The God Solution – Chapter 8 – Why not rid ourselves of religion, politics and economics?


The God Solution on Amazon.comThe God Solution on Kobobooks.com

Just a reminder about The God Solution Promotion that is going on until the end of this series (until July 21 2013). Make sure you tweet your comments and feedback as soon as possible!

So… Dawkins has been going on and on about how religion has been so bad and that it should be abolished in favour of scientism, evolutionism or some other worldview of his liking. He suggests that a religious worldview leads to child abuse and human rights violations.

Dawkins argues:

“As long as we accept the principle that religious faith must be respected simply because it is religious faith, it is hard to withhold respect for the faith of Osama bin Laden and the suicide bombers. The alternative, one so transparent that it should need no urging, is to abandon the principle of automatic respect for religious faith. This is one reason why I do everything in my power to warn people against faith itself, not just against so-called ‘extremist’ faith. The teachings of ‘moderate’ religion, though not extremist in themselves, are an open invitation to extremism.” (pg 306)

I find this extremely short sighted and dangerous. Isn’t it this kind of narrow-minded censorship that religious extremists have exhibited in their abusive theocratic rule throughout history? As I have mentioned numerous times in this book, I am in complete opposition to the extremist views that fanatical religious adherents try to push on other people, but I adamantly oppose any sort of censorship or blanket persecution of a worldview or ideology just because a few twist that perspective for their means.

In fact, I’d like to suggest that in many instances, it hasn’t been religion that has been persecuting people, but instead, it has been the political ambitions of the religious leaders that have hijacked religion for their own needs. Throughout most of recorded history, the church provided the main religious AND political leadership throughout the developed world. This often led to a conflict of interest when it comes to following Jesus and satisfying the material needs of society. Consider these examples:

  • 313 CE: Augustine & the Political Realm – In the early 4th century, the Roman empire was being attacked from barbarian hordes from lands that surrounded the Roman empire. At this time, the population was becoming more and more Christian which was problematic as Christianity was a religion of peace up until this time. And, since the population was becoming more and more Christian, willing military conscripts were becoming fewer and fewer. This meant that in order for the Roman Empire to survive, the military required Christian participants. At this time, Augustine (one of the early church fathers) developed a Christian justification for violence in order to support military participation. It has been suggested that Augustine was under extensive political pressure to develop this treatise.
  • 1095 CE: Pope Urban II & The Crusades – I argue that Pope Urban II abused his authority as Pope to kick off the Christian Crusades, which are one of the greatest blemishes on the face of Christianity, even today.
  • 2001 CE: Modern Day “Crusades” – This one’s kind of a no-brainer, but the US is currently involved in a political and economic war in the Middle East to secure oil rights and to advance economic interests in the area. George W. Bush kicked off this campaign against the “war on terror” with this rousing quote:

“On Sunday, Bush warned Americans that “this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take awhile.” He and other US officials have said that renegade Islamic fundamentalist Osama bin Laden is the most likely suspect in the attacks.”

(http://www.csmonitor.com/2001/0919/p12s2-woeu.html)

So far, the US has done a great job of creating their latest victim (who remembers the red menace of communism?): Islam. While vilifying this same enemy that the US used to be so chummy with (who remembers the assistance that the US provided to the Taliban in fighting against Russia in the 80s?), Bush has done a fantastic job of creating a “cover” under which to obtain carte blanche to stir up a hornets nest of resentment in the Middle East that is sure to last for at least the next generation.

To read the rest of this chapter and the rest of The God Solution, please visit your favourite ebook seller: amazon.com, amazon.ca and kobobooks.com. And, don’t forget about The God Solution Promotion.

Thanks!

Todd

Advertisements
About

Author, Geek, CF fundraiser & Cancer Survivor. My wife & kids, faith, baseball, infosec & devops are a few of my favorite things.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in philosophy
2 comments on “The God Solution – Chapter 8 – Why not rid ourselves of religion, politics and economics?
  1. AtheistThink says:

    I like your point about religious leaders hijacking religion, that is an interesting theory. My question is, how does that account for inquisitions, crusades, witch hunts, etc. that were specifically because of religious beliefs. It seems as though even if you claim political motives were behind the start of these things, it is evident that they spiraled out of control due to religious convictions.

    • Todd Dow says:

      Hey AtheistThink, thanks for the note. Great question! I covered this just a few days ago in another post: The God Solution – Chapter 3 – Problems with Organized Religion. You are right that religious conviction does escalate the hostilities in situations such as the crusades, the Inquisition and the various wars of religion throughout history. I’d argue that it is religious conviction, combined with a need to control (for political, economic, religious, ideological, etc. reasons) that ultimately leads to an fundamentalist response. Whatever the cause(s) of each specific situation, I believe that it is unfortunate, because it completely invalidates the position that the person(s) are trying to reinforce.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: