Is religion solely good? I don’t think so. I mean, it has some good aspects, don’t get me wrong, but a world without religion would be better, this is my conviction.
One thing that I dislike about religion is that it allows people to cling to beliefs unquestioningly. It justifies ignorance and even makes it seem as a desirable mode of existence. “Don’t worry about it, all is in the hands of God.”
I am not a religious person–as you might have guessed. I believe that man doesn’t need religion, or a God, to be good. What man needs to do is accept that all he is is man: a self-conscious contingent animal, with the capacity to reason, which assigns too much importance to himself. And since we are all human, we must venture to learn what that means, and learn how we can be more good.
It seems to me that a fundamental reason why there is so much evil in the world is because we lack knowledge most of the time. Knowledge about ourselves, our world and what it means to be.
I’ve been thinking a lot on the subject of good, reading about it, attempting to acquire knowledge about it–for what feels to me a long time–and at the end of it all, I have come to accept that true good, pure good, does exists, and that we may become good through a better understanding of what it means to be human. Some way that we may become better people is by learning to respect one another; by learning to speak kindly, eliminating bad thoughts, and acting good towards others. By doing this we make each other better. We help each other become good.
The concept of good is above to the concept of God because it does not require blind faith. We create good through our actions. We are solely responsible for the good (or bad) we bring into the world. We can recognize and see good when it happens.
We can agree on good acts, good deeds, good words, good thoughts, and good beliefs. But what exactly is “good” about each of those things? What is good about them is results they bear. The positive outcomes they produce in the world. Being good doesn’t always reap immediate rewards, but it always sows–I suppose this is what is called Karma. So, do good to receive good. Being good requires a strong will. I say this because it is sometimes much easier to do the opposite. The will, however, is susceptible to exterior influences. Our wills are influenced by our world: the media, those that surround us, our culture, the self-knowledge we posses, and the knowledge which we have of the exterior world. The more you know, the easier it may become to be good, but we may never know enough so that we may become completely good, pure good. That’s like aiming at becoming the concept of God–perfection.
I think that another fundamental reason why it’s difficult to be good all the time is that we are innately selfish creatures, and fear is something which makes us selfish. Fear of getting hurt. Fear of being judged by others. Fear of making a wrong decisions. Fear of getting to close to another person. Fear of loving unconditionally. Fear of trusting. Fear of being vulnerable. Fear of being lonely. Fear of dying. Fear is a prison cell. And we live in a fearful world–we are constantly being reminded of this.
It would be a truly a divine existence if one would only learn to live without fear. So shouldn’t we strive to eliminate fear in our lives?.
So, how can we rid fear? I believe that we may rid fear, or at least diminish it greatly by striving to be more courageous, and this requires going against the grain, but being courageous can be frightening, and this demands of us to feel at ease with allowing ourselves to be more vulnerable, and being vulnerable in turn requires trust, trust in oneself, more than anything. Trust is fragile and requires love, love in oneself more than anything.
We humans are creatures with different wants and needs; we can all agree on this. And there is no denying that we all want–we need–to be happy, it’s essential for our continued existence. The pursuit of happiness is what drives us. True permanent happiness though, comes from within, then it radiates outward, and it is contagious–smiles are contagious too.
Very fortunate are those whose pursuits have reach the ultimate goal–indeed. I am still pursuing, as I imagine most are.
I believe that true happiness is impossible to attain in the material world, and money doesn’t buy true happiness, it buys an imitation of it which is ephemeral.