Thursday, August 02, 2007

Because I couldn’t say it any better….



Here are two arguments against complacency toward, and respect for, religious beliefs. The first one from evanescent is quite detailed.

(excerpt)

“It is ironic that the most farcical anthology of myth, rumour, lie, superstition, and fairy tale should become the most important subject on earth today, but it is. I personally wish I’d never heard of religion. I personally wish all religious people (in all fairness many of them do) would just get on with their lives and leave the rest of us alone, but oh no, that can’t happen. Rest assured that although Christians and Muslims will bleat and moan and cry injustice the moment one of their myriad undeserved privileges has been rolled back to an even footing, or somebody somewhere has the temerity to question belief or not take them seriously, the moment a non-believer raises an objection to having someone else’s mental disorders rammed down their throats, not only do the Faithful act like the long-suffering victim, other non-believers actually side with the Believers, jumping on the politically-correct bandwagon, wanting to play it safe for, heaven-forbid (pun intended) they offend the religious.”



The second one is a lot shorter and more sharply pointed.

Why Does Faith Deserve Respect?


The comments on the evanescent post are quite long, and feature a slightly better than average duel between the blog author, his readers, and a reasonably articulate religious troll going by the name of Geno. He is more well-mannered than most, but ultimately descends to the same old canned talking points and pouty-lipped hurt feelings. They just don’t seem to understand that guilt-tripping only works on followers and the easily manipulated. One fresh talking point seems to be an assertion that Richard Dawkins condones child molestation because on page 317 of The God Delusion he states,

“Once, in the question time after a lecture in Dublin, I was asked what I thought about the widely publicized cases of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland. I replied that, horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing up a child Catholic in the first place.”

Apparently, if you agree with him, you also are condoning child molestation, or at least are saying that you would rather have your child molested than go to Sunday School. Aside from being a false dichotomy, it is indeed arguably more harmful long-term to be indoctrinated into religion.

A Christian religious indoctrination:

Introduces its victims to the wonderful world of ritualized mass hypnosis.

Makes its followers believe that they live in a cartoon universe, populated by angels, demons, ghosts and ghoulies. A world where the all-powerful SuperAlphaDaddy runs the whole show, and can make people from dirt, or crap out a skyscraper if It felt like it. Meanwhile, some demon with a red butt, horns and hooves prances around and acts like a total jerk, pissing on people everywhere.

Teaches people to believe that their inner dialogue is some freaky spirit-world communication.

Teaches people to believe that anything good in their lives comes from outside themselves, from SuperAlphaDaddy to be precise, and anything bad comes from irredeemable flaws in their own character.

Teaches people to believe that those who do not share their beliefs are evil, possessed by demons, necessarily corrupt, or otherwise non-human.

Teaches people to believe they are defective, and that they should live in shame because they are human.

Teaches people to believe that they should mind each other’s business and be judgmental, all the while pretending to teach the opposite in one of the most insidious examples of Orwellian doublespeak.

Teaches people not to take responsibility for their actions (God told me to/The Devil made me do it).

Teaches people to believe that they are victims of a vast power struggle wherein they are puny and weak.

Teaches people to automatically defer to Authority Figures, and in some cases treat fanatical and morally bankrupt CONTROL FREAKS as God-by-proxy.

Teaches people to believe that mankind is not able to formulate cogent morality and law for itself without help from the god of a Bronze Age nomadic culture.

Teaches people to believe that prayer works, and that they can get what they want simply by groveling hard enough.

Teaches people not to question authority, and to feel shame for any deviation from the group mentality.

Tells people what to think, and how they’re supposed to feel about the attitudes and events surrounding them.

Insists that lies, fabrications, make-believe, contradictions, and ignorant perspectives be believed as absolute truth without proof, and destroys the victim’s ability to discriminate between reality and bullshit by making it a crime to doubt and question.

Uses the Herd Mentality to systematically destroy any signs of opposition, self-assurance, critical thinking or questioning by means of ridicule and ostracism.

Exists through the continued creation of fear, uncertainty, and self-doubt.

Reiterates and drones out this fantasy endlessly to legitimize this social insanity by means of mass hypnotic reinforcement.

Sometimes creates pedophiles, murderers, and suicide vicitms.


Molestation, on the other hand:

Teaches one that sex performed well feels good, and that sex performed badly hurts.

Teaches one that you cannot trust anyone blindly.

Teaches one that not all decisions are good decisions.

Teaches one that shameful secrets and fear will irrevocably change the course of your life.

