Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Awe Inspiring

Since I have had the awesome opportunity to live in Europe, I have seen several beautiful cathedrals.

I can easily see how these massive structures inspired awe.

These buildings could be seen from far away and people traveled great distances to visit them.

It is mind-boggling to consider how difficult it must have been to build these cathedrals without modern machinery and it is easy to imagine how the sight of one of these beautiful buildings would be enough to convince a person back then that their god truly did exist.

But today these impressive structures seem to me to be a testament to the enormous waste. How many people went hungry or had no place to live while these great monuments were built to glorify their gods?

True, these buildings are gorgeous and a wonder to see today. But sometimes I cannot fathom the amount of energy and money spent, and in my opinion, wasted on creating these giant monuments to non-existent deities.

It is true when people say that religion has given us very beautiful music, art, and architecture. But would the same beauty have resulted in the absence of religion? Some say it wouldn't, but it can only be conjecture.

Perhaps a secular country would waste their money glorifying other things.

An ideal society, however, would not have wasted so much money creating a building that served no real purpose when its citizens were homeless, sick, or hungry. Whether religious or secular shouldn't the goals be the same?

But I am quite convinced that one does not need god to inspire such beauty.

First photo: Milan Cathedral, Italy
Second and third: Meissen Cathedral, Germany

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Anonymous said...

Nothing sells in India like Religion... The Rich,powerful and the corrupt have made the Gods a partner in their crimes.

Popular prayer: Oh Lord, please help me get a bribe. I'll drop by your temple and offer you a 25% share.
This money would go into building golden doors, silver roofs for the temple and diamond studded ornaments for the gods. No wonder an Indian temple ousted Vatican not just as the richest place of worship in the world but also the most visited last year.

God-men and saints are present in every village/town/city. They offer their "divine knowledge" to people, for a fee ofcourse.

nice blog...

(godless atheist since 1996)

DB said...

While today structures like these provide good jobs to people involved, in the past it wasn't always the case. Sure, someone got rich off the building of such a beautiful wonder, but how many died or were forced to help build? Though, living in foreign countries as well, I have noticed that it isn't just religious buildings that are so magnificent, but also that of the aristocracy. These buildings are built by people with power irregardless of their religion. These examples just happen to be the religious with power.

Anonymous said...

Awe inspiring and beautiful for sure.

The modern day mega churches here in the U.S. are more like warehouses. If they're going to insist on making those monstrosities they least they could do is take a hint from the past and make them nice to look at!