As is obvious to anyone who pays attention to current events, we have too many “religious” people in this world using their beliefs as justification to slaughter and/or other heinous acts.
This is not a new problem of course, it’s been going on long before Abraham, Noah, Christ, the pagans and Mohammed.
There’s this classic posit in philosophy: Does God say something is right because it is right? Or is something right because God says it is right? Essentially is there morality independent of a spiritual foundation or is God just making up the rules as he goes along?
Me? I opt for the former. Saying that something is right because God says it is right denies God’s omniscience.
The posit illustrates a great problem in human belief systems. Instead of trying to comprehend the wisdom behind a diety’s words, too many people often point to it for moral authority rather. They should be trying to personify their beliefs.
I think the answer is that justifying someone’s actions by simply invoking a religious figure requires little to no thinking. It also, in away, pushes the blame on a Higher Power. People will commit heinous acts and then say they do it because of God.
Maybe we should consider that our actions are our responsibility and not God’s. Maybe God, or Christ, or Mohammed, merely point the way.
One of the most powerful things that Christ teaches is that the thoughts behind our actions are just as important as the actions themselves. If you kill someone, you are not only guilty of killing them; you are also guilty of the hatred which fueled the killing.
Why can’t we just go along with Christ’s teachings because those teachings are the right thing to do? Why do we go along with it because Christ says it is right? Are we so blind that we can’t see the truth in his philosophy? When we fall back on well that’s what I do because Christ says so, I don’t believe we’re getting the point.
That’s a problem because then the religion attracts those who would exploit it for power and repulses those who need it.