Since time immemorial humans have experimented with the seemingly dual concepts of good and evil. Religion has more than somewhat jumped on the bandwagon with the introduction of rules, which, in reality, are just fluffed up conventions of behaviour of any reasonable society. There is nothing new or marvellous, concerning good and evil, in Biblical commandments and expectations, which would take it beyond societal norms. If that book or others like it had never existed, the world would not be in either turmoil or mourning.

Most likely, it would be a better place or it may just be that Bible type books are necessary in exposing and eventually ridding the badder parts of our nature. Not by an acceptance of their content as a positive influence but by the recognition they are all flawed by an out-of-date lack of understanding of the human condition.

The Bible and similar religious writings, promote a humanity that does not exist. People take on the role of creatures of ‘God’ with equableness in his sight. If ‘God’ considers us equal, then we must be. The translation of this into, “if you are not equal, then you are morally deficient” arrives soon after. This key self-righteous thought has brought on more unhappiness for humanity than any other.

A more perfect people-controlling-code of conduct has not been invented, than the brainwashing of guilt onto young minds and then offering partial escape if the party line is towed. This mentally devastating hook and salve has been a process in continual refinement since time began. Most religions teach their adherents to be guilty about everything. They even have listed the seven cardinal sins, which really is just a list of stuff humans do from time to time, for no other reason than being humans.

It has always been the case with the controllers of societies not having so much guilt as have the “common people”. The very effective “guilt” tool has kept the “masses” in line and accepting their lot in life since its inception by the witchdoctor or equal.

Unfortunately for the religious of today, science has very persuasively concluded that humans are not born equal, in a genetic sense, nor have they necessarily the same opportunities in the nurturing sense. The creation of huge differences in potential for successful life in society is assured by nature and nurture and not by moral good or badness.

That religion is still asking of its members to accept “their cross”, is a strong influence on retaining that unfair position in life. It also sends a message to those-with-all that they must be doing the correct thing, being favoured by God as they are. Here begins an attitude that defies rationality, where the system beneficiaries make judgement, which does not do justice in recognition of the plight of the less fortunate.

The smug have come into existence.

Religion stands condemned as a dismal failure in retention of its “equal ness before God” policy. That it still preaches equality of humanity instead of for humanity is very telling of conscious decisions to do so. And, as far as they are concerned, for very good reasons.

Good and evil are outcomes, not realities. Humans may be able to be moulded to do good or bad deeds but good and evil do not exist as identities only as resulting actions. Go(o)d and the (D)evil are only imaginary manifestations brought about by inadequate understanding of ourselves long ago. That the clergy has sunk to such a low level by continuing to “push” these antiquated notions, knowing full-well that science can give a far better insight, is indeed an expose of their desperation for continuance at any cost. Good and evil are the lynchpins and the lifeblood of religions and without them religions cannot exist.

The role of the smugly self-righteous laity, in its condemnation of those it finds “morally wanting”, is one of vital importance in keeping religious institutions ticking-over. In their hands rests the fate of the “societal challenged”, and it never ceases to amaze how they do so enjoy administering their duties. Repugnant to the notion of fair play as this behaviour is, it should stand out as a shining example of what not to be.

Good, bad and smugly actions are nothing more than circumstantial occurrences and the sooner humanity implants that message deep into its psyche, the sooner those words will lose their unwarranted power, not just for the benefit of some, but for all.

By David Nicholls