Well, this is likely to alienate a good portion of my readership, as I’ve noted that a large portion of WordPress readership are devoutly religious. However, I am becoming undeniably bothered by a level of irresponsibility expressed by religious followers. I promise I won’t speak ill of religion in and of itself, but I do want to examine this common sense of viewing common areas of life as dealings with ‘immense’ higher concepts.
Why can’t we be responsible for our own joy? Why are we doomed as cogs in an existential machine that attributes everything great in our lives to the will of some higher being? Why are we apparently unable to do things on our own, instead requiring the strength of someone above us?
I’ve heard a lot of excuses for this type of behavior. “Humans are foul creatures devoid of joy; all things good are derived from God and we must seek Him to enjoy these great things.” Or. “God is like a parent teaching a child. The child is ignorant of the world and he needs to rely on the more experienced parent figure to truly teach him, in order to grow.”
Firstly, I admit that human society is not a pure construct by any means, nor are individuals all of utter nobility. Nonetheless, that does not mean we do not possess features of good, nobility and virtue. Countless people have demonstrated these feats throughout history, and still we continue to practice these traits every day. This is not because we have a higher being to guide us or the threat of hell to force us (though maybe for some, unfortunately), but instead because we have an internal moral compass that we can follow. Certainly perception on some areas of morality depends on the individual, but there are constants and often we can follow these completely of our own will.
Furthermore, it is true that we are ignorant to a great deal of things, so much so that comparing us to children amongst the universe is not very far-fetched. Where I differ in opinion is the declaration that there is an invisible, but omni-present, parent figure who is the only being that can offer us good traits, morals, and true knowledge. Is it really so difficult to rely on one’s self to find the strength for learning, or growth? Even in areas where we believe we are ignorant, we should at least have a conception of the ideal we are trying to reach. With that view in mind, we can subsequently find our own path to the ideal. God is not the one responsible for teaching us.
Essentially, there are people who express a desire to remove one’s self from their own life. By doing this, they become chess pieces in their own lives who live to serve the “Prime Mover.” In addition, when they make a poor choice, it was their own fault and their own recklessness. When they make a wise choice, it was because of the benevolent wisdom of this Prime Mover. They simply utilized His skill, they did not use their own intelligence, or morality, or etc.
I really find this utterly absurd. Regardless of dogma, individuals should have the strength of will to accept responsibility for their own actions as well as for who they are. We should find virtue from our own depth of character and we should be able to live morally by or own wisdom. If you turn these over to God, you are no longer living your life. You are shirking responsibility. You are discrediting your existence. You are devaluing spiritually and becoming a loathsome individual with a weak heart. Even if you are doing good, moral things because you believe it is God working through you, then you are still placing yourself as a pawn to be moved, thus being worthless as an individual. Others might grow from your actions, but you will remain empty in continuum.
I suppose this is my outlet for all those times I’ve kept quiet while reading many web logs about “finding the father so that you may make the right decisions.” I simply find this an insult to my intelligence and to my own sense of self. Please feel free to offer alternate views though, I am always open to expanding my views.
Thanks, as always, for reading.