Sep 17, 2010

A critical thought time capsule

I went through an old profile of mine and came across a handful of old blog posts I had made.

I decided to re-post some of them as a kind of time capsule of myself at the time.  It was September of '06, Bush's presidency was in full swing, and I was in the midst of another full on love affair with the writing of Carl Sagan.
September 26th 2006

I've recently become frustrated with the mindless conservative banter bombarding my in-box in the form of chain letters.  This is my answer to all of that mindless theocratic rhetoric. 

An excerpt from Carl Sagan's "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark"

"I worry that, especially as the Millennium edges nearer, pseudo-science and superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason more sonorous and attractive. Where have we heard it before? Whenever our ethnic or national prejudices are aroused, in times of scarcity, during challenges to national self-esteem or nerve, when we agonize about our diminished cosmic place and purpose, or when fanaticism is bubbling up around us-then, habits of thought familiar from ages past reach for the controls. The candle flame flutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir."

The metaphors stated previously are a little obscure when stated without the rest of the original text. The darkness is in reference to the absence of scientific thought, much like the dark ages, and the demons are mankind's tendencies to believe in superstition, religion, pseudoscience, etc. when in the absence of scientific knowledge and to act on these falsities with the absence of logical reason.

The events of 911 happened in 2001, right near the turn of the millennium Carl is making reference to, brought about by ignorance and religious fanaticism... a global lack of scientific thought.

Indeed, theology and fanatic religious fundamentalism is undergoing a popularity boom here in America as well as in the middle east. The demons are no longer stirring, they are in full force. It's unfortunate that in such a dark time, people don't see the dangers for what they are. Blind faith and it's tradition of non-thinking fuels hatred and encourages tendencies to follow authority without question, and in its extremes; terrorism and murder.

I find myself asking;  Why are Americans following suit with their own theological interpretation of the same god? (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all branched from the same root religion. The old testament with moses, Noah etc is present in all three faiths in its entirety.)  There is nothing in science or history, no evidence at all, that lends more credibility to Christianity than to Islam or to Judaism. History stands witness to the uncountable travesties perpetrated by Christians in the name of Jesus Christ, just as we stand witness now to what is happening at the hands of some Muslims.

The cure to violent fundamental religious brutality is not standing behind the opposing fundamental religion common to your corner of the world. There are literally tens of thousands of distinctly different religions in our world, and each believe that theirs is the one true religion while all others are completely without credit. Most religions count differing theologies as a travesty, blasphemies perpetrated against their god, and they are willing to fight and often die for it.

Our current president is trying to work religion , i.e. Christian fundamentalism, deep into government policy including legislation and education. Effectively installing the demons into government policy. This is what the Iatola did when he created the Islamic Republic of Iran in the 70s... a government based on the Islamic religion. Now, Iran may soon have nuclear weapon capabilities. The world is holding it's breath.

However, to say that all of Bush's policies are wrong are just as foolish as to say that they are all right. He has done some good, as well as terrible things, just like every other president in American history. There is a grey area between left and right that American politics is forgetting.  American politics should not be about finding which group you agree with and standing behind all of their policies, it should be about MAKING a stand-- alone. Making up your mind for your self courageously and unashamedly.  To never follow mob mentality and always question authority.

I think it would be nice for a change to receive a chain letter that does more good than harm. I would make no promises of good luck or threats of misfortune for deciding to forward the message, of course.  But I do think that perhaps the world would improve, if only for a minute and only for a few.

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