Hopefully, teaches one the value of therapy and/or the concepts that the victim need feel no shame, and one remains a victim only as long as one sees themselves that way.

Sometimes causes enough brain damage to create another pedophile, cause murder, or suicide.

I will bet that more people (per capita) have gotten over the damage caused by sexual abuse than will ever break free of the Sunday-School mindfuck. As one who has accomplished both in my lifetime to some extent, I believe that qualifies me to have an opinion on the subject.

12 Comments:

At 4:09 AM, Anonymous evanescent said...

This is a great post! Very well written, and thanks for the link and comments.

evanescent

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger Kelly Gorski said...

I agree with the above commentator. Thanks!

RYC: Yes, I love that movie. The first 10 minutes are priceless.

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger Rev. Barking Nonsequitor said...

Wow - that's a pretty comprehensive list. This would be good to keep in your pocket should one ever have to debate a fundie.

 
At 10:16 AM, Anonymous L>T said...

mind-fuck indeed!
Most people do not realize how much Christian & other religious indoctrination have invaded even the fundamentals of modern philosophy & thought. It needs to be dismantled & put back together again.
Which is basically what we atheists are collectively trying to do as we root out God & take him out of the equation.

The indoctrination list is compelling in the fact that Christian indoctrination has worked so well on so many people.

 
At 10:40 AM, Blogger homo escapeons said...

Excellent list and I agree with the rev. that I need to have that info in a handy book form for quick referencing.

What about the universal Wildian premise that people are either charming or tedious? Some of them need a moral governor of some kind and the various legal systems don't seem to work. Mind you that Sharia law sure frees up a lot of Prison congestion.

Would it be possible to divert 55 Trillion Dollars from your Governments Military budget to educate all of the children in the world so that say in 20 years Science, Logic, and Reason became the defacto benchmark of our International Relations.

pffft! As if.

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger BEAST said...

Religion, at this point of our evolutionary advancement, is not only unnecessary, it is irrelevant and detrimental to our mental health.

To teach children the dreariness and sheer horrendous views of religious doctrines can only be described as mind-fucking. There is no good reason why people, especially kids, should be taught to fear imaginary demons, hells, and deities so that they can better behave themselves. There are better ways to do that.

Beast

 
At 10:22 PM, Blogger akakiwibear said...

Wow breakerslion you seem to mix with some seriously mixed up Christians who have got you all confused. That great list of teachings you have is simply rubbish. If not believing in it qualifies you as an atheist I must be one too! I suggest you raise your standards before you start to sound any more like a “fundie’ having a mindless rant.

Ah Beast, we meet again, and again I agree with you – a habit I must address.
You say “There is no good reason why people, especially kids, should be taught to fear imaginary demons, hells, and deities so that they can better behave themselves. There are better ways to do that.” Indeed there are, but why deprive them of a balanced rational view of theism – again I find you throwing the baby out with the nasty “fundie” bathwater.

There is a valid argument for theism (unless you seriously believe that there is an absolute answer to the big question) as there are some valid atheist questions BUT there is also the invalid ranting of myopic atheists who see no further than the nearest literal inerrant bible bashing “fundie” on which to base their atheism. The latter are no credit to humanity, let alone the atheist cause.

 
At 10:45 AM, Blogger breakerslion said...

evanescent, kelly gorski, rev. barking nonsequitor, l>t, homo escapeons: Thanks for the comments. You have proven yourselves to be rational beings of quick wit, and I value your opinions. The support system for superstition and doubt is indeed pervasive. The harder they work to sell this gunk, the more they look like a desperate infomercial. One of the real "tells" in this loose confederation of scams is, they cannot denounce any one scam as utter crap without threatening the alleged legitimacy of their own. One must maintain the illusion that it's all part of the cosmic plan. Competitors get moved into the "evil" camp, becoming part of the weft and warp of the master scam. The most laughable recent example of this is the theatrical furor over the Harry Potter fiction. It is reminiscent of the Renaissance Church’s rampage against secular theatrical productions. Somebody was nervous that the stage productions would reveal to people what church services truly were, staged productions. Heaven forbid that the sheeple get a glimpse of the man behind the curtain!

Beast: Couldn’t agree more. Let’s throw religion into the dank basement of human history, along with kings, conquistadors, and genocide.

Akakiwibear:

“Wow breakerslion you seem to mix with some seriously mixed up Christians who have got you all confused.”

There is no other kind, and they surely tried their best and failed.

“That great list of teachings you have is simply rubbish.”

Just asserting so is not an argument. I can back up every statement I have made. If you would care to state a contrary opinion, along with supporting arguments to any of my assertions, I will be happy to give it consideration commensurate with its value.

