If you push long enough in the direction of a person’s ultimate beliefs, sooner or later you will always reach something tremendously silly. This might be the best explanation I know of for religion: It’s better, on the whole, for one’s absurdities to be shared. That way, fewer call them for what they are, time sanctifies nearly everything, and the persecution complex sublimates the whole question. Consider Matthew 5:10-12:
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Here is a taste of my own absurdity (hat tip):
Our silly ultimate beliefs resolve promptly to common-sense wisdom. While conventionally religious folk constantly ask themselves how they will be judged in the future by an all-wise immortal, I constantly ask myself precisely the same question. From there we’re back to the golden rule. We get perspective on the ordinary by imagining the extraordinary.