Every time I take a shower, when I turn the water on, I overshoot where the comfortable setting is (I turn it all the way hot) for a few seconds then turn back to where I think it’s the right spot. Every time. I don’t know when I started to do it but I think the idea was that I could get it to the right temp setting faster if I made it hotter first. I have no idea if this actually works or not—the scientific method calls for me to try different faucet techniques and record them all to see which one gets the water to the right temp the fastest, and use that technique—but…
…I still turn that puppy to hot first, every single time, regardless it passing the science test.
I think religion is like me turning that knob all the way first. One day in our early history we had this idea about the universe—that some grand creator lived up there and made everything and was just like us only perfect, blah, blah, blah—and it kinda made sense considering the level of our information and experiences we had at the time. It answered the big questions we had at the time and the great thing about believing in god and religion is that there never needs to be any validation in order to continue believing. As long as believing doesn’t actually cause physically bad things to happen immediately (in fact nothing happens, ever, as a result of believing) then that seems to be validation enough for most humans.
Well, not me.
I’m ok doing the faucet trick because it really hurts no one and doesn’t really alter the shower taking experience—regardless it’s actual effectiveness—but I can’t say the same thing for religion. The idea that there is a supernatural creator, vain and spiteful at us humans, is old and ineffectual and, in fact, demonstrably harmful to the people and the planet itself. Israel/Palestine, Sunnis/Shiites, Muslim/western, Christian/Jew, Secular/Non-secular and the list goes on and on and on…
…without validation that religious beliefs are actually…well, real.
The bottom line is that we are a collection of 7 billion or so tiny, tiny little blips of animated matter scrabbling over the face of a spinning little rock hurtling through a small corner of an immensely huge universe and we only have each other to validate that we are alive, that we are meaningful and that we—each and every one of us—deserve to give and be loved. We are the ones we need to believe in…starting with believing in ourselves.
To give and be loved should be our religion…
…that would definitely pass the science test.
Believe. Go. Do.