This likely will be my last time discussing religion. Unlike the last two times where I directly spoke out against certain religions and how they manage to work in contemporary times, today’s installment will be more on understanding why they work – a question that will require a philosophical analysis of this concept. Our discussion will be focused on exploring why religion might have been necessary and maybe still is. Later, we will get to understanding some shared ideologies among religions.
Where do we start? A new World Order? Sure, let’s start here – despite your forced consent that would’ve otherwise made no difference if you’d answered. The fundamentalists of religion saw the state of political chaos – the anarchy – invading our civilization as the people grew. With more people came more demands to meet their individual and collective needs. People would then give in to their animalistic instincts – their innate desires and ambition – and that would soon overcome any order of the people. Imagine a world without law and order, a world where ethics and moral were foreign ideas – this is exactly the kind of place religious fundamentalists realized and saw. In fear, they envisioned a word of order. A world where man’s innate desires were suppressed for the greater benefit of his fellows – and indirectly himself. The fundamentalist knew order cannot result from the reign of another man – because man’s ambition of a control of his territory would destroy his obedience – and conflict would soon prevail. The solution was to device something of an outside entity – a supreme and perfect being in all regards of man. An entity that lives and grows in apparent truth with the belief of man and other men.
Resources come at a premium – and anyone from a third-world can perfectly relate to this. Nothing is free. In a world survived by man’s innate desires, it would have been hard to ensure fair distribution of vital resources such as food. Also, as anyone who watches the National Geographic can describe – these desires are often lawless in modern hindsight. Animals aggressively secure their territory, their food and their potential mate at any costs. They fight among themselves and among others and form clans – where they venture together into unknown territories to conquer or mark as their own. The fundamentalist knew man was no different from his ancestor and such instincts would soon creep in as they outgrew in numbers eventually leading them to their own destruction. A need for a system of order was in dire necessity. A system to channel man’s own emotions – that he has been naturally predisposed with – against his unknowing will for the benefit of other men and himself. A concept of religion was therefore required.
I must confess at this time to losing count of posts I’ve written on Islam. The religion of peace just keeps giving me never-ending subject matter to talk about. Over the past days, I’ve unapologetically destroyed Islam (verbally). I discussed how Islam spreads and conquers foreign lands, keeping out external and internal political opposition in the process. This time, we will look at its fundamental ideology and try to make sense of what makes this epidemic movement keep sustaining itself and growing in their own demographic and among others – without bringing up dogma or scholarly beliefs but instead by realizing what it has morphed to in reality. Comparing dogmatic beliefs between Islam and other religions side-by-side have been a staple among conservative and atheistic debates and I don’t see a need to go through it again. The Quran allows unconsentual sex and the Bible calls for women to be sold to their rapists – but not everyone gets to do that (in Western countries). The dogma of Islam, or any religion for that matter, would come in irrelevant when discussing present-day cultural ideology.
if you want to go fast, go alone. if you want to go far, go together. -African Proverb
Let’s start off talking about Islam in foreign lands as I realize that’s a hard topic now – with many sides to it. There is this saying (quoted above) from an untraceable author on the power of unity. When people come together with a common cause, they constructively add up to become an indestructible political and cultural force that will stand the test of time. The kind of unity you see among Muslim communities where everybody has strongly shared beliefs is different from the local communities where people of Christian and other faiths or no faiths at all coexist with individualistic attitudes. In individualistic societies, people unite under the common cause of progressing their society as one, setting aside their personal indifferences because their paradigm calls for all individuals of society to be freely entitled to their own beliefs and opinions under the room of law – secularily practicing whatever they wish to practice. In collectivistic societies however, everybody is everybody else. An individual of such society is made to stay in agreement with what others of their society see fit toward the greater interests of their society – in simpler terms, they don’t have a fucking mind of their own. They exhibit similar patterns of thought, moral conscience that manifest in their ensuing actions. This leads to a clash of cultures when collectivistic cultures try to be part of individualistic countries. But it doesn’t end there, as with Islam, you are dealing with a bigger clash of civilizations.
I’d previously discussed about forms of dogmatic theism such as Christianity and Islam. Dogma is just a fancy word for philosophy without thought. It is quintessentially the analog of telling a child what is good and bad – there is nothing that can innately fall into one of these two categories. Our concept of good and bad are philosophical constructs that have manifested over time from religion and philosophy itself. Unlike its successor, philosophy, religion does not reason with its followers or allow room for people to interpret its dogma and reason further – which can threaten its very existence and religious fundamentalists know all to well about that! The threat of Hell and a concept of the afterlife were carefully stipulated to keep people from reasoning with their religion but I’ll have to save more on that for an upcoming post titled Religion: Earliest Attempts At World Order.
This post will serve as a sequel to my previous post titled An Atheist On Religions. I had made several updates and added newer, thought-provoking discussions after its date of publication – I urge you to start there first or this post will seem like a drag. In this post, I want to clear up some of the ideas I may have presented and add my after thoughts. We will also get to understanding how and why certain religions continue to be ballsy – when their own people or outsiders challenge their ways – potentially threatening the integrity of their God’s word.
While I hold religious people with good regard, I am forced to object to some things they do that don’t seem fit in the new world. For those of you who don’t know, I am a free-thinking agnostic atheist – I keep an open mind to a the opinionated gnostics, not readily challenging their faith or allegiance to a deity but also hold dear to my belief that god cannot exist deducing from evidence but also willing to a change of heart if proven otherwise. My reference to the religious folk should refer to the gnostic theists – those who believe a god exists (dictated by their faith as to who that god exactly is) and refute the notion that god can only exists if there is evidence. Now that I have moved any ambiguity out of the way let’s dive head-first into our discussion of what’s up with religious folk, really.
I’d recently come across a video on the internet about a certain religion which I will not name here for reasons about being a way of life. The video claimed this religion had its roots in all ways of lives, and boldly claimed even atheism was tolerated and moreover had a place in their religion. The video ended saying said religion was a way of life and more than just being a religion. Continue reading