I Do Believe...

Trust your head.

I believe in God. Having said that, you might think it strange that I feel trusting in one’s head rather than one’s heart is better.

Belief in God is the ultimate “heart” trust, as it is an act of pure faith.

But, while we are in the material world, I feel we should think and act using the resources with which God has provided us, the most powerful being our intellect.

This is not to the complete exclusion of emotional trust. Without that factor being available to us, one would have to question the validity or even existence of love, hate, pride, anger and the myriad emotions we humans are prey to.

Nevertheless, there have been many examples throughout history where trust based on emotion led to disastrous consequences.

Not to sound like Mr. Spock from Star Trek, but sound logical thinking from rational people gives us the basis for wise and correct decisions that are verifiable and repeatable, in the best scientific tradition.

We in the United States pride ourselves as being under the “rule of law”. Most laws are nothing more than an attempt to logically dictate the parameters under which we are expected to live, an attempt to legislate morality.

If you look at the gamut of religious thought in the world, their teachings and rules are heavily weighted toward controlling the emotional side of humanity. Yet these laws, while ostensibly dictated to humanity by God Himself, are ultimately enforced by the hands of humans, which are fallible and subject to the whims of emotion on occasion.

The whole secular humanist movement is nothing but an attempt to regulate human morality and action without benefit of a glowering God figure, who looks down from on high with a scowling countenance, wagging his finger at us like parent to child, “I told you no, now stop or I’ll have to punish you”. My personal philosophy shares much of what the secular humanists teach, because intellect, or “head thinking”, if you will, can become the path to morality and potential perfection.

However, I still believe in God. I believe that God gave us the ability to use our brain for the betterment of life while we’re here on earth. I believe God gave us free will, that everyone has a choice in every matter. If this were not so, we would be no different than the animals, who operate on pure instinct. Why else would we have the marvelous gift of reason, the ability to think through decisions and cull the most logical, most productive and, yes, moral answers to our dilemmas?

Herein lies the conundrum: to achieve some sense of moral order (ergo, trust) requires the cognitive ability to discern right from wrong, good from bad. A certain amount of brainpower and the application of it are needed to accomplish this. Sadly, most of humanity is lacking in this area. Witness, throughout history, the senseless slaughter of millions of people by war and crime, greed and hatred, continuing unabated to this very day. Poverty, disease, lack of education, all of these pressing problems and more could be tackled and defeated if only humanity would start making decisions (and trusting those decisions) based on intelligence and rational thinking. Consider how far humanity has come in the fight against all of the evils mentioned. Then consider how much further we could advance if we would realize how ultimately futile war is, how utterly destructive blind hate and rage are to the human race.

The concept of trust, while emanating from our undeniable basic emotional desire for love and security, is best addressed through thoughtful analysis and the building of persuasive arguments that cannot be refuted.

Unfortunately, it appears as a Catch-22 situation: without the ability to reason, think and learn from our historical mistakes, we are unable to get beyond the emotional responses to our common problems. As long as people are too ignorant to understand this, we will be stuck in the quagmire of our emotions, unable to break out, unable to even begin to form a rational approach to solving the great problems that face humanity.

The forgoing arguments do not exclude emotions from the equation. Without them, we would cease to be human. However, I firmly believe trust should come from the head, not the heart. History has shown us we cannot allow our emotions to rule our behavior. Our intellect, and the proper application thereof, should be the guiding force of human behavior.

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