Hmmm I feel like a rant, have I done anything major on religion yet? No, oh well then a whole new section of society for me to inadvertently offend!

So religion, what is it? How did it come about? Yes well what is complex bearing in mind there are diverse religions ranging from the polydeist to the monodeist the well-established to the reasonably new. They all however have one thing in common in that they form people into a group and seek to tap into the human desire for mysticism. After all Voltaire said “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” Now some of these groups are quite fluid and tolerant whilst others are rigid and dogmatic -many of the more established religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism can be the most rigid and as such therefore can lead to the greatest conflict. The principle problem with this sort of group forming is that it teaches people to believe in an inherent ‘right’ path thereby undermining other groups as being ‘perfectly entitled to their opinions’ but tacitly condemning them by the very nature of the language of their scripture. Hence whilst you would think that the Jews and Christians would have a fundamental problem with one another in that the Jews are seen to have put to death the Christian’s man, this is in fact one of the key overlaps, the Jew and the Muslim do not have the same scriptural battle and yet because of a fight for land they are bitter enemies. Another problem with religion based on reported speech is that as we have already discussed with reference to the media sight and sound are subjective concepts as is interpretation of a report. Thus there are factions within each religion that have far more differences amongst each other than they do with similar factions in a different religion -a moderate muslim and a moderate jew have far less to fear from one another. Likewise the extremism of a christian fundamentalist and a muslim fundamentalist place them very close to one another in their conceptual adherence to an interpretation of dogma even if the content of that dogma is different -that being said look at the rhetoric of the islamic militant and the christian right are they that dissimilar -well not to a heathen like me.

As you may be able to discern, I have little time for religious conflict, actually I have little time for religion. It has its merits -the Bible is after all the best selling piece of fiction of all time and will probably remain so. Don’t get me wrong it is a fine collection of short stories and the finest record we have of the literary talent of that age but the word of God sorry I don’t buy it. I do think it’s in part a manual for living and this is why you can interpret it how you want, the vagueries of all the scriptural texts mean that you can have one person living a selfless and humanist life whilst another is a right intolerant bastard and yet both cite texts to demonstrate their living according to the holy books.

So why don’t I buy it, well I have to admit again that I think Marx said it better than I could Religion is Opium for the People, that is to say religion is a means of passive control. Look at it this way would people really put up with this much shit in their daily lives if they didn’t think they were going to get their reward in heaven? Furthermore you need something to deal with the tricky issue of death because this therefore reduces the significance of life and when that’s done any exploitation is possible. Problem is it’s so homo-centric, I mean there are many species on the planet so what’s the deal microbe heaven, amoeba hell -for the amoeba’s who passed on dysentry. Or is heaven and hell just a construct for sentient beings? That would seem a bit unfair and where would you draw the line? Just us and the dolphins eh? What about all the other life-supporting planets, you surely aren’t going to try and tell me that this is the only one ‘cos that would just be bollocks, sorry creationists you are about as accurate as the old ‘World is Flat’ lobby! You see it is all so conveniently put together, you can’t prove it so it’s practically impossible to refute it’s one speculative opinion against the other and the scientific or aetheist view is certainly more nihilistic.

But the near-death experiences, what about the light at the end of the tunnel and the spirits and that sort of thing. Well, by and large the mind can do amazing things -I have first hand experience of this and it is entirely self-contained. There are certain things which seem to defy explanation but that is hardly surprising as we would be a presumptuous lot if we believed that we knew it all already. I have my own Ghost experience, quite strange, no explanation, just one of those things freaked me out a bit but then it would especially when you’re on your tod at the time.

People will say the Church has done many good things for many people, this is true but then if you put a group of people together many of whom are there for altruistic reasons you might expect some good to come of it, the header of religion bringing them together is incidental, a similar group of aetheists may meet and do the same thing under the banner of politics or charity. The point is it is not the actual religion that is turning bad people into altruistic people except in the circumstances of the old fire and brimstone style preachers who would scare people into it but that isn’t really faith in the traditional sense anyway. So religion is merely a vehicle for moral people to come together and they could easiily do so in an environment that did not have such a dark side to it as well.

