February 16, 2007
That religion and morality dictate principles set forth for mankind is understood. The values that we hold in high esteem form a guide for us all. They are touchstones and markers against which we evaluate right and wrong. We presume the highest values reflective of a highest being, the divine creature who can do only Right.
That Christianity dictates we are fallen beings in a fallen world is prescriptive of each person’s incapability at living up to the standard by which we judge ourselves. Humanity is theoretically UN-able to live by the principles set for us through Religion or Society.
Traditionally, one would reply by saying that this is the crux of the matter. Perfect God, Imperfect Humanity. Problem: Imperfection unable to live by Perfect standards. Solution: Rely on His Strength to get you to the Divine.
Again, I reiterate, theoretically this is ideal. We are therefore theoretically “bridged” to the God whose standards are impossible for us to follow.
This does not solve the problem of daily living and interaction with other equally “inadequate” creatures. How does one “fallen” individual interact with another equally “fallen” one? With all the inadequacies as a given, it is inevitable that something will crack. Something gives way. It always does.
And when it does, people are surprised. Why should we be surprised?
Rethinking standards means that: Principles are not to be followed, because we accede that they cannot be followed in reality. Like Louisa May Alcott says,
Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations;
I may not reach them, but I can see the beams and follow where they lead.
That religious principles are merely “highest aspirations”, and that humanity is incapable of keeping to every principle, what then do we do? “Try our best”? And when we do, we fail?
I postulate that failure to keep to standards is by no means unusual, nor reflective of a failed individual. Every person fails. We should stop judging those who do. We should stop judging at all. (Does this mean not judging leaders morally? Hmm)
Falling short of a highest-possible standard… Not so incredulous!