Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Authority versus Multiculturalism

October 4, 2011

I watched a seminar on politics and religion on Swedish State Television today. Among other things, it was explained how the Bible was used to justify the transition from monarchy to republic in Europe in the 17th century. Then the question was raised “Where do we get our authority from in a multicultural society”. Everybody has their own ideals but where is the common ground? We can’t get it from God anymore since we don’t agree in theological matters. The values of a single culture aren’t a stable enough basis either with many cultures involved. So, how do we answer the question?

A lot of people feel democracy is threatened by multiculturalism. I’d say there are two problems with that sentence. Firstly, multiculturalism. Multiculturalism is a culture in itself. It’s very new to many people and therefore scary, but it’s basically not a new thing at all. People of different opinions have lived harmoniously in many different societies throughout history, we do it everyday in our families at home and in democracies with more than one party or even coalition governments it is already happening. It’s just a matter accepting multiculturalism, which requires accepting other people’s rights to have their own culture and making that acceptance part of the culture or (metaculture) of multiculturalism, making it one of basic principles of that new culture. This new culture is inevitable, the alternative is war and hopefully we’re approaching a point where we stop physically threatening and killing them for not agreeing with us, a point where we talk to each other instead of hitting each other.

Secondly, democracy. We have representative democracy. This is not the ideal form of government. Nobody should feel worried about this system being threatened. All change is scary, but we can’t not look at better alternatives and when the current system is challenged by new cultural movements we should welcome the criticism that helps us think outside the box and try to create a new system. I’m an anarchist, so the fear of not knowing whence to derive authority doesn’t apply to me. There are too many good examples from decentralizing power and the history of individualism to fundamentally fear the slow crumbling of current power structures.

the “path”delusion by antiphonsgarden.wordpress.com

July 31, 2010

Post from antiphonsgarden.wordpress.com:

“Religions and dogmas tends to point out towards a distant “perfection” one has to aim too.
Its the typical “carrot in front of the donkey nose” procrastination postponement, avoiding the experience of the here&now including past&future.
The more the human tries to “better”himself towards this goal, the more he is missing self acceptance.”

28 Responses to the “path”delusion

  1. enleuk says: (more…)

Pakistan Bans Facebook Over Mohammad Caricatures

May 19, 2010

The facebook event Everybody Draw Mohammad Day on May 20th has led a Pakistani court to order the government to block facebook on May 20th. My personal opinion on this whole Mohammad pictures debate is that magic does not exist. Since magic does not exist, souls do not exist and humans are comprised of 1,000 billion cells containing copies of a DNA-molecule, all copied from 1 single cell with a DNA-molecule formed with half of each parents’ DNA-molecule. Therefore, Mohammad was, just like me, and just like this computer and any rock on the bottom of the sea, composed entirely by atoms. And personally, I have a hard time accepting the logic behind any ban on any depiction of any item composed of any atoms. I don’t believe in God and magic and unicorns but maybe this ban makes sense to those who do.

A Brief History of Religion

February 1, 2010

Introduction: During the last few hundred thousand years, humans started talking. Before speech, we probably didn’t have a lot of articulated thoughts in our heads or any precise ideas of Gods. However, as time went on prophet-like, priest-like people suggested that there were immaterial forces behind material events like lightning, child-birth, death, rain, crop growth, and inside ourselves, inside animals, inside plants perhaps as well. Regardless, a multitude of Gods did exist and many people from all parts of the world still believe in a multitude of Gods, often choosing one of them as the most important one or as the only true God, sometimes in combination with any of the major religious movements mentioned below. Let’s assume that about 5,000 years ago, there were sky gods, fertility gods, battle gods et cetera; Most people were nomadic, but some were farmers, some were city-folk, some were monarchs and some were slaves.

