Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Good And Bad Of Religion

People too often look at "faith" as an all or nothing proposition. A non-believer might get inspiration from the spirit or sentiments of a creed without taking it literally. And someone might have a strong belief in God, but not give up all trace of logic or objectivity.
Faith and belief, like all things, is by degree.
Many people go to church just be social, or simply out of ritual or because the people in the community expect them too.
Much of the doctrine and rules of many religions might be quite nonsensical and often illogical. But, that’s aside from point. Even the most contrived and loopy religions give their followers a sense of hope and purpose.
Every culture ever encountered has some kind of belief system. This desire for meaning in purpose may very well be hard-wired into the human brain. Even many non-believers have a belief system of some kind.
Of course, if you put virtually any religion under the microscope, it doesn’t make much sense. But faith isn’t based on logic, its based on emotional needs.
Of course, faith can have a dark side. One only has to look at the Inquisition, the Salem Witch trials and attacks of 9/11 to understand that. But, the good of belief must be weighed against the bad.


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