Religion, in the traditional sense of the word, and I, are not good bedfellows. I've tried many times to 'enforce' religion on myself, and every time it has been an exercise in utter futility. I'm not certain what I thought I may be able to achieve, but attempting to reason myself out of my own reasoning was certainly something to behold; I imagine any hypothetical ventures into dancing, singing, or playing the flute, would look pretty much the same.
So when Steven asked me about religion, I thought we were doomed to discuss a huge phenomenon in the world of which I know barely anything. (Which wouldn't matter, thinking about it, given we nearly always talk about things of which we know barely anything anyway.)
As it happened, I conjured up a half-decent retort about how 2007 was our modern day equivalent to the parting of the sea, and how as a result, everyday since then until the next 2007, would feel to us like it wasn't a 'big week' week.
You see, at the time, I treated Steven's question with a level of flippancy which totally undermined his perfectly reasonable, and ever so articulately articulated question. And ever since, it's been playing on my mind.
I do believe that belief is something most people crave. And when I say that, I say it in the most literal of senses: I don't think it matters one iota what that belief actually amounts to, so long as intact is the physical act of believing. The trouble with belief of course, is that most people would find themselves unable to agree with that point, such is its potency for binding people to their chosen brand of faith. But irrespective of that, it seems to me that believing is simply a measure of the human condition. So if you believe in a god, great. If you believe that wearing a tinfoil hat will save you from a supposed alien invasion, good for you. And if like me, you believe that Jobs was a genius such as Beethoven, da Vinci, or most of the population of Ancient Greece it seems, then knock yourself out.
And so, when Steven posed that question, as asinine as all my responses sounded, in hindsight, I stand by what I said: technology is undoubtedly a religion.
We have our idols. We have our temptations. We have our leaders and our prophets. We have our book of hymns and our book of words. We have our churches and our synagogues. We have our followers and our sheep and our blind believers. We have our uniforms and our badges. We have our crazy ones (and not in a good way) and we have our moderates. And we have our wars, boy, do we have our wars.
In technology, every aspect of religion is captured and covered.
Think about it. All of us are guilty of filling virtual page after virtual page with tweets and posts and articles about how Apple's vision of a black rectangular slab of metal is far superior to Samsung's. Or HTC's. Or Microsoft's. Tell me what makes that different to the incessant nitpicking over one version of scripture to the next? It all amounts to slight divergences built up into standpoints, built up into communities, built up into societies, built up into countries of people, literally ready to defend their version of what is good about their version of what is better about their version of what is best. And to the bitter end.
On reflection then, when I think about it: who am I to act with derision over those that believe in God? My god is just as unbelievable. My god is capable of the same level of propaganda and pretence and pathos. And my god I would defend nonetheless.
Seems like religion did find me after all.