I have more to say on religion but I think I ought to ration it so to best spread out the hatred that I may receive over the maximum period of time!!

Song Of The Day – The Cardiacs ~ A Little Man And A House

Original Comments:


ryan made this comment,
hey man, whatabout Buddism
And me growing up in a Christian school led me to beleve (sorry about the pun) that religion just a way for the masses to pretend thats theres something better than this place
Im what you call a realist
Visit me @ http://themeaningoflifeishere.blog-city.com/

[Redbaron responds – Yeah I didn’t touch on Buddism, I don’t think it’s exactly the worst offender by any means and my knowledge of it is fairly scant at best.
The belief that there is something better than this place is exactly what religion is about, the question is why do they want you to think that?]

comment added :: 4th June 2004, 08:41 GMT+01
moog made this comment,
if god didnt exist someone would probaly think it nessecary to create one.
Visit me @ http://jealoustwin.blog-city.com/

[Redbaron responds -Keep up at the back! Voltaire’s point precisely, I would simply maintain that God didn’t exist and therefore someone did create him.]

comment added :: 4th June 2004, 12:58 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
Hello red Baron,
Yes, you certainly picked a controversial subject! I believe in God, and that Jesus died for my sins. I do admit I have a lot of questions-though i also believe someday I will know the answer. There are times when doubt creeps in my mind, and i always wonder who’s religion is the right one-since there are so many with so many different beliefs. Other than my partial catholic up-bringing (I should mention that my parents only sent me to school. They were kicked out when they divorced.) Now my dad is a holy roller-ya know-the kind that can turn people off to religion-lol. This is after not even attending church for MANY years. Religion is quite confusing-pretty much as you already said. Some preach hell and fire, while others teach that he is a loving God. This confuses me, but since i do believe in God, i believe I will go to heaven, but will be scrubbing toilets with a toothbrush! lol
I don’t know, I NEVER try to talk people into God, in fact, right now i don’t even go to a church. I find most churches to have “holier than thow” people. I also saw my sister who was a strict catholic for almost all her life, lose he faith when my brother-in-law killed himself. Now she is into Wicca-which that one is really hard for me to understand exactly who their God is. mother earth, I know, but still can’t quite grasp it. I don’t believe in religious rituals at all. i don’t see how burning candles, fasting, etc. could bring you closer to God. I also believe in ghosts, and i don’t know how that fits into religion-christianity anyway.
I also agree with you and another commenter that people would invent “religion” no matter what-whether there really is a God or not. I think religion is an attempt at law and order-infact, i think it is that. People need something to center their lives around, wether it be religion or whatever else.
So, i don’t know, that’s my 2 cents……….
Forgive my spelling once again-I read what you told me to do, but didn’t write it down, so therefore forget-brain dead-lol. I’ll try to remember to look next time i leave a comment though.
As far as calling your “comrads” followers, i meant comrads. you gotta remember, us being in different parts of the world, we phrase things different though we may mean the same thing. Especially me being Pennsylvania dutch-we’re really known for our weird way of phrasing something.
By the way, what in the world is a tod??? I’m thinking maybe a tiolet-not sure.
With that said, how do you center your life? Ya know, too keep sanity when all is crashing down around you?
From:
Jen
Jen

[Redbaron responds -Now you see Jen you can do it, a perfectly reasonable post albeit a difference of opinion, isn’t diversity marvellous let’s have some more of it… in Iraq perhaps no I’m not going to get political this is a religion rant!
Penn Dutch eh -kann je een beetje Nederlands?
As for a tod -no sorry that’s a UK/Irish idiom ‘on your tod’ means on your own. Toilet -no -‘on the bog’ means on the toilet tho’ so that’s one for you next time!
As regards sanity, ho ho no chance love, I watch sanity as an unaffected bystander and if you read the non-political blogs you’ll generally see it. Politics is something I’m clear on, the rest is all a mystery to me.]

