Saturday, Oct 25, 2008
There's spirituality and then there's religion. Two different things.
You're daft not to have some spirituality (i.e. some sense of the beauty of the world, based on evidence). Working for one's species and one's world based only on some kind of cold, scientific morality quickly falls apart when things are really bad or out of control.
Some concept of spiritual connectedness can augment such an "objective" world where everyone simply stands alone. It's not to particularly deny that, when it all comes down to it, we don't stand alone; but, it does particularly affirm some other connectedness among everything in this physical world.
Religion is an emotional response to facing one's own consciousness and subconsciousness. Religion evolved in lock step with the evolution of our consciousness, and it is absolutely required for most people in this world to stay sane.
On the other hand, for agnostics and atheists, science and rational thought have created this psychology of rationally looking at oneself. But let's be honest, this takes time, energy, turmoil, and confusion. The people who stand by you while you go through this are good friends, but sometimes their motivations can be questioned. The ones that help you through this are your true friends. You only find true friends during these times of turmoil.
If you choose a rational self-analysis, then you have to decide whether to do it when you're young or when you hit your mid-life crisis, but at some point, you will have to do it, unless you drown yourself in drugs or some other addiction (this makes no judgment on positive moral addiction as such). A sad number of people never do such a rational self-analysis (excluding, of course, the religious, since they aren't required to do a rational self-analysis).
It just dawned on me, but I never knew that I had a choice about when to do this self-confrontation. Hedonism sure sounds fun while all my body parts are in tip top shape, but I'd rather confront things now rather than when I'm stuck in some random situation later in life.