Three Values: A Reflection on What We Do and Why We Do It

Another Voice

Lent is a good time to reflect on personal behavior: about the religious dynamics that guide people’s lives. We have been witnessing a lot of religious dynamics in the news of course: from fundamentalists objecting to anti-measles and anti-polio vaccinations, to Charlie Hebdo in Paris, to the pope making colourful new cardinals, to the bloody IS beheading of Coptic Christians, on and on…..

What are the religious attitudes, the religious values, that shape human action? I see three: reward and punishment, narcissism, and Jesus-based acceptance. These values shape and direct how religious people behave. They can be the basis for a deep and serious self-examination in these forty days of Lent.

Reward and Punishment

Some religious people believe – and at one time many religious people believed – that God rewards or punishes people for their behavior. Reward-Punishment-preachers remind us that Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden because…

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