When you make your way through a difficult time by your own determined effort,
the entity that is doing that is you. It is harmful and wrong for any religion or other
ideology to deprive you of the credit you deserve for having accomplished any personal
objective. The objective was yours, and the outcome is yours also. Faith can make it seem
that otherness was involved, but that is simply a function of subjective perception, which
we ourselves produce with our mind, according to whatever manner we have chosen to
use for avoiding unnecessary thinking when a simple idea -- whether true or false -- will
satisfy our temporary desire for explanation. This is why some superstitious people could
believe that volcanoes erupt because a deity was mad at them. I believe that the Christian
religion is another example of that phenomenon. And so is Judaism. Islam..., I dare not
say.... Well, human populations tend to include whatever extremes their belief makes
possible for them. Logic and reason exist inherently within the character and nature of
the universe we live in, and all life knows this and employs them without exception.
Humans did not invent logic and reason but simply became able -- through our own efforts
-- to communicate with each other what they are, what they imply, and how to use them,
and the quality of our lives improve when we choose to do so deliberately to the extent
that we can. When through determined effort we achieve what we previously could not,
things get better.

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by Hampton Burt