Value of Religions

Do religions have value for our society?  Some believe that religions have caused more harm than good.  Even though the Crusades, Dark Ages, witch hunts, wars, and terrorism can be traced back to fundamental religious beliefs; religions, overall, have had a beneficial impact on society.

There have been many religions practiced by Homo sapiens.  Apparently, religion goes back to early hominids, perhaps hundreds of thousands of years ago when our early ancestors were searching for meaning in life… and afterlife.  Scientists find no evidence of other animals worshiping a god.  Some argue that this only proves that our species is anthropocentric, self-centered, and is deep in death denial.  In other words, Homo sapiens believe that they are so much better than any other animal that they must live on after death.  And a god, who is in their image, awaits them on the other side to justify their importance.  Some cultures looked up to many gods in an effort to satisfy this search.  Other cultures needed only one God as the creator of our universe.  There are about 4,200 religions being practiced today.  With all the religions of the past and present, they must offer some value to mankind.

Religions have significant value during our lives since they provide moral codes for mankind to follow.  Our species has free will… the freedom to choose between various courses of action.  If you believe that God is watching you and, furthermore, is evaluating your performance, then there is a better chance that you will choose well.  But some religions also have an additional reward for doing the right thing:  eternal life after death.  Christianity is a little different in that you receive eternal life if you believe in Jesus as your savior.  Hopefully, once you accept Jesus as your savior, you will make the right choices in life because you want to please God after being saved.

But the bottom line is that after you die, if you are not thinking, then, there is no God inside your thoughts.  In other words, if you are not aware or are not conscious after death, then even if there is a creator, God does not exist in your mind.  This is a bit controversial at first, but after you think about, I believe it will make sense.

If you are not conscious after you die, you will not be aware of anything at all, including God.  If we stop being aware at death, then does the universe end?  It’s like the question:  if a tree falls in the woods, but nobody is there to hear it, will it make a sound?  If nobody is aware of the universe, it may exist only in the thoughts of the creator of that universe.

Only a fool pretends to know exactly what happens after we die.  Nobody knows.  Some people have reported near-death and even death experiences when they died and were brought back to life, but some of these reports can be explained by endorphins and other pain-killing products secreted by the body protecting itself.  As far as we know, nobody has come back from the other side to tell us exactly what happens.

So, let’s speculate.  Life is ultimately absurd and pointless if there is nothing more than what we see.  However, we know that we only see about 4% of the universe.  The other 96% is not visible to us.  It is dark matter and dark energy.  So, we basically are blind people, making decisions about life with little information to guide us.  Life is also absurd and pointless without a creator.  Why would we have the ability to think about a creator if there were not a creator?  In a very real sense, thinking about a creator, creates one in your mind.

The second reason why there must be a creator is because of the First Law of Thermodynamics.  This is the rule of physics that states that neither matter nor energy may be destroyed or created in this universe.  In other words, creation could not occur in our universe.  Spontaneous generation does not explain our existence either.

We start with the knowledge that we exist.  We think, therefore we are.  And this awareness of our existence is also looking outside our two windows observing.  I call it the “observer perspective.”  This thing inside us that is observing what goes on outside us can also be called our consciousness or awareness.  The origin of this consciousness cannot be found in our brain.  Scientists and physicians cannot explain it.  Interesting!  But it clearly exists.

We know that quantum mechanics is a real crap shoot.  You might be in several different locations at the same moment.  Which is reality?  Which is the real you?  Our reality, then, is created by our unique observations.  What we observe is our reality.

God must be our reality after death.  If we are still thinking or are conscious after we die, we had better believe in God more than anything else in the universe.  We must have a radical, extreme, powerful belief in God at that point in order to avoid being drawn down into a black whirlpool of chaos.  Why do I say this?

One of the most feared tortures known to man is sensory deprivation.  If you can place a prisoner in isolation and strip him of his senses, taking away all nexus with time and space, nightmares visit the wretched prisoner within minutes.  If you have no senses to distract you from your thoughts, you will enter hell itself.  And you can create a hell for yourself that will far surpass anything the Devil might muster.

But no matter what happens if you are still conscious, then God can save you.  The Bible gives us some clues as to what happens after death, but it does not provide all the answers.  After you die if you are still thinking, it is most critical that you become aware of the presence of God.  This will be a personal, one-on-one relationship.  God will be your life preserver in a black sea of chaotic thoughts.  His presence will calm those seas and give you something to hang onto.  Otherwise, you would drown in those thoughts, sinking into the black depths of your consciousness.

Nobody knows what will happen next.  You may have to go through hell, you may go through sensory deprivation, your beliefs may be tested, or there may be a formal Judgment Day.  Nobody knows, but you must keep God in your soul and be like Jesus as you go through whatever is being thrown your way.

It seems illogical to believe that our consciousness terminates at death because as we stated earlier, neither matter nor energy is created or destroyed in our universe.  Our awareness may be modified, but it still should exist somewhere in the universe.  In other words, we may still be thinking, but without a mind or body.  And that may mean that we will have no bodily senses from sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste.

We also may have no reference to time.  What an interesting world that would be without clocks, calendars, the movement of the sun, and the four seasons.  Consciousness after death would be extremely difficult to maintain without God.  There would be no possibility of fulfillment or completion without God.  There would be no control without God.

If our consciousness continues after death, we still have choices.  And remember that choices lead to consequences.  The biggest choice before us will be:  do we believe in God?  This decision determines whether your flight toward the future is positive or negative.  The perpetual movement of your thoughts is always headed toward the future, but it never lands on any particular moment in time since it does not stop.  Your faith in God is the only positive force in this motion.  Otherwise, you are left with an empty negative power that sustains your thinking.

Even if you choose not to decide, it is still a choice, although a negative one.  The only choice that makes sense is to choose God as the creator of your consciousness, a positive approach to your thinking in the afterlife.  If you label yourself as the creator, your thinking will lead you to nightmares that are unbelievable.  You do not have the power to control your thoughts.  They will drive you insane.  God is the only positive choice.

It is the application of religion to the afterlife that is most critical.  Your life is a brief moment in time, but your afterlife, if it exists, could be for an eternity.  Again, if you are conscious after the moment of death, then God, too, must exist inside you as part of this awareness.  God exists in your thoughts if you have a strong belief that He exists.  If you don’t believe He exists, then He doesn’t exist in your mind, and you will be left in solitude along with whatever nightmares you create for yourself.

And Jesus, who looks like us, will be more approachable than God, who has an unknown form.  If we were left to imagine what God would look like, He could be any number of visions, none of which would be comforting.  But Jesus will be soothing to us as we fight the inky chaos of the universe.  If you are still thinking, you better have something solid to think about.  And that solid belief and thought must be of Jesus, who is the human embodiment of God.

If you are still thinking after death, and you have nothing to hold onto and nothing to believe in, then you will be cut adrift in the darkness of eternal chaos without any hope.  That would be hell.  If you aren’t thinking after you die, then religion didn’t matter.  But there is no harm to you believing in something, either way.  There is significant danger to you if you are still thinking, and you don’t believe in anything.

But that belief must be a rock-solid belief, not a half-baked thought.  The powerful force of nothingness will drag you like a rip tide into the sea of chaos if you have nothing to believe in.  And like I said, Jesus is the best choice because He will be comforting to you as you make this transition.

We would be remiss not mentioning the other possibility.  If you are not aware of anything after death, then God would be irrelevant to your non-existence.  However, God is extremely relevant if you are thinking after death.