So I have this tendency to butt into to any discussion that interests me. I know, I’m nosey, annoying and, half the time, really ought to keep my mouth shut. However, I like a nice discussion, even if and when it turns into a heated argument. Either I win, and others learn from the exchange, or I lose, and I learn from it. Either way, it can be educational.
So lately I’ve found myself battling anti-theists. Don’t know the term? It’s one I’ve developed for people just as ignorant as the narrow-minded bigots they actively contend with. Allow me to elaborate:
First you have the Theists. These are the guys that believe (or, at least say that they believe) in God, a god, many gods, or some form of supreme ruler, designer, creator, etc. whatever. And half the time, these guys have no clue as to how their faith is actually meant to work. I mean, let’s face it. The Q’ran, the Torah, The Bible, The Bhagavad Gita, they’re not just story books; they’re instruction manuals of how to live our lives. And what happens when we attempt to assemble a structure without reading, but glancing at the instructions? We fuck it up. We put things in the wrong holes, etc.
Oh, but there’s more. Over time it has become relevant that humanity has become lazy, docile, complacent. So how do we move forward as a people when everybody’s just scattered about, grazing here and there, as if they’re in their own little world? Well, we need one of us to step up and as act as a leader. A shepherd and a sheriff. Are you fine with that? Yeah? I am too. I don’t have to do anything right? No responsibility? Just donate a little right? To keep civil order; to make sure society doesn’t disintegrate by falling into hedonistic degeneration? Sure. I’ll donate a little of my time to listen to you read. To teach me, to guide me. As long as I don’t have to take any personal responsibility for any of this.
A Purpose For Them, You Say?
So perhaps originally there was reason for all of this. Maybe we didn’t need policemen as long as our laws were all reflected in our culture. But all that’s changed in the last two-thousand years. Now we have a diversity far greater than any of our Christian, Muslim, Judaist, etc forefather’s could ever have dreamed or tolerated. So how are we to keep order in a society with mixed values? A society with mixed ideas, philosophies of what is appropriate, and what is not. Why, we could separate church from state. Now I know, originally that was installed as to protect the churches, so that we wouldn’t a situation like Great Britain where the Arche Bishop isn’t elected by the Church, but the current monarch. Please, do correct me if I’m wrong. But I’m pretty sure that’s how it works. At any rate, the natural order of things has led the separation of church and state to mean “keeping politics protected from theistic dictation.” However, the unfortunately, in as much as we believe in this, and as much as it is believed throughout most English-speaking nations, as well as most progressive European nations, the fact remains that the religious majority almost always ends up winning anyhow. After all, it is the will of the people. And if the people are mostly Christian, Muslim, etc, then who is it really hurting? Right? Except, what about the minorities. The disenfranchised. The second-class citizens. Who is going to represent them in a time when intolerance for these people is at its height?
Oh, That’s Right, We’re On A-Theists Now
Anyhow, let’s go back to our definitions. So who’s next? Oh, the A-Theists – that’s right. So who are the A-Theists? These are the sincere men and women who don’t believe in a god, deity, supreme creator, whatnot, etc. They believe in rationality. Practicality. Using losing logic and reason to explain how there is not only no god or supreme being, but there is, in fact, even no reason to have such a being in the first place. In this case, sound reason through observation and logical arguments is their guide. As for societal order, they don’t find a need in differing to a mysterious figure for answers, but again through sound reason. That is, order can be established naturally if we except mutual benefit and consequence. To steal is not a sin. To steal is cause harm to another, thus resulting in discord on the part of the offended. This could result in him or her behaving irrationally, possibly even violently. Furthermore, to go without punishment is to set a precedent that this kind of behaviour can continue to occur until some form of penalising consequence happens to the thief. This could be any number of things. Resulting in either compensation through acquisition of the thief’s property, imprisonment, or violence, possibly even death — depending on the situation. Man has a tendency to obsess over things, and can even over-react. If you steal from a hot-headed man, and the item(s) is of substantial consequence, it could turn into a situation of life or death.
At any rate, not to bore you. The point is, A-Theists are smart, use reason to guide society, and find no reason to differ to the authority of an intangible figure. And you know what, I admire that. At least they’re thinking. They’re using their heads and making the world a better place. However the ones I don’t admire are those who bear the label A-Theist, when in fact, they are Anti-Theists.
And so, what exactly are Anti-Theists? Anti-Theists are no better than the lazy sheep that we call the Theists. The Anti-Theists do not think, but follow. They have no original arguments of their own. Yet, in fact, much like the Bible Thumping Christians, all they spout out is mindless rhetoric. (I know, I really should have constructed this article better, but I’m assuming you all know where I’m coming from I as I discuss this matter). What makes Anti-Theists so different from A-Theists is that they do not offer solutions in substitution for a Theological figure, but just tend to assume that the complete abolition of Religion (world-wide) would do the world good. It wouldn’t. And why? Because even “organised religion” still has a purpose left on this world. It still has its institutions, its charities. And until others of equal value can be substituted in their places, it really would end up doing more harm than good.
Blind Prejudice, or Simple Observation?
