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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Scared, whining children

It probably seems rather unfair to call religious believers "scared, whining children". Now first I have to say that I am not, of course, talking about the practical atheists who adopt religion out of convenience, for social visibility, to please their parents, or because they need a narrative to make themselves feel a little more grounded. Those people are philosophically annoying but by and large fine individuals.

I'm talking about the ones who have been raised into religious submission, or to a certain extent those who have come to accept it later in life. The people whose personal values have been buried by mountains of fear, guilt, powerlessness and bigotry. You know them, the fundamentalists, the ones always foaming at the mouth. The Islamists who killed innocents in the riots caused by a bunch of mediocre cartoons. The Christians who vote for George Bush and harass women at abortion clinics. That gargoyle on Trading Spouses screaming about psychics and mandalas. Them. The sworn enemies of all that is decent and free.

The nature of religious thought and morality is pure regression. The epistemic premise of religion is that one can be passively spoon-fed the truth - from a book, from the schizophrenic voices in your head, from your favourite guy in a robe - and that the full extent of "critical thinking" consists of bickering over whether Jesus will come back before, during or after the Easter Bunny runs out of chocolate.

This puts then below the level of baby, because even babies are active learners, interacting with their environment and understanding the causality taking place all around them. Religion is not conceptualization, it is anti-conceptualization. The inter-subjective worldview of Christianity, for example, is completely constructed with non-concepts and anti-concepts : "faith", "salvation", "soul", "god", "unknowable", "supernatural", "acausal", "Creator", "Heaven" and "Hell", "original sin", "predestination", "commandments", the list goes on and on. Babies work at understanding the world and its laws : religious people work at un-learning everything they know about the world, and deny its laws.

Part of the plan of the religious worldview is to systematically destroy human cognition, and to make man dependent on unquestionable, incoherent religious dogma. By doing so, it regresses the individual to the level of little child. He is taught not to think for himself, indeed that thinking for himself is evil, he is taught that the TRVTH (tm) is beyond his capacity to reason, and that he should therefore submit to whatever authority has interposed itself as bearers of the TRVTH (tm).

I have already explained why Christian morality is repressive and child-like, but it bears repeating again. The morality of children is composed of two processes : narratives used to inculcate fear of punishment, and orders from a parental figure. This is exactly what Christianity offers as a pitiful excuse for morality. An array of superstitious tribal myths featuring genocide, mass murder and human sacrifice, designed to inculcate fear of sin and Hell, as well as a litany of orders without rhyme or reason.

What's so wrong about being ordered around by the Almighty Rageaholic ? Obeying orders is not morality. Following a laundry list of "thou shalt not"s and "stone those who" do this and that is not moral agency, it's submission. We are moral agents whether we like it or not, and people who follow the evil precepts of Christianity are morally responsible for their actions. The fact that they pretend to surrender their will to a god or doctrine does not make it so.

Children do not hold values, they obey orders. Christians do not hold values, they obey orders. Children are not responsible for their actions. Christians are grown adults, but still believe that they are not accountable for their moral dogma. Children are motivated by fear of punishment. Christians are motivated by fear of punishment. Children are raised into the belief that their family and the beliefs of their family are the best. Christians believe that only they detain the key to "salvation", and that all other religions or worldviews are immoral.

What do you end up with ? Overgrown children walking around, hollering like monkeys at sexuality and profanity, lashing out at anyone different, whining when they don't get their way all the time, hurting others when they please, hounding others to conform (unfortunately, this also describes many atheists as well).

However, I must add that to associate religious people with children is really an insult to children. Therefore I would like to apologize to all atheist children who might be reading this entry.

Post a Comment


7 Comments:

At 2/28/2006 12:23 AM, Blogger UberKuh declaimed...

Haha, that last addition is hilarious... but so sad.

 
At 2/28/2006 12:48 PM, Blogger Lya Kahlo declaimed...

"to associate religious people with children is really an insult to children."

That needs to be a t-shirt. Well done.

 
At 2/28/2006 12:55 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Matthew 18:3

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

 
At 2/28/2006 3:58 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

What an insightful and thought provoking post. I would think that thoughtful readers (even atheists) will see right through this post,it sure seems to me that you are the one who is whining.

Be honest, your just pissed off because all the Christians have started posting over at Debunking Christianity and your feeling lonely.

 
At 2/28/2006 4:10 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

That's right- atheists are so lonely, in fact, that we talk every day to an imaginary man who lives in the clouds.

 
At 2/28/2006 9:37 PM, Blogger breakerslion declaimed...

Self interest. Those that have been brainwashed into being permanently afraid and insecure will not let go of their security blanket of fellowship and authority figures to tell them what to do and how to think. Those that raise up the turtle-shell rattles, and bones, and other junk totems like crosses and books, and mouth the ancestral words of power, "Thou Shalt not..." revel in their authority and dream dreams of the privelaged godling, the favorite son. Moral? No. Ethical? No. Traditional. Profitable. Familiar. Comfortable in the same way as the abused prisoner finds comfort by crawling back into his cell.

A carefully constructed perception of self-interest in the minds of the led by the leaders who have delusions of heavenly grandeur, if not delusions of their own holier-than-thou relative worth. The inmates are truly running the asylum. They cherish the child-like mind because that stunted form is so much more accepting and easier to fool.

A child is a being in transition, and still has potential, so your apology is apt and should include non-atheist children as well.

 
At 2/28/2006 11:15 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Why apologize to non-atheist children ? They'll never mature.

 

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