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SHIFTING PARADIGMS, ETC.

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in response to reader comment: I almost agree with you about everything, but...

Submitted by DANIEL REDMOND (United States), Mar 5, 2010 at 06:13

Hello 'Spare me', just read your comments regarding religion's place in the pantheon of problems that have rendered our species so dysfunctional for so much of human history. I agree that religion is not the sole problem plaguing humanity. Certainly there have always been the stresses of economic inequality coupled with the natural world's imposition of disease, floods, earthquakes and all manner of disasters that have assaulted humanity as well. Some of this can truly make people miserable. But religion's place has always been to serve as the gasoline thrown on the fire; to make a bad situation even worse.

Natural disasters were deemed to be the work of angry gods and often led to both human and animal sacrifices as attempts at appeasement. Inequalities in the distribution of material wealth were justified as part of a Divinely inspired Plan. Monarchs were anointed by Divine Right. And, worst of all, religion has steadfastly interfered with any and all advances made by science, so that the technologies and scientific discoveries that have actually made life better for we humans have been fought tooth and nail every step of the way by institutions like the Catholic Church. If religion had its way we'd still believe that the world was flat and that the sun and stars revolved around our little planet. Fortunately there were enough reasonable people within the Western World to cause Christianity to loosen its collective theocratic sphincter just enough to accept a considerable degree of progress over the centuries.

As you pointed out, there is something in the essential model of Islam that simply does not allow for such flexibility. I think most Christians are good people. But I think they would be good people without their Christianity also. I cannot say the same about Muslims because I believe their essential world view has become so warped and irrational as a result of their religious adherence that they are no longer capable of reason. In a cult where it is not only accepted but demanded that a man kill his own daughter for having sex out of wedlock in order to "save the family's honor" there is not a lot of wiggle room for free thinking. And this way of thinking, this collection of irrational edicts and dogmas, is inculcated at such a young age that it remains intransigent for a lifetime. Only if a child is removed from the stifling environment of Islamic indoctrination at a very early age are they likely to reform.

But there is hope, I suppose, as is evidenced by the website "Apostates of Islam" run by some highly educated former Muslims who are warning the world of Islam's nefarious intentions. I think that people are born decent and then corrupted by negative influences later on. I do acknowledge that the Christian model has shifted, by the way. In a posting from last November I mentioned this with some specificity when I said....."but at least Christianity, although remaining a bizarre death cult at its core, has morphed into a relatively harmless form of social dementia...." At least we heretics are no longer being burned at the stake.

- DANIEL REDMOND

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