Furthermore, (in my humble opinion) as the Anti-Theists are misguided, motivated not through rationality, but dissatisfaction with the restrictions imposed by a Theistic society, the only consequence that can result from this is societal chaos. After all, (again, in my humble opinion) half the time they are not using their heads. They are selfish, materialistic, and motivated purely by want and desire. And if religion gets in their way, then it is an obstruction that must be over-come. But that doesn’t mean they are justified, and that doesn’t mean that society will be healthier in the long run. To the contrary, without A-Theistic leadership, the Anti-theists are blind fools.
We Are But Children
Like children left alone in the garage, playing with their dad’s power tools. Eventually someone’s going to get hurt. So obviously, even without a god or some deity, we still need something to move through us, to motivate us to keep order. As our nature is childish, we need something to guilt us into doing the right thing. But how, and who will step up and help us to establish order if the Anti-Theists actually get their way? And please, tell me you’re not one of them? And to answer the question, I don’t really know, but I’ll leave that up society to figure it out. And if we don’t, then [figmentive] God, help us all!
To Zed — Or Omega, If You’re Greek
Anyhow, where was I going with all of this? Ah, yes, these discussions I’ve been having with Anti-Theists. Can you guess what arguments they’ve proposed? That’s right: All of the atrocities, all of the lives ended in the name of this Theism or that.
The argument has been made time and time again, and this exactly the kind of rhetoric I was talking about. The argument is that Christianity, Islam, Judaism and all other “organised religions” are responsible for more blood shed, more lives oppressed than any other phenomenon in our human history. I tend to disagree.
Ignorance Is Bliss — Or is it?
You see, I don’t believe it’s Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc responsible for all of these deaths. I think it’s belief in anything at all. Anything that man en mass tends to embrace (be it a political doctrine, philosophy, religion, whatever) can and will be used against her, if enough are ignorant of it. That is to say, if one-thousand naive, uneducated people insist that they believe in something that they do not, in fact understand; it only stands to reason that the most charismatic individual who steps up and claims to be most educated and comprehensive of the dimensions and ramifications of this idea will be crowned leader of that faith, religion, philosophy, etc; and thus gain a great following. And yes, this does happen time and time again. It happens with religion, it happens with science, it happens in politics all. the fucking time.
Hitler did it. Stalin did it. Bush did it. We all do it. We all let it happen. Don’t blame King Richard. Don’t blame the Ayatollah. Blame the people. Blame the masses. Sleeping, drugged, distracted. Uneducated, naive, complacent. It’s the ideas that we claim to embrace that are used against others, as well as ourselves. And thus, the key to any truly progressive society is not just a society without faery tales, but a society that is educated, that comprehends beyond the flesh and material. We have a frontal lobe for a reason. So we are still only using it when it’s convenient? And why is it that those most sinister are using it more than we are? Not to go off on a tangent *too late* but we live in a nation that insists on having a strong, strict national security. And yet, borders we claim to defend are not to keep terrorists from coming in, but the ideas we used to know (yet forgot so long ago) out. Our armour, our naivety, and our ignorance is our weakness. And yet with all the money to we put into to building the largest standing military, we put so little of it into education. And (still keeping in mind the Anti-Theist argument) allow me to propose this idea to you all: if Religion, world-wide, is finally abolished. What do you think will take it’s place? Because, I don’t really think that we will fall into chaos just yet.
I imagine that the A-Theists and Anti-Theists alike will sprout up from the newly plowed proverbial fields and rise to power. And, even though A-Theists all agree that there is no god, they don’t all agree with where to go from there. Each has her or his own ideals. And so there will always be beliefs, doctrines, philosophies to follow:
So when does life begin? And if we genetically modify a pig and give it human genes, do we give it the same rights as a man if it demonstrates sentience? It’s all out there. Still no consensus. Hell, scientists can’t even agree if whether global warming is a real or a scam to sell “green products” so you know that as a race, it’s going to be some time before we come to any real understanding in as far as practice, politics, etc.
Someone’s ideal, or set of ideals will end up prevailing throughout this cycle, or the next. And so on, and so on. And so, whether or not we call it good or evil, sin or God’s will, we will always be moved, always be used and guided here or there, or wherever the present Powers That Be want us, until we can all really start to think for ourselves. Make sense?
Are We Done Yet?
Anyways, that really was a tangent, but I hope you understand where I’m coming from. It’s not Religion, it’s ignorance that has led to so much bloodshed in this world. Then again, perhaps the common denominator is simpler than we think. Maybe it’s man. Men. I mean, after all, in all of our history, who can you say gave the order to take as many lives? I’m pretty sure you will find it was arrogant, power-hungry, egotistical men behind every major atrocity.
So how about this: Let’s make a move to disenfranchise men. Strip them of their power and rights as we women have endured throughout all our history. See, then, how many lives are lost at the helm of not just one woman, not a handful, but only women. I have a feeling that we, as a people (not just of this nation, but of the world) will get along a lot better without the instruction or guidance of men. No more war. Not necessarily anymore oppression. How about compassion. Sympathy. Working together. And as one comedian was so quick to point out, at most, as things get heated, there wouldn’t be wars, just really “intense negotions….every twenty-eight days.”
Anyways guys, I know. I danced here and there and my writing style is kind of annoying. Sorry about that. But hopefully through all of the tangents and wandering you found something you can take from all of this. If even that is “never read a blog from Jadis ever again.” Take care y’all. I will write again soon.
-Jadis Illiana Argiope