A Meditation on Faith: Carrots & Sticks, Part IV

I am insulted by the suggestion that I need a reason to do the right thing.

And it is disheartening to think that anyone needs a “reason” to behave themselves.

That said, wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where we do the right thing because we want to… not because we have to?

Not because we are being watched…

Not because we are “following the rules”…

Not because we fear what the neighbors might say…

Not because we fear what “the authorities” might do…

Not because we are being “a good Christian”, “a good Muslim”, “a good Jew”, “a good whatever.”

What more do we need than an ethics guided by love and logic, unblemished and undistorted by so many coercions and anxieties?

What better measure of character than to do the right thing when nobody is watching?

What better measure of character than to do the right thing… even when it is inconvenient, unprofitable, unpopular, heartbreaking, or dangerous?

What is more sacred than the conviction to trust my own conscience and the courage to act accordingly, regardless of the temporal or eternal consequences to myself?

Next Meditation: Caveat Emptor

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4 thoughts on “A Meditation on Faith: Carrots & Sticks, Part IV

  1. I agree Frank, but here again we are having a different conversation than them. The crux comes down to sex. They won’t admit this is the real morality of the discussion. You reject god so you can sin and not feel bad about it, is a go-to argument. Controlling sex is what they really are getting at when they speak morality, and that is in its origins. Abraham, Isaac, Muhammad, Joseph smith, all carry on the inherited behavior of our closest genetic ancestors—primates. The entire religion is about controlling sex, food, and territory.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ” Be good for goodness sake” how simple is that!

    None of us are perfect by any means, but most intelligent rationally minded people are good and do good for two reasons. Mainly it makes you feel better about yourself that you are making a positive contribution to humanity and an innate sense that “good” is the only thing we have to preserve ourselves in the long run.

    And it has absolutely nothing to do with religion, fear of any kind of punishment or copying other people’s good deeds just for show.

    Liked by 3 people

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