29: Divine Interception

I’ve got a boring week on my hands, and I have a few things I need to get out there… so please excuse me while I get cathartic for a moment.

“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things, but for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.” ~ Steven Weinberg

LET ME GIVE YOU A QUICK RUNDOWN ON RELIGION (ACCORDING TO ROY):

Thousands and thousands of years ago, we humans were very early in our evolution. We only knew what we needed to know to survive (i.e. we needed to hunt and procreate to continue the species), and we were in a strange place which we did not know much, if anything, about. There were also some very confusing events happening, and due to our lack of knowledge, we had no way of explaining them. Volcanoes would erupt, lightning would strike, people would die randomly with no explanation, and the Earth would sometimes start violently shaking!

When you don’t understand why these things are happening, it can be very frightening to the un-evolved human mind! So we, as humans, created a few systems to help us explain that which we could not comprehend. The presence of an all-powerful god was cornerstone to this! It seemed that the only logical explanation was that every time a volcano erupted or lightning struck… the gods were angry!

When someone would die unexpectedly, it would be unnerving to admit that we had no clue why he died, so instead, we decide that the gods must have been angry with him and decided to kill him. In a very random and chaotic world, an omnipotent god was the only way that we could give ourselves inner peace. We needed to know that things don’t just happen randomly, and that there is some method to the madness! Religion provided that for us.

FAST FORWARD A BIT TO THE PRE-ROMAN ERA.

Roman Coliseum Plaque From Pope Benedict XIV, Placed in 1750

Systems of government are now instituted to help make sure the populace stays in order, but there is one little problem: people are so wholly devoted to their religious ideology that the in-place government doesn’t hold nearly the amount of influence that officials feel it should. People are not afraid to die because they feel they will simply be sent to meet with their god. This is a huge problem for the governmental systems of the time, as fear is critical to their ability to control the people.

So, the solution is simple – intertwine religion and government! Convince the populace that their religion and their government are one, and of the same cloth; to be a servant of your god, you must also be a servant of your government… it works! People have longed for many thousands of years to have a human face to associate with their religious beliefs. And, to win complete sovereignty; their government has provided them with this. The birth of the clergy has arrived!

Initially an arm of the state’s government, the clergy had the power to take the wishes of the hierarchy and translate them to the masses as an instruction from god. Government control of the population is at its pinnacle and the decline of free will is in full swing.

The problem with this was that they took it a step too far and people began to see the clergy for what they truly were: governmental cronies. Enter the saviors of the Western world (the timeline is similar in the Asian continent, only the names are different)… Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, et al. – they came along at the most opportune time and gave people a different path with which to explore their religion. It was a path that coincided with the values they had always held as truth, and none were connected to the governmental systems of the time. Behold the birth of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam! All of these newfound religions used different languages and wording, but they all told essentially the same stories and held the same truths: be humble/moral, follow the principles of discipleship, stay a servant of your god. People now had instructions on how to practice their chosen religion without interference from the state.

Now, take away all the pleasantries and stories behind the foundations of religion and take a look at it for what it really is. What do you have?

What is religion? In the words of Adam Carolla: “A FUCKING FAIRY TALE!”

We are the only species on the planet that is aware of our own mortality, and to cope with this problematic truth, we have devised concepts such as religion to give us a sense of order amidst the chaos and keep the world from breaking into anarchy and tearing itself apart. This is understandable — imagine how insane the world would be if we all knew that, not only are we going to die, but we’re not going anywhere after that. No heaven, no hell; decomposition is the only thing that awaits us once we go. The world would be in chaos! This is where religion benefits us, it pacifies the masses — it gives the populace something to believe in, and a reason to act in a moral and just fashion.

Heaven's Gate Logo

But the problem with it all is the malleability of the human mind! You can convince a human that anything is truth… that part is easy. The hard part is that once you have convinced them, trying to swing them the other way and convince them they are wrong is nearly impossible. Catechization is not a gradual slope, it’s a steep drop-off! Once they begin to believe whole-heartedly, they often take it to far-reaching extremes and then try to force their new found belief on others. And, this is not conjecture, this is evidenced by many thousands of years of historical proof! Take a look at the thriving cult scenes throughout history and view for yourself just how desperate we humans are to have something to believe in! Jonestown, Branch Davidian, Solar Temple, Heavens Gate… these are just a few of the names in recent history of “religions” that were able to convince their subjects so fully of the “truth” of their message, that they were willing to die for it! And the pattern has repeated itself over, and over, and over again throughout history!

Heavens Gate Followers

However, I am not trying to surmise that religion is a bad thing, no, quite the opposite! I think religion is wonderful for those who need it to give them a sense of purpose and belonging. But the one thing I have a problem with is people who use religion as a reason for inflicting their will on others… and members of EVERY SINGLE RELIGION are guilty of this at one point or another.

Religion can do some wonderful things for the mentality of certain people, but it can also be very damaging when those same people use their religion as the reason for destructive actions. Religion has been one of the major justifications behind nearly every war to ever hit the earth — millions have been killed, countries destroyed… all over ideology that we have CREATED to make ourselves feel better about our surroundings! It’s insane how over-zealous people get over these ridiculous religious philosophies that they hold so dearly as truth, and how defensive they get when the validity of their faith is called into question. I’m sure if anyone who considers themselves religious reads this, their heart beat will begin to race and their blood-pressure will rise. They will start to feel so angry that someone has suggested they are wrong… they may never admit it, but deep down, they have their own doubts.

And if you confront a religious zealot with facts when they attempt to argue with you… what does it always boil down to? Faith. When you show them the amazing contradictions and inaccuracies within their own religion, they always end the argument with something along the lines of “I just have faith”. And that’s fine, but here’s the thing; if you insist on proving to me just how wrong I am, then provide me with something proving that I’m wrong — but don’t give me any of these ridiculous faith-based, bullshit arguments. And I don’t want to hear about the “prophecies” of the Bible (or the Koran, or any other religious text), such as predicting the conflicts between the Jews and the Muslims… Jews and Muslims have been at odds since their inception, anybody with the slightest bit of insight could have predicted that at some point, this mortal feud would come to a head. There’s nothing mystical or magical about the predictions made in these literary works; the “prophecies” are broad, vague, and open to interpretation. And, many of the prophecies were of the self-fulfilling variety — they were completed because the practitioners of the religion knew that their faith was contingent upon the prophecy coming true, and thus did everything in their power to ensure it.

If I am wrong on this matter, I will be the first one to admit it. But I want someone to PROVE to me that I’m wrong; as of yet they are not able to do this. Until that time when you can, please stick to your faith, and I’ll stick to my facts.

~ Roy “weekendkeyboardwarrior”

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