Right, that’s it.
I’ve decided, I’m going to write about something that gets on my tits. I mean really gets on my tits. That’s right, I’m about to be opinionated, and a few people might object, but one thing I enjoy – and so should everyone else – in this country, and most of the world, is the right to free speech. There’s no question however, that it results in debate, but that’s the whole point, and debate is healthy.
Whilst you’re reading this just listen to this song – one of my favourites. Beautiful music, beautiful words. It says it all really:
…And for those who say that we are not ‘free’ (and the rant begins), ask yourself the following: does anyone tell you which political party to vote for and threaten you with arrest or worse? Does anyone tell you which religion to believe in and threaten you with imprisonment or worse? Does anyone tell where you are and where you are not entitled to go and threaten you with persecution, emasculation, or worse? Does anyone tell you you are not entitled to leave your life and emigrate in search of greater freedom? Does anyone tell you which jobs you should take and who you should marry or threaten you with disowning? Does anyone tell you you have a set destiny in life or you will be worthless? Have you ever even had the option to consider free financial support from the state?
Do you ever have the dread or burden of the effects of a life threatening incurable disease invading every moment of your life making you weary of the end because the technology for a cure is not available? Have you ever had so little money that you couldn’t afford even a blanket to keep you warm at night? Has anyone ever told you to stop expressing your opinions? I’ll stop horrendously regurgitating these worn out clichés now but if the answer to a vast majority if not all of these questions is a resounding ‘no’, then you, my friend, are one in a small percentage of the world who really are ‘free’. Free to live. It really grinds my gears when certain ignorant people attempt to persuade other supposedly ‘naive’ and ‘sheltered’ people that we are part of an oppressed and controlled society. Get real. You don’t need to go far nowadays to see why these people are wrong, sometimes even the very fact you can turn on the TV and watch the news, broadcast from multiple channels, is enough to see why…
This leads me nicely to religion. If I were to talk about all my views on religion in one go I would probably be able to get away with not writing essays ever again, mainly because I would die of exhaustion and hunger, or from over excitement from the animated discussion and the phenomenal rage that would no doubt ensue in writing about such a thing. However, since I have already expressed my opinion on another matter, I will not blabber on too much about the dude with the beard in the sky/on the cross this time.
Specifically, what irritates me about religion versus science/atheism (I’m not debating now the precise definitions of the separate factions, I intend to sleep tonight), is the classic ‘all atheists are bad’, or ‘all religious people are ignorant’. How on Earth can this satisfy all beliefs of both sides? I know it’s crude and basic, and uses stereotypes, but the argument I have is – if a ‘bad’ atheist suddenly becomes religious, does that make them immediately ‘good’? And vice versa? Hard core religious nuts will of course argue that they have committed an unspeakable sin such that any attempts to join the ‘great and good’ of religion should mean damnation for the rest of their poor miserable lives, for ever doubting or ‘despairing’ in the faith of God. No. Go away. I ask those who are religious, did you ever have a choice whether or not to be religious? It’s all part of that good ol’ free world in which we are allowed independent beliefs and opinions, and permitted to make our own decisions. Chances are, yes you did have the choice and just as you took the decision to be faithful to a religion, others would have taken the decision to not believe in a religion. Is there any proof anywhere that either decision is the right one? Before you answer that just look at the picture below, and before you say ‘they weren’t really religious’, they believed in a god didn’t they; and that’s all you need to be religious, isn’t it? (I could go on to talk about what defines religion, but I won’t).
A picture paints a thousand words, and a picture with words makes a better picture, so I don’t really need to say anything other than it supports my point entirely. At the end of the day, I am a philanthropist (some religious people might say, stereotyping again “you can’t be, you’re an Atheist. You’re therefore Satanist so how can you ever be a philanthropist?!”, for example), I believe all humans are animals and all animals should live in a fundamentally equal and free world as far as possible. But of course, as in the ‘animal world’, there are always going to be challenges and some unavoidable inequalities. Unfortunately it is the extremes of beliefs which have warped the views on what and what isn’t equality or freedom.
There is something, however, that we can never escape from – we are all born, we all live, we are all taxed, and we all die.
Now just imagine… If we all only believed in these indisputable existential facts the world would definitely be a far more equal place, and we would all be free to live it.
Just wait to see what I really have to say about religion. Have you read War and Peace?