The dying religions and their rotting corpses


 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam CO2I don’t usually knock religions. I know that for millions of people living in poverty and unbelievable squalor, religion gives them the only hope they have. I have to respect that. On that basis is this article written.

The utter betrayal of humanity by its religions is no minor thing. The fanatics, the pedophiles, the corruption and the total failure of religions to achieve their missions are inexcusable. Like politics, religion is now a simple executive task for plodders, a corporate business with no redeeming features. That’s not good enough.

The Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, no longer represent anything but political power. Communities live in misery. The message they’re given is nothing but excuses to hate. Spiritual life is the mere recital of doggerel, and the demand for money.

The greatest betrayal of religion

The greatest betrayal is simple enough –  The hope is given of a better existence. The fact is given of unredeemed poverty, tyrannical conformity. With this obscenity comes an ugliness of small, petty minds unworthy to mention any god, let alone claim to be experts.

Beliefs are supposed to mean something. In the Golden Age of Meaninglessness, you get a brochure, not a meaningful belief.

Cowering behind scriptures, the religions spread their hate and filthy horrors in the material world. Ancient hatreds, thousands of years old in some cases, infest the world. The resulting spiritual cowardice of the religions is extraordinary. No issue is permitted to intrude on this festival of failure, whether it’s the total mismanagement of human affairs or the hideous, poisoned world in which humanity exists.

If the original gods have gone, the gods of greed, crime, malice and the Great God of Endless Excuses remain. Tell the Devil he’s out of a job; the religions have done what no incarnation of evil could ever do. Those who live in this world need no hell, no Purgatory, and certainly no more smug fools making life worse every second of every day.

The history of religions as actual arguments and practice is baffling:

  • The Christian idea of “man has no free will” is a case in point. If that were the case, is god a mere cheat sheet? If everything is preordained, what is the point of it? How do be fruitful and multiply apply to serial abuses by the clergy? Is anything really being done about it? No.
  • Islam was at one point the most progressive, enlightened religion in the world. More actual progress in the sciences was achieved by the original Islamic civilization than perhaps any other than the Chinese. Now, it’s at war with itself and the world, based on truly ancient hatreds, money, and current power politics.
  • Judaism was the foundation of the monotheistic religions. It has an unmatched record of genuine scholarship. Now, it seems dogmatic and insular. How are scholarship and dogmatic insularity reconciled? Not well, it seems. Even with good reasons in the course of history, Judaism of all religions should know that scholarship and dodging real issues with scriptural conveniences can’t work.

The religions can’t have it both ways. You’re given the privilege of teaching, and you start wars? You persecute the students, and only slavishly reciting the messages of hate permits them to graduate? This isn’t religion; it’s incompetence at best, blatant hypocrisy on average, and genocide at worst.

How many damn fools does it take to find a god? Far too many, apparently. Even the basics are ignored. The only reason religions have lasted so long in their hypocritically righteous stupor is by a curious, if appropriate, fact. Religions have survived not by their official pomposity, but by the work of their people who are rarely acknowledged, or more often ruined by their work.

In South America, the first to raise the issue of the slaughter and extermination of the natives was a Jesuit. Yes, a Jesuit, supposedly one of the most dogmatic, ferociously conventional forms of Catholicism. This poor man simply told the truth. Was he thanked? Hardly. Not for about 300 years, when modern history caught up with the facts.

We had a friend who was a refugee from communist Hungary. He wanted to practice his religion. When he came to Australia, he was astonished. In his home town, the priests were actual social workers, the real Christianity of the dim and misunderstood European past. He went back to communist Hungary, rather than worship in Australia. All he could see were priests going through the motions; there was no Christianity as he understood it.

There are endless stories of religion failing to live up to its tasks. The religions are dying of themselves. They’ve polluted themselves with the very thing they were supposed to cure. When the Romans became Christianized, there was an exchange of values. The Christians became Romanized. The most corrupt, venal society passed on its genes to those least able to understand them, the (relatively) simple Christians practicing their then much less complex faith.

The great betrayals of religion

Paul Wallis books, sydney media jam

This book is all about creative ideas. Nobody has yet died of reading it, but it’s a pretty tough call for those not familiar with working with ideas. “Passive voice”, eh?

The pattern has repeated often enough. Martin Luther went to Rome, went back to Germany, and planted the Reformation in the minds of Europeans based on the corruption of Rome as he saw it. The Inquisition created its own worst enemies out of its centuries of injustice. The net effect of the two religious forces was a century of war.

There is not, and never has been, any Scripture which condones injustice. Injustice is a plague on this world which everyone knows all too well.

There is no Scripture which condones abuse of believers. How many believers of different religions are abused on a daily basis, either by deprivation of needs or actual physical abuse? Hundreds of millions, directly or indirectly.

There is no Scripture which permits the abuse of children. Now pedophiles are betraying the children of worshippers, and the churches cringe behind lawyers, rather than addressing an actual issue. This is now discovered to be a universal problem with many religions.

Jesus, Mohamed and Moses were opponents of tyranny, physical and spiritual. Now their religions support tyranny, act corruptly, uphold the miseries of human life, and demand respect? It’s not likely to be forthcoming. The message of hate is failing.

Perhaps fittingly the religions also betray themselves. It’s hard to imagine any more thorough way of bringing religion in to disrepute than the usual evasive business of every religion every day.

Where and when does it end? Soon enough, apparently. The religions are losing their believers, and their practitioners. There is no longer a use for beliefs which aren’t even practiced by their most fanatical adherents.

