Can Religion Define Goodness?

Religion has a belief that goodness comes from being of religious faith, that goodness is only achievable through faith in God, instead of faith in self. Read that again, because if you look at history you will see this blind faith allows us to let bad people walk amongst us protected by a facade. This is why generation after generation we see horrible abuses of power within the religious confines of adoration, clinging desperately because we want to believe blindly in goodness without condemnation. Goodness is a choice that can be guided by faith. Some people need faith to be their inner voice, their judge.

All of this is backwards and has been for so very long. My first paragraph leads you to assume I’m atheist. I am not. Why do you assume this? Because your belief that faith in God is associated with blindness. The issue here is the human nature in wanting to have things be easy. This is where religion fails us miserably. Easy in religion equates to laziness, the sin of slothfulness. I argue we are all creatures of complex thought and actions. So much so, we are over burdened with making all this complexity fit into absolutes. We crave for simplicity because of life’s complexity. Religion allows us to suspend that life complexity with blind faith.

There are those in the world that meet these challenges, when truth is revealed, with adaptation. There are others that fight desperately to hold on to their blind faith regardless of what is placed before them. Societies work best when there is an appropriate balance between the two. Those that are adaptable largely outnumber those that aren’t, except in societies where the balance is in the opposite, where the balance is larger amongst those that have blind religious faith. In the past, both functioned with occasional battles with each other, yet remaining separate with borders. History has shown us time and time again the horrible abuses of blind faith.

Today, in the world, we have a precipice. These human views cannot coexist. Why? Those that were happy enough to have blind religious faith are asked to change where they cannot. Those that are adaptable can no longer tolerate the religious blind faith. There is a turbulent struggle that is most exemplified in the United States under the Trump regime. The timing is significate because many countries around the world have been dealing with destruction, trying to challenge strong conservative religious morays. For some reason, the United States has always believed in freedom from religious rule. I would argue this is why we, desperately flawed though we are, have remained a country with power, one admired around the world. This is more complex than I present here, but the challenge is important.

Every day we allow religion to be used by a charlatan and his cult is a day we sink deeper into despair and ruin. We are in turmoil because we are distracted by so much that desperately needs fixing. It is a dire emergency. Yet, we still think we can look back and wish for a return to a fantasy that never existed. We were delusional about who and what we were and now we are delusional about what we must face. There is no going back after the suture has been torn off to show the gapping wound. That wound cannot be healed without our nurturing attention or we will bleed out.

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Daniel Louis Duncan

Writer, researcher, lover of history, philosophy, politics and critical thought