Monday, December 6, 2021

Losing My "Religion"

So, we all know I am generally an atheist, although it is an imprecise description of my beliefs. When asked honestly, I respond honestly; 

While I do believe that someone or something might have easily created the Universe as we know it. For me, it does not follow that there is some "God" that sits in judgement of each human, each event and approves all the bad things in the world. But, I also believe that humans, working together, can accomplish much more good and more "godly" works that any one person alone. They may also create worse situation in a group, but the good outweighs the bad.

That description keeps me grounded and healthy. I see the fantastic good a group of people of can do. Whether it is an group like International Rescue Committee (rescue.org) helping hundreds of thousands, or a church group working with the poor and less fortunate of a community far away, or self recovery group like AA, these groups will always find great support from me. And those "groups of people" are very often the church and church organizations (at least in the States).

I am constantly reminded that these groups (both Religious and Secular) can do great good or great harm. But in general, I lean towards the position that a group of people generally try to support greater good. Nazi's, Catholic pedophiles, Jihadi Terrorists and Marjorie Taylor Greene are outliers where group thoughts and action provide much more harm that good.

In that sense, Trump and the rampant corruption was almost tolerable because, I idiotically thought, good will generally outweigh the bad, and the pendulum will swing back.

I no longer believe that. It still might, in a timeframe that outlasts me. But with two mass killings, at least the two recently that have been publicized (and dozens more mass shootings), it makes we wonder about my belief. Turley, Hungary, China, Russia, Belorus, and the United States are all moving towards a less "honest" systems (in my opinion). And this is not just happening among any one group or any one ideology. From the liberal side, intolerance is rising and the terror "progressives" have unleashed in some areas (looking you Portland) is as bad as the other side.

Without my belief in humanism, what is left? The individual desire to be good or bad, saintly or awful to others? Down that path lies isolation and the predilications of individuals. Withdrawal from the community and commitment to one's self and immediate family only. A path driven by fear - even without the constant hum of bad news and scare tactics.

With out humanism, withdrawal seems a much better choice. So I don't want to feel isolated. And, more importantly to me personally, I don't want others to feel isolate.

To quote Kurt Vonnegut:

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