What Could This Mean For Society?

What Could This Mean For Society?

God’s Blessings to you Jana. You know your Bible well and you are correct that scripture states it is by Faith alone that salvation is gained.

I find the discussion of what gets a person into Heaven to be very humbling. This is truly a matter of faith which is beyond the analysis of science, and certainly beyond my ability. My posting was not meant to address the matter of Eternal Salvation, but rather to address the fact that such a faith-based teachings and social influences can lead to rare and highly beneficial behavioral effects here on earth.

Some may argue that Christian influences have had bad effects (the Inquisitions, etc.), but ultimately, it was this religious influence that enlarged the circle of acceptance and respect to include all of humanity. Judeo/Christian influences also were central in the development of Western Civilization as we know it today. At age 67 years, I convinced by my experiences and readings of history that all faiths that include similar value systems have generated far more goods than bads for people and the evolution of their sociocultures.

I am also convinced that as America evolves further way from Judeo/Christian, or other similar and compatible, faith-based value systems, the quality of our population’s collective thoughts and actions will continue to decline, generating more bad outcomes than good ones for all of us. I sadly and fearfully conclude that this will diminish our cultural and national viability.

Jana, your questions at the end of your response to my blog are excellent and thought-provoking. It is very difficult to answer them with certainty, but I will tell you what I believe to be the most probable outcomes.

“If it were real, would you consider a spiritual experience be a catalyst for positive change?”

Any strongly held belief, or system of beliefs, will powerfully influence our thoughts, perceptions, emotions and behaviors. This is so for both good and bad. Most would agree that the spiritual experiences of Reverend Jim Jones were bad. However, I think that what you consider spiritually-derived Judeo/Christian faith-based moral actions could be an especially powerful catalyst for positive change within any population.

“What ways could people experiencing God’s spirit affect those around them?”

People who habitually ask themselves, “What would Jesus do” and then act accordingly, are not only models for others to imitate, they influence and teach others through their direct treatment of them. I call the spread of these and other similar influences within a population a form of good Behavioral Contagion. The results can be powerfully beneficial to all. Add to this similar increases in educational and media activities and the good influences could spread like wild-fire.

“What could this mean for society?”

Such changes could lead to a dramatic increase in the virtues that have made America the greatest nation in the history of the world and thereby reverse its present decline. It could also mean the spread of this wonderful continuing legacy to other nations that will benefit immensely. In other words, a wave of good behavioral contagion among nations of the world.

Now that would be pretty good, don’t ya think?!

VTM, 8/27/09

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One Response to “What Could This Mean For Society?”

  1. Jana Martin Says:

    I understand and agree with everything you have written. It’s logical. I also wonder about occurrences that defy logic.

    You refer to people who ask themselves, “What would Jesus do?, and then act accordingly. I’ve read many accounts of people who wanted to behave in a certain way and just could not. After surrendering their will, such as in a 12 step program (AA), they experienced a change inside, an ability to do the thing they had never been able to do before. They did not change themselves; a force from outside of them changed them. This, I think, is the mystery of God’s spirit


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