Religion, Menu, Introduction

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / Social Epistemology / Cosmology / Religion /
@ K. 2004 01 23

Mission: original: to assemble a series of non-standard perspectives on religion
while resurrecting K.’s Religion section



Thou shalt have no other gods before me

Did the Jews’ god say that? Or did the Jews’ priests say he said that?

The mere fact that this God is called a “he” suggests to me that it’s priests, not a god, talking. The capitalization of the generic word — god — suggests to me that it’s kleptocrats, would-be imperialists, that are talking; not any god. The very fact that we’re supposed to think of the god as talking suggests to me that it’s humans, civilized humans, kleptocratic humans … talking. Talk, talk, talk.

In the beginning was the Word …

Sorry, John. Signals have been around a long time; grunts for quite a while; but words? Very very recent: 50,000 years or so: maybe 70,000 … 150,000? and then only if we stretch meanings past tattering.

As usual, we’re talking things that we don’t and perhaps can’t know. I’m in little better a position to be telling “the truth” than my contemporaries or predecessors: I’m just saying what I see the evidence — what little there is of it — as suggesting. Maybe gods have “talked” since before the big bang, but there’s no evidence. Human testimony on the subject is worse than worthless.

Or: there’s evidence galore; we’re just too stupid to see it. Perhaps any E. coli, any cycad, could show us: if only we knew how to see.

Get it? My point has been around for nearly a decade [ie, since c. 1995]. It’s been around my creative writing for half a century. Here I’m trying to concentrate it: highlight this one thing: “God” is a stalking horse for human kleptocrats — preying on their own species. Evolution tries this and that; only kleptocrats give orders. The lion doesn’t tell me to keep still: the lion merely immobilizes me: breaks my back, severs my throat, nails me to the ground with claws and strong paws. I have no argument with the lion.

“God” is a supposed spirit, an essence — creativity, virtue, rightness …, that the elders of our gang have captured, put into a box, and seduced or intimidated into saying whatever we want: WASPS are sacred … males are rational …

Religion: a bias
typically cosmological
masquerading as truth

This file will become a menu for my many references to religion: once I gather them: and catch up on still unmade points. One point intended will concern religious tolerance: something we’re all taught — but that I don’t believe anyone believes: either we don’t believe our religions; or we don’t believe that false religions should be tolerated. (Of course there’s not one religion that could prove it’s not false.)

Catholicism is great. They got a franchise everywhere.
Sanibel Flats

Religion is one of many costumes worn by
the imaginative predator / omnivore Homo sapiens.

Religion (“99%”): human politics (typically outmoded) masquerading as divine authority.

(Therefore belief in the divine is prescribed.)

Religion: the ardent embracing of familiar ideas
after they are no longer supported by examined experience

The Worst

thing about religion is that the association of god with churches, congregations, authority … is now indelible.

The Worst thing about government …

I insert a note formerly linked as a separate module:
Centralized Management

Jesus was crucified.

Just another day at the office for centralized management.

K. [went] on, and on, like that, and [had] been for years. But pk had been going on like that for decades before that: pissing people off, getting put in Coventry, blackballed. He’s one of those lunatics trying to get martyred: just ignore him. (Above all, don’t be seduced by any sense he makes.)

The Worst

The worst thing about religion is that the association of god with churches, congregations, authority … is now indelible.

The worst thing about government is that now our associations for centralized solutions are permanently polluted.

There otherwise might be a jillion occasions on which a good anarchist might want, temporarily, to allow, some leadership, some authority, some convenient efficiency.

Definitions of religion
2017 06 19 Jared Diamond comments:
It will be obvious that we are not even close to agreement on a definition. Many of these definitions are written in a convoluted style similar to the language used by lawyers in drafting a contract, and that warns us that we are treading on hotly contested ground.

