Rules or thought?

I am not one for generalization. I often use it as a tool to make points; as a tool for sarcasm … but I don’t believe that reality can be accurately displayed by generalization. I think every fact; every interaction; every detail of life needs to be evaluated for itself. Sure we can define patterns, and find that much will follow these patterns, but that does not mean that ALL similar things will.

Especially when it comes to humans.

But I am about to make a generalization here, because I believe it, and have seen ample evidence to show me at least SOME truth in it. I firmly believe that the single most destructive force that has come out of mankind is not any kind of weapon. It is not any physical creation. I believe the worst thing that ever fell out of the mind of mankind is …

… Religion.

religion?Before everybody’s hackles get up, let me clarify. The reality is that religion has absolutely nothing to do with spirituality. And it is only loosely related to the concept of deities. Religion is nothing more than a set of rules meant to be obeyed … well … religiously. Those ideologies that use deities as the source (or excuse) for their rigid rules are what we formally call Religions. But people can be just as religious in ANYTHING they do, simply by unbendingly holding to rigid rules and routines, instead of making choices based on specific situations. Those who value secular law over what the laws actually MEAN are just as religious as those who hold church DOGMA more important than the moral lessons behind it.

Religion had a place in human society once. Back when survival meant a community working well together; back when understanding of the world around us was basically non-existent and it took rigid control to ensure the safety of our fellows, it kind of made sense to have unbending rules. But the need for this kind of rigidity basically ended when we discovered the wheel. At that point, understanding the world around us began, and we found that we can actually CONTROL our own path in life.

At this point, religion became mostly one person or group of people trying to control OTHER people or groups of people for personal gain.

And since then, it has only gotten worse. I contend that all strife in the human world can be traced back to one religious dogma or other. Ironically, in this day and age of “knowledge”, religions seems even stronger, as people fear to actually HAVE to think for themselves, and others realize that they will lose their own power base unless they strengthen the already rigid but essentially useless rules. I do not have an issue with spirituality. I personally am very spiritual. But spirituality is how we relate to the unknown an the unknowable. It is how we interact with each other on levels that can not necessarily be measured with science. For some, such levels do not even exist. For others, it is the mainstay of their lives. But “religion” does not define spirituality. And spirituality does NOT require religion. All religion does is tell others that one can only be spiritual and/or moral if one does it in a certain manner, which is documentably UNTRUE.

Religion also believes that a moral code cannot exist without a set of rules defined by others. That basically denies that people have the ability to think for themselves. Morality is a function of the MIND. Non spiritual people come to morality through reason. Spiritual people come to morality through their feelings, or a combination of feelings and reason. RELIGIOUS people come to morality from fear, guilt, and the words of others.

Which one do YOU think is the stronger morality?

Maybe the best way to peace in the world is to embrace REASON and SPIRITUALITY, and stop this whole religious nonsense (which usually involves NEITHER).

2 thoughts on “Rules or thought?

  1. Humanity is stretching and growing. I’m sure that the transition from hunter-gatherer to farmer was emotionally conflicted, violent and took a long time. Now we seem to be struggling toward a different kind of “community” as the information age & the economy globalize our interests. This is a community larger and more diverse than a finite structure like religion or government can control. I hope we survive. I see what we could be.

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