The core problem with I.R.s is that there's no way to test the validity of its preachers' dictates, short of demanding miracles to prove God's behind them. But even demanding miracles, as the Jews reportedly did of Jesus, is held against potential believers, deemed, ironically, proof of weak faith or bad character.
Some will claim that an I.R.'s scripture (e.g. Torah, Bible, Koran) can be used to verify whether or not a preacher is truly preaching God's words. But, as can be seen in the Christian I.R., scripture has been constructed in many outrageously contradictory ways, which is why there are hundreds, thousands of different sects.
Consider, for example, that based on their scriptures:
- Some Baptists march with signs creaming "God Hates Frogs!" while others have LGBT ministers;
- Jehovah's Witnesses believe that blood transfusions or eating sausage is unforgivable, which most Christians don't even think about;
- Some Mormons believe polygamy is commanded, others believe it's condemned,
- Some Jews believe there's an afterlife, others believe in none;
- Some Muslims believe it's okay to beat and completely oppress women, others deem that an insult to Islam.
You can find tens if not hundreds of thousands of books that cite pages of scriptures justifying these and other contradictory interpretations of those I.R.'s scriptures (E.g. see Deceptions and Myths of the Bible, by Lloyd Graham).
By the way, those who fall for faith healers and the like ought to read The Truth About Uri Geller, by James Randi, and google Randi's appearance on the Johnny Carson Show to see how those charlatan's scams work. Mr. Randi exposed Peter Popoff, then a famous healer.
The core irrationality - the danger, as will be explained - of I.R.s is that they put their God before other people, a God envisioned by one person(s)1, then reconstructed within others' conceptions of reality2 (yes, telephone game...). Such a deo-centric value system endangers all humans. For example, if "God" wishes, As ISIS and innumerable other zealots have shown us, any of us may be oppresses, tortured, or killed. (This now happens with F.C.s supporting the Prison Industrial Complex (P.I.C.), preaching against global warming, inciting trump to put our embassy in Jerusalem, steadily fighting against women's "right to choose," etc.)
People generally "test" the validity of I.R.s based on whether or not the I.R.'s doctrines appeal to their own beliefs and values, mostly subconscious beliefs and values. As Adolf Hitler said, somewhat: "people believe what they want to believe." (See The Psychology of Superstition, by Gustav Jahoda for a thorough narration of why people believe in religions.)
You may cite examples of, e.g. gay F.C.s or women in ISIS, to say that believers believe even if it hurts them, because what they believe is true. But all those examples prove is the existence of masochist delusions and the complex, awesome, tragic abilities of the human mind.
Attempts to test the validity of an I.R., as I do here will get a person labelled an infidel enemy of Allah or the anti-Christ, resulting in anything from our looks to your murder.
So, I.R.s are immune to reason, thus it does often result in the harm of believers or others, including:
- Mass suicide via poisoned Kool-AidTM;
- Giving away money, property, life's time;
- Disowning children, beating children;
- Supporting politicians who oppress people
So, the dangerousness of I.R.s are many and great.
The problems with proud ignorance are revealed by an experience I had with a Pentecostal preacher. He dumped a used can of oil in the ground, 100 feet from his church's well, "reasoning" that "Jesus is coming back soon. He'll be here and fix everything before the water's polluted."
Mike Pence too is a good example of proud ignorance. His F.C. beliefs make him proud - God's on his side, after all - and he believes the planet is less than 7,000 years old, that gays can be straightened out with therapy, etc.
Any politician, Trump too, realizes the beauteous tool that F.c.s. are. They've been trained by their shepherds to obey the government, based on Romans ch. 13, a scripture written to those in one of the original fascist regimes, the Roman Empire. All Trump's had to do is to do is toss some bones to F.C.s, tweet-ban transsexuals from the military, boast about using the word "Christmas," try to bring about Armageddon by putting our embassy in Jerusalem (F.C.s believe that Jesus will come back when the world attacks Israel...), all while gutting the Dept. of Agriculture and starting a trade war that will result in massive harm to the very proud ignoramuses - rural F.C. voters - that are Trump's core supporters!
It's so crazy I gotta laugh: ain't gonna cry about idiots who dance in minefields.
What's sad is the harm that will continue to be caused to innocents by Trump's polygamous marriage to Inspired Religion, Fascism, and Proud Ignorance.
1. Temporal-lobe epileptic seizures are well-known causes of mystical religious experiences, including speaking to God. Schizophrenics also often talk to God.
2. As explained in Daniel J. Siegel's The Developing Mind, we all construct unique conceptions of the nature of reality, which must include characteristics and personality of God
"Donald Trump's Polygamous Marriage With inspired Religion, Fascism, and Proud Ignorance" by Nate Lindell
Before I get into this essay, we all must understand some terms used. They are:
Inspired (Theistic) Religions (I.R.s), which include Judaism, Christianity myriad sects, Islam's two sects, and Mormonism's two sects. All of these religions are based on scriptures, texts deemed sacred and of unquestionable authority, which were compiled by people deemed inspired by god.
Fascism, a political philosophy that puts interests of the government above the interest of an individual. In fascist societies, individuals serve the state and are expendable, which is the opposite of the purpose of America's government, as you can see in the Preamble of our constitution.
Ignorance is not the same as stupidity or idiot, Ignorance refers to lack of knowledge. An ignorant person may be blown up in a land mine in a field because she didn't see a warning sign, whereas an idiot who sees such a sign might go ahead and play hopscotch in a minefield.
Trump is not a religious person. But he is a practical, greedy politician, and such he understands the usefulness of America's largest I.R. group, Fundamentalist Christians (F.C.s). He is so committed to using F.C.s that he made their arch-zealot, Mike Pence, his V.P.
If we were in Saudi Arabia, Trump would use Sunni Muslims. His Sheiky counterparts do just that.
The problems with fascism are very self evident (what fool wants to live in a land where they're merely the state's expendable pawn?), so I'll focus on proud ignorance and I.R.s.
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