Big Bang
2006 05 05 Current cosmology has it that the universe started at a point then rapidly spread: rapid being faster, much faster, than the speed of hight. One micro-second everything was a point, next micro-second things were spreading many light-years apart: and still moving outward, at close to the speed of light. started as just a couple of files in one of three folders. Soon the folders subdivided. Now my Faith file is in the Thinking Tools section of my Teaching folder, my God and my Magic sections are sub-folders of my Society section: now subdivided into a Social Epistemology section. They make variations of the same couple of points, but get geographically further and further apart from each other: the way Africa and South America have drifted till the Atlantic Ocean puts thousands of miles between their once-joined coasts.

But it’s all Magic. That is, it’s all belief in false magic. If there’s any real magic, we know nothing of it.

My Faith piece argues that all knowledge is faith-based. That’s inevitable: we don’t really “know” anything. But we’re all born into cultures, religious systems, political systems, in which dubious to outright-false faiths are hammered into us.

2012 04 14 What better illustration could there be than that Americans, told they’re free (by a compulsory school system), still allow school boards to assign what’s taught as science. Democracy and science occupy entirely different universes.
But, pk adds, as a human activity, science is just as fallible as the poll. The Lilliputians select how much of Gulliver’s testimony will be ignored. The entity that can’t be fooled is the grave. The chants of millions of smokers can’t cure their cancer.

We’re forced to rely on authorities whose experts have themselves been duped by extra-fancy rituals. The ordinary religious is duped by a generic ritual; the Mason, the Phi Beta Kappa … is duped by an extra-expensive ritual.

Throughout the human world the one thing manifest is that we’re mortal: so we need special magic to deny it. Throughout the human world another thing manifest is that the majority can at any moment beat up the minority: so we need special magic to deny that. If we figure out that we were duped at our Baptism, at our Confirmation, at our Communion … we’ll still believe that George Washington and Benjamin Franklin weren’t duped at theirs: or, we’ll have no allies.

Christianity argues that the Jews wouldn’t listen to Jesus; ah, but we have a different church: so we’re different. The Pagan is damned, but we — of the same flesh — are immune.

The People are ignorant; but the President is informed. The worker is an ignoramus; but the executive knows what he’s doing.

No, no, no, says pk. We’re all mortal. We’re all ignorant. We none of us know what we’re talking about.

The Church argues that we are all born into mortal sin. There’s a lot of gibberish there, but I accept the premise metaphorically. We have tools for living but we’re also talented for death. Eros and Thanatos are locked in battle. We’re born. Some of us survive more than a few hours, some more than a few years. Still, billions of us live into our forties. Now billions of us live into our sixties. None of us lives much beyond a century. We have myths of individuals living longer, but that’s what they are: myths.

Still we believe that our special group has special exemptions from all generalities. If I’m a Muslim I believe that killing an infidel will get me into Paradise. If I’m a Catholic I believe that my priests aren’t just superstitious louts: like everybody else’s priests. As an American I’m supposed to believe that the ritual of masses of people going into a voting booth communicates our preferences to representatives.

I’m still not satisfied that I’ve said that right. But you know what? If I haven’t succeeded in communicating any of my basic messages in 67 years, at some point I have to believe that only part of the fault lies in my art. No: I’m trying to sing to the deaf. The deliberately deaf. The magically deaf.

Society is an impenetrable wall of deafness.

The list of failures includes some very talented people.

2012 04 12 I hope you see that I’m not trying to encourage us to cease being ignorant nearly so much as I am pleading with us to stop being arrogant!
We kill Jesus on Thursday, the declare that we’re dedicated to justice on Friday. On Sunday we say that we’re immortal!
Only a few of us can hear the roar of the gods’ laughter.

God, Christianity, Judgment, Heaven & Hell … have their own sections, here and there: easy to find if you look.

It’s rude to talk about religion: you never know who you’re going to offend.
Big Fish

Cosmology Etc.

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
This entry was posted in cosmo, pk Teaching, religion, social epistemology, society. Bookmark the permalink.

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