I find it absolutely fascinating that most of the wold’s population has been indoctrinated by some sort of religion. It is a telling sign that culture is a great predictor of religion. Anglo Saxon culture the past 1500 years, has been dominantly Christian, after eroding away Paganism and Greek Mythology among others. In other cultures, there is the spiritual Taosim and Jainism of the far East, the Hindu and Buddhism of Asia and the Islamic religion of the Middle East. On and on we can go, with different cultures and different eras, we have different faiths. Mankind began as a nomadic wanderer, completely ignorant of the universe, and produced a lot of fables, legends, myths and tales and continue to do so including today. It is typical of human nature to make up such stories and dare I say, lies, for entertainment, a grasping to explain how we exist, or even more sinister reasons, perhaps. One way or another, people end up believing them, fully. It becomes an escape from reality, at for many, it is a very harsh reality. The product of the mind, and its distinctly human capacity for fantastical imagination can provide a way to cope with our ignorance and inability to grasp how we exist, or why we have to die. These existential questions are dealt with through beliefs. Human ingenuity is able to thrive off of this and it provides hope and a sense of purpose. Yet this hope is all belief based. What reason, must people believe, in so many different things all throughout time and culture? Haven’t we had enough bogus religions to finally say, when is this madness going to stop? People are devoting their entire lives to bogus religions and we go about thinking its okay, or that, maybe they are right. Odds are, really, that they’re not. They are all spread the same way, through the writings of men. I hardly suspect a loving God would reveal himself in the same way as every other false religion, and sentence you to eternal hell, for not choosing the right one, or perhaps, reincarnating you as a slug, for being willfully ignorant of Hinduism, perhaps.
We have come a long ways in knowledge and understanding since our nomadic roots. It was only a few centuries ago in which philosophers such as Immanuel Kant, who produced his ground breaking work, a Critique of Pure Reason, or Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature. Certainly other cultures have their validity in philosophy, yet none as so distinct, thorough, and clear, than these two works just mentioned. There of course is the progression of modern science, born of the philosophy of the scientific method. After millions of years of evolution, we are finally grasping at actual knowledge and eliminating the need for guessing, the need for myths, and beliefs. Knowing and achieving a good understanding of human nature is still in the process of becoming, primarily with cognitive science.
Certainly there are benefits to believing in religion, fables and legends, myths and fairly tales. They provide humanity with a purpose. A purpose that they may think they are incapable or unwilling to assign for themselves as a whole. With fervor and belief comes purposeful intent, however good or bad. When the majority population of a culture believes in it, it multiplies through reproduction and indoctrination. Through religion, people of a culture believe they have obtained all the answers needed for life. We were created and Zeus, God, Buddha, Allah, wants us to do this, and this we shall. Regardless of the multiple interpretations that exist, all the various sects, they are all one in the same… The populace finds solace in believing they know about existence and the majority goes on in not seeking further answers, or truth. Yet there is a minority lineage, even in believers, in which curiosity is never satisfied. These thinkers and truth seekers transcend beyond what the mainstream believers are satisfied with and end up with successful revelations, adding to the totality of human knowledge. For them all, I am truly thankful and in debt to. The majority has progressed on the minds and backs of an unwavering, critically thinking minority. The majority, has an entirely different story to them, and they are subject at times to my pity and scorn, for good reason. From the brutal dictators, the liars, mystics and deceivers, the conformists, those who believed in gods or god have certainly done some atrocious things, in the name if their deity. The unthinking majority, who think they think as well as anyone, is certainly a product of the success of their constant propagation of the planet. Of course, can I really blame them? People are obviously suspect to this time of believing, it is rampant. It’s human nature, to go with the flow, believe what your parents tell you. It’s an easy out, to believe in god, God or gods. Understanding science, not so much. Its complicated and hard to grasp at times. Knowledge isn’t the easiest thing to obtain at times.
