There’s a famous saying for Woody Allen that goes like this:
There are two types of people in this world, good and bad. The good sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy the waking hours much more.
If you read for comedians, you’d know how witty and simple the truth coming out with sarcasm is. The best kind of comedy is the one that talks about the truth of things. Scott Adams (of Dilbert) and Jerry Seinfeld are great examples of this.
Now, religion is a very serious matter. In fact, a psychologist once defined religion as that human state where everything is solemn and earnest. No lightness or foul play. People naturally take religion seriously. This post is about a very grave fact, however. It is about the fact that even though religion is supposed to make you feel better, it sometimes requires you to make sacrifices. Making sacrifices by definition isn’t a comfortable action; it requires patience and perseverance, mental and sometimes physical strain. But the more you look into it, the more you see how things tend to pay out: you sleep and breathe better.
In that same book about religion I referred to above, a distinction was made between moralism and religion. Moralists make sacrifices when they are conscious of them and because they have to. Religious people, on the other hand, make sacrifices because they want to; because it actually makes them feel better. Moralists sometimes expect rewards or grants from life after they make their sacrifices. Religious people don’t.
In my opinion, a religious man must have been a moralist at some point in their life. And it takes them a bit of wisdom and experience to reach that point of give and never take. When your righteousness troubles you, and you are aware of it and are trying to dissuade it from making you suffer, then you are crossing that path into religion. You can find many moralists who are not religious. Unfortunately, you can also find religious people who have no morals. All prophets started by instating morals in people, before requiring them to shoulder the responsibility of religion. Being immoral will make you weak, and ultimately, irresponsible for yourself and others.
To know whether you are a moralist or a religious person. Put yourself in the following situation and see how will you react:
You become on good terms with God on the wake of a hardship that had afflicted you, and then soon after the depression was relieved, another sort of trouble starts to show in your life. If you wonder how come when you were on good terms with Him would He inflict hardship on you, and tell yourself: “Was not He supposed to help me, instead of causing me more pain?”, then you are a typical moralist.
In some ugly predicament you were faced with choosing between telling the truth and getting in trouble, or telling a lie and surviving it. You tell the truth, and the trouble turns out to be graver than you already calculated. If you then start to second guess your first choice about going for the truth, then you are a moralist. It doesn’t mean that if you were given the chance of going back in time you would have told a lie. Your reaction to the consequence is the indication, not your actual decision.
The point is: religious people do not calculate the results of their actions. This is for two reasons:
One: a religious person, deep down, is actually unsure that what they did is worth the accepting of God.
Two: The only ‘result’ they can imagine receiving is not in this life, so calculating it is sort of illogical.
Also, religious people view ‘trouble’ and ‘hardship’ differently than others. It afflicts them indeed, but in a different way. It works the other way around. A moralist, upon hardship, will analyze its causes, and then become frustrated when they find none. A religious person knows that hardship, just as ease, comes from Him, and He is beyond analysis.
This is a very critical matter, btw. Take your time in thinking about it before judging for others or even yourself. Also, note that atheists are moralists who lost their faith to a confined in this life analysis of cause and effect. Faith can very simply and quickly be lost to that.
I know the subject merits many other posts. I admit it is bigger than me, and state that I just thought of sharing with you guys what I have been thinking about for a quite a while..
May your hearts be safe,
P.S. I know my writing sucks. It’ll take time.