[Thoughts] Thoughts on Religion

This morning I was reading about Iran, and in particular about its state religion, Shi'a. It put me in a philosophical mood, thinking about some future stuff for The Thingker... ;) I never liked the mystic side of religion, such as official answers to questions thought unanswerable ("where we come from" and the like): science always catch up, answers those questions, and religious people feel attacked. Science was religion's best friend till religion started to mingle with politics: there was a time where christian monks where the best at science, and Jewish priests are among the most knowledgeable that I met (from what I know, I expect the same in the muslim world, but I didn't meet enough of them to judge). Mysticism is nice in art, games and role playing, not in politics. What I do appreciate in religion (beside the great work of art that it inspired) is advices about how to live, and the idea that it helps to organize and to sustain a healthy society. After all, a religion advocating bad life practices can not survive too long, and the main religions have been out there for quite a while. The boundary with social customs is of course very thin, as after all religion was born out of social customs, but the re is also a clear difference: among the believers of the same religion people can differ in their social customs and their interpretation of religion advices.

As probably most people in the western culture, I had a period during which I refused the concept of any religion: I am attached to my freedom and I don't need anybody to order me about how to manage my life. I think now a bit more broadly: religions which lasted for millenaries might have something to teach me, who lived only a mere decennies. I will not take orders, but since I started considering advices, I discovered with pleasure that many "orders" from (various) religions (usually given without justification) agree with the rules that I fixed for myself, after long reflexions. To the point to be a better christian than christians, while still refusing their inheritance...
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