posted on Nov, 26 2007 @ 04:05 PM
I have a friend from Norway. Hes kinda agnostic/atheist...though he kinda identifies with the Norse gods because, well, thats part of his culture,
it's a cool thing, you got your Odin and Thor etc...its a cultural thing, even if you don't believe they really exist.
I have an Israeli friend who...well...I really like, that set aside, shes kinda...atheist/agnostic, but she still calls herself a Jew, and identifies
with the culture. You know if you don't take the old testament literally it's pretty entertaining, you got Leviathan, Behemoth, Ziz, lots of blood
and gore, a God that seems to be in an alcoholic rage half the time, smiting people to death every which way, a flood, epic stories...epic story in
your culture, fun to identify with.
Ever met a former devoted Christian/Muslim who still identifies with the culture...if you could call it that? I sure haven't. See when a Christian
looses faith it's usually a big...well, just a huge collapse of reality for a period of time and just depression and wanting a complete
disassociation with it, in my experience at least.
And why? The only thing holding the religion together is "If you don't believe, your going to burn in hell!" and a bunch of other strictly-defined
dogma that occasionally gets hypocritical.
I'd imagine, I have never seen it, but I think the same/similar thing would happen with a Muslim, that or conversion to Christianity(which
I've heard of, I can explain that in Christianity being a bit more "coherent"), since the Muslim religion is built similarly.
Both religions are built on very rigidly-structured rules, with the blackmail of hell reinforcing it. When the faith breaks, it's a massive,
Granted, traditional Judaism also has fairly rigidly-structured rules (Abrahamic religions basically all do), though rather than a direct face-to-face
blackmail of hell, you have more of a vague idea of what happens when you die, plus no direct commandment to convert others to your faith to "save"
them (thus keeping it from spreading all over the world like a filthy plague, killing and converting unbelievers). It's a cultural religion, a rather
unique monotheist one, but still, a cultural religion. I think it's same to say that chances are, you meet someone who is of the Jewish religion,
they are of the Hebrew race.
Same comparison can be made with how you'd rarely find a non-Indian Hindu, or a non-Japanese Shintoist. Buddhism now, almost more philosophy than
religion, finds many followers of many groups of people because well it's nihilist beliefs give peace of mind to people who can actually achieve
nirvana (man, I wish I could...but my mind just isn't built for it. I'm full of so much frustration.)
And then, just so I cover all my bases, you got the Christian who's fairly casual, isn't very religious, doesn't go to church, but when asked calls
themselves Christian just out of habit because thats what they were taught when growing up, and they just have better things to do like deal with
their job or school or whatever than to ponder theological issues.
But, if they really sat down and thought about it, they'd probably be agnostic in truth...maybe even (rarely) atheist, atheism tends to only occur,
in my experience, when no religious belief is taught to a child (like me initially), or someone has an epiphany of some sort (usually, but not always,
a negative one), or simply something really bad happens.
This type of belief process is not only found amongst Christians, but also, as I've found, Jews (but harder to shake due to cultural ties and
association), and I'd imagine Hindus, etc, and even Muslims, probably the Muslims in more liberal countries like Turkey or Malaysia.