Have you ever considered converting to another religion?
No, one must have a religion in order to convert to another. I’m not an atheist; deep down I believe there is something greater than us, call it God, Buddha, The Force, or whatever. Technically, I’m agnostic, not because I doubt the existence of something greater (i.e., God), but because I believe it is impossible to understand whatever that might be. We lack the intellectual capacity for such understanding.
I generally see religion as a means to control people through fear and guilt. Religious texts are contradictory and people often pick and choose passages to justify their position. Then there’s the hypocrisy that seems to be so prevalent in religion. I see so many who claim to be God-fearing Christians who live their lives in direct opposition to the teachings of Jesus. Yet they believe that because they attend Sunday services and say they believe Jesus died for their sins and was resurrected, their salvation is ensured. Salvation is more than performing all the rituals and reciting all the right words. One’s acts toward his fellow man carry far more weight.
I believe one can have faith and not be religious, just as one can be religious and not have faith. The two are not synonymous. We are responsible for our own souls. Whatever becomes of our souls — Heaven, Hell, Paradise, Nirvana, Purgatory, Limbo, Nothingness, or whatever — is determined entirely by our actions. Our religion has nothing to do with it. Religion obscures the truth.
I believe we are each responsible for our own soul. No holy man can assume that responsibility for you. The best he can do is guide you along the path but you choose the path. Holy men are no closer to God than any us. They just believe they have a greater understanding and are closer by virtue of that belief.
I guess I’ve pissed off just about everyone with this post. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.