Due to the rampant nature of beliefs, the majority of human nature can be deemed slavish, subject to rule and whim by a minority, fooled, duped. It’s always been that way, yet it was obviously not a necessity for humanity to know of knowledge. After all, animals do just fine, populating the earth with not even a thought of god, or conformity. Perhaps I misjudge some of the more intelligent animals, to that I am open to criticism. But insects and plants for example are surely are lacking in mental faculties that are capable of producing such abstract thoughts, yet there are more numerous than our own kind. The subjugation of humanity to a belief-based ideology of reality can be seen as problematic and inept to the most enlightened minds of our current society. Knowing that we do not know, and could not know, whether God exists, is half the battle to defeat such a tyrannical liar that religion is. Perhaps it was derived to control out of fear. Fear of eternal damnation or unimaginable suffering by powerful god’s, that are simply figments of imagination. And no matter what faith you are, or aren’t, people surely have fallen victim to this. Lightning, being sent down by Zeus, surely was a punishment to those evil doers. Yet people did believe in Zeus, just as people believe in Buddha or Allah today. Whether the myth believers knew of the evil of those struck down by Zeus is irrelevant, because if they were struck down, the god’s certainly knew why. It’s easy to demonize then after that, with faith on your side. Peace by fear may have some benefit in order and control over the slavish unthinking majority of populace. Yet not all can be blamed as unthinking. The problem of religion and human nature isn’t that thinking is foreign to believers of myths and fairy tales, it’s indoctrination from birth, years upon years of being told how it is, at a naive and very young age. This is very damaging to any intelligent mind to have to endure. There was opportunity to fully understand reality as it could have been, had indoctrination not taken place. Knowing that beliefs are simply, just beliefs, not a means to burn at the stake, or launch a holy war. Certainly something so severe requires the believer to think they know, which this is how bigotry of non believers sets in. They think we are fools, for simply not believing… That we are evil… That we are going to hell. Simply because we don’t believe the an ancient text, written by misogynistic, slave condoning people. Surely we have reason on our side, yet let’s understand that escaping indoctrination, is extremely hard. It takes time.
To anyone who has broken free from these chains of indoctrination, I am honored to have you read the words I write. As you walk into the world among the people that believe everything you were told, hold your head up high, surely you are a rare breed, with a powerful independent mind.
While the slavish sheep like mentality of humanity walks around spouting prejudices and bigotry, I urge the rest of us to not engage in the same. It is imperative to not treat those the same way they may have treated us, the ones who didn’t believe. It is simply counter effective to the progress of all of humanity to engage in such ignorant, slander. Human psychology tells us that the mind is not capable of changing its entire frame of reference when presented with logic and counter evidence to a comprehensive belief system that religion is. Yet don’t worry, perhaps a seed may be planted, that one day will blossom into understanding that their entire perspective of reality is belief based, not knowledge based. Fear based, not education based. We as a species aren’t capable of such drastic change, it is damaging to our purpose, and purpose is what brought us so far, yet I can see that this future may be brighter than ever, if we proceed carefully and thoughtfully about how the education and knowledge sharing, of the totality of human knowledge can be spread, much of which is right at our fingertips. Peace by fear is ultimately an inept strategy. Happiness through fantasy is just the same. Education can provide knowledge based peace and knowledge based happiness. Yes it is possible to teach values to our young, to tell them the moral ways of how to act based on key values of the progression and betterment of humanity. The core value, is the value of life, not the eager yearning for death and the apocalypse, or the second coming, and heaven, but the preciousness of the one life we all have on this earth together. Through education we can achieve peace through knowledge…a greater peace than the deceptive lies of religion has ever brought, with no need for the wars that religion brings with it as well. With knowledge, even therapy, psychology and philosophy, one can achieve happiness, knowledge based happiness. Happiness of course comes from within, but with a knowledge based contentment, instead of fantasy based happiness, we can truly achieve great things as a society. The totality of human knowledge truly eliminates the need for believing, as our archaic ancestors once had. I ask that you all join me in learning about all things, as much as possible, so that you too may enjoy the understanding and peace that I have. Hopefully you have already achieved it, many of us have.