Rational Religion

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(Again) Why There Is No Evangelism Here


The Rational Religion lacks an evangelical matrix.  Anyone who professes to believe in it but feels compelled to actively seek converts doesn't really believe in it.  He or she is simply trying to build a congregation so she or he will not feel so alone. 


It's a fundamental human desire; to have allies in a hostile world; but it has nothing to do with the Belief, or its utility.


The syndrome is akin to a young gay person trying to identify all the other homosexuals, living or dead, closeted or out, in the neighborhood, world, or throughout history.  For company.


I recall my epiphany, at about age 16, when I discovered through the mundane medium of a high school sociology course that my unconventional beliefs were not all that deviant from the norm.  


Or, more precisely, I discovered that the beliefs of all those other people in my community were not the only "normal" convictions in the world; that they weren't even numerically dominant.


Never mind, as I later discovered, that the beliefs of all those different groups differed from those of my neighbors only in such minor particulars as what they named their God, and what She or He would allow them to do. (And most of them were, indeed, radically different from mine.  Many of my innate mental patterns are evidently not shared with a very large percentage of my fellows.) The bare fact that there were all those wildly different flavors of belief out there justified my right to believe whatever I pleased. 


Of course I have always enjoyed finding other people whose conclusions about the nature of the Universe approximate my own.    As a much younger person, I engaged in endless bull session arguments about the logicality or provability of my, or the other person's, convictions.


But I have never felt it necessary to try to justify my existence by converting anybody to my way of thinking.


Especially as I have grown older and begun to suspect that much of my intellectual furniture is innate


As may be just about everybody else's. 


Congenital or genetic (There is a difference; look it up.), I have grown to suspect that a sizeable component of what most of us believe -- or at least the way in which we believe it -- is Original Equipment. 


This is why evangelism "works" in the first place.  All you have to do is find the people in your sphere of influence who are predisposed to buy your recipe for solving their problems, and sell it to them. 


WE aren't selling anything, here.  We are presenting a suite of alternative possibilities.  If they happen to resonate with your original equipment, they may give you a bit of reassurance and even peace of mind.  Any religion which can do that is doing its job.


But, please, if you are of a combatively different persuasion, do not be so small-minded as to search throughout these environs for all the "aha's" you will inevitably find.   


Just take my word for it; you will discover enough egregious error to fill your self-justification tank to overflowing.  Unless you particularly enjoy identifying each niggling point upon which we disagree (and upon which I am necessarily consigned to spend the rest of eternity in a different environment from yours), don't waste your time. 


If you feel compelled to investigate these pages, anyway, on the grounds, perhaps, that one should "know one's enemy;" consider this:  although we are using roughly the same vocabulary, we are unable to speak the same language. 


That is, the words I have written will not be the words you are reading, except in the most general and trivial particulars.   On all the important stuff we are going to miss each other by miles. 


The upshot is, I'm not talking to you; because you can't hear me in the first place.