Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Which Side Do You Fall Under?

See Religulous.

Good points: It’s awesome

Bad points: In outing the stupidity of zealous religious people, Bill Maher comes across as a zealous unreligious person, ironically becoming that which he disagrees with.

Seriously though the man is a genius. I use to watch his show “Politically Incorrect” when I was a devout Catholic years ago and I would curse and scream because I was offended by what he would say and that he would dismiss points, from a Catholic perspective, about why I believed what I believed, just to come across as the smarter one.

And it should be told he does come across as pretty smug in Religulous but looking at it now it’s because the overtly religious are, well, nut jobs.

And I mean the OOOOOOOOOVERTLY religious, the fundamentlists, be it Muslim, Christian, Jewish – they all have pretty wacky beliefs that are so baseless it’s laughable. Talking snakes, chanting for death to infidels, or being risen from the dead to storm a temple – the amount of times I gasped while watching because you have grown men and women talking utter nonsense and keeping a straight face was so scary it was funny.

But the main point of the movie was that Bill Maher firmly believes that if humanity is to become enlightened, “reach for the stars” (figuratively and literally) if you will, and wants to transcend what it is now and become a positive force on it’s planet and in the universe, we have to do away with religion. And I agree.

Religion is divisive because it teaches divisive doctrines. Being called “God’s Chosen People” or being “Saved” immediately implies that there are some that are not God’s Chosen People or some that are not Saved and in his good graces. If humanity is to push forward and stop the horrors of the world it needs to eliminate the idea of “Us vs. Them”, something which is propagated by religion.

I understand the other notion would be to accept everyone’s faith – but what if Faith A vehemently tells you that Faith B is wrong and evil and should be stopped? What if one tenet of Faith B tells you to murder the non-Faith-B’ists? What happens when someone wants to take the good tenets from Faith A and B and create Faith C?

I can usually be quoted as saying “Hey do and believe what you want in private but in public keep that aspect of your life to yourself and I’ll do the same and we’ll get along just merrily”. But there is something fundamentally wrong with that statement when someone’s private beliefs are unjust – even when that belief is held by the majority. Allowing unjust beliefs to flourish only slows the progress of humanity. It’s a paradox really, I’m supposed to allow someone the right to believe whatever they want even if that belief or system of beliefs is detrimental to humanity. That doesn’t make sense.

The rights of women, the rights of the LGBT community, the rights of children, and the rights of minorities all exist because way back in the dark ages the majority felt it necessarily to a) hamper these rights and b) force a divide between various peoples. There shouldn’t have to be momentous occasions allowing black men and women the right to vote or for gays to get married because these rights are inherent. They exist even if 100% of the population is against them; and the reason anyone would be against some rights is religion.

I guess it’s a question of all or nothing. You either support everyone’s right to religion knowing that religion could hamper the progress of humankind or you support no one’s rights to religion. The latter, no one wants to even consider, because it may be needed if we’re all to survive one another; the former is the nice cop-out that keeps us in a rut.

Which side do you fall under?

1 comment:

Big "D" said...

>>>>we have to do away with religion. And I agree.<<<

And I agree.

I made the statement 35 years ago "That People are Sheep" they need to follow someone or something. Many can not and do not want to think for themselves.

Look back through history and tell me how many have died over religion.