Posted by pancho from customer-148-233-78-77.uninet.net.mx (220.127.116.11) on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 at 11:41AM :
On Attacking Religion
There's something about believing in gods and demons that unhinges people. If there is a heaven and gods I think it's detrimental to human and communty health... and intelligence, to start bothering about these things before you get up there...where it might all make some sense. It's like planning a trip to the Bahamas from the depths of an East Coast blizzard and wearing a swim suit everywhere you go in anxious anticipation weeks before you actually get on the plane. You can catch your death that way...you also can't function too well in the freezing snow. And should you arrive in heaven or the Bahamas "unprepared" you can always rip off your fur-lined parka and go skinny dipping. To each place its own.
I've been surrounded my whole life by proponents of one religion or another numbering in the millions...yet I never felt as threatened by them as they seem to be by me when I express my beliefs. I think they're screamingly funny, when they aren't eporting murder...while they react to me by slinking into their caves like any savage and hurling garbage when I dance by. Who is attacking whom? Right now the three Sisters are converging on BetNahrain ready to fight it out...and if not this decade then in the next one...or the next one. They've been eyeing each other and circling like any vicious beasts for a few thousand years, ever since they were conceived in the minds of men as the best way to commit murder and get rewarded for it when done in the name of a god. THAT's what gods are for.
After witnessing decades of slaughter in Europe over just these sorts of idiotic beliefs, and that only among Christians, never mind the other two nut cases, Frederick the Great, on ascending the throne of Prussia, wisely said that while he was king, each man would have to get to heaven on his own...that so long as citizens obeyed the secular laws, the Crown didn't care to involve itself in the kinds of god-sanctioned, murderous arguments over who is more godly...a bloody dispute whose results we still suffer from...Northern Ireland for one. In other words, a just society where the legal rights of the people were clearly defined and each man and woman could feel secure in the protection of the state government would produce a sufficiant amount of stabillity and happiness for everyone...what did it matter which version of religious lunacy a person practised?
Indeed it was zealous belief in these dogmas from hell that broke the civil peace periodically making people commit the most frightful atrocities, smugly confident because they knew they would be forgiven for it in heaven. Had any one of the religions said emphatically that there was to be no divine forgiveness if you committed a heinous crime only ONCE...there wouldn't be any "peace on earth" as a result, of course not... but such a religion, one as uncompromising as any nation's Law regarding especially frightful crimes, would simply vanish...not "divine" enough for humans...not "forgiving" enough. What humans demand in their god is a supremely Rotten Parent who will make a good deal of noise about exemplary behavior, but in the end will cave in and tolerate litterally any crime because it is such a doting parent. The kinds of brats this has produced have been running society for centuries...and now they want to blow apart the Nursery...just to prove which one of them bloody Daddy loves most.
If a country were run along the lines of heaven it would be a haven for crimminls and the unending scene of one bloodbath after another. Say you had a king or parliament that would allow every crimminal his or her every crime...because it was a "godly" king or government and therefore infinitely, even "divinely" forgiving. Forgive them and tell them to, "Go, and break the laws no more"...and did it again and again and again till, "The Crack Of Doom". It wouldn't take long before robbers would bring their loot by the palace daily for "forgiveness" on the way home....and do it every day and all day. Why...what would there be to lose? Murderers could operate at will...it wouldn't be necessary after a while to even have them arrested and escorted before the bar of justice... why bother, they'd just be forgiven anyway and sent off with a blessing. In fact there wouldn't be any officers to arrest anyone and no judges either....the majority would be out there robbing, raping and killing since most of these types serve the Law as a way to control their own theiving instincts, all of them comfortable and confident in the knowledge that they'd be forgiven for it time and again...like they believe their gods will forgive them anything, time and time again. That's what the priests tell them now.
There would be a small percentage of people who'd know enough to control their worst passions, who'd have what you could call a conscience and they'd do the right thing no matter if there was a god in heaven or on earth...or none at all. In fact these people would behave in a lawfull manner even if there were no laws and no executioners. They have been the civilizers since the dawn of history. Our mistake has been in not trusting the human mind enough to teach children, by example of course, that "right" behavior is its own reward...and doing to others what you would not want done to yourself, will bring its own punishment as well...no need to frighten a forming mind out of its wits or turn it to mush and treacle with religious dogma. However, the infinite appeal of a mushy mind to those who would weild power over others cannot be overstated...ergo religion.
If you convince people that their salvation lies in hanging onto a book, as if it was a life-preserver in the middle of the ocean...they will kill to protect that book and they'll imagine all sorts of dangers and evils directed at their book by those who believe in another kind of book...so that they'll be ready to fight "pre-emptively", so fearful are they of losing their grip...any Dumbo who believes he can fly because of a feather...that feather becomes dearer than life itself, because without it, there wont be a life...just a painful crash landing in the circus tent of life ( I know, I know...I couldn't resist being "litrary"...I was going to add, "on the dunghill of Faith" too...but that was too awful, no?)
No king could rule if he applied the same whacky standard of "love and forgiveness" the Gods do. How often is the condemned person sent to his or her execution with the assurance that god will forgive all crimes, but...unfortunately, down on earth, the maximum penalty will have to be exacted (even back in Christian Europe when six year olds were hanged for stealing food)...that as much as humans should aspire to be near to the gods and the king especially as, "God's regent on earth"...still can't be "god-like" in this instance and commute the sentence or pardon the crimminal because it would lead to chaos and anarchy down here in no time. In fact the Church would even congratulate itself on sending the condemned's soul to heaven where it would reap the benefits of divine blessings...after a little "initiation" ceremony that involved wrenching the soul out the man's body through the hole made by removing his head. Under those circumstances, when dealing with heretics and non-believers, the church was positively convinced it was doing a kindness by shuffling the sinner off to heaven quickly...why wallow around in iniquity down here when through a little act of mercy-murder you could go to heaven where the author of all this insanity resided and thank him personally for a job well done.
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