Spirituality versus morality and ethics part 1

15 A   The higher the bank account, the higher its holder’s moral debt to society. Abuse of power, corruption, distortion and criminal behaviour will be indirectly punished through karma, which all people carry with them in life and in death. So that justice is done towards fellow human beings and society. Karma makes visible all matters good and evil.

The principles of morality and ethics are often religiously inspired. The prophets that founded a religion left behind scriptures, describing their life for future reference. They describe the atrocities of their time which they tried to combat in word and deed to improve the world they lived in.

Their inspiration and hope for a better life attracted people that wanted to follow the prophet’s example. By trial and error they succeeded or failed, because the scriptures posed limitations to people with egotistical tendencies. These scriptures, for instance the Ten Commandments, provided a recognisable and clear view of what was and was not allowed.

They have an eternal value and could be applicable forever. Human history, however, is a concatenation of egotism, abuse of power and violence. Reality, resulting from such prolonged and consequent denials of what is right, is a far cry from what is desired. Written history focusses on pivotal points: technological and scientific progress, wars and abuse of power, discrimination and oppression.

Technological and scientific progress leaves man to doubt the value of scriptures that were created centuries ago. The conviction with which the scriptures are considered to be the fixed fundament of human behaviour and happiness and with which the stories about creation, wonders and infallibility of divine powers are held to be true, lead a critical human being to ask questions about the truthfulness of any religion.

History taught us that the ideal, pursued by the scriptures, is a far cry from today’s harsh reality. Religious leaders misbehaved in times past and present, which cannot be reconciled with the pure principles of their faith. Their misbehaviour was directed at their own, or their religion’s, benefit at the cost of competitors.

If one is able to rise above the fixed framework of one’s religion and culture, a deep rift can be seen between the original principles of religion and the sliding scale of morals in an open and dynamic society. Unacceptable behaviour becomes normal in due course, when leaders and followers can put it to their advantage.

Egotism and abuse of power are too profitable in the short term to be discarded. If we don’t do it, someone else will. This sliding scale of morals keeps on moving. The profit enjoyed by a group of people breeds more respect and power and requires to be continued well into the future.

The adoration and glorification of prophets and later spiritual leaders obstructs a pure religion and strict adherence to its morals. Glorification creates an image of infallible and wise religious leadership, valuable for eternity. Blind obedience to these glorified religious principles creates a blind spot in the observing powers of its followers.

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