Sunday, October 31, 2010

“...many human beings prefer certainty… matter how oppressive and primitive, to the risks and responsibilities of freedom." - Ralph Peters

Many religious texts are filled with an unbelievable number of rules. These rules range from the macro to the micro and can cover any aspect of life. For example if one were to follow all of the rules in the Bible, the follower's world would be devoid of decision-making and the associated risks for many things.

The result would seem to be people who are not accustomed to the responsibilities of being free and are severely weakened. Among those in the Abrahamic faiths, many believers do not take a literal view of their canonized scriptures. Thus they are not burdened with the micromanaged lives of the more fundamentalist among their ranks. Fundamentalist and literalistic lifestyles are similar to strapping a person to a board and not allowing them to exercise his or her muscles. The muscles are never allowed to develop and the person would end up being weak, uncoordinated, and physically unskilled.

The punitive god of these belief systems creates a following that views freedom and mistakes as a negative. The believers point at this danger of "sinning" or making errors as a reason to remain strapped to the board. They are afraid to stand up, learn to walk, and develop coordination. While learning to walk children stumble and fall. This is essential for growth and not something to avoid. Fundamentalists have been conditioned to believe that even some simple mistakes can be catastrophic and should be avoided at all cost.