Will a man born in a small village in China who has never heard of these books perish in an eternal fire because of the life he was born into? Will all of your friends of different faiths, such as Hindus, be roasted over an open fire because of their culture? Is Ghandi, who helped free a billion people from oppression, being tossed around on Satan's pitchfork now since he was not a Jew, did not believe in Jesus or submit to the will of Allah? For that matter, what about the homosexuals who are condemned to Hell no matter what they believe? What about people who drink and have sex before they are married? In all of my life, I have met only three people who have done neither of those things. It's going to be an awfully lonely Heaven. And how will they like their Heaven knowing that all their friends are suffering eternal misery in Hell? So you might wonder why so many people still believe in this nonsense. The answer is really very simple. Because God said so! The supreme irony here is that it turns out God didn't say so. I recently went to the Jewish Museum of History in New York City and found out some very interesting facts. The Biblical stories that are featured in all the Holy Books did not really originate from any dramatic revelation from God. In reality several different generations of rabbis wrote them over an extended period of time as lessons to their followers without any direct communication with God. Every new generation of rabbis actually was required to write new stories to add to this tradition. That's how we got those gems about beautiful Joseph and wise Solomon, and who could forget loveable Noah? Apparently not the Hindus, because they too have a story about a man who built a boat and put two of every animal on earth in it and saved them from the great flood. Wow, coincidence or supernatural event? Leads you to wonder why the same God would tell the Hindus and the Jews the same stories and then proceed to tell one of them to pray to many different Gods and the other to pray to only one. Is God confused? I don't think so. I think humans have this propensity to make up stories about mythical characters that show us lowly humans how to really live. Remember the Greeks and the Romans, they too had nice stories and Gods to tell about. It's about time we stopped looking to mythical characters for guidance on how to live our lives, and look to ourselves instead. I do not believe that God put us on this earth to be helpless creatures condemned to an evil fate. I think He believes in us. Yes, by the way, I do believe in God. But I give God more credit than to believe he would create people a certain way and then condemn them to an eternity in Hell because of it. I do not believe He gave us this life merely to test us, to see if we could get into Heaven or deserve the punishment of Hell. Call me crazy, but I think He gave us life so that we may live it. It's about time we got beyond religious difference that separates us and find our common humanity. In its early stages religion was a positive influence because it united tribes to work together for a common cause. For example, Islam united all the dispersed tribes in Arabia that previously spent a majority of their time raiding and killing each other and gave them an opportunity to set up a prosperous civilization. Its positive influence came from the fact that it united people. At this point in time, religion no longer serves this purpose. Now, everyone believes whatever religion that they happened to be born into must be the only "right" religion. There is a feeling that people in other religions are somehow different. This situation does not have a positive influence on the human condition. I propose that the time has come for us to get beyond the distinctions religion makes between people and unite together for our common good. This seems a bit idealistic, but what are our alternatives? It is up to us to create our own Heaven and Hell in our lives on this earth. If we can manage to get over our differences, we just might make some steps toward the brighter one of those options. Cenk Uygur is a senior Management major from East Brunswick, New Jersey. How You Like Me Now, Baby? has appeared alternate Fridays.

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