Religion and Depression

DO NOT GO GIVING ME HATE MAIL FOR THIS!

It’s stated on House Rules and here too.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Dan

These two things are very scary subjects to discuss individually, so when they’re intertwined they become a massive force with which to be reckoned. Heaven knows I’ve been obsessed about this for the past few weeks…and it’s all triggered by my depression, religious up-bringing, and my moral experiences derived from anime/gaming and other media.

But why, exactly?

Overrun Akihabara

Well, to be honest, I’ve always had a bad experience with religion. Christianity was forced upon me in primary school, even though my parents are Buddhists with very dismissive views of other religions. (They don’t want to force Buddhism on anyone, but they don’t like associating with people with opposing religious views). For me, wanting to learn about Buddhism was something I was interested, but all I ended up hearing was how God loves us.

I admit that my childness did not fully appreciate Christianity for what it is and what it can offer. However, even now, I don’t wish to convert to Christianity, nor follow any religion, really. I’m kinda at the point in life where I just don’t feel like religion is really anything more useful than to teach people “it’s bad to kill, steal, insult, abuse, and over-indulge”.

I know many adherants to religion will fire flaming fletches at me for this. They say that there is so much more that religion can offer if you choose to take the leap of faith. But to be honest, I am a scientist (in a VERY broad sense) and therefore, I believe in the Scientific Method.

I’m rambling… Hey, that’s the name of the blog. XD

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Let me state my view: I believe that religion is there to teach people to be compassionate, thoughtful, sensitive, and benevolent. I don’t believe that religion can answer how the Universe came to be, or why we suffer, or why we are capable of sinister things.

Argument to the monotheists (specifically those who believe in God as omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent): God created us to have free choice. Making a decision requires someone to have a degree of apathy towards the consequences of one option, over that of another option. He created us out of His love for us.

If God is omnipotent and omniscient, then He knew, right from the start, that Adam and Eve would take the Fruit of Eden (I am told that the Bible NEVER mentioned that it was an Apple), and that Adam and Eve would not seek forgiveness.

Also, if He created an entity of free choice, He must have been able to instil the thought/emotion of apathy in us. Thus, He must know apathy should feel like, and what it can do, since He is, after all, omniscient. Thus, He must have experienced it before He instilled into Adam and Eve.

By “experienced”, I mean that He either displayed it outwardly or may have been subjected to it (though I don’t know how the second would work).

So, with these two thought in mind, why would God create entites of free choice if He knew Adam and Eve would rebel? Did He, at one point, have apathy towards Adam and Eve’s creation and/or existence? Does this mean He doesn’t love us now, or before? What about His Son, Jesus?

Does this mean that we were placed upon the world in order to suffer? To be subjected with a cruel fate due to Adam and Eve’s First Sin? Is He really omnibenevolent if He created us, knowing that He would have to punish Adam and Eve, and therefore humanity, for sin?

A Creator who is capable of apathy, who knew that sin would be released into this world, and that this was part of God’s plan…I don’t want to put my faith in a deity who caused me to suffer.

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Now, an argument to fellow Buddhists: my main issue is the idea of “detaching oneself from all desires” in order to achieve Nirvana. If you don’t want to suffer, then you want to not suffer. “Want” is what you say when you desire something; it’s not a necessity: you NEED  to eat, breathe, and drink water to survive.

So, you can’t be free from suffering if you want to NOT suffer. So you basically have to fall into Nirvana serendipitously. That seems, to me, nearly unachievable. To think that your efforts to release yourself of suffering involve not caring about suffering…that is perhaps the most contradictory thing I’ve heard.

That’s why I like to follow the Scientific Method (no, NOT Scientology, that’s something else completely different). I think that with the approach of “aim to disprove”, we can truly learn from something when it defies or it adheres to our expectations. We should constantly be verifying old theories, old testimonies, old texts, to see if they still hold their supposed truth, just like the Scientific Method does for scientific theories.

Yes, I know that philosophy is the study of knowledge, and that it basically is the religious equivalent to the Scientific Method. But it’s not as conclusive as the Scientific Method. The Scientific Method, and science in general, is intrinsically tied to the world with which we interact. THIS is what is affecting us more than demons, apparitions, and holy interveners.

This goes without saying that by believing anything paranormal can negatively affect your experiences, it does NOT work well when you hate yourself for failing to meet parental expectations. I might make this a separate blog too, for the sake of not dragging this on too long.

Thanks for reading! DFTBA! ❤️💙💚💛💜

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