Religion, blasphemy & censorship: Tolerance of Others

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First off, this is not an article that’s meant to create hype, controversy, anger or any other such emotions.  It is a general observation of what I’ve noticed, what i believe and what’s been said to me that makes me want to share my thoughts and opinions and most importantly get someone to understand.  If anyone that reads this is extremely sensitive about their religion please read this with a mind of understanding, the ability to see from my point of view because the last thing i want to do is upset a reader which might be to much to ask given the nature of this article.

I was brought up in a christian home.  My mother taught me that God created the world, the land and the skies, the beautiful ocean and all the wonderful animals.  She taught me about heaven and hell and that we should follow the bible’s lessons and praise The Lord‘s name so that when i die i could get into heaven and be abolished of sin.  However when i got older i started to realize that what my mother preached she seldom lived by.  Does this really change who she is?  Not at all.  She is still a fantastic mother and a wonderful person who’s only crime is caring to much.   When i got even older i started to see that people that were teaching this were not the people you thought them to be and liked to pick parts of the bible to believe in and live by.

Which brings me to now…

The other day a colleague of mine asked if I had a film and if I wouldn’t mind copying it for him as his son is a huge fan of said film.  So i don’t mind doing this for him and got it for him two days later.  (Yes i know, piracy is a crime and my point is coming soon)  When he copied it over from me i suddenly realized something.  This guy is a pastor.  So i asked him if it wasn’t against his beliefs to ask for and accept copyrighted material as it’s stealing.  He admitted to me that he didn’t think of it this way and then deleted the film promptly…or so he says.  Honestly though he did look a bit frazzled after i questioned him about “Though shall not steal.”  I’m not judging this guy at all because i honestly couldn’t care less about what he feels is wrong or right or how he should live his life, I was just trying to understand how one can live by one rule and completely ignore the other.

A few days later i was having a conversation with another colleague and his special someone.  Both of them are born again Christians and are trying to live their life according to the bibles teachings.  While we were having a pleasant conversation i said “Oh my God” and my colleagues partner promptly began to tell me that she didn’t appreciate me saying it and that i shouldn’t say it in front of her.  I started to get a little annoyed at this but got over it and carried on with our conversation.  We were talking about The Simpsons and that i would like to share it with him and again, his partner had something to say.  Along the lines of The Simpsons is blasphemy and she doesn’t want him to have it and so forth.  People are just to damn sensitive in my opinion.  I do believe in some things but i don’t yell Blasphemy when a show is simply poking fun at something i feel strongly about, like every other show out there that pokes at something (Have a sense of humor would you) and i certainly wouldn’t talk about my belief if i knew the other person would feel uncomfortable about it.   At the same time telling me what i can’t say but admitting to watching pirated movies or playing copied games is OK.

How am I going to know that if everything that i want to share with them might offend them then i might have to put a censorship filter on me and I would never know what would be the right or wrong thing to say would be.

My point is this.  If me saying “Oh my God” is going to offend someone then i feel that i have just as much right to say,“the fact that you don’t want me to say this offends me because in you telling me what i can or can not say is you indirectly trying to change me or impose your belief on me.”  

Why should i tolerate your belief if you’re not prepared to tolerate my non-belief?  This should be a two way street…

Does that mean that when a Jew walks within ear shot i should not say christian things in case it offends him?  I’d like to think that religion teaches tolerance but in this world most of the people who preach this are the ones who are living by select parts of their religion.  I try my best to tolerate everyone but i will not accept someone who tries to change me because they believe in something.

This is why I have no religion.  If I had to become religious i would be the biggest hypocrite ever.  I would not stop anything that i do so i would rather not pretend to be something I’m not.

I’m a good person, I live in the present and i believe that being a good person will lead to a fulfilling life.  I don’t care about life after death because i don’t know what will happen.  So i won’t stress about it.  I’d rather live my life now, spending time with my family.

If there is a hell and i wind up there, all the hypocrites there can say “I told you so!

If we learned how to tolerate others beliefs we really could make the world a better place.

In closing I present Michael Jackson’s Heal the World Music Video

When Religion Meets Video Games

First off, I would like to apologize for the lack of posts this week.  Having a new human in our midst is quite tiresome and when i eventually have the free time i would rather sleep.  Rest assured I am going to try not make a habit of this and so, onto my thoughts…

A few weeks ago my wife and I were talking about religion.  Having our first child we were met with a number of pre-judgement judgements of when we were going to get Paige christened, who we should go to and how much our families would appreciate it.  Debbie and I are not really that religious so we are still uncertain as how to proceed.  While we were discussing this though one of my random thoughts popped out of my head and I said, ” I wonder why they don’t convert the bible into a video game?” 

The way the world is going it just seems to me that religion is taking a serious back seat if you compare what religion means to your parents or grandparents.  My generation had already started making conscious decisions about what religion they wanted and if they even wanted to have a religion.  On a personal note, I have never been what you would call a believer.  But there is a nagging doubt in my mind that  it all might be true.

Nobody can preach to me.  No one can convince me that I am one hundred percent wrong, but I think gaming could.

There have been countless religious films which have been pretty good in conveying a message and I only know a handful of games that have in your face religion in it and those ones sucked.  The lamest one I ever played was Captain Bible.707896-captainbible_large

What if you found a developer who could create a AAA title with the story of Noah and the Ark.  I and i don’t mean these easy games or click point adventures I’m talking serious hardware specs.  Imagine if you will, the flood has come, it’s a monsoon and the planet is flooded.  You get to steer the Ark to safety.  Base it on Assassins Creed 3‘s naval battle missions and that’s just one example of what could be done.

When you think about it in-depth it does tend to sound a bit lame but I’m confident that one of the big boy studios would be able to pull this off and send messages to people like me who might actually listen.

What story from the bible would you like to see in Video Games?

Let me know because I’m seriously curious