Discipline, inner strength, and resolve. I have these in abundance, and I need neither deity nor religious faith to carry out my life in accordance with the universal concepts of right and wrong. I need neither rules nor structure imposed from without to live my life justly.
It has been put forth that the structure religion provides is in place so that there is less chaos and more righteousness in our world. This is acceptable. However, it bothers me that these boundaries are what keep people in place.
I ponder then, if religion is for the weak. In all religions is the difficulty of temptation, and many will avoid temptation. In this is weakness. They will avoid tests of their faith, of their strength and resolve.
Should followers of any religion seek to find truth in their faith? Should they not take opportunities to reaffirm their faith and the strength that it gives them, rather than avoiding such tests? Take for example a poor man who follows a religion, its identity is arbitrary. He sees that a briefcase left ajar on the ground is full of money. Should he not go towards the briefcase in order to take control of it so that he may find its proper owner? Instead, he leaves it alone, even avoiding it, fearing that greed will overpower him. These are the people who are weak and have no faith in their belief system. These are the people for which a religion is the only thing that keeps them from making bad decisions.Why is it that when a mistake is made, one often summons the phrase, “I am only human”? I too am human. However, I make not such mistakes that others do. Well, that is false. My past aside, I have long since repented and changed my ways through simple willpower. Abstinence, fidelity, loyalty, respect, humility, love: these are all things that I practice, yet am I not human? I have been faced with temptation. Yet I do not partake in the temporal pleasures of temptation. I practice discipline and patience. I act judiciously and live with what little wisdom I have obtained as a man who is still youthful and lacking in life experience.I am well aware that religions have deeper meaning than simple discipline, but it is a bothersome notion that many rely on their religion and the idea that God is watching to keep from straying of the path of righteousness. Perhaps it is better than the lack of any restraint at all, but one must begin to question just what a religion offers if one must depend on externalities in order to exercise prudent behavior.