Amendment: The evolution of mythology is very psychosocial. The Goddess usually represents the Earth, the universe, life, while the God represents the spirit, action and change. The male Marduk killed the Goddess and replaced her. Marduk was the favourite local God and to become top dog he had to destroy the old universe (the Goddess) and remake it. Yahweh was a thunder god, very manly. Then the apostles brought back the Goddess. They borrowed the virgin birth from the Greek tradition and it represents the spirit birth, because Jesus was more than a physical man and therefore not conceived through physical sex and penetration and sperms and eggs and DNA and moaning and physical pleasures and animal drives. Oden, the God of wisdom and death (calm reason, sex and death is today part of the Swedish stereotype), replaced Tyr, the sky God. Tyr represents the male courage of the spirit as he sacrifices his bodily hand to bind the Fenrir Wolf, who was so strong they had to bind him with a rope made by the dwarves out of the roots of the mountains, the rumble of the cats, the tendons of the bear, the breath of the fish, the beard of the women and the spit of the birds. In the old Testament the Messiah is not related to God, but in the New testament, the son replaces the father as the protagonist. The Greek mythology contains Gods that behave very human-like, they’re envious, greedy, foolish, loving. All religions are based on metaphors for psychological tides driving different societies, like the hunter-gatherers, the farmers and the city folks all emphasize very different aspects of existence. The evolution of mythology is also why you can see many different versions of creation myths within the same religion. And when you have a lot of different groups of people you get a mix of stories that might often contradict each other and leads to a huge pantheon and lots of demigods.

2nd amendment: Constantine continued a belief in the Sun, which in Swedish is still called sol. The Egyptians worshiped the Sun in the form of Ra, which was humanized as Amun-Ra, a God-head, a humanesque God at the top of a hierarchy, with the earthly ruler as second in command. Constantine was like the sun, unmovable from supremacy. This goes from the pharaohs to the Pope to George Bush and a long list of people in between.  Sol was replaced by Jesus and YHWH. This was part of a history of patriarchy that was more concerned with inter-human relations than Mother Earth. During the Axial Age Buddha and Socrates, brothers in pacifism, rebelled against the structure of society. Buddha deconstructing the Hindu pantheon and Socrates deconstructing the Greek pantheon. Buddhism created a more altruistic society in the East, but Socrates was sentenced to death. 2000 years after Socrates, Giordano Bruno was martyred for criticizing the Church and suggesting each star was a sun, an anarchic idea to the sun kings who have reigned from the Scorpion King 5000 years ago till this very day. 2500 years after Buddha, the Church still defends the Inquisition. These three people (and other of course) questioned society, not for their own gain or to create a new structure in which they were at the top, but to allow enlightenment to combat the structural errors that were produced by these top-down-led trial-and-error-evolving societies. The consequences of the suppression of this enlightenment in the West created the banking system, the inflation and the stock market, to name but a few evils of modern western life created by the top-down trial-and-error. It will take a huge amount of enlightenment to mend the problems this has created. There are a lot of positive things in society, but societal phenomenon like capitalism and official laws and hierarchies are wormly appendixes that need be removed for they have poisoned or killed too many innocent minds and given no real benefits to the metaphorical world soul.

Timeline:

80,000 years ago, Cave paintings in Africa. “The use of abstract symbolism on the engraved pieces of ochre and the presence of a complex tool kit suggests Middle Stone Age people were behaving in a cognitively modern way and had the advantages of syntactical language at least 80,000 years ago.”

32,000 years ago, Cave paintings in Europe and “‘the Lion Man’ found in the Hohlenstein-Stadel cave of Germany’s Swabian Alb and dated at 32,000 years old, is associated with the Aurignacian culture and is the oldest known anthropomorphic animal figurine in the world.”

12,000 years ago, Someone built the temple of Göbekli Tepe in Turkey.

4,000 years ago, The Gilgamesh epic tells the story of Gilgamesh who might have been the king of Uruk (present-day Iraq) about 700 years earlier. In the text Marduk is the highest God.

3,300 years ago. Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten believes Aton, the sun/an aspect of Ra, is the one true God. The priests of Egypt undid his works when he died and told the new pharaoh, Akhenaten’s son, that he was not the image of Aten, Tutankhaten, but the image of Amun, Tutankhamun, because they thought Amun was the true God-king. Amun-Ra was long the highest God, depicted now as a human unlike all the other animal gods.

3,200 years ago, a priest in Mesopotamia named Sin-liqe-unninni adds stories like the flood myth (Noah’s Ark) to the Gilgamesh portfolio.

3,000 years ago, in or near where Iran is, a man named Zarathustra said that Ahura Mazda was the one true God and all other Gods were false Gods and zoroastrianism spread.

2,600 years ago, the worship of Amun-Ra in Egypt was replaced by the cult of Isis and Osiris.

2,600 years ago, somewhere in the middle-east, after the Babylonian captivity, King Josiah’s head priest “found” the laws of Moses and said that Jahve was the only true God and judaism spread. As a child-king he grew up in Judah, which had been controlled by the Assyrian Empire. His father had been named Amon, after the Egyptian sun god but after the collapse of the Empire, his father and grandfather were deemed heretics and the monotheistic belief in YHWH spread under his reign (the reign of his advisors).

