Wednesday, July 12, 2006

In Context

What is the best – the truest – religion?

What system of belief and practice is the highest most perfect order? What form of faith, or believe, is most consistent with all the dictates for which religion supposedly exists?

Well, one would doubt that there is a behaviorist who would challenge the idea that Altruism is the most secure survival strategy. It is well known that animals will sacrifice themselves – and DNA testing shows they tend to do this for those who most closely share their DNA ... thus, their death is a means to continue their genetic pool ... they survive by having their genetics survive. The failure to reproduce, and selfishness towards those who most closely share your genetics (parents, siblings, half-siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins – all before total strangers), is, on its face, self-defeating and self-destructive.

We fight for, care for, family before strangers; and strangers in our land before those outside it. That is nature of altruistic behavior – and the crux of the Golden Rule admonition to “treat your neighbor as you would be treated.” And the retaliatory, or corollary, Golden Rule, “treat others as they treat you.” Both versions appearing in, or derived from, Western Scripture – and most Eastern tenets.

So, to behave in a altruistic fashion, being kind and just with those you meet, is basic common religious belief.

When it comes to creation myths, or science, we find both indicate a starting point and direction – evolution, the advancement and change in the species, is, regardless of mechanism an intrinsic reality for all but the most ignorant.

Inherent in creation is a creator – something from which everything else comes – the ultimate starting point. It really doesn’t matter what point is designated the start – so long as it precludes the existence of anything else preceding it. The starting point is, regardless of rhetorical terminology, the godhead.

Granted, those who violate the Golden Rule prefer to argue, fight, or kill, for their “religion”; but the reality doesn’t change. The godhead is the starting point; altruistic principles embodied in the Golden Rule dictate individual and societal survival; and we, as a species, reproduce in an environmentally adaptive manner – or become extinct.

For those who prefer to argue, fight, or kill, for their “religion”, there is one truth – all other religions are false. Interestingly, in terms set down in The Book, it is a violation of creation to follow a false religion.

AH but which religion is false? That’s easy. They all are. Each “religion” – as contrasted to practices which can be called lifestyle behavior, but which carry the designation religion – is false. Each religion is marked by some form or level of hypocrisy. There are no practitioners who can follow all the dictates within a single faith – and most are observed to violate the most basic tenets, never mind the more esoteric and scientifically explainable one.

So the anser to the question: What is the best – the truest – religion?

The answer is Altruistic-Atheist. The denial of false religions is the primary mandate of the true faith and practice – as all religions are false, they must all be denied. That there must be a starting point cannot be argued – except by an absolute idiot. Though it is acceptable to start with a known point and disregard any need for explanation of that which lead to the starting point.

Don’t understand?

Consider this. You want to find you way around New York City (or any city) – you don’t need to know the history of the city, or what building existed before the current ones. You need to know what is here now – where you are, have an idea of where you are going, know the route that the city structures dictate – so you need to know something of their placement – and as much back information as will make your commute possible.

You certainly don’t need to know the name of the architect who laid out the original grid, or dug the first shovel of soil for the first foundation. But, instinctively, you will curse, or thank, them for their work.

The important thing – when dealing with people along the route of your commute ... do you shove them aside, or say “excuse me” ... do you display courtesy, and expect it in return – or are you il-mannered and rude ... ending up in a pointless fight and not getting where you are going?

Getting where you are going is really what “religion” is about; and, in the long run, it is the Altruistic-Atheist – the “non-believer” who displays common courtesy and good humor, the person other want to know and be associated with, who is truest to the purpose of religion and most faithful to the purpose of existence. So be an Atheist – and be blessed above others.

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