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Why religious beliefs are dangerous: “God is on My Side”
So many people get stumped on this one, and all sorts of horrendous division, judgement, condemnation, war and bloodshed has occurred over it. It takes on various forms: god is on my side (not yours); my god is better than your god; my god is the correct god (not yours); god will favor and reward me (not you), etc.
So much of it stems from a false idea of what “God” is. Whatever you think God is, it’s important to realize that the “kingdom of God” or your own divinity is within you – not in buildings of wood and stone. Even Jesus confirmed this spiritual truth when he said (in various places in the Bible and in the missing Gospel of Thomas from the Nag Hammadi) that if you “split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift a stone and you will find me.”
Let’s reduce it to the basics. What is God?
For most people, it’s their idea of the infinite being, the creator of all. Another way of saying this is that God = All That Is. If we literally insert the phrase “All That Is” into sentences that contain “God”, look at the results we get:
God is on my side => All That Is is on my side
How exactly can All That Is be on your side? How can All That Is have any sides? If it did have sides, how could it not be on all sides at the same time? After all, it includes everything.
My god is better than your god => My All That Is is better than your All That Is
How can you have my or your All That Is? How can you possess All That Is? It’s everything, so it belongs equally to everyone, if it is even able to be possessed. Now, you may have an idea of All That Is, which is your idea to hold onto, but that’s just your idea. It’s your perception or understanding of All That Is. It is not All That Is itself. So again, by inserting All That Is, we reduce the sentence to meaninglessness (reductio ad absurdum as they used to say in Latin).
My god is the correct god => My All That Is is the correct All That Is
Like the one above, this becomes nonsensical. How can there be a correct or right All That Is? All That Is is simply All That Is. It just is. It’s neither correct nor incorrect; it’s all of it.
God will favor and reward me => All That Is will favor and reward me
More exclusiveness. I’m “in” and you’re “out”. I’m part of the “in” club, and you are not. This is a powerful delusion and one of the most dangerous religious beliefs. It underpins many of the following religious beliefs.