Sunday, December 14, 2014

God's Divine Word or Subjective Interpretation?

We live in a world that adheres to many different dogmas. Within just the Christian sect, there are tens of thousands of variations on that central theme. This fact alone has started many down the path of rubbing their index finger on their jawline, scrunching up their mouths, arching the left eyebrow, and ultimately discarding religion all together because well... it makes sense to.
Christianity[4]2.2 billion
Islam1.6 billion
Secular[a]/Nonreligious[b]/Agnostic/Atheist≤ 1.1 billion
Chