Public Domain, Religion and the Quality of Life Inventory

Are religion and quality of life connected to the public domain quality of life inventory? Is there a spiritual aspect to much of what is wrong (and right) in the world? Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and almost all other world religions have ideas about why evil happens, what makes life valuable and why we are ultimately here. Mark Ritchie, author of God in the Pits: the Enron-Jihad Edition, compares two major events of the last century to evaluate these questions:

Globalisation and Poverty Free Essay

I have labeled this the Enron-jihad Edition not because it will focus on either Enron or jihad, but because these two disjointed settings provide the backdrop for my own personal struggle. The poverty and mystery of Afghanistan is a spiritual enigma all its own. And the wealth of capitalism has brought us greed that we've hardly noticed. I use the Enron-jihad label because my trauma centers on the private parts of humanity, parts that brought us both Enron and 9/11.

The common denominator that these apparently disjointed problems share is spiritual. To a young commodity trader starting out, I have often advised, "Get your spiritual house in order and keep your office on the first floor." Then I brace for the reaction, "What's spirituality got to do with bottom line profits?"

Let's face reality: who looks after spiritual issues when everything is going great? Then, when that proverbial "stuff" hits the fan, whose spiritual roots are deep enough to endure it?

All of this was summed up in a comment posted on the web. "Some people believe in Buddha, others in Yahweh, still others in Jesus Christ or Allah. Does it matter? Your beliefs are your beliefs. As long as they don't infringe on mine, why should I care? As long as your likes or beliefs please or comfort you, and don't harm others, why should anyone else care?"

We will give credit to the writer because it is fashionable to do so and because it is a well-written paragraph. But we must assume that even the writer herself would not claim any originality for this thought. It summarizes the most commonly held attitude in Western civilization today.

Let me put this as simply as possible because it may be the most important issue of our day: An inaccurate belief system is a trap. The more diabolical the belief system, the greater ability it will have to masquerade as if it pleases, comforts, and does no harm. Then one morning we wake up to discover that an inaccurate belief system has just taken down the World Trade Center.

The people who brought us 9/11 sincerely believed that they were doing God (and us) a favor. The same goes for those who took Wall Street Journal writer, Daniel Pearl's, life. But this is far ahead of my story.

Do you doubt that an inaccurate belief system was the primary cause of the attack on America? Do you doubt that an inaccurate belief system was the primary cause of the Enron debacle? I wrote this story for anyone who is confused on these questions. It was dedicated to my classmates because of the affinity I share with them; our generation has been paid dearly for this confusion.

Excerpt from God in the Pits, The Enron-Jihad Edition, by Mark Andrew Ritchie
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