September 18th, 2010


Yom Kippur and religion versus spirituality

Earlier on Twitter and Facebook I was mocking Yom Kippur. But some comments from a friend made me think about it. I pondered it, an finally figured out what my basic thoughts on it are. Basically, I've never understood doing something just because one's religion required it. To me, my spirituality is for me, by me, for my benefit. My Gods neither require worship nor want worship; I don't worship my Gods, I seek their counsel. I don't pray, I perform magick. My Deities are there for giving advice when asked, but they don't interfere beyond that. They don't interfere in the world itself, so there is no point in praying (except to ask for help finding solutions). I've pretty much always had this perspective on Deities. I forgot that perspective for a brief time during which I became an angry atheist for how much my life was sucking back in the late 90's, but after that settled down, I remembered that the Gods don't have a lot of power in the universe anymore. They made existence, and souls, and let us lifeforms figure out the rest. That's the whole point of existence, IMO: to exist, and explore, and remake yourself if you so desire.

Getting back on topic, I find people who do things because their religion requires it of them to be... silly. Of course, I've long had a problem with authority, been a free spirit all my life. My basic take on any command is "Uh huh. What's in it for me?" I only obey commands when there is something in it for me. And "You'll go to Hell" always made me respond either "How convenient that your God will punish me for not agreeing with you" or "I'm already there. This world IS Hell." Because given how my life has gone over the decades, there are lots of times when Hell would be preferable.

Now, if someone does something because *they* want to do it, whether their religion requires it or not, that is another matter altogether. I respect that. If someone fasts on Yom Kippur merely because they think God will punish them if they don't, then I do not respect that attitude. Because that's twisting something that should be very personal into a form of mind control. Religion is to spirituality as force-feeding is to a normal diet. I respect spirituality, I don't respect religion.

But if someone fasts on Yom Kippur because they want to, then fine, I respect that. I might personally think it's silly, but I respect it anyway. Same goes for other practices.

However, I make exceptions for any practice, spiritual or religious, that harms other people or is needlessly cruel to people or animals. So I will never respect any belief that leads someone to murder, rape, torture, or abuse another human being. Nor any belief that causes one to neglect a child. So "We don't believe in that fancy Western medicine" is NOT on the list of beliefs I respect, if it hurts other people. If you want to forgo medical treatment for yourself, fine. I think you're an idiot, but fine. Yet if you try to impose this on children or any other people, then I will do what I can to bring you down.

Crossposted from

I refuse to be normal. Normies are the weird ones.

I'm proud to be a weirdo. Normies are the ones that are *really* weird. Why would anyone attack their own soul to fit in? I believe what I believe because it makes sense to me. If someone tells me to believe or do something, my immediate response is "Why?" If they can't convince me there's a good reason for it, I will ignore them. If I don't understand the reasons to believe something, I refuse to believe it. Under other circumstances, I might have become/stayed an atheist. My one bout with atheism was more to do with being angry than any actual belief. I've had many debates with atheists, and their point of view makes no more sense to me than the point of view of other philosophies/religions. I will give them this: they are at least thinking for themselves and have thought out their position. Just because I don't understand their point of view doesn't mean I can't still respect them; and I do.

Because of the way I think, I have a lot of peculiar beliefs. I tend to not agree with the entirety of anything. I mix science with spirituality because neither have all the answers on their own. In my opinion, science is for finding out How, spirituality is for Why. IMO, using science to address Why is just as wrong as using spirituality/religion to address How. (How = nuts and bolts of how the universe works. Why = [self evident].)

Capitalism is deeply, deeply flawed, and should be abolished; a person's worth being decided by how much money they have is, IMO, deeply unethical and possibly immoral. That a country with such an abundance of everything as the US has should be keeping people from necessities of life such as food and shelter makes the United States a deeply unethical, and possibly immoral, country. But then, so are all the other countries, and the US is more ethical than most of them.

Communism isn't any better, really. In the US, you give up your right to the necessities of life in exchange for somewhat freer speech and action. In communist countries, you give up your freedoms for the right to life's necessities. Neither model is ethical. And for a country using either model to claim that they work for the people is either deluded or a flat-out lie. The only truly "for the people" model of government/economy would be one that ensured both freedom of speech/action AND the right to life's necessities.

It goes beyond that, though. I could go on and on, but I won't. Suffice it to say, pick a topic and I probably have an unusual opinion on it.

Crossposted from