Maybe the hope which all these people have will come true. If so, it won’t be as the result of the maniacal hatreds promoted by the religions. It won’t be because some simpering coward in a cassock refused to see the truth. It won’t be because some damn animal uses god as excuse for atrocities.

The hope will come from recognition of the irreconcilable differences between the true messages of the religions and the vermin who pervert those messages. When the hopeful leave the rotting corpses of the religions and simply pursue their hopes, the religions, and their obscenities, will be truly dead.

 

 

 

Religion decoded and made useful


 

 

Beliefs are supposed to mean something. In the Golden Age of Meaninglessness, you get a brochure, not a meaningful belief.

Religion is not dogma. It’s not an excuse. It’s not a means of personal moral superiority, however banal and pointless. It’s supposed to be useful. Religion, in most of its original forms, is a codification of both belief and conduct for spiritual benefit. In many ways, it’s just common sense.

The degraded forms of religion we see today are far removed from benefit, despite the fact that religion in some cases is all some people have. The tedious, pompous and often obsessive forms of religion aren’t much use, however, in delivering value.

Religion basics

Consider the basics:

  • “Thou shalt not be a jerk”. This covers all forms of misconduct which cause injury. All religions have this basic tenet.
  • Worship: Worship what, how, and why? Can you have a real religion, based on “Just add worship”? If you have no idea what you’re believing in, how do you worship it? Unless it serves some useful purpose, seems rather unfair.
  • Belief: Humans only actually believe something they trust. They trust it because they’ve seen it proven in some form. Any other “belief”, however tiresomely expressed, is hypocrisy.
  • Religious deities: One god or many? One god and saints, or whatever, the usual format is to break down religious subjects in to examples, parables, with a story and a range of metaphors. This applies from the Bible to folklore. It’s a common teaching method in ancient and modern societies.
  • The soul: The worst defined subject in human history, the soul is the nominal incarnation of self. It doesn’t have ascribed values, material or otherwise. This lucky concept is the recipient of any amount of babble which is supposed to be good for it. If the average soul could get a word in edgewise, it would tell the babble where to go, or demand that the babble explain itself. “Preaching to the speechless” could also be described as incredibly hypocritical and cynical.
  • The Afterlife: This remarkably poorly defined subject is the reward for “whatever”, the mass of bullet impacts and asteroid strikes life delivers to most people. As explained by people who have no idea what it is, it’s a pretty iffy reward. “Bribed with Heaven and threatened with hell” isn’t much of an improvement. It’s an exertion of assumed authority which can backfire, causing resentment and discouragement. Credible rewards are based on something; this dismally expressed topic delivers very little.
  • “Evil”: Evil simply means injury. Evil is a one trick wonder. It causes injury, in whatever form. Any fool can be evil; it’s a devaluation of oneself and a useless range of possibilities.
  • Good: A rather shoddily defined expression which deserves better. Good can relate to acting responsibly, being kind, or, in fact, acting like a normal human being. If you commit an act of kindness, you know why you do it. True good doesn’t big note itself.
  • Moral pretensions: This is the age-old pretension of being good. It’s false by definition. Actual good is also practical, rather than pretentious. To claim to be good is making a necessity out of a virtue; not a great idea of you don’t have that particular virtue.
  • Morality: These supposed “life rules” have to make sense to be effective. Morals are useful, provided they’re practical and applicable to situations. Otherwise, they’re just more spiritual spam churned out by ignoramuses trying to be authoritative.

Religion in practice

Paul Wallis books, sydney media jam

This book is all about creative ideas. Nobody has yet died of reading it, but it’s a pretty tough call for those not familiar with working with ideas. “Passive voice”, eh?

If you’re thinking that a lot of this is just common sense, you’re right. The original sources of religions were directly involved in practical needs. Why would a farmer, 5000 years ago, believe anything that wasn’t common sense? Imagine telling a subsistence farmer that they need a whole new range of things to not only do, but believe unquestioningly. Not very appealing, is it?

What use is self-promotion by others to people in real need? The original sources of the major religions were positively minded, from Confucius to the latter day religions. The Confucian idea of turning society in to an extended family, in fact, applies as well to the Warring States era as to modern times. Everyone knows extended families work well, too.

The original sources were practical people. None of these people were mere talkers. Jesus and Buddha were fundamentally teachers, and good ones. (For the non-press-release version of Jesus, read The Gospel of Thomas.) The Prophet Mahomet would go out and plough people’s fields himself. Moses was a lawgiver and a source of a code for people who needed cohesion. It’s a very practical approach to living in a wilderness/desert.

Believe what you will, but be aware that none of these sources was anything but useful. If religion diverges from usefulness, it’s obviously not as it was intended.

This wasn’t McReligion. You couldn’t just order a god to go with a side dish of pretensions like you can now. The original sources promoted responsibility, not excuses and evasions. They also weren’t obsessed with materialism.

Some of the best exponents of religion are practical in the sense that their every conscious moment is devoted to helping others. This help in turn benefits others indirectly. Some of them aren’t even members of a religion. They simply practice it, and make themselves very useful in the process. If religion is the process of putting useful things in to practice, however, they qualify as religious people.

You don’t have to be a saint to be a practical religious person, with or without a particular religion. You don’t have to preach about something you barely understand yourself to be effective and practical.

You don’t have to be a jerk, either. However fashionable being a petty little attempt at a real person may be, the jerks are always the useless, the greedy and the mindlessly addicted selfish, causing injury to others.  The one trick wonder is only that and no more.

Believe what you trust, not just any old garbled dogma. Put in to practice what you believe, and avoid injury to others. How much simpler could it get?

 

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