Skepticism and Tofu

NOTE: The author wishes to make a few things clear—

  1. That he has wanted to talk about this subject for a while, but hadn’t figured out exactly how to do it until just now;
  2. That this is his blog, and he should feel comfortable in his own environment;
  3. That he is not bitter, nor does he hate the world. He’s actually quite a happy person, and mostly satisfied with life.
  4. That he would never push his beliefs on you, and would hope that you’d return the favor;
  5. That, taking the previous statement into account, he is open-minded, and would disagree with you without demonizing you in the process (about both religion and tofu).

In my experience, religion is a lot like tofu. What, you don’t get it? Fine, backstory (as if I could go without it).

The first time I had tofu, I was not a fan. It had a weird smell, a weird texture, and a weird taste. I was trying to give it a chance, and ate my entire serving. Not a good plan, the taste stayed with me until I downed a bottle of Dr. Pepper. I left that meal with a not-so-good opinion of tofu.

A few days later, a friend was talking about tofu, and I mentioned that I’d had it and wasn’t it’s biggest fan. My friend’s instant reply was interesting:

“Well, you probably haven’t had good tofu.”

“You know what, maybe that last person didn’t cook the tofu in a way I would like it…perhaps I should give tofu another shot.” And off I went, down the adventurous trail of tofu tasting. This cook used different methods, different flavorings, different everything…and I still didn’t like it. It was not good…a different kind of not good, but still not good. It was at this point that I was beginning to think I really didn’t like tofu, no matter how it was cooked.

Sure enough, a few weeks later, another tofu-loving friend asked me to try their tofu—you know, because I probably hadn’t had good tofu. Different twists, different method of delivery…and it still didn’t please or satisfy me.

This story sums up my experiences with religion fairly well. There have been a couple of times in my life when I thought that a belief in a higher power was desired—or perhaps, essential—to fully enjoy my time here. But, I can’t blindly believe anything. To steal a line from this past election season: you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. You can spice up and present tofu any way you want, but under all the seasoning and garnish, you’ve got a brick of something artificial that easily crumbles when put under the slightest bit of pressure.

I can have faith in mankind—for all the things we’ve fucked up, we’ve also done some good. I cannot, however,  have faith in something like God. I can be open-minded, and accept that God is real if you show me proof, but I won’t believe in something that won’t show itself. Nature is about the closest thing I could have any sort of “faith” in, but you can see it and make scientific observations about it. All religions state that they are the one truth, but I’m not buying. I need facts. We say that seeing is believing, but when it comes to religion/God/higher beings, we seem to shirk away from this.

That isn’t to say that I would make fun of or poke fun at anyone who believes in such a thing. If it makes you feel better, fine. I won’t argue against the idea that, for many, believing in a supreme power is very comforting. Doesn’t make it the truth—and the truth is more important to me.

Religion, like tofu, smells funny to me.


7 responses to “Skepticism and Tofu

  1. I like tofu… but no so much religion.

    But it’s a perfect analogy as far as the whole “you haven’t tried my tofu/religion”

    People around here always ask me where I’m attending church at the moment and when I say I don’t go or I prefer not to go or some response they tell me their place is “different”.

    So yea… I guess I could just say I agree 100%. Except about the tofu 🙂

  2. I feel you on this one. I actually go to a Bible study and church quite often, but because I WANT to believe in something, not because I actually do believe. It’s something that I have a constant internal struggle with.

    Oh and tofu? Grody.

  3. @Maxie: Yeah, the whole “our place is different” thing, once you notice it so many times, becomes the same old drill to me. The churches are a slight issue, but are only a drop in the bucket when it comes to that whole supreme being thing.

    @Sarah: Whatever it is you’re looking for, I hope you find it. I’d suggest looking at the Wikipedia entry for “humanism” and going from there. There are secular, Christian, and other varieties. I hope it helps.

    And yeah, fuck tofu (sorry, Maxie).

  4. Thank you for this post! I feel the exact same way.

  5. This post sums up perfectly my feelings for religion. And tofu for that matter. I have found that it is edible if cooked in Indian food because all the spice and flavors masks the nastiness that is tofu.

  6. @Kimberly: No problem, I aims to please.

    @Hohjamin. Indian food does tend to have some spice overload. And let’s not even talk about what happens a few hours after eating…

  7. Pingback: Weekend Wrap-Up « The Corner Booth

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