perverted itself and became a post.
I know it's just me, but the little person deep in my brain always protests ANY time ANY group of people assemble to follow one person (or a small contingent of leaders).
Just the word "leader" sends up red flags.
I have to sigh and realize that whenever the "bad guys" gang up, then the "good guys" feel they have to do the same. As sucky as humans are, I guess that's inevitable, because everyone is helplessly driven by the almighty self-preservation instinct embedded in their reptilian brains, which renders them paranoid and makes them feel grouping together is necessary. I just have never been able to convince that little person inside my head to buy into it ~ to him/her, it's just wrong to exist that way.
It's all self-defense. The human race lives in a constant state of self-defense, and it's pathetic. There's no way out of it except to stop living.
To me, the only value of ANY religion is finding ideas that you can apply to your own particular views of life. Screw being in a group.
I'll never understand why people want to follow other people, and put the label of the name of a religion on themselves, at the expense of just being themselves.
But that's just me.
Simon Napier-Bell amuses me, and enlightens me only so far as what he says jibes with what I already feel.
He is not afraid to state things as they appear to him from where he sits ~ he doesn't waste time delving deep into what the subject is ~ he determines his position from how the subject has affected him in a (usually pretty shallow) primary fashion ~ and of course he has his own agendas.
I have to keep remembering that that's his shtick ~ to broadcast the down side or the pessimistic side of everything he sees. And in so doing, he can be very funny and insightful to some people. The same goes with George Carlin, another great curmudgeon.
You gotta also pick and choose from what they say, not just blindly believe it in the manner in which they lay it on you.
I'm sure there are a great deal of Buddhist "teachings" that I incorporate into my own views on life, but I could never call myself a Buddhist or anything else ~ no matter how free and unattached one's philosophies are, just the act of putting a label on oneself restricts it and ruins it for me.
At the times when I feel obliged to explain myself in words, the closest I can come is "secular humanist agnostic" ~ with an admittedly hopeless bias toward Jewish culture. (I am so lame in that respect)
In general, though, I have very little in common with any organized groups.
I do admit that in many ways I am a loner, a skeptic, and a misanthrope. ;)