On another board I was stuck by an unnecessarily vicious attack on the different major religious denominations in the United States. While I think of religion as nothing but superstition, attributing base motives to the followers and leaders of religious faiths is just plain wrong. So I responded to the attack thusly:
[quote]Human history does not reflect very many divine attributes to human endeavors.[/quote]
To me this was the most striking line in a particularly dour post. I get so tired of people choosing to attack the motivations of others with whom they disagree. The Protestants want to keep people from thinking, the Catholics deliberately plot to deceive their flock, humanity stinks. Most people, most churches, most church leaders genuinely believe in the honesty and "truth" of what they are doing. They aren't trying to secretively enslave humanity, they are trying to uplift humanity to a state of grace. You and I can certainly agree that they are misguided in the way they are trying to do this, but to suggest that it is done purely out of cynicism and guile is as misguided a belief as theirs.
Until you can see this "truth" you will never understand, nor be able to successfully argue against, their movements. By failing to see the the depth, sincerity, and positive nature of their messages, you give them far to great an advantage in our struggle of ideologies.
If you truly feel that human history does not speak well of humanity, then your belief in SH almost seems like the Xian equivalent of satan worship. If humanity is so bad, then you should be hoping that there is a god to save us from ourselves.
I see a different truth. A humanity that has its flaws, but is largely generous, hard working, noble, inspired, and inspiring. I run a division of a dozen people. With one exception they are kind, generous, hard working, and making the world a better place. They have no need of a god to tell them what to do, or to threaten them with eternal punishment for bad behavior. They are simply good people. That's why I am able to rejoice in my SH beliefs.
The history of mankind is a history of triumphs, progress, sacrifice. More so with each passing year. For every tyrant there are a dozen heroes. For every monster there are a hundred who are hard working and quietly noble. And for more triumphs than tragedies, the motivation of many is their faith in god. So disagree with it as a superstition that we are outgrowing, but denigrating it unnecessarily should be beneath us. The man was right who wrote "Love thine enemy."