Male - 27 Years Old
To your second paragraph, because Catholicism believes in a lot of specific things and there is no religion like it. Just because religions have similar moral codes about how to be a good person doesn't mean they're all the same. I believe in the ten commandments, I believe in original sin, I believe in the sins indicated by my church, I believe in Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, I believe in a second coming of Christ and an apocalypse that no man can ever predict the exact date of, I believe that anybody who assumes they are going into heaven needs serious humbling because that's a dangerous place to be in (The church is all about humility- really, most people go to purgatory where they learn from their mistakes before entering heaven in my religion) , I believe in prayer, miracles, the saints, the angels, etc, etc. There aren't really many religions out there very similar to Christianity, although I have a respect for Islam and Judaism that have a lot of good, respectable practices and both groups believe that Jesus Christ was a prophet and Islam has been quite accepting of Christians in the past.
Look, if you have a problem with people who aren't really Christian calling themselves Christian, so do many people. However, real Christians, who believe in Christianity, Jesus, God, etc... I fail to see how that's the same as other things. For instance, the Catholic church is against just about every liberal thing Obama's tried to legalize, so right there, the Catholic church is different from at least more than half the country's beliefs
I'm not really referring to the idiosyncratic dogmas of various sects and denominations within a religion, like Catholicism, for example. I realize differing denominations have their particular beliefs that are distinct and a cause for antagonism among other denominations. I mean the broad, liberalizing trend that more "progressive" proponents of various religions advocate. For instance, let's say I'm endorsing a respect for life, humility, the Golden Rule, kindness, love, charity, and so on. Obama and the Catholic Church would surely agree on these values. In fact, what religion would I even be describing? Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism? Who knows. The point is that if we make a religion liberal enough, and say that to practice some religion or other a person only needs to follow and endorse these broad and close to universal values, then the distinctions among practicing various religions cease to be meaningful. Just by living my life how I currently live it I'm simultaneously practicing Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, etc.
Of course, I think this is a great thing. I wholeheartedly endorse the stripping of religions of their various dogmas and their supernaturalism and claiming that all a religion really entails is following a set of core values. I just think that if we continue in this direction then the whole idea of being "religious" becomes a misnomer, since the practice of any given religion will have become completely secularized.
|Okay, how about to know the extreme, passionate love of God that is simply incomparable to any love you have ever received here on Earth. To be the best person you can be to enter the gates of Heaven. To have a higher power to cling to for hope, faith, and help. Of course an Atheist doesn't believe this, but Christians believe God answers prayers and performs miracles, so that's cool too (don't try to disprove this to me factually, please. Religion is about faith and there is no way to ever convince me that God doesn't listen to people). How about to have a community of people who support your faith and all have similar beliefs where people can support each-other. How about experiencing the feeling of freedom when God forgives man for his sins. Etc, etc. |
Of course some people are "ethically lazy". In religion, God is the perfect being, not humans. It is well understood that we are all sinners and do wrong things, but if you repent and truly mean it, all is forgiven. The goal of Christianity is to try to be the best person you can be and to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. We all make mistakes along the way.
The one thing here that I think deserves serious consideration is the notion of a community of individuals each supporting one another. I can't dig up the studies right this instant, but most studies indicate that religious people are generally happier than the non-religious. The reason for this, it's been found, is that the religious are typically a part of a community of people who provide support, encouragement, socialization opportunities, and a general sense of belonging. People want to be wanted, to be felt as part of a group. They don't want to be or feel isolated. However, once this is controlled for, or once we begin looking at non-religious people who are also a part of some supporting community or other, the gap in happiness between the religious and the non-religious vanishes. This leads me to the conclusion that it's nothing at all about religion as such
that's valuable; rather, what is valuable is the sense of community that religion has historically thrived upon.