Even if God does exist, he only wants you to be a good person. To do the right thing.
We Love God! We really do. Well, maybe not God itself. I am not sure that we even really believe in God, but we sure love the concept! The whole idea of God makes you feel comfortable and all warm inside. It's a feel-good concept that has filled a void in mankind, probably almost from day one, or at least from the time man first became aware. And started questioning his own existence. It's called stability. And security. It's called knowing someone loves us, for who we are, and even when we don't deserve love at all. Like a mommy. Or a puppy. Man needs God or at least the notion of one, sometimes just to be able to get up in the morning and face another day.
But try not to confuse God with religion. We are talking two different animals here, as different as night and day. God, the man, is a construct, exemplifying good over evil, and love. No matter what religion we adopt, we all have our own personal idea of exactly what God truly represents, and we need that image in our minds for us to be able to make some sense of our daily lives and to deal with our inevitable destruction. We deal with our salvation in a myriad of ways, some with rewards, and others just with eternal peace and contentment. But God the man is perfection, and eternal. The epitome of justice and compassion. All knowing and the arbiter of truth. He is the great teacher of love. He is everything that we would wish ourselves to be, and yet more than we could ever hope to accomplish. My perspective is somewhat different, and possibly jaded, in contrast to the traditional interpretations, and we will return to that in a moment.
God the Religion, on the other hand, uses these very same examples of God, but with fundamentally different objectives and motivations. I realize that I may certainly alienate a number of individuals with my observations, and I apologize in advance, profusely, but the evolution of philosophy follows its own inexorable path to understanding, and mine is no different. Our venue here is to have a Conversation, and not a kumbaya moment around the campfire. Religion does not come from God. He does not have a ghost-writer, and he does not have a publicist. People and groups, over the millennia, have decided to proclaim themselves these positions of power over groups of individuals for a whole host of reasons, many of them benign or beneficial, many others nefarious and manipulative. Their goals seem always to control and direct. At times, some try to do it ' for your own good ' and are occasionally successful at that, but at times it is for ' their ' own good, and that is not a desirable eventuality.
Religions, over the ages, have had to deal with people who were simple folk, historically uneducated and unsophisticated. To exert that control mentioned, they needed to instruct and put the ' fear of God ' into the hearts and souls of their congregations. To that end, the marketing aspect constructed and distributed their information in Bibles, and Qurans as well as Toras and ' Scriptures '. Stories and lessons to instill structure and fear and discipline in their ' flocks '. Depictions of Gods arbitrarily killing and destroying with fire and floods, initiation of crusades and the issuing of ' fatwahs ' does nothing to establish the legitimacy of a true and loving God. But we digress, as I am wont to do. The issue of religions is extremely intricate and complex. There may never be any real explanations or resolutions to the problem of religion.
God is a man-made personal construct to depict our search for spirituality. Religion is a man-made group construct to outwardly attempt to achieve that spirituality and covertly used to instruct or control its members. But today we have made the statement that God Is Irrelevant. And so He is.
It is really not about God. It should never be about Religion. They are both simply the means to an end. And the "END" will always be YOU. About you and who you are. What you want to be. What makes you who you are TODAY, and what are you doing to answer those questions. Remove any or all gods from the equation, and you still exist. Remove any and all religions, and you still exist. You remain to deal with reality and to make the choices that will affect you, and those you come in contact with, for the rest of your life. Without God, and religion, you may feel just a little bit lost and unsure, but that is basically the whole reason that man invented god and religion, to begin with. To give answers. To explain. To tell us what we should do. And that is the primary criticism of god and religion. It restricts the individual. It removes the thirst for discovery. It takes away the quest for knowledge. It confuses the need for self. It destroys the Individual. Whether through intent or not, it negates choice, for all is given to you to follow, a blueprint for life, devoid of input. The need to think is unnecessary. You will have salvation, and contentment, and peace. You need only to sacrifice your essence to receive eternal bliss. It is a very high price to pay. For many, the price is too dear.
There are some of us that are not willing to pay such a price. We do not wish to believe in dogma distributed through individuals who are simply other human beings, and by definition, imperfect and fallible. We want to KNOW the answers, and we are willing to explore and discover the explanations through our own unique and innate talents. The ability to think, and to feel. The use of reason. We too have an inner imperative to believe, but we choose to believe in self. We believe that the greatest joy is to experience life on our own terms. If there is but one goal in life, it is to make our own blueprint to follow, to direct our every thought and action, based on decisions made by us and for us. When you embrace the beliefs of another you abdicate thought, as well as responsibility. There can be no true certainty since you know not what went into that belief. You simply believe. Religion is one size fits all, and ultimately fits none. Why not go through an evolution and come to your own conclusions? You may even come to develop similar beliefs that will allow you to be able to stand side by side with these other people, with common goals and expectations. But it will come from a position of strength and confidence as opposed to weakness and doubt. And there will be no obligation to follow those teachings that make little or no sense. You will find freedom. You will be free to follow a path of your own choice, without restriction and the heavy burden of unwanted responsibility and unnecessary guilt. And do not forget the 10%. If you believe in the tithe to God, it is now in your own power to decide where it would be best invested. Choice.
That is the unequaled joy of being an Individual. A person who believes in self-determination. Someone who needs no master. There is little or no need for a god, or a religion, or a government, that only instructs and directs, with little need to explain or support. The individual is a person with convictions. His belief is that he takes the best actions based on what he has found to exhibit truth and goodness, based on principle, and knowledge, and reason. They believe that only by those actions can they display the character and integrity they have worked for so hard through a long and arduous journey. They believe there may or not be a true god, but if there is, how could he possibly not welcome, with open arms, someone who does all the right things, for all the right reasons. Mistakes are inevitable. But they will be of your own making. But they will be able to be repaired, since you already know the difference between right and wrong, due to the knowledge uncovered during that journey of discovery. It is only necessary to continue the exploration of self. If there is a god, he has allowed me the greatest gift I have ever uncovered. The ability to think. I refuse to believe I was given such a gift only to be asked to suspend such an ability in the name of the very same god. It is unthinkable and incomprehensible that any god would reject an individual because he did not follow an uncertain text, or partake in unnecessary ritual. There is no conceivable god that would wish to be worshipped in any form. These are not the attributes of a god. They are the dreams and desires of damaged human beings.
And that, my friends, is why God is irrelevant. Our goal is always to be the best person possible. We should strive for nothing less. And God? He expects nothing more. That is all he has ever wanted. And . . . a god has no ego. He has no need to be relevant. That is another human attribute. But you, on the other hand, are relevant. And if I had to take a guess, and he actually has a plan? That would be it.
He is waiting.
Waiting for you.
Waiting for me.
He is smiling.
Take your time.
Get it right.