Throughout the ages mankind has created myths and many of those myths blossomed into religions. For thousands of years this was our primary way of trying to make sense of the world.
Myths also make their way into politics and become the basis for ways of organizing society. Sometimes a particular ideology takes hold and acts like a religion. Religions and political ideologies both seek to implement absolute ways of living and leave little room for contrary views.
It’s also ironic that when almost everyone believed in God, which was most of human history until The Enlightenment, the world was more violent and less prosperous than it is now. Faith in God seems to have little to do with preventing violence, disease, or poverty. But it can give people the strength to endure difficult circumstances.
Faith does not guarantee a peaceful and prosperous life. It has been mainly the contributions of scientists, entrepreneurs and social activists, especially over the last few hundred years that provided the extraordinary lifestyle most of us enjoy today.
Faith provides an inner strength that can enrich our inner experience. Whether or not faith saves us from something in the after-life remains to be seen. It certainly doesn’t save us from hell on earth. It doesn’t keep people from doing terrible things. It’s hard to fathom the number of believers who have murdered, raped, and looted in the name of God.
Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe faith is supposed to be something more personal. Maybe it’s the banding together of people of a ridged set of beliefs that perverts faith. Maybe it’s the exclusive nature of religion which causes people to do terrible things in the name of God.
No religion has all the answers. Nobody has a complete picture of what this life is about. So we should all be humble in our beliefs. If all people of faith were humble in their beliefs, a lot of unfair judgment and persecution could be avoided.