I was born and raised in a Christian household. I would go to Church almost every Sunday, I attended Christian schools, celebrated all Christian holidays…But the last 5 years or so I have moved into an agnostic state of mind. Not completely, I do topical research on other religions and belief systems because it intrigues me and I like applying principles from different religions; that align with my moral compass, to my life. Now, I am not yet ready to divulge my beliefs explicitly; because we all know what happens then, but I am ready to continue questioning the big ‘R’ word on how it impacts our life both positively and negatively.

What do you believe in? Who do you believe in? Do you think being religious in any way is healthy? Believing in something is healthy. Having faith in whoever or whatever you choose is healthy. Praying is healthy. Being spiritual and in touch with yourself on another level is healthy! But why? In my opinion, religion brings you a sense of purpose, compassion, community, responsibility and gives you principles to guide you in life which you truly believe will bring you good. And no matter what church you apart of, they all provide you with the above. Now, sometimes being agnostic (which in case you may not know is not believing in anything, nothing can be proven in relation to the nature of God or gods) brings arrogance and egoism. You start to lose your spirituality and instead start putting an emphasis on material things because you aren’t living for any other ”higher purpose” and this is my personal experience. So in the past few months when I have been researching other religions and applying a set of ‘loose’ principles to my life, I started to dial back ego, appreciate the gift of life and the grand scheme of things,and rather then living for oneself I was living for others (this may transpire a certain religion I take principles from).

Let’s be honest though – nothing is all good and no bad. Otherwise, everyone would be doing it. I believe there’s a dark side to the ‘R’ word. I will get one thing straight with you – religion is man-made. That in itself is a scary statement. If I had enough money I could start a church with my own set of beliefs! Church leaders everywhere preach the word of man. So let’s say you devote yourself to a church, a religion, one set of beliefs – some people, not all, succumb to fundamentalism. You now start to lose yourself in a set of beliefs of another man. And man,may subject the community to tyranny of their beliefs. This is when religion takes a step in the wrong direction…This forceful nature can cause people to lose their free will. Across the world, most homes and cultures raise their children with the religion of their kin. Teenagers are scorned for acting out against ”their” beliefs and aren’t taught to have an open mind, or to find what aligns to their values. As we move into a new age, the freedom of choice is ever so important and well, religion does strip away this crucial life choice from an early age and we even receive punishment from our communities because of our curiosity, that’s not right? Is it?

Arguments for and against can be made by all of mankind. It is a controversial topic that creates more unhealthy and aggressive debates than it does positive ideas for life and a sense of cultural diversity. Which is what it should promote. It’s important to remember we all have our own opinions and beliefs, but keeping an open mind is important. Never knock down someones way of life or religion, be grateful to have the opportunity to believe in something.

BD

P.S. This is all my opinion. I am not promoting one religion nor one set of beliefs. This is purely food for thought.

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