What is needed is not that a religion be true, meaning that what it claims exist beyond the ink it is written with in a holy book. That is hard to prove. What is important is that a religion be a good system to help us mere mortal deal with our short and troubled life in the universe. Whether what we hope for in the afterlife materializes or not is not important, what is important is that we believe it will materialize and that gives us hope.

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Maybe there is no Heaven. Or maybe this is all pure gibberish-a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found a way to live out where the real winds blow-to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whisky, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested . . . Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll.

They told me that nothing was a sin, just a poor life choice. Poor impulse control. That nothing is evil. Any concept of right versus wrong, according to them, is merely a cultural construct relative to one specific time and place. They said that if anything should force us to modify our personal behavior it should be our allegiance to a social contract, not some vague, externally imposed threat of flaming punishment.

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