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Monday, May 24, 2010

Um, Excuse me? What's your motivation?

Given the number of political careers that have been helped ruined by scandalous affairs and the typical answer by politicians to promptly disappear and enter rehab for months so as to avoid talking about it, I figured I'd wade into the debate to offer some of my own insight - especially in the light of the most recent incident (at the time of this writing) with Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN).

Souder, being interviewed by the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, in providing some insight as to how depressing it can be to be a public figure and have a story like this break is quoted as saying "...I'm not a suicidal guy for religious reasons..."

To me, this represents a HUGE problem with specific branches of organized religion, but don't worry, I'm not naming names.  Here's my rationale:

I would argue that people should do good deeds because it's the right thing do to, not because they expect to be rewarded for it (either now or after they die).  Conversely, people shouldn't refrain from doing bad things because they fear not being rewarded (or of being caught for that matter).

Motivation by reward in this particular context strikes me as fairly greedy and selfish.  So, does taking Souder's comment at face value imply that were he not religious he would more seriously consider suicide?

My belief is that people shouldn't be slaves to their religion.  It's supposed to be a choice (although most people don't act this way) and people should make their religions work for them instead of the other way around.  I don't believe religion is supposed to be a pain in the ass.  Sure, there's something to say (and gain) for overcoming difficulty, but this doesn't apply here - the man's motivation for not killing himself is because of his religion.


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