comment added :: 4th June 2004, 16:07 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
Yes, i am quite proud of myself 🙂 LOL
I don’t know if i’m ready for a political debate yet, but I’m going to try something a little easy. LOL
What are your views on gun control?
What are your views on your royalty? Now, i love it, so I’m thinking your probably going to say they should go! LOL I do hope the throne will go straight to William though. Not because of Charle’s divorce, because look at Henry 8th. I just don’t think he is very honorable. I don’t know……..I go back and forth with that, but I think the royalty and history of England is awesome.
I don’t know how to speak Pa. dutch, though i would like to learn it, and even have a book and old order Mennonite penpal.
Sorry, but i don’t think I’ll ever cross over to the other side-lol. Hell, my family would probably shun me if i did! Just kidding. I am beginning to think i may actually be an independant conservative rather than a registered republican. I’ll get into that next time as kids are arriving home from school now. One last question-Have you ever heard of Rick Savage?? He is a radio talk show personality.
From:
Jen
Jen

[Redbaron responds -Easing in and you go for the Gun debate you don’t go easy on yourself! Guns are used to kill people, that is what they do if they are being used properly. The very fact people feel they need one denotes a problem with society at large. However if you compare the situation in Canada where just as many guns are owned proportionally but the gun-related crime rate is substantially lower than the US it does suggest that the US has a societal problem with weapon-related violence in Iraq perhaps no back back political Baron!
As regards the pompous blue-blooded twats whose oppulent lifestyle I prop up with my taxes. Yes I think as a general rule you can take something you believe in and presume that the opposite point of view is correct!! History in England is important but unfortunately the obsession with the history of the monarchy means that the history of the people is often sidelined. As a capitalist I would have thought you might have a reservation with an oligarchical system, it isn’t very ‘free market’ is it? It’s a glass ceiling that means you cannot say here that anything is possible.
Mijn Nederlands ist niet gout, ik heb voor negen Jahre gelernt op Avondklasse.
Don’t worry about what your family think, your politics is your politics and nobody else’s business. You think all of my relatives are chuffed to have the second coming of Friedrich Engels in the family?!
Michael Savage? Never come across him, is he one of us or one of you?!]

comment added :: 4th June 2004, 21:05 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
Michael Savage-sorry
jen

comment added :: 4th June 2004, 21:08 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
I’m back again-don’t have to worry about me bugging you over the weekend-I’m usually not online too much.
As far as guns, a better comparison would be between the U.S. and England, where since 97-98 when they banned virtually every gun, the crime rates in the U.K. are higher in almost every catagory then that of the U.S. In our personal gun situation, my hubby’s family are all hunters-the whole lot of them. Also he served our army for 14 years. I myself don’t really care much about guns themselves, just don’t want one of our constitutional rights taken away. We (meaning my family) don’t have guns for protection-their for hunting. Crime rate in our area is very low. Now watch, I said that and tonight someone will commit a horrible crime! LOL Let me ask you this. Don’t you find it terribly fearful that your police officers do not carry guns? I can’t believe that anyone person would want the job. The real gun problem-in the world-in my opinion, is that they fall into the hands of the wrong people. It’s the “already” crimminals that use the guns to hurt people-aside from war. So, by banning them, the good guys are basicly screwed when the bad guys have them-and intend to use them on good people.
With iraq, i will admit that i have some questions, and it is upsetting too me that we are at war at all-though at the same time, I feel we had no other choice. We were nice about it for a long time, but our president must look out for our country. I am also VERY fearful of all the rumors (are they? or is it true?) that there is going to be, at least, another terriost attack on our country this summer!
You are right about me being contrdictory (yes, i looked that word up-lol) when it comes to Royalty. i see what you are saying-and what you say is true-and hubby is on me about it all the time, but for me, it’s the novelty of it that has always fascinated me so much. When you say it really isn’t a free market, I’m not sure what you mean by that, but i do know that Royalty has no say in goverment anymore.
I really don’t care what my family or anyone else thinks of my politics-I was joking.
Michael savage-he is an independant conservitive. rude as hell to tell you the truth-even to people that agree with him! But I agree with a lot of what he say’s, and he will often make remarks about the Bush administration that are negative, but i agree. Also, i am registered republican, BUT, if I felt (doubt it-lol) that a democrat could do a better job in office-then I would vote for them. Those are the reasons why i am questioning exactly what party i really am. NO Red!!! I still won’t be a democrat!!!! LOL
While we don’t seem to agree on much in the political arena, that doesn’t mean that we would not agree on anything. I think I am open minded-hubby says i’m the most black and white person he ever met! LOL Now there, I am thinking you would agree to that! lol Hubby says i live in a fantasy world-maybe so in a lot of aspects-but not all. For me, i need an escape from the “real” world sometimes which is why my nose is always stuck in a book!!
Anyway, i hope i have not said anything that is not nice. i am trying really hard to debate nicely 🙂
Do you like living in england Red?? If not, what would be your choice of country to live in? And why? Geeze! I sound like a freakin reporter! lol
what do you keep saying to me in dutch??? I have a few penpals in the netherlands, so perhaps I will ask them-lol
If you or i don’t get back to this yet today-have a nice weekend! I really mean that too!!! Not just trying to be nice…….
From:
Jen
Jen

