Just like Star Wars ... cool
I'd probably pick the ancient Aztec worship of Quetzalcoatl, Huitzilopochti, Itztlacoliuhqui-Ixquimillo, etc. Not because I think the worship of these imaginary deities was any superior to any other superstition. But, because they would sacrifice to the gods by putting victims on a stone tablet and cut their living heart out of their chest. And, there are a number of SOB's I'd like to stand over with an obsidian knife and.......
You know, on second thought, probably not a good idea.
Yeah .. funny Pat ... interesting religion though
Hey Pat, when I was in Mormonism, some of the members were really into Mezo-American studies. Not officially sanctioned by the church, but more as "faith building" kind of stuff. And some of them said that Quetzacoatl was a corrupted image of when christ came to the Americas and preached to the forefathers of the Aztecs. That the serpent was christ, and the feathers represented his 12 disciples in the new world. (Cue background creepy music). I shit you not. Wierd.
Right .. the Greek gods and goddesses were always up to something.
This needs some further qualification if it were to be really interesting. If we're allowed to choose from obscure or unconventional religions, we are free to ignore their more unsavory details and to project onto them the various idealizations of enlightened contemplative brotherhood and so forth. And that just ain't fair. So, let's instead choose from the following list. Your choices are:
1. Evangelical Calvinist Protestant Christianity.
2. Catholic Christianity.
3. Shia Islam
4. Wahhabi Sunni Islam
5. Orthodox Judaism
These are the only choices! (after all, what would religion be, if there were no compulsion!) Now pick one, and explain your reasoning....
I always joke that if god were real, I'd have to become a satanist--so I'd choose that. :P
I know, right? Satan was just misunderstood, I think. Haha.
This is an interesting and pertinent question, since for most of the past 10,000 years or so opting out of religion has not been a viable plan, and still isn't in some places. I suppose that, given a choice (and most aren't), I'd pick the animist tradition of my Native American ancestors, as it seems sorta-kinda-mostly harmless except when it's not. It's a more or less honest attempt at understanding the nature of things by direct observation and speculation. It's crippled by lack of formal science, but at least not shackled in unquestionable dogma -- or anyway not to the extent that many other irrational beliefs are.
When I was a teenager long, long ago, I thought that I wanted to be a Zen priest. Some aspects of that belief system are still appealing, but in the end there's just too much magical thinking involved for it to be a functional part of my take on reality.
In the end, choosing a religion is choosing the system by which you are dominated by those defining the religion. Religion is a means of social control having little to do with whatever "greater power" of the moment is invented as its marketing symbol. It is an artifact of tribalism that serves quite effectively in the important task of group cohesion. In that sense, pheremones serve as the religion of social insects, face or call recognition as that of many birds & mammals, and all of that plus in-group jingoism for those of us belonging to groups of animals that are both social and predatory.
My Cherokee Grandfather believed that just as we have our tribe, so do the rabbits, deer, birds, fish, insects and plants. He also believed in tribes of watercourses, rocks and weather, alloting them all equal validity. Obviously, this was projection of his own sense of order onto everything else, but it was also a way of accepting no barrier between self and "else". For a system lacking science it worked somewhat decently for about 7,000 years until Europeans with their dualism and awesome tools & diseases arrived.
We create and/or accept belief systems because life is too short and complex for figuring out everything on our own. If we know science we perch in what can be called faith on the shoulders of those who had the ability and made the effort to work out things we don't understand. If the best we have is our own observation of nature and perhaps trust in ancestors who have gotten us this far, we do pretty much the same thing within that set of parameters.
Religion is just science in a stable environment, and that has become satisfied and stopped investigating.
I'd become a Wiccan if I absolutely had to. Like the idea of going outside naked to perform a ritual.