So I was just talking to Sara (from governor’s school) about the afterlife. Like I said to her, I’m pretty sure that life doesn’t stop with death. I mean it does, but not completely. Maybe that just sounds stupid and fanciful, but isn’t there something more to us than chemical reactions?
Phil would say I’m wrong. I think Phil is really sure that we are just chemical reactions. But to me it seems like a cold and cruel way to look at the world. Maybe that’s why he believes I’m a religious fanatic (which I’m not).
Though religion does offer an alternative to the chemical reactions viewpoint. But so many people have twisted religion to their own purposes. Rather than remembering that it is the teachings of a messiah or prophet that are important, people only remember the figurehead, or even just the name of the religion. And then they automatically assume that anything not connected to their chosen idol is heathen.
Or at least some people are like that. I actually haven’t met very many such people. So far (besides the anti-gay demonstrators in front of Upper Darby High School), I’ve met mostly open-minded people. Even those who are religious are rational, and think as to how they apply their religion. Maybe I haven’t met many people who blindly devote themselves to religion because there aren’t that many left. Or maybe I’m just not in the right circles.
But anyway, even though my name is Christian, my family isn’t very religious (but we are mindful of religion in our own way). I was named after my grandpa, actually, and not because of the religion. So time to come to the second title to this post, Buddhism. Buddhism isn’t about the worship of a god (I do not capitalize god). Rather it is a way of thinking, and a style of living. Sara seems interested in Buddhism for exactly that reason.
Actually, at Governor’s school, during a Societies and Cultures class, we spoke about the various religions of each of the students. One of my friends there, Jin, turned out to know a lot about Buddhism around Asia. He described how Buddhism had been adapted everywhere it had spread, being combined with local religions in order to create a suitable system of beliefs for the populace.
I’m not really sure where I’m heading with this. I need to study a little more about Buddhism before I can say more about it (or just talk to Jin). I think it’s very important, though, that the Western World be reintroduced to the fact, on a widespread front, that religion is about the teachings and style of life proposed by the founder of the religion, not about idolatry or submission to someone just because he or she claims to carry god’s word.