Concept: a religion without the cruft and precedent that forces eventual paradox and therefore inversion.
License: free to use for all of humanity (and whoever else is listening). Each church founded on this principle should send me some tobacco, e.g. a transitory sacrifice.
Table of Contents:
In order to keep this religion, named “MinRel” for “Minimum Religion,” lightweight, we use a very small core of instructions.
That is all that is required. You can symbolize, represent, formalize, describe, or fantasize about the above in any form that you require, e.g. gods or a single god, an AI singularity, or some other notion of ultimate unity.
This section was inspired by Aldous Huxley’s essay “The Perennial Philosophy”.
Based on a study of religious and spiritual rituals through the ages, the following are mandatory:
The hangover variation: add “my heart really hurts” to the first step, and “although I am worthless and filled with regret for stupid things I did while intoxicated” after the first comma on the second step.
As part of this minimal religion, the individual is encouraged to focus on the self, with knowledge that the self is part of the world, and therefore the fates of the two are linked.
No one comes to religion for the sake of something other than themselves. In fact, the concept of the Good, gods, or God is boring — a perfect and benevolent being, an orderly universe, and everything being roughly in hand if we pay attention to that — and stimulates no one except the fearful.
We hope to redirect fear, selfishness, and narcissism toward an awareness of the world outside the self as something necessary for the self to know itself in this relative universe, and for us to find meaning in the ordering of our minds parallel to the order of nature.
Consequently, in this religion we openly admit to being selfish egotists but see nothing wrong with that, as long as we understand it correctly, which means that we protect and nurture our world so that our selves might be relevant to something other than our lonely whims.
Most religions aim to control people, and therefore preach being nice to everyone, assuming that humans are by nature violent and that this violence is never justified.
We take a realistic view: good people need to support other good people, and by “good” we mean the intersection between productive, creative, benevolent, and affirmative nurturing and the competence to achieve it, and send away the bad people, or those who destroy, damage, or corrupt good things.
The order of nature rewards competence, but those who are actually competent tend toward the good, since being bad leads only to short-term rewards and then produces long-term crises. For good to prevail, bad must be actively destroyed, like removing ticks, weeds, fleas, or microbes.
No religion can offer what people think they want, which is an assurance of life after death. If there were writing on the wall, and science were to prove immortality, people would probably treat life as less precious than they do even now.
For this reason, as with most things religion-related, the mystery must be preserved.
We believe that this is a good universe, motivated to achieve the good and competent, and that therefore it will not lead us to a fate of nothingness, but some form of somethingness.
Autonomous sentient beings cannot be forced into loyalty. They may not have free will, but they have choice, and that includes the choice to violate any oaths they have taken.
All that we can say is that we think our views are more likely correct than not, and we keep them minimal to avoid over-promising or confusing our symbolism for reality. We believe that those who keep this religion will be rewarded by the best possible outcome, even when that is not what they would have wished to have happen.
We do not feel compelled to participate here. We choose this, figuring that in a relative universe we must meet halfway what we hope to see in the world, and bind ourselves to it through positive choice not fear. Love works this way, as does learning.
Consequently, we make no claim of binding, except to say that now that you have seen our vision, it will haunt you if you choose anything lesser, since you will always know that you could have had this instead.