Priests that have molested children.  If you ask me, that is one of the worst crimes there is.  How can that Priest say he is a man of God?  Would you want somebody like that preaching to you about what is right and what is wrong and what to believe?

         Whether God is real or not, I think there are some positive things about the church.  I think it is good for people to interact in a setting such as a church.  I think human interaction is very important and has positive effects on your life.  The ability to meet new people and make new friends is great, and the church provides the medium to do this.  It's also good for kids, because they can interact with other kids which is essential to their development.  Another positive thing about the church is that it can give people hope in life.  Although hope can sometimes be a bad thing, I believe in most cases it's good to have hopes and dreams.  I think that in most cases, people who attend church regularly have better morals and overall are happier in their lives.  After all isn't happiness what everyone wants in life?

         I have a problem with all of the "rules" in various religions.  Don't eat meat, don't drink alcohol, marriage/divorce, etc...  Shouldn't everybody in the world have the same beliefs and practice the same "rules"?  Which religion is right when it comes to these beliefs, and which religion is wrong.  Maybe neither is wrong.  But, from a factual point of view, one has to be right and one has to be wrong.  It almost seems like religious people are salesman.  They are always trying to sell their religion to nonbelievers.  I think that the decision to pursue a faith should be your own decision and not based on somebody else pressuring you to do something, or making you feel bad because you don't go to church.  If you ask me, this type of person is worse than the people who don't go to church, because they are judging people who don't go to church and looking down at them.  People should be able to make their own decision without any pressure or feeling of guilt during that decision.

         Although I have these questions about religion, I still think it has taught me some valuable lessons.  I think the most important one is that you should treat everyone with the respect you would want them to treat you with.  I think this is a universal rule among all religions, or at least should be.  I also have a deep respect for nature and it's beauty.  I believe you should not judge people just because you may have different beliefs.  People will always have differences, and I think we should embrace these differences.  These differences is what makes this world such an interesting place.  In the big picture, we are all human.  We should be able to live in harmony, no matter what are beliefs are. 
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