2,600 year ago, in India, Prince Siddhatta Gautama said he didn’t care for the Hindu gods and became an enlightened agnostic ascetic and buddhism spread.

2,300 years ago, Aristotle in Greece combines science and Plato’s idealism in his magnum opus Metaphysics.

2,000 years ago, Jesus in Israel said the jewish priests were wrong and the Romans killed him.

1,700 years ago, in China, Guo Xiang embraced spontaneity and Daoism spread.

1,700 years ago, Constantine the Great in Constantinople said that Jesus was the son of God and Christianity spread.

1,700 years ago, King Ezana of Ethiopia also became a Christian and Christianity spread.

1,500 years ago, or something like that, Tyr is replaced by Odin as the God-head among Germanic peoples.

1,400 years ago, Mohammad was kicked out of Mecka, said both the jews and the christians were wrong and that Allah, the moon God, was actually the only God, retook Mecka and Islam spread.

1,350 years ago, Muhammad’s followers disagreed about the legitimacy of his heir to the earthly and heavenly throne and Islam split into Shia and Sunni, which eventually led to the beheading of Saddam Hussein a few years later.

1,300 years ago, Indian nobleman Parshvanatha “pulled a Buddha” and Jainism spread.

1,200 years ago, Adi Shankara in India told people that Brahman was the one true God and that everyone is God and Hindu monotheism spread.

500 years ago, Martin Luther in Germany said the catholic church was wrong to say you could pay money to be absolved of your sins, the pope banned him and protestantism spread.

500 years ago, King Henry VIII of England with neighbours, took 6 wives, beheaded 2 of them and created the Church of England when the pope disapproved.

200 years ago, U.S. American Joseph Smith said Jesus, after his death, went from Israel, across Asia, over the Bering strait, across North America, to New York, whence he ascended to Heaven. His followers, The Church of Latter Day Saints (mormons), is but one of several thousands of Christian denominations.

70 years ago, during the so called second world war, Japan and the US built landing strips on islands in the Pacific and cargo cults centered around the wish for the spirits to bring them more stuff from heaven arose. Wikipedia: “Cargo cults typically were created by individual leaders, or strong men in the Melanesian culture, and it is not at all clear if these leaders were genuine, or were simply running scams on gullible populations.” Sounds like a spot-on description of religion to me.

60 years ago, the 2,000 year old Dead Sea Scrolls are found, the oldest version of the Old Testament. The texts tell of wondrous things.*

50 years ago, Hindu monotheism spreads to the west in the form of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. (Krishna consciousness, pure consciousnss, Christ consciousness, Buddha, these are all metaphors for the immaterial God our souls are/are made of/belongs to/comes from. P.S. It would be infinitely cool if my mind was Vishnu)

0 years ago, the Roman Pope is still there today after 1,700 years of turmoil; a shining example of the patriarchy in the history of religion/humanity.

*”I saw many stars descend and cast themselves down from heaven… and behold they all let out their privy members, like horses, and began to cover the cows of the oxen, and they all became pregnant and bare elephants, camels, and asses…18. And I saw till the Lord came unto them and took in His hand the staff of His wrath, and smote the earth, and the earth clave asunder, and all the beasts and all the birds of the heaven fell from among those sheep, and were swallowed up in the earth and it covered them. 19. And I saw till a great sword was given to the sheep, and the sheep proceeded against all the beasts of the field to slay them, and all the beasts and the birds of the heaven fled before their face.” – Book of Enoch

From http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/african-mythology.php:

“African Creator Gods seem to follow a distinctive pattern – they are all extremely dissatisfied with their creations. There is much shaking of heads, turning away in sorrow and avoidance of contact. The humans are left to fend for themselves. Attempts to regain contact with their God by building a heavenly ladder are the subject of many an unhappy legend. On the whole, African Gods don’t like to be pestered, and humans have to learn to be content with their lot.”

Also, I left out the entirety of  Oceanian and American religion, but you can see the pattern already I hope. For more insight, look up Quetzalcoatl, I’itoi and Dreamtime. It should be noted that the beliefs of most people in general are quite practical – Gods are often irrelevant in day-to-day matters or they are physically very real – while a comparatively few have formed very theoretical/philosophical/surreal ideas about the nature of everything. This is true for all peoples and places of the Earth, today as well as in history, and most likely in the future as well.

