I think that the idea of religion and spirituality is a great thing, and it can often lead to positive actions, such as spreading good and removing evil, social activities, fund raising and even volunteer work. However, extreme or blind faith often leads to the exact opposite resulting in lack of common sense and freewill. All too often it seems like those that are afflicted with this blind faith don't even know how closed-minded they really are.
I'm sure that each one of you reading this knows someone who seems to like to push their religious ideology upon other people, and all too often it leads them to criticize others as if they were God. Whether it is a religious sect that comes knocking at your door to open you up to the word of their god by giving you pamphlets and discussing beliefs or overly liberal or conservative politicians that use the their beliefs as a basis for their views, you are bound to come across a person that feels that they are morally superior because of their stance on something. There are times when a person who believes in something different than you do looks down at you simply because you don’t share his or her views.
Those with great religious fervor can be admirable in their spirit about their god, but it doesn't make them any more correct than someone from another faith or belief system, in my opinion. Those with extreme views can also be confined by blind faith and also teeter on the edge of being dangerous. However, one common trend between most religions is that the supreme beings are said to love you. In a comedic diatribe by the late, great George Carlin, he mentions how religious fanatics talk about how much God loves you—unless you do something wrong. And if you do commit something wrong, forget about it! It's eternal damnation wallowing in torture in a pit of fire.
Here are a few examples of people or groups with what I see as blind faith: the Heaven's Gate cult, the al-Qaeda terrorists that committed suicide while killing thousands of innocent victims, and Rush Limbaugh. OK, maybe that last one was a bit of a stretch, but do you catch my drift? Each had a strong belief, often stemming from a need for belonging, and once they “belonged,” they did what they were told to do by a leader or a religious text regardless of whether their actions were ethically, morally and humanly right. They did not exercise free will and common sense. They simply followed blindly.
In such situations, doesn't it make more sense to use freewill? Live by the guidelines of common sense and being a good person, which can no doubt be pulled from some of the moral lessons of religion.
Don’t get me wrong, religion is a good thing, but the need to use common sense and exercise “Free Will” is vital as opposed to blind faith. Killing in the name of God; condemning others for being different or having a different religion; and acting as Gods agents on earth by judging people for their actions are all part of blind faith.
Just think of how much pain and suffering would disappear if we can all just take away the whole casting "judgment" upon a person or group of people simply because they are different. Imagine the difference if people would just stop using “God” as an excuse for hatred and violence. And most importantly, imagine if faith was no longer based on faith alone but rather on common sense.