Bribes and Threats of Heaven and Hell
Most religions tells us that our eternal fate is dictated by the actions we take, or do not take, while in our mortal state. The whole notion of reward and punishment in an eternal sense based on a person's actions has always seemed entirely wrong.
If a person does something purely to advance spiritually, or to avoid punishment, the deed is negated by those intentions. In other words if a person does something because of the reward attached, is the act done genuinely out of goodness, or out of selfishness? Why reward an act done for selfish reasons?
Although I am not an atheist, I believe that atheists, who the “right thing” and not doing the “wrong thing”, are inherently more good than those who hold some sort of religious belief.
Most religious people, in my opinion, are caustic human pathogens walking Planet Earth. I am not referring to any specific religion, as I feel religion itself, by its' very nature is one of the biggest problems in the world. Rather I refer to those who are motivated purely by the selfish nature of their religion, their desire to be rewarded like children who are on their best behavior only to get a ice cream later, or otherwise would revert to their regular behavior.
The sanctimonious self satisfaction of messiahs or sages, and apologists or adherents, would be laughable if it weren't so dangerous. What really makes this so tragic, and hypocritical, is that most religions include pride as a sin. The tediousness of religion overshadowing spirituality is even more magnified by the intrinsic dishonesty religion forces through Divine Extortion.
If you look into it you will find that most of the figures of adoration in the world's religions behaved worse than spoiled 3 year olds, arrogant tyrants, or aloof wanna-be avatars. Most of the religious texts of the world are comprised of spotty history combined with threats, and cute little sayings, that really do not have the level of intellectual or spiritual depth that is accredited to them. As archeology advances it seems that most religions were really designed to control the ignorant masses rather than to impart spiritual truth or evolved over time like a bad game of pass it on.
Heaven or Hell
It's rather embarrassing to humanity that I, or anyone, would still have to discuss the fact that people still hold beliefs in Heaven and Hell this late in Human evolution.
The notion that people are either rewarded or punished for what they do in a relatively short span of time for eternity is ludicrous. These beliefs were obviously created to scare children and control people. In some instances these models were used symbolically to relate spiritual concepts, only to be muddied by ignorance or avarice. Even to an Absurdist, like myself, these beliefs, when taken fundamentally, are too absurd to hold in any sort of further regard.
“What goes around comes around.”, “Do onto others as you would have done onto you.”, “I want to evolve from this plane to the next.” and “Bad things happen to bad people.”. These statements are all selfish or prideful.
I guess thinking some sort of divine revenge will befall someone who harms you is a good psychological defense mechanism. I've done that. We all do that. We all get some sort of satisfaction when someone who has harmed us is harmed. However, more often than not - they do not get their comeuppance. What goes around does not always come around, and for those who believe it will be threefold, it very seldom is. As such - Life isn't always fair.
Acting our daily lives because we think Karma will either reward or punish us, is false. Again we are not behaving in the correct ways for the correct reasons, but rather for reward, or to avoid punishment.
The beauty of infinity is that there is always something bigger and always something smaller. Absolutes change and become conditional transitions or states over time. What counts is your Now.
The next Big Bang that comes around might be God and God might be a flake of dust. That statement depends on what your view of God is. Of course, if you are one of those people who have fallen for the trap of religion then you most likely have God all boxed up and have fallen for one or more forms of Divine Extortion.
Being Religious and being Spiritual are two different things.
If you are a spiritual person you have most likely gone beyond, or are in a process of going beyond that whole trip of doing or not doing things based on what it will get you or keep you from in the afterlife. People who are truly spiritual know that they need to experience this life to transcend it and evolve after it. It took blood spurting out of an open artery and being near death for me to come to that realization. I thank my understanding of God for letting me have that realization.
For the Right Reasons
It is time people look beyond the bribes and threats set out by religion. As soon as a person has to ask themselves "What would Jesus do?", or "What will Karma think?" it should be clear they are being motivated by purely selfish reasons.
It is time we were good to each other without strings attached or selfish motivation. It is time we rejected religions use of bribes and threats and accepted an idea that we will not be punished or rewarded for eternity based on tiny actions done in our short times on earth. There is something bigger at hand.