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BACH

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August 2018

Just to get straight to the point: I don't believe in God - maybe because I've never found out about what or who my believer is actually talking about. That would make it a lot easier for me. Is it an indescribable primal force, or an old man on a cloud, or something in between? Is God the same for everyone? If not, doesn't it get very complicated?

I can imagine that of that primal power. We know so little about the surrounding world (s), that it is not surprising to think that there is an all-encompassing force, which is the cause and effect of everything. Well, if you want to call that God, a little easy, but okay, I want to go along with that. I have no idea what else I should benefit from, but the realization that you are not much in relation to everything that has already been and is yet to come seems useful in itself and could prevent a lot of disaster.

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But a judgmental god, one of those who also appreciates it if you chop, overpower, decapitate, burn, cut or run over all kinds of disbelievers or other believers in his name in the most horrible way on his behalf? Who also thinks that women should be covered beyond recognition, or should be genetically mutilated? That children may be abused by his slightly too lusty employees? That animals can be tortured because of some backward sacrifice feast for the greater glory of himself? It is a small selection of the possibilities, because the list of religiously inspired crimes is almost endless. That stuff is getting pretty close to that weird old man on that cloud with worryingly sadistic tendencies and I don't want that at all.

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Unfortunately, faith and the resulting extremities do not seem to be banned. It remains a social factor of interest - whether from power politics or religious fanaticism. When one religion has finally been made somewhat harmless socially, the next one is already warmly welcomed to catapult us back to the Middle Ages. Look, if someone comforts or helps them, who thinks that a higher power wants us well, beautiful. If it helps, then it helps. Trust that it is not everything here and now, but that after death a paradise awaits us, where we can see everyone we love again and where we can be eternally happy - I like it. I would personally like to know in advance if there are so-and-and-so acorns that I couldn't deal with down here.

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The real evil is done by the people who run riot through religion, and by means of and on behalf of that God, Allah or whatever they may be called, impose, manipulate, rob, and kill others their will. As far as I am concerned, the great weakness of religion is that it drives people mad so quickly - you just "have to" believe it to be so. I think this is an almost impossible task for intelligent people. And apparently an excuse for violence for the mentally ill. After all, anyone who doubts whether a different opinion is expressed is wrong by definition.

Strangely enough, that is also the great power: after all, the existence of God cannot be proved, and that is not necessary - that is the essence of believing. Arguments do not matter at all.

Did religion not produce anything positive at all? Yes. Apart from the comfort and support mentioned, for example beautiful music, impressive architecture and bulky books, to name just a few. I must add to that: all that beauty is basically made to keep believers religious, to strengthen the feeling of the flock, and to emphasize the submission to that supposed creator (de facto: his representatives here on earth). Come on, let's take that for granted, it happened. And fair is fair, when I immerse myself in the Flemish-French polyphonists, or Bach, I sometimes think: yes, we are only puny creatures who temporarily and senselessly worry about anything and everything here, convinced of our importance and our right. But there is something much bigger, something incomprehensible, something eternal that you can only surrender to. This music opens your heart.

Thank God, however, such work never lasts more than four hours on awkward church seats, and after that you know: as a simple mortal, you just have to go back to work tomorrow.

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