It annoys me to no end that christians (and I use this term to describe religious people in general) believe themselves to be kind hearted solely because there's an eternal punishment if they are not. This kind of 'be nice or be punished' attitude is part of the problem, as if we need to be coerced into being nice.
I was a church-going child, largely thanks to my mother, who - especially later in her life as cancer slowly ruined her - tried to find her own solace. Like my father though I discarded religion as nonsense when I was about 14. To this day I cannot believe that a rational mind can believe, really believe, in god and heaven and literal creation. It's an antiquated construct, one that served to unite the savages when there were no other institutions to do it.
Now though we have larger, more intricate societies, with unparalleled education and laws and systems that work. I have to believe that the christians are the truly dangerous amongst us, gathering as they do in their little groups and being nice because they're scared of being punished. Fuck their tiny little brains if they believe they are superior or that they are the chosen. Instead, I call them the bribed, the deceivers, the evil in a kind veneer. How else to describe a group that is essentially admitting they'd run amok without their god, when they accuse all men of doing so under atheist conditions? Takes one to know one, you shifty fuckers.
I don't think anyone who knows me would doubt my honesty, sincerity and kindness. I'm a nice guy, even without a god spying on me from above. Frankly, I don't need an external force for morality, and I'm somewhat aghast at people who do have this need. In the same way I wonder why they can't be nice except at xmas, I wonder why they can't be nice without their god?
Religion taught me one useful thing: do unto others as I'd have them do unto me. Good rule. I'm nice 'cause that's how I'd prefer to be treated. A kindness offered is usually returned. So that's my morality sorted, how's yours?
The next thing I wonder about is spirituality. I don't really know whether my particular happiness stems from any known branch of a spiritual tree: I wake up happy and generally love to be alive every day. Shit happens, it's all good, what's next?
It's probably just a result of the chemical soup my brain swims in, but I'm generally happy with my lot. Even when things don't go well I'm not too bothered by it. I don't need a god, mother nature, benevolent trees or animal spirits in my life. I'm content to keep on doing what I'm doing, happy and kind, with no real expectation of reward. So far it's working for me.
But I wonder.
Do other people need this? Would they be well served by some sort of belief system beyond this new ipod makes me really happy?
If so, what should it be? I don't think the old schools work well anymore. I'd like to see some sort of defocused happiness weak-ritualized set of motions and reflexes for the modern age, to keep the god-needy happy when we blow their old tenets to smithereens. My thinking is simple: If they need something to hang on to, we should give them something that makes a lick of sense, 'cause this shit they're latched on to now is ridiculous.