“I’d like to start a religion. That’s where the money is!”

Those were the words of L. Ron Hubbard, who wrote Dianetics and founded the religion – Scientology.

Lets talk about making money. Since the Chinese started using papermoney as a form of currency, money became a medium of exchange for goods and services that people need. Here are 2 examples: When the Intel 8088 microprocessor needed an operating system, a young engineer (who is currently the richest man on earth) made some money for writing the Dirty Operating System (DOS). When you need a cool looking gadget that plays all your music and mp3s, Apple made some money for the IPOD that you paid for.

When you need “something” that can provide you with widely accepted moral values, peace of mind, hope, psychological healing, faith for a better tomorrow, etc. are you willing to exchange money for this?

From my observation, there are people who are willing to do so. I realize that people who subsribe to whichever religion, some have to pay regular subscription fees (a percentage of your take home salary). Others, knowingly or non-knowingly, are donating money to the organizations that provide religious services. Of course there are others who do not pay too.

But when you read the title of this post again, which implies creating a profitable business by starting a religion, it sounds riddiculous. Or does it?

Religion is either a subset of Nature or vice versa, meaning either one created the other, unless if both are mutually exclusive systems(I have yet to find any literature to support this case). In all cases, lets take religion as an entity. When an organization take this entity and add “value” to this entity, such as conducting Sunday schools, religious camps, etc. theoretically this valued entity can be exchanged for money. And if the demand for such valued entity is higher than the supply, this presents an opportunity for the organization to earn money. Just like, when the world has a demand for an operating system for their computers, companies that are able to supply Windows XP has an opportunity to profit from it.

Profitting from religion, is that ethical?

Imagine if the world’s oxygen suddenly vanished. If Sunbear Inc. is able to provide oxygen, should Sunbear Inc. charge the people for breathing the oxygen that the company provides? Yes, enough for Sunbear Inc to continue creating oxygen to sustain life on earth. How about more than that?

Another food for thought:

Why some religious organizations are offering their services for free while others are charging money? Has it got to do with supply and demand?


5 Responses

  1. Hasn’t churches (nothing against Christianity – churches in general as applied to all religions) been profiting from religion all the time?

  2. I do agree to a large extent, although I believe there must be some religious organizations which are non-profit, ie there are mechanisms to ensure that income will never exceed the operating costs, like making donations to the needy etc.

    But even if most religious organization profit from religion all the time, I do not think this reason justifies it as ethical.

    Looking from another perspective, lets imagine if all religious organization has to be non-profit, will religion be very different today?

  3. first, u got to ask why people go to church, temple, etc.

  4. IMHO, There must be something that religion can offer, which the subsriber needs.

    There are a few I can think of: widely accepted moral values, peace of mind, hope, psychological healing, faith for a better tomorrow and the need of a supreme being to reflect the imperfections of human being.

    When the challenge for tomorrow is too great a Man can swallow,
    When things/people that matter to you (like family member’s health and safety) is out of your control,

    Man search for greater strength and wisdom in a supreme being. Whether or not, it is found, I believe it is a State of Mind. But I do believe many has benefitted from doing so.

  5. If L. Ron Hubbard was only after the money why did he dedicate his fortune & his life to research & leave his money to the church? If it is Scientology or any other legit religion they charge money in order to get their word out to more people because they believe it can help others. What have you done to help any one aside from pontificating?

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