[Redbaron responds -I’m always around -the Left never sleeps! Vigilance comrades!
As regards the guns well I don’t hold with hunting for sport, hunting for food fair enough but for sport it vexes me that humans feel they have the right to toy with the lives of animals in pursuit of their own amusement. Your analogy tho’ with the UK is a very good one and concerning in its accuracy. Personally speaking police with guns scare the shit out of me the UK plod do have them at airports and stuff
As regards Iraq well I think you know my views on that, regardless of what you feel about Saddam Hussein, if you were to take what the US has done as precedent in case law this would mean that I would have every right to unilaterally declare that Bush has weapons that potentially impinge my safety and I am therefore justified in invading the US to instigate regime change. You’ll see what your country does now comes back to haunt you in time. I’m afraid the new vitriol against the US has reached such a fervour that your war on terrorism hasn’t even started yet. George Bush has opened a Pandora’s box and the fecker won’t even be around in office to take responsibility, just like his Daddy.
As regards your point about us not always disagreeing, I suspect you are correct I have friends who are staunchly on the right, they’re good people but we only talk politics if we fancy a punch-up!
Country-wise England is largely a shithole apart from Cornwall, hence that’s my idyll. I wouldn’t mind going back to the Motherland for a bit, or Belgium, I always got on with the Belgians. I don’t think I’ve finished moving yet.
You have a nice weekend too, see that’s 2 rational discussions in a row you’re getting quite proficient now.]

comment added :: 4th June 2004, 23:19 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
although i did just put this in my blog, what the hell, i think religion is just such a crock. although it’s great that some people can find a way to worship and get their problems off their asses, how can such bad things happen if only for “the ultimate good”…
i just saw a quick preview of the six o clock news, and would you look at that (!) a seven year old brought a gun to school. who would have thought, since t.v and parents are such great resources for a kid curious about violence.
you live in england? hmmm…where does all the info on our politics come from? besides the fact that it’s all over the international news, well..i guess….there you go. but from the sound of it, i never would have known, you sounded like a normal, republican hating american!
rachel

[Redbaron responds – Christ Rachel I don’t know what I think about being thought native enough to be an American! If it come from some people that’d be fighting talk!! I did live in the States for a bit but that was a while ago now]

comment added :: 5th June 2004, 00:17 GMT+01
rotterdam.blog-city.com made this comment,
Goeiemorgen maar weer!
I think the concept religion originated way way back in the times that people’s brains were not capable of understanding/accepting the forces of nature: lightning, eclipses, earthquakes, disease, dreams, etc. It was actually the fear of the unknown that made them invent a (psychological) system to deal with that fear. In a thunderstorm, appeasing the gods became an option. It made them feel less afraid. People started to ‘believe’ that they could somehow “control” the things that they feared most.

In the mean while, people also found out that religion was able to control a community, and that people seemed to become more obedient when threathened with the wrath of god.

Literature: Freud’s Totem and Taboo

Religion is based on BELIEF. It is based on invented and written dogma’s and laws – not on facts. It is not an ‘opinion’. Compare religion’s beliefs with the world’s views on, for instance (haha), Iraq. That Iraq was invaded because we wanted to ‘liberate’ the poor Iraqi’s from cruel dictator, is a BELIEF, that a lot of people still regard as the truth. Just another belief that controls the masses made up by politicians for their personal benefit.

comment added :: 5th June 2004, 11:05 GMT+01

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