We blame "religion" as we too act according to convention and culture. We spew our dogmatism as if it was something different than mere opinion.
Religion consists of everyday people, believing their opinions, and adhering to social custom, language and convention. We want to replace their
truths with our own; their tastes, opinions and customs with our tastes, opinions and customs. We want them to be like us. What is this but also
Correct. Religion is a tool no different than politics, or a political arm, or a military arm. Often the argument comes up that "religion is
responsible for our woes".
Even I am guilty of throwing this around. (Usually in jest or sarcasm.)
But religion cannot be a cause
of suffering, rather than a factor that plays into human behaviour. For instance, the argument often comes up
that Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, were all atheists and atheism is to blame for (X) number of atrocities.
However, the political motives of these people are to blame, but again, politics is reflection of the human behaviour controlling it.
The confusion lies within the personal motives of the person. The political arm that helps that person carry out their motives is hardly relevant.
While everyone is so quick to say, "War in Iraq was for oil!" Where are we saying, "Religion is for (X)?"
Religion is a tool, as is politics, as is ______. A symptom of the cause. The cause being the person responsible for raising this political power for
a means to an end. The goal of the means to an end, should be the focus. The actual means to the end is slightly irrelevant.
In fact the Pol Pot, Hitler et al. All who people try to claim are/were atheists, most either grew up under some religious doctrine, or were part of
one at some time. Pol pot tried to set his people back into the stone ages, which isn't really scientific of him. (Gahh Science is the devil!)
This kind of political power infects every industry, every facet of life. Science not withstanding. Manipulated data (which is not real science) is
out there rife throughout our world. Denial of facts for an agenda.
As I stated though, science, is not really science when it is manipulated like such. There must be a political arm either fudging data or controlling
the outflow of information.
Politics must be greater or controlling science, for there to influence.
In this we can see the exact same applies for religion. I can form a religion tomorrow that states every man and woman is equal and must be treated as
such, or that every boy under 12 should be sacrificed to the gods. The latter does not mean that all religion advocates sacrificing our children.
Just as the FDA could say stem cell therapy is the future of medicine, approving and recommending treatments to everyone immediately. If they haven't
worked out the cancer issues, or the spontaneous goo forming cells, there would be a lot of dead people quite fast, and we could not say that
"science" caused this, as it was obviously the opposite.
The FDA of course is not run by a single person, making it harder to throw around political weight in the agency. Not to say it couldn't be used for
the wrong purpose though.
In conclusion regarding religion:
We can say, christianity is responsible for (X), but the truth is there are some churches that are of great benefit to their community along with
If you have to blame something. You could say that unfettering belief in something, that hasn't been properly vetted, is the vehicle used to allowing
people manipulate large bodies into political action.
This above sentence applies to Religion, politics, military, et al.
We can say unquestioned belief into the legitimacy of government and military led to a number of wars. That the same regarding the church allowed
children to be abused. That it allowed dictators and authoritarians rise to power. But none can be named as the sole destructive force, since they
were all just a tool used by the people who wield them.
And in effect, the unwillingness for people to accept their place, or responsibility in society, the world. Which ties in partially to your OP.
So while we often look to blame science, religion, politics, military, etc. We often do not trace back the reasons any of these operate they do. If
everyone in the US suddenly went out and said "we don't like the current system" and decided to compartmentalize their daily needs, creating a close
"hippie"-type commune, where everyone traded and bartered food and daily essentials, the current system would fold into itself.
It's not a realistic avenue, but it does shed light that consumerism et al, is not simply because a multinational decided to flood your town with crap
goods built in China.
As a business owner, (small - local) I can't help but sigh every time a customer wants to give us an earful when we attempt to really please our
consumer base overall. (any accusations against the company are dealt internally every time they arise in weekly meetings.) And the same person, will
buy something that is either total crap, or defective, or useless, from a large corporation, but they won't do anything about it because as soon as
they called they got put on hold. (Ever try to deal with microsoft customer service? There isn't any. It
s all online "group sourcing")
In essence, yes people are being manipulated, but allow themselves to be manipulated. Eventually if you want the manipulation to stop, you have to
address that it is actually happening.
edit on 30-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)