More Religion Blaming*

In my last post, I pointed out how Jeb(!) Bush punted when he was asked how to defeat an ideology. Well, I asked myself the same question and I’m afraid I didn’t do much better. How does one defeat an ideology? Since an ideology is merely a set of ideas, one would logically think that defeating an ideology would be as simple as offering up a better ideology, a more useful set of ideas.

But one would be wrong. Especially when it comes to religious ideologies, and the uniquely human ability to believe-with-a-capital-b. Religion is man’s preferred antidote to the futilities of everyday life. Churches sell the dream, the illusion of control, the happy ending. Just follow the rules of some ancient sacred text — as interpreted by your preferred purveyor — and live forever in paradise.

Monotheistic religious ideologies, by definition divisive and exclusionary, have the added strength of being backed by a all-powerful, all knowing invisible cloud-daddy. The problem is, each of these ideologies has its own version of that cloud-daddy. To an atheist outsider like myself, witnessing a conflict between two mutually exclusive monotheistic religions, simple logic dictates that one of the religions in conflict must be bullshit, and since there is no objective evidence for either religion, one can safely assume that both are bullshit. In theory, one could extrapolate that logic to all religion. Indeed, one does.

But for the true believers, trapped in these eternal conflicts, there can be no solution, no compromise, no peace, because to lose is to accept life as finite. For them, victory in a “holy war” is the ultimate confirmation of bias, as if they can will their beliefs, their god, into existence. The defeated religion becomes a “mythology” and the triumphant get to hang on to their dream of a happy ending.

But it is just a dream. You and I, and every other living thing will eventually die. Cease to exist. Death defines life by revealing it’s cost. The price of life is death, and the price of consciousness is awareness of that eventual death. It is an awareness that 90% of the world’s population just can’t face. They want the happy ending so badly they will consciously flee the uncertainties of objective reality for the absolutes found only in fantasy. And if my life has taught me anything, it is that you cannot reason someone out of a position that they did not arrive at through reason.

Circling back to the question at hand, it seems to me that ideologies are strongest when under attack, whether real or perceived, when the adherents of that ideology must fight together to defeat a common enemy. (That’s why Fox News Outrage Channel brings us their annual War on Christmas.™) So how do you defeat an ideology? I say ignore it. Ignore it to death.

 

* I’m thinking I might just make the title of this post a new category.

One thought on “More Religion Blaming*

  1. I understand your position, and while I was watching the teevee this weekend there was an answer given that completely made sense to me. I do believe in a higher power, you don’t have to, and I am good with that. I don’t think this difference of opinion will affect our lives as we know it, I also like the color blue, (you red-lovin son of a bitch)…. Anyway the point is how to defeat an ideology.
    This person explained that ISIS/ISIL has had success in their attacks. There is no end in recruitment (of people that want to die) IF (a) you are doing something for your..higher power (b) life on this planet has little or no hope for you (c) you are guaranteed a place in heaven, now. and finally your higher power has been helping your cause. They are selling ” when they die, they are already in heaven. If you get killed in the raid, you win. The raids against these countries are so simple that their must be divine intervention to help them complete the mission. So this proves everything they are selling is true, to the prospective suicide bomber. The only way to defeat them is to stop a couple of raids, then it appears that the higher power is no longer helping, there is a crack in the logic and recruitment falls off, they dwindle and die.

    Also I love these stories because I know it teaks the nipples of people like Cruz and Hucklebee..

    A woman from Lowell, Mass. has won the right to wear a spaghetti strainer on her head in her driver’s license photo.

    Lindsay Miler, who claims to be a “Pastafarian,” was initially denied the request but recently won an appeal—as the RMV allows headgear in license photos for religious or medical reasons.

    Miller is a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, an atheist group whose followers wear spaghetti strainers as a religious symbol.

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