Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Response to eris...

In my stumbling around cyberspace I came upon an interesting blog titled "Masks of Eris" One of her more recent blog entries "A Catholic dilemma", makes for some interesting reading, but it appears to be a gross over-simplification of religion.

She writes:
It is a well-known fact that religion isn’t either necessary for a moral life or, indeed, even a very good source of morals.
Here, I would disagree. I happen to believe that religion is an excellent source of morals. Sometimes we as people need to be told the obvious. "The golden rule", is a notion found in every religion, be it the karma of the Hindus, the Circle of the Buddhists or the morals of Judaism and Christianity. Also, if religion were unnecessary, why is it a element of every society humankind has created?

A further idea of illustrating this point just popped into my head.

Consider the infamous Catholic kid-bothering priests, like Brendan Smyth. Consider the fact that they were the seemingly most religious and sacred persons around in their societies. Then consider what they did.

Then consider whether or not their position was anything to them other than a means to an end, that is, a way for them to use and manipulate people to get what they want. They violated their oaths and betrayed the people who trusted them.

Which of the two resulting alternatives do you rather take: That these outwardly most holy men were liars and didn’t believe the hellfire and post-mortem justice they preached, or that their godly beliefs were of a form that found raping children acceptable?

Consider that.

Or, consider that they were/are pedophiles. Their positions had nothing to do with their crimes, anymore than the teacher who is caught can blame education. Most likely, they did believe what they preached, that makes them hypocrites, but it is hardly condemning of all religion.

The plain truth is that religion doesn’t, on the average, make people any better. Some it helps, some it just hides, some it gives power to do great good or terrible ill, but on the average in doesn’t make people any better. As it isn’t true either, why keep it? Let it pass into the company of hankering for a Habsburg king and spotting ufos — an anachronistic hobby for the slightly eccentric ones.
So, if you happen to be religious or spiritual, you are an "eccentric" with an "anachronistic hobby". Of course, I have seen religion play a huge role in helping people turn their lives in a different direction. And, make them better people. I believe people do need religion, in one form or another. It is our nature, how God made us. We do have souls, and our souls are constantly reaching towards him that created us. That is truth, a greater truth that I am happy to know.

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