It can be said that apes and monkeys – humans are ‘apes’ – are all physically and psychological bound together by an intimate association with nature. Just as there is only one ‘nature’ confronting the senses – there is only one ‘bond’ of social cohesion that joins the entire population together. In this context, nature represents what might be called a single ‘religion’ – but a religion that lacks a dogmatic set of viewpoints. Nature is exactly what it seems to be and there is no argument whatsoever about the danger it represents – and the safety it can provide. There does not exist two or three types of nature (beyond the ‘norm’), each with a totally different physical manifestation and set of operating dogmas. Early humans were born understanding that without taking direct action when needed – or learning when lessons were offered – the chances of survival in the face of nature’s uncertainty were dramatically decreased. As the vagaries of nature are real and not theoretical – action that speeded-up the process of demise were to be abandoned and avoided – whilst actions that enhanced life-expectancy and effective reproduction were preferred. The distinction between these two distinct pathways were soon learned through trial and error. Death was the consequence of getting these important lessons wrong – not only the death of the individual, but also the potential death of the group.
As there is only one nature for humans to confront, tame and control, the spiritual impulse was first unified and then fragmented into endless modes of competing expressions – all reproducing exactly the same mystical blue-print whilst assume each blue-print to be a) unique, and b) this ‘uniqueness’ suggests that other versions of this understanding are ‘redundant’ and therefore ‘false’, The latter model is that of contemporary religion and a major stumbling block when interfacing with these different thought-communities and these attitudes that assume a priori ‘separate’ and ‘resent’ in equal measure. This is a misapplication of the ancient requirement for bands of nomadic early humans to stay unified and for each individual to follow the established procedures laid-down so as to increase the over-all chances of the survival of the group. Any actual or perceived deviation from these strategies and tactics that were known to enhance survival were often severely punished – and it could be argued – for good, sound and logically coherent reasons. Here, can be seen the roots of maintaining ‘orthodox’ views and behaviour through the punishment of ‘schism’. The former is encouraged (to aid survival) whilst the latter to be avoided (so as to enhance the chances of individual and group survival). The issues are simple and straightforward.
Modern (theistic) religion exists only in the mind of the beholder and is developed through the processes of ‘imagination’ and supporting ‘intellection’. As each religious path has become conflated with a particular language, culture, ethnicity and geographical location, modern religion defines ‘membership’ quite often through a clear and precise list of reasons why it is that other people – from different areas, ethnicities and languages, etc – can ‘NOT’ be members. This suggests that membership to a particular modern religion is as much defined by those it ‘excludes’ as it is by the arguments and methods employed to justify these exclusions. The so-called ‘universal love’ often used by dogmatics to suggest why they think their approach to life is ‘superior’ to secularism – only applies to others who have been decreed as following the ‘correct’ path and is not applicable to unknowing ‘outsiders’ – who would probably benefit from motiveless ‘love’ the most. Modern religion falls at the first hurdle and never recovers despite the cleverness of many of the intellectual arguments its adherents formulate to justify this ignorant response to physical circumstance.
Modern religions generate ignorance of nature whilst assert they are generating wisdom – and modern religions generate the conditions for separating humans from one another in a manner that gives rise to violence and conflict. Of course, a one-sided benefit can be had within limited groups that isolate themselves from the greater world, as such a social formation is unnatural and assumes that the individuals living within this isolated group are somehow ‘special’ to any other human-being in living in the world, when in fact there is no evidence for this whatsoever. As this type of isolation is psychologically and physically ‘unhealthy’, such a lifestyle begins to cannibalise itself from within, with the minds of the thus cloistered giving rise to all kinds of ‘imagined’ catastrophes and disasters. I am not talking about the numerous monastic communities of the world – all inhabited by the suitably qualified – but rather the lay communities of men and women who assume that they have found salvation through condemning anyone who does not agree with their point of view and choice of religious path.
he theological world is unique – as anyone who holds a devout religious view will tell you – when their illogical views are exposed through the use of logic. Logic is not required when an unseen theistic presence is assumed to exist and lurk in the shadows of physical reality –as such ethereal entities possess the assumed power to ‘suspend the laws of nature’, and deliver ‘miracles’ within, through or around any possible circumstance and situation. Although material science has assisted the process of lifting humanity out of the animal kingdom – the far older traditions of religious (and their various bodies of accompanying bodies of written-work), still holds an irrational attraction for certain individuals. Those who are ‘attached’ to the fantasies of religious imagination, can often employ ‘logic’ in other or various aspects of their lives – whilst still rejecting the validity of science whilst advocating a religious interpretation of reality. Religious teaching assumes an over-arching meta-narrative that now possesses the ability of accommodating and using (but not ‘accepting’) the validity of science. A deeply religious person might hold an advanced degree in science whilst teachings Physics for a living – and yet other than earning a regular salary – science becomes simply a limited ‘ordering of the mind’ for a short time periods of the day.
After around three-thousand years of the Judeo-Christian tradition, at no time in its history did its theology develop the science of modern medicine, engineering or physics, etc. Judeo-Christian theology is ‘conservative’ in nature and seeks to prevent and stop any mode of thought that threatens to transcends the boundaries of theology. To secure these boundaries the religious authorities must deploy draconian measures that threaten, cajole and punish anyone who dares to ‘think outside the box’, and advocate a ‘new’ direction of thought and physical behaviour. Ever since the Renaissance and the Enlightenment throughout Europe – the Church tried desperately to put a stop to this ‘leakage’ out of its system of theology control of society and the thought-habits of humanity. Ordinary people were persecuted, tortured, maimed and killed. Today, people argue about the exact number of the tens of thousands executed – as if assessing a cake competition at a village summer fete.
The Christian Church has not only inflicted mass murder in its own right over the last one two thousand years – it also backed Italian and Nazi German fascism throughout the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s – but no Catholic priests (or Popes) dangled at the end of a judicial rope for supporting the Holocaust – found guilty of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. Those who are obsessed with religious belief systems will simply respond that those who find this disturbing simply ‘do not understand the profound manner in which god works.’ Catholics will accuse such nay-sayers of expressing ‘Protestant’ thinking – whilst Protestants will blame those who point out the above inconvenient details as being a ‘Catholic’ – like a game of ecclesiastical ping-pong! Even if the people complaining possess a secular background and profess no religious leanings whatsoever, such is the delusion view of religion. In the world people still kill one another for holding different religious beliefs. The only reason religionists do not kill one another in the numbers they used to do in the old days (when the Church still held political power within Western society), is because the secular-control of Western society is now o well organised that religionists would be immediately arrested ad imprison. In the US, Japan and India, religionists can still face the judicial death penalty. Instead, Western religionists put all their efforts into quite often intense psychological and emotional pogroms of violence targeting the ‘non-believers’! It is this propensity to use psychological, emotional and physical violence – coupled with a deluded sense of self-righteous indignation – that are problems to secularism and he progression of human society.