I remember living in Communism when I was about 10 years old. It didn’t matter that you were a good person; you still risked the chance of going to jail simply because you weren’t a member of the communist party. In the same way, religion tries to convert you to whatever belief system that particular flavor has.
A few Jehovah’s Witnesses that keep visiting us about once a month brought up some interesting points last time. They actually believe that believing in Christ will bring good morals in your life. I have demonstrated to them that everything I’ve done for my family, the charity that I contribute to, the money I send to my wife’s family back in Romania, the lessons I teach my kids, the ethics that I live by… all of those, I’ve done without accepting any make believe friends in my life. I did those things on my own. I’m not here to toot my own horn. I’m just saying that I didn’t need Jesus’ help to do any of those things.
Well, I find out that my so called friends don’t believe in a heaven or hell. They believe that there will be paradise on Earth. What happens to the so called bad people? Well, they simply disappear, vanish, without a trace. They had played a scenario for me. What if my son ends up on drugs, and hangs out with the wrong crowd, and ends up in jail. First of all, religion has nothing to do with one’s criminal behavior. In fact, although 20% of the US population is considered atheist, less than 1% of the prison population is atheist. Shouldn’t the numbers be the other way? Shouldn’t there be a larger percentage of atheists in jail? Interesting read I found here. But, I will definitely try to explain, using reasoning, not fantasy, that doing bad things has a bad ripple effect throughout one’s life. This is the responsibility of every good parent. To constantly have meaningful conversations with their kids about life stuff. You don’t need a Santa Clause reward system in order to realize that to live in a peaceful society, you need to do good things. It’s for your own good, and in turn, it will be good for your family, and whomever it is you touch in your life.
So, I asked my visiting friends,
“If I lead a good life, and do all these things that I do because of high standard, morals and ethics, and because I understand the ripple effect that my actions have in a society rather than because my invisible friend told me to… and I end up face to face with whoever the creator may be… and they tell me something like, ‘Well, we understand that you had a good life, and you were a good person, but you know what? You didn’t believe in our fantasy world, so, *poof*, we’re going to make you just disappear, just because we say so’. Isn’t that a waste of a good soul? Doesn’t that sound like every other corrupt system out there that tries to convert you through an ultimatum?”
They didn’t know what to say. In reality, it’s just like the communism we lived through. Any gang will try to initiate you and say that they’re right, and that their belief system is the right one, as long as you accept some nonsensical fantasy and pay them 10% of your salary, of which they pay no tax… What a scam!