I’m starting to come around to the idea that religion is more of a curse than a blessing, if you’ll pardon the pun. The whole point of religion in the first place was to answer some basic questions of humanity, with “Will I survive death?” being the biggest one. Things like moral codes (“How should I live my life?”) grew out of preparation for an after-death experience. Along the way, dislike of people who had different beliefs made a mockery out of religion in general.

As an aside, it should be noted that unlike advances in systems of thought concerning nearly every other sphere of our lives, religion is virtually the only one still untouched for hundreds (or in some cases, thousands) of years. We no longer believe the sun revolves around the earth, or in the four humours of the body, or even Newtonian classical physics; why do we insist on carrying the same ideas about an afterlife that ignorant peasants had a millennia ago?

Anyway, it strikes me that more people today are afraid of other religions than are comforted by their own. Catholics are afraid of Islamic fundamentalists, Christian Orthodox are afraid of Catholics, Islamic fundamentalists are afraid of Jews, Jews are afraid of Muslims, and so on. The 21st century is supposed to be the opening of wisdom and equality for all people; instead it’s an ongoing series of pre-emptive strikes against other faiths. The Buddhists perhaps, are the only ones who don’t give a shit. They must be ripe for taking over.

It’s hard to keep any faith in the goodness of man when teenage boys are blowing themselves up on crowded buses with women and children. Sometimes I wish religion was true; it would be hard not to smirk with self-righteous glee to see Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, Krishna and a few others show up one day and turn white with mortification at what’s been done in their collective names.

And let’s get back to the central question – Has religion offered up any hope for life eternal? After all this time, do we have any more proof than before? Of course not. The faithful would say that proof is not required. Of course when dismissing other belief systems, they scream for “proof” the competition is better, wiser, greater, etc., then sneer with triumph when none is produced. My personal opinion is that there is either nothing after you die, and it’s all been a sham perpetuated out of fear for centuries, or there’s something much more wonderful and sacred than the tiny little sand castle scenarios each religion offers up. Either way, it’s not something to be slaughtering the innocent over. If you believe otherwise, then you’re stupider than I’m giving you credit for.