A Meditation on Faith: Hero Worship

It is not unreasonable for an intelligent and kind-hearted person, before they have acquired sufficient experience about the true nature of reality, to assume that fairness is a fundamental property of the universe.

And so, it is understandable… and somewhat morally defensible… for them to invent and worship supernatural beings who have the power to do what they perceive themselves incapable of doing… like changing the weather, curing the incurable, reuniting them with deceased loved ones, and guaranteeing ultimate justice.

The many opportunity costs of such false hope is problem enough… for all of us (a topic for another time and place), but the “true believers” cannot stop there. Their expansive faith also includes a deep enthusiasm for… and a peculiar pride in… inventing and worshiping saviors who promise to do what they are unwilling to do.

Their messiahs… whatever their divine or earthly form… deity, prophet, saint, or demigod… must be so “magnanimous” that “the true believers” are rescued not just from their impotence, but from their shortcomings… rescued especially from their ignorance, apathy, laziness, and cowardice.

What is such thin hope for magical rescue but the ultimate rejection of freedom and dignity? The ultimate abdication of responsibility? The ultimate expression of despair?

Next Meditation: Surrender

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “A Meditation on Faith: Hero Worship

  1. But it is pretty useful to have a ready-made excuse for inaction that also allows you to feel morally superior, and which it’s taboo for anyone else to criticize. For those who need that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing that they need.

    As for “freedom and dignity”, they seem to have convinced themselves that those things are bad. They believe that morality is doing what [those who speak for] God wants them to do, not what they themselves want to do — that their desires are wrong and a likely snare of evil — that “the heart is deceitful and wicked”. The very word “heresy” comes from a Greek word meaning “choice”. So much for freedom. As for dignity, their stance is one of endless groveling and subservience before those deities and prophets, declaring themselves unworthy, etc. When someone else claims dignity, they call it the sin of pride.

    It’s too bad that the worst nutbags among them aren’t prone to the syndrome you describe. If the dominionists and jihadists decided they didn’t need to go to the trouble of tormenting gays and atheists because God would do it, the world would be a better place.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As I read your meditation, I wondered if I would find anything to respond to. I mean, I started life as a follower, because my old man slapped me silly if I tried to get an idea in edgewise. Too bad he never knew what terribleness he wrought by his abuse. I am now a devout, but spiritual, atheist. I believe in my form of spirituality, but not in any super-being god. He (my old man, but maybe god too) would probably have abused me to death.
    But then I read the words, “The ultimate abdication of responsibility,” and I perked right up. Those words,, and concepts, I have used many times over during my life. And their opposite, the acceptance of all responsibility, is what I am now trying to learn. And it is something I am offering to others, but not as a commandment, as a choice, a personal yet intentional choice.
    Hello.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s