Monday, 24 March 2014
A conversation between Ger and James, overheard on the number 7 bus.
“Oh please no one really has a choice! No one is really given a choice; statistically where you are born is the biggest factor in what religion you will believe in. So how can there be a choice. From a very early age most people are taught to believe in something, even if that something is nothing! Human nature, more so children’s nature is to trust their parents. Its evolution. Children have to believe what their parents tell them, they have to trust their parents when they say don’t run out into the road because if they don’t they will die so how can a child determine what they must know and believe in order to survive , from just what their parents believe.” Pleaded a man with dark brown hair, wearing dark rimmed glasses and a pair of possibly too tight jeans.
He continued “Religion was just something we created to explain the unexplained. To explain why the giant light ball came back every day. It has no place in the modern word, science is the new religion and by that I don’t mean we pray and worship science but more that science is now the answer to our questions. The emptying of churches around this country is only proof that we our evolving.”
A small blonde man wearing suit bottoms and a white shirt had started to mock clap “Wow, Ger that was an interesting monologue, insulting but interesting!
“Oh don’t take offence James, Judaism is different, it more a culture than a religion".
The man, who I had now learnt was called James, retorted “Oh how very kind of you to let me off the hook. So unlike the masses it’s ok for me to follow my parent’s beliefs? Surely when what started as a religion becomes a culture it just proves exactly what you are saying?”
Ger looked puzzled for a moment but then replied “Hmm I guess, but I’m not trying to insult anyone, it’s just what I believe.”
James, who was now clearly insulted responded “So you believe that I have been brain washed and everything I believe in is crap and that’s not meant to insult me?”
“Exactly! Well surely you believe that what Christians or Buddhist or Hindus believe in is crap? As well as what I believe in?”
James paused for a moment and then retorted ”Well no, not that its crap, just not right but I still respect their belief.”
A bemused Ger stated “Well of course I do as well, more than anything I believe that people have the right to believe whatever they want to so long as it doesn’t affect someone else’s rights.”
James was now clearly furious “How can you say that!?? When you have just spent a full minute stating that it is a lesser evolved human that believes in religion? That was originally the justification for racism!”
“Ok fair enough but I guess I’m talking about 2 types of religious people, you have people who have a very strong faith and truly believe or at least truly want to believe but then you have those who just follow as if on snooze mode. It’s not that they don’t believe and make a conscious decision to follow for the sake of an easy life or to fit in, it’s that they have never bothered to question. They were brought up as a certain faith and they have followed it like a loyal dog, not asking questions but blindly obedient to their teachings.”
“So those people are less evolved?”
“Jesus, you’re really stuck on that!”
“Eh the name is James I think you will find!”
“Oh hardy har har, if anything my use of the word Jesus is just proof that religion, particularly the one from your location is welded into us from an early age and its next to impossible to separate the person from the religion ever again, once a child a has been brought up in any society today, it and religion are now an alloy, now and forever more!” Ger was now shouting.
“Right but take off the tap shoes and answer the question, are those people less evolved?”
“Well yes! The thing that separates us from the animal kingdom is our quest for knowledge, our hunger for answers but more so than anything- even if they are only rhetorical or we know there is no definite answer, the main thing that separates us, why so many of us are confident we have been created in god’s image, is the never ending list of questions we have. And some people seem to replace those questions with religion. A lot of the time you will find there is more to be stimulated by in the question than the answer.”
“Ok so is this our stop?”
Ger laughed “Yes” and the two exited the bus.