More Religion Please! Study Sections

    I previously claimed that religion is the final construct that structures someone’s life. Since this is what religion is, everyone turns out to be religious. Well, assuming you have the right final construct, you should be as religious as possible. If your religion is good, then you should apply it to every part of your life. This follows quite easily from what a final construct is.

    Let’s recall what a final construct is first. A final construct is something – a person, idea, belief, or good of something – that structures your life while not being structured by anything. To give an example, let’s suppose that your religion is the good of human reason. In that case, you believe that all beliefs, ideas and practices should be open – in principle – to rational examination. If something is contrary to reason, then you should reject it. The highly religious person would only believe rationally grounded beliefs and do rationally grounded things. So you see that the final construct serves as a reason for doing something and acting against it serves as a reason to stop doing so. Furthermore, there is no higher reason because it is final.

    I should clear up a possible confusion here. I do not mean to suggest that we have a choice about what sort of beliefs we adopt. I am claiming that because of our final construct, we believe exactly what is consistent with it. There is no sort of choice involved at all. Our actions are somewhat similar. Our actions flow from our beliefs and desires. They are not determined by them, but we cannot easily choose to act against our structures, especially final constructs.

    If your final construct functions as your highest reason, then it is also your highest good. To choose to do something because of a reason is to value that reason. You are claiming, by doing the action, that your reason was good enough for the action. Your final construct is the reason – directly or indirectly – for all of your actions. There is no reason higher than it. So you are claiming that there is nothing better than it. Therefore, your final construct is also your highest good.

    If your final construct is not the highest good, but is some sort of lesser good, then it is not a good final construct. You are then claiming that you should have a reason higher than your highest reason. The reverse is also true. If your final construct is good, then it is the highest good because it correctly claims that there is no reason higher than it.

    If your religion is good, then bringing more beliefs under its control and letting it control more of your life will be good. If you don’t do that, then you are claiming that some good has either equal or greater value than your final construct. But we already established that this would only be true if your religion were not good. Therefore, if your religion is good, being more religious is even better.

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