Religious Aporia

I am not a very religious person, but I do think that one of the most important lessons that can be learned from religion is how to empathetically understand one another, and through that understanding learn how to better treat each other.

To really hope to venture to success in this world a person must learn to be able to stand before the scrutiny of others. Toward this point the belief in god has an interesting effect. To truly believe in God is to live standing in the eyes of a divine observer, in the mind of the believer the scrutiny of man cannot contrast to the eyes of God. I suspect that most believers would not be comfortable if forced to give a full account of our lives in the courts of our fashioning. This is only natural as humans can know the extent of our actions, but not the extent of our motives. In the mind it is easy to assume that God would understand our motives, and that our motives would be fully weighed with our actions before a judgment cast on the quality of our souls. I assume that it is common to feel that the judgment of humanity does not well reflect the potential judgment of God, but if it is more desirable to be judged with mercy, why can we not? Why do we seem to constantly fail to empathize with each other in our daily interaction?

To stand before the scrutiny of god

This nullifies the drive for forming accounts for ourselves, but it is through these accounts that we understand our mistakes, and change the habits of our actions. It lets us feel justified in our self-perpetuated ignorance to think that God would understand our motives.

It’s the interesting problem of cherry-picking. The problem of the difference between the spirit of a law and the letter of a law. Believing that a divine beings knows and observes your every move can be both moralizing and demoralizing at once.

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