“ If not believing in it qualifies you as an atheist I must be one too! I suggest you raise your standards before you start to sound any more like a “fundie’ having a mindless rant.”

Au contraire, not believing in it qualifies you as a deluded and delusional victim of said indoctrination, with no clear idea of what has been done to you. “Goats are eating my shoes!” would be a mindless rant, unless of course they are actually doing so. My list is based on both personal experience and education in fields like psychology, including but not limited to the mechanics of Operant Conditioning. In short, “Nice try.”

“Ah Beast, we meet again, and again I agree with you – a habit I must address.
You say ‘There is no good reason why people, especially kids, should be taught to fear imaginary demons, hells, and deities so that they can better behave themselves. There are better ways to do that.’ Indeed there are, but why deprive them of a balanced rational view of theism – again I find you throwing the baby out with the nasty ‘fundie’ bathwater. “

There is no such thing as a rational view of theism. Faith is the antithesis of rational thought, as it demands belief without proof. One cannot make a rational decision based on bald assertions and threats. The best one can hope for in that environment is an emotional decision, based on delusional rationalizations and misplaced trust, not rational thinking.

The bathwater is opaque. All reasonable efforts have been employed to physically locate a baby therein without success. Those that assert that the baby exists, claim that it is actively avoiding the probes designed to confirm that existence. Bullshit. There is no baby.


There is a valid argument for theism (unless you seriously believe that there is an absolute answer to the big question) as there are some valid atheist questions BUT there is also the invalid ranting of myopic atheists who see no further than the nearest literal inerrant bible bashing “fundie” on which to base their atheism. The latter are no credit to humanity, let alone the atheist cause.

There are many arguments for theism, including “we’ve always done it this way.” The validity of these arguments is debatable, not self-evident.

Religion is all hung up on answering the question, “why?” Science says, “why not?” and then moves on to, “How?” Your big question is of relatively little import to my life, once I realized that your holy ghosts and demons, heaven and hell, were as mythological as Odin, Thor, and Freya.

The “Fundies” that you insist on comparing me to are better Christians than you are, by the way. They have not re-written doctrine to satisfy their sensibilities, they have tailored their sensibilities to biblical dogma. Your light version of Christianity might make you happy, and serve other worthy community purposes as well, but I submit that you don’t have to believe in Santa to enjoy Christmas, and you don’t have to believe in a Three-card Monty deity to have a congregation of friends and neighbors.

Once again, your rejection of the validity of my claims does not, ipso facto, make them invalid. I accept the charge of “myopic” inasmuch as this post focused on the indoctrination process and its effects. Once you strip away the mummery, you are left with a viciously defensive industry, disguised as a charity. Said industry clings tenaciously to both its tax-exempt status, and to the power base it has developed by unctuously insinuating itself into all phases of human development and ritualizing same.

 
At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Red Baron said...

I like the fact that someone else writes big long entries and can't do that every day!

This entry merits a good bit of thought which I shall give it tomorrow.

In the meantime I shall add you in to the roll of shame/blame/fame depending on your perspective!

 
At 1:08 AM, Blogger BEAST said...

Jeez. Rational Theism, Akikibear?

I disagree. Moderate religion,as far as I am concerned, is just a nice way of saying that theists do not have the balls to do what is required by doctrine: Killing disobedient children, keeping slaves, stoning adulterers, punishing those that work on Sabbaths with the death penalty, etc.

And the worst part is that fundies acquire their inspiration from the moderates. This is well-evidenced in the Muslim world, as well as London (now dubbed officially as Londonistan!)

Beast

 
At 8:53 AM, Blogger breakerslion said...

red baron: Looking forward to your comments and seeing where I fit in to your conceptual continuity. I try to post at least once a week, but life crowds in, and sometimes I get caught up in the back pages. I also like to spend quality time learning from others.

beast: Why is it, do you think, that what is required by doctrine does not lead more people to an outright rejection of that doctrine? People and organizations seem to do editing on the fly, but how come this has not led to several schismatic re-writes? I don't get it.

 
At 9:18 AM, Blogger BEAST said...

Breakerslion:

When human activity is concerned, look no further than the dollar sign.

Obviously, churches are going to run the gamut because, of all things, they are exempted from tax! As akikiwibear loves to put it, there is no point throwing the baby along with the water out of the bathtub. In this case, they throw away real scriptures, kept the religion, and teach the stuff that people like to hear, like "propserity theology", "faith healing", and all that kind of con jobs.

 

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