Religion and alcohol impair rational thought, but that's not such a bad thing really, because both these intoxicants instill wonderfully inebriating effects on the human brain.
I can remember how there used to be a lot of swell folks during your time period who took both their metaphysical and alcoholic spirits seriously; so ultimately, it hadn't been too important how damaging the effects of these spirits had had on people's minds, if the net result of either had made people become kinder gentler and caring people, then great, I say: bring on the scriptures, and pass me the single malt!
Here in Nova Avalon we're holding a vote on the matter. Either we keep both, or do away with both, because most agree it would certainly be unfair to favour keeping one and not the other. We recognize that this is not a question about the substances consumed, but of the character of the person consuming the spirits and the quantity of it's abuse.
Religion acts much like alcohol, in that it brings about a happy and carefree state to those who are naturally predisposed to be gentle souls. It can provide much needed comfort, and sometimes inspiration, to those who may be feeling destitute or a bit lonely, conversely both intoxicants have this nasty habit of turning inconsiderate, frustrated and vengeful folks into belligerent, aggressive and sometimes even homicidal maniacs.
Let's face it, although truth was and is ultimately knowable, nobody living now, or in your era, can honestly claim to know the whole truth about everything. In an infinite universe, not one person can attempt to grasp the ineffable given the limitations and constrictions of living finite lives.
I wonder if religion and alcohol have both served their respective purposes in human evolution, perhaps as a safety valve of sorts, keeping the 'have nots' from fucking exploding, rioting, and taking back whatever they feel they may lack by sheer force from their corporate overlords. Yet they both have been used as tools by these same overlords to incite and manipulate big hearted fools into fighting resource wars on their behalf in the name of tribal principals.
Religion, like alcohol, has this wonderful capability of blocking whatever neurotransmitters from entering wherever inhibition centres of the brain, and it is self-delusions like these which have traditionally emboldened young men to fight these wars, or to summons the courage to ask a pretty girl to 'dance'.
Likewise, this divine and dynamic duo has properties which provide men with feelings of invincibility, inspiring courage to perform what we would otherwise consider to be super-human acts of faith. Only in the loving arms of religion and alcohol, may we all become as calm as Daniel in the lion's den.
But the controllers of the paradigm, the one that had ruled your time period, hated religion for this very reason. For it enabled the meek to defy authority, whilst invoking the stealthy warrior by the magic of faith, guided by moral laws uncontrollable by those who would otherwise claim authority over you. In that sense, religious belief had managed to become the saviour, and religion was quickly becoming viewed as being subversive in the eyes of many within secular society. Alcohol was viewed as being less of a threat, for the simple reason it had worked against our collective ability to organize against the will of the ruling establishment.
Alas, too much religion, or alcohol, had caused it's consumers to embrace the delusion of magical thinking, by creating the false belief of one's personal invincibility, under the protection of what they had believed was the will of God, or in the case of alcohol, what they had believed themselves to be. Problems always seemed to arise the moment people claimed to have somehow known the true will of God, which was always subject to one's interpretation of spiritually mythological metaphors written within religious texts.
Institutionalized religion had evolved throughout the millennia along with our intelligence, and it had probably served it's purpose as a facilitator in the evolution of consciousness, guided always by trial and error. Regardless of one's beliefs in a creator, most people have always believed in something transcendental. Meaning and morals are probably very important for us, at least on an evolutionary level, to the point where it's probably even imprinted in our DNA... or as VSOP in a bottle of Courvoisier.
What is it's future though? It too must be subject to evolutionary forces; will the inflexible dogma of your religious institutions banish themselves to the abyss of extinction. Or will you find that the transmigration of religion inside oneself which will provide you with a personalized context to reconcile the moral dilemmas of your world, and of being? Will religion and philosophy someday merge? I'm willing to share a few extra glasses of Merlot and see if we can get to the bottom of all this!
Here in the many communities that dot the gentle slopes of Temperance Valley, we've decided to take all this stupid nonsense to a vote, Angels and alcohol: yeah or nay, not: either / or.
Remember: although our inevitable rendezvous with destiny had managed to answer many of our biggest existential questions, it still only indirectly hinted at the possibility of there being some form of cosmic deity… but certainly not enough to give up the bottle altogether.
So please be warned, if you feel you must use these intoxicants in any dosage, may I suggest 'moderation'.
Future CT Village 5, Nova Avalon. Year 17 P.T.E.
As I prepare to cast my vote, I'll gladly share my view:
The problem with both spirits in question arises when people decide to perform that volatile alchemical mix between religion and politics, by attempting to use it as a tool of power to manipulate others, or to pass judgement. So, let's explore the two possibilities that render my vote academic. First, If we can all agree, Theist and Atheists, the drunk and the sober together, that any final judgement on all personal moral issues will in the end be passed solely by God!
If God does exist, it stands to reason that true justice will undoubtably be served once we shuffle off this mortal coil.
if God ultimately does not exist, we will never know anyway, because the moment we're dead, will be the moment we never knew we had ever even existed in the first place, henceforth nullifying the importance of any values we may have ever held dear to our hearts, from now until the end of eternity.
Realizing this, we can save ourselves the irrelevance of wasting energy by passing judgement on others based on our pointless religious and/or secular beliefs about morality, which without the existence of a deity (or if you chose, a greater objective morality independent of human belief and somehow woven into the fabric of space-time or quantum realms), nothing anybody believes concerning good, evil, truth, virtue, justice or injustice would ultimately matter anyway…in a godless cosmos, the universe would be devoid of any transcendental meaning, morality would become just a philosophical self-indulgence, a mental exercise, or at best, an evolutionary mechanism designed to pacify, amuse, or facilitate this narcissistic project we call humanity during those long and boring stretches which separate the miracle of birth from the unforgiving finality of death, I suppose.