Think what you will of the accuracy of that clip, but videos are always fun.

10 % of the Swedish Population Owns a Boat

September 23, 2009

But, the cops are kind, they say “Our job is to check the lights on the boat, and help them if they drink too much and fall overboard.” So nice, for a violent fascist (not that the individual is fascist, but the system is).

Anyway, today has been mostly about Catholicism and Judaism, which are two denominations of the older Abrahamic faith of the Levant. On the same channel as the vampire series “True blood” there is now a coverage of the conservative Catholics’ evil agendas  and the pope engaged in keeping a low profile concerning the bishop who denied the Holocaust. Now, the problem with the whole Israeli business is that 50 % of all Jews in the world were killed by Germans 60 years ago. That’s not a good premise to any story. And yes, maybe it’s a good thing that Japan disassembled their military after being nuked, but what Israel are doing now is not good, they have to stop because they’re killing people, regardless of the past. Blame religion for this mess? I blame people.

Actually, the biggest story today is that some people robbed “a billion” kronor in what media calls the Helicopter Robbery and the police are criticized because their own helicopters had been made unusable. The police say they’re doing a good job. It’s a dialectic process and potentially progress.

Also, 20 % of Swedes are immigrants (non-Swedes). Oh, the irony, it tastes so irony.

“Why are there 90 % immigrants in this neighbourhood?”

“It’s the Swedes who don’t want to live here.”

“Integration has failed.” – Swedish State Television

A Message to/from President Barack Obama

June 1, 2009

Obama is travelling to the Middle East. From The Associated Press:

“In a much-anticipated speech in Egypt on Thursday Obama is expected to stress a commitment to strengthening U.S. ties to the Muslim world.

On Wednesday he arrives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to meet with King Abdullah, the sponsor of the 2002 Arab peace plan which calls for exchanging of peace with Israel in return for land it seized in the 1967 Middle East war.

Arabs also fear that a focus on Iran will derail efforts to commit Obama to the two-state solution.”

From Arab News:

“On the eve of his journey with this mission I would like to tell him that all Muslim nations without exception have extremely been pained by the foreign policy of the previous US administration toward the Muslim world.

The children of Abraham are making the same mistakes they did over 2000 years ago. They refuse to obey the word of God. The people and leadership promote and are engaged in sexual immorality, drunkedness, homosexuality, perversion, fornication, and all such sin. God has constantly punished such behavior from the Israel. When will they learn. Repent and turn back to God.

The issues are, apparently, tough but could be solved only if US abandons its practice of adopting double standards in its approach to issues in the Middle East. The US practice has, undoubtedly, engendered a lot of hatred not only in the Muslim and Arab world but also in the whole world.

I sincerely hope that President Obama realizes these facts.”

Religion is undoubtedly a major issue in the conflict in the region. It’s perhaps not a good idea to try and solve the problems by promoting your religion, even if most religions tend to advocate love and peace and understanding and friendship and a long list of positive things. Not saying that everyone should stop believing, but if they did, they could ignore the claims on land and power based on the religious heritage.

Maybe if Israel wasn’t treated as the holy land, with holy soil producing holy food, people might agree on a more practical approach to how the land should be owned by the individuals involved. Because that’s what it’s all about, it’s not about politicians, God or history, it’s about tiny little people wanting a good life for themselves.

From youtube:

“The children of Abraham are making the same mistakes they did over 2000 years ago. They refuse to obey the word of God. The people and leadership promote and are engaged in sexual immorality, drunkedness, homosexuality, perversion, fornication, and all such sin. God has constantly punished such behavior from the Israel. When will they learn. Repent and turn back to God”

“I’m very familiar with the gospel of Jesus. Particularly the part in Matthew 5 17-18 where he said he would not change one part of the Old Law. That means the Old Testament, by his word, is still in effect. Why aren’t you following Jesus’s word and killing those who work on the Sabbath and boycotting Red Lobster for selling the abomination that is shellfish? Have you no faith in his word?”

Obama will make one of the speeches of his tour at the Cairo University. From wikipedia: (click on Levant for more context)

“The Fatimid Caliphate or al-Fatimiyyun was an Arab Shi’a dynasty that ruled over varying areas of the Maghreb, Egypt, Sicily, Malta and the Levant from 5 January 909 to 1171. It was the fourth and final Arab caliphate.

The caliphate was ruled by the Fatimids, who established the Egyptian city of Cairo as their capital.”