Philosophy and Religion
Announcement: Writing a book on religion entitled:
The Hypocrisy of Religion
By Kenny Traveny

Here's the Preface:
What happens when we die? Where do we all come from? How will the world end? These are the questions that freak so many people out, that we will create stories, just to keep them in line, essentially closing their minds to reality, and substituting in certainty about all of these questions, while the real thing we should be practicing is being doubtful, and humble. The reason for this is the fact that religion has no evidence; and how can it? The Bible teaches us that the Earth was created 6,000 – 10,000 years ago, and we all began with the story of Adam and Eve, with the talking snake and a tree with apples containing the knowledge of good and evil. While this may be a good story with values and morals, it is preposterous that so many people take the Bible and its stories literally. That’s what this book will confront. It will challenge everyone’s beliefs and lack thereof. I will interview various religious individuals, and grow along the way, as I hope my readers will do also. I will also present my own personal beliefs along the way.
There is such a huge, overwhelming minority in this country right now; a minority that is greater than Asians, Hispanics, African-Americans, and NRA members. These are the non-religious, rational people. I believe there is an even greater number than the 16% believed to be. It is the great untapped minority, and I believe there are multiple reasons this minority is never heard from in the mainstream. The big reason would be that these individuals feel alone; they feel that if they say how they truly feel, family members, and friends will treat them differently, and most likely, sadly, they will. This is where the hypocrisy of religion comes into play: the super-religious people, usually so rational about everything else, and so moral, will condemn individuals with a lack of faith and threaten them with eternal damnation. The reason being, it says to in their Holy Book.
Take the Qu’ran, for instance, which professes the notion of “killing the infidel,” and suicide bombing in the name of their God, Allah, in order to obtain virgins in Heaven. There is a great fallacy in all of these stories and myths, a naturalistic fallacy as well as a logical fallacy. Simply because we have everything we do, and the Universe exists, does not mean that there is in fact, an Almighty Creator. At the same time, it doesn’t mean there isn’t as well. As I stated before, I’m simply preaching doubt, that’s my sermon. My purpose is to challenge everyone’s belief, because if we don’t challenge our faith, and just let these questions in the back of our mind, uncaring, blind, our faith isn’t truly ours. We must formulate our own opinions, and not conform to a particular belief system.
On that note, I’d like to state that this is not merely a book to “roast” religion; it is to educate the religious and non-religious, and present my own personal beliefs of religion, and will focus primarily on Jesus of Nazareth, and my own personal theories of his life, stemming from my belief in religion for 19 years, followed by the questioning of it, and finally realizing the good that comes of it and having my personal revelations of Jesus’ existence. While I may be considered a “non-believer” in the traditional sense, I recognize the goodness of religion and this world, and don’t need a belief in God in order to see it. Instead of going to church every Sunday, try practicing your beliefs, our simply embracing all of “God’s glory.” While this may seem paradoxical, it’s not. Imagine God as metaphorical for everything good, instead of an actual person who created everything. It is this allusion that I believe in. I see God in everyone and everything. I can also see a metaphorical “Devil” in some bad situations as well. When we start to realize that it is not God who has the power to “End the world,” and instead it is us; with polluting on a catastrophic scale, wars, and the like, we will truly be a free world. When we look past ridiculous prophecy, as well as self-fulfilling prophecy, we will come closer to being the best people we can, and reach self-actualization.

by Kenny Traveny
Kenny Traveny

This is a presentation I did for my poetry class on the poem, "Sunday Morning," by Wallace Stevens. It presents my views on Religion and philosophy; in particular, Secular Humanism.

I did my presentation on Sunday Morning by Wallace Stevens. I chose this poem because it incorporates a lot of my interests; poetry, philosophy, and religion. While not a religious person myself, I can identify with this poem as I believe its message is that you don’t need to go to church even be a religious person to see the beauty of life, and one can still have morals without religion. This is evident in lines such as, “Divinity must lie within herself,” which to me means that Christians should be Christ-like, and not just Christian. For instance, to quote comedian Bill Maher in his film Religulous, “if you’re Christian and go against teachings of Jesus, you can’t call yourself Christ’s followers, you’re just fans!”
While religion, as this poem shows, can be a beautiful thing, causing the help and aid of others, it can also be very divisive and has caused many of the major wars. This is mainly from extremists such as Al-Qaeda who take literal meanings from their Holy Books, as all religions have, as the poem states eloquently, “a part of labor and a part of pain, and next in glory to enduring love, not this dividing and indifferent blue.” It’s those kinds of people that turn me personally away from religion, as they look at people who don’t believe the same thing they believe and threaten them with eternal damnation. If we look at the Book of Revelation for instance, that was a time when it was believed only God could end the world, but now man does too; unfortunately before men figured out how to become rational, or peaceful, they figured out how to make nuclear weapons, and pollute on a catastrophic scale, and if it’s one thing I hate more than prophecy, it’s self-fulfilling prophecy. There are so many religions, who’s to say which one is truly right? It’s like the lottery! You can’t get saved if you don’t play! I believe as long as you’re a good person, that’s all that matters; and no one can truly know what the truth is, and what happens after you die.
I believe this poem presents a view of Secular Humanism, as it has the ideology that we can see the joy and beauty of life and have morals without a belief system. “There is no haunt of prophecy, nor any old chimera of the grave,” this is an ideal world to me, and it reminds me of the song “Imagine”, by John Lennon, as it still has a peaceful view on life.
As I said, while not religious myself, I still find this poem beautiful, as I do the Bible. Being an English major, I tend to look at everything as allegory and metaphor, and this poem is full of them, as well as the Holy books, which I also find to be beautiful and present good moral values. I believe we should all get from this poem what I did; to challenge and question our faith, as it’s simply human nature. To end with a quote from the college’s own Dr. Dragani, “Your faith isn’t truly yours unless it is challenged.”
by Kenny Traveny