Who God? me god?

November 18, 2009

With the current bogey man being the mad mullah peddling Islam as a religion of hate (and while it has its mad moments like all the major religions its core message is fundamentally (boom boom) peaceful) it is fashionable to lump all religion as being inherently not. a. good. thing.

The premise perhaps that if we only learned to live in peace and harmony and not impose these beliefs from on sky, or from monkey god, then a better and fairer world would prevail. Like North Korea perhaps.

 The opposing view of our mullah or papal friend is that if only you live according to their code then a better and fairer world would prevail. Like Afghanistan under the Taliban perhaps.

 There are, like financial products, few inherently bad religions – there are only bad salespeople.

 As competitive creatures, human beings are a few evolutionary steps up the hierarchy from tearing each other to pieces on a constant rather than the current intermittent basis. The rule of law is what keeps the cars on the right side of the road and the majority of axe wielding maniacs from your door. There is too an inherent morality which, like all morality, is a social construct but reflective too of an instinctive grasping for meaning born of our consciousness that we will die. For many people it is not enough to have a hand to hold in the night but to have the hope that there might be a hand to guide through the darkness of the solitary journey that comes to us all.

 The problem arises from the layering upon layering that organised religion heaps on the simplest tenet of morality – I should not kill my fellow man because to extinguish him is to put him in the darkness today that I might know tomorrow.

 So we escalate on each side of the debate in increasingly shrill voices- one side frantically splitting particles within particles to show there is no organised plan, the other seeing in the particle the smallest fragment of their monkey god. What our Dawkinite friends should consider more however is that while religion admittedly inspires the hatchet wielding mob it more usually keeps them off the street. It is not religion per se that is wrong – its fact and existence unified with or divorced from a belief in the underpinning tenets is, through its acknowledgment of consciousness, a key element of what separates us from our unconscious fellow creatures.

 “Far more mysterious that the call of sex to sex is the tenderness that we throw into that call: far wider the gulf between us and the farmyard than that between the farmyard and the garbage that nourishes it. We are evolving, in ways that Science cannot measure, to ends that Theology dare not contemplate”


3 Responses to “Who God? me god?”

  1. eguinan Says:

    “There are, like financial products, few inherently bad religions – there are only bad salespeople.”

    I’d prefer to remove religion from the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories entirely. They are all by their nature bunkum: we are a storytelling species and we strive to make sense of our existence. History, power and luck have lead to the current popular fictions remaining influential.

    I do like your closing quote though (whatever it means). 😉

  2. itwaseverthus Says:

    Bunkum perhaps but why stop at religion and why not jettison morality, communism, Obama? Religion, belief systems or spirituality based on consciousness rather than a belief system. They are all important agents in secondary socialisation. Throw them in the gutter and be concerned at what will replace them because these storytelling people need something to believe in. Personally I worship at the temple of Prince Valium and my Lord Inderol….

  3. eguinan Says:

    Morality, as we just discussed over lunch today, (yes, that’s what we’re like), is probably a sophisticated manifestation of our survival urge suitable for our social nature. (For most of us anyway; I hate people). As such, there’s a logic to it that I can live with.

    Yes, Nietzche* says there is no morality, but I reckon some form of secular humanism sits better with other ‘laws’ or patterns in nature. “Why is breaking a window wrong, mummy?” “Because … well, if everyone did it, it would start a sequence of events that would end up with no social cohesion, death, barbarity and no TV other than ITV”. That makes sense without resorting to incense, burkhas and angels.

    I like what is suggested on the imagined futures of Star Trek. Yes, some civilisations still have ‘religion’ and ‘money’, but these are considered charming, anachronistic and quaint.

    * We actually had this conversation in real life folks. Voluntarily…

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