While luxuriating in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were told to enjoy everything except for one forbidden fruit. That fruit hung on the Tree of Knowledge . When they did the forbidden, the knowledge gained was of evil and with that knowledge came temptation.
Of course, that is only one of many efforts to explain evil and to establish morality for the world. Jerome Kagan and Sharon Lamb in exploring the development of morality in small children, noted that all cultures wanted two things:
- Care of the weak and elderly
- Justice meaning treating all fairly
So why is the world in such bad shape? Because these two hallmarks of morality have been diluted by tribalism and the drawing circles about who is to be treated with care and fairness.
When times were more primitive, fear of the outsider was a survivor tool. Early survivor tools linger in our instinctual responses. Moreover, such tools can and have been used by many to gain power.
Religions are not necessarily interested in gaining power, but most want to gain converts many want to gain converts. Why? The threat of opposing beliefs. Those who do not believe as you do, shake the foundations of your faith.
Christianity and Islam believe it is their duty to seek converts and thus save mankind from hell in the afterlife. Buddhists seek converts, but not with a believe or go to hell mentality.
Religions that do not encourage conversion include Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism, and Sikhism.
Here’s a side note. The only act the Jews believe their God will not forgive is Killing in God’s name. That means atheistic will be forgiven all their sins, not that it matters to them.
Sins are used by all religions to encourage what that religion sees as the moral life. Fear of punishment is a tool to force obedience.
Emotional Fitness Tips
Guilt and shame are the reinforce-rs of moral behavior; both need critical thinking to distinguish the good from the bad.
Tip one:Make a list of the things that make you feel guilty or shamed.
Tip two: Cross off all sins but murder, physical abuse of others including animals, and theft.
Tip three: Reduce remaining guilt and shame by three steps:
- Forgiving yourself
- Making any amends that need to be made.
- Using strong self-soothing skills so useless guilt and shame have less hold on you.
One final thought. Many religions make thoughts the equivalent of actions. So if you “Lust in your heart” as Jimmie Carter says he did, he sinned. Think critically, for there is a huge difference between thoughts and actions.
Thank You for All You Do
Thank me by remembering to share is to care; if you liked this post, share it. Liking, or commenting is practicing kindness and kindness keeps me going
This post was inspired by the Word Press Daily Post Prompt Forbidden.
I use the Daily Prompts not just to spark my blog ideas, but to improve my critical thinking skills.
Not sure how to use a Daily Post Prompt as a writer? Here are the steps to get started. Then improve your thinking skills by seeing where the prompt has taken others and how other thoughts fuel your thoughts. Whether you write or not your thinking skills are improved by reading other people’s thoughts.
LINKS OF INTEREST
These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.
Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises (www.emotionalfitnesstraining.com
The five components of Emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)Emotional Fitness Tips for Parents (parentsarepeopletoo.com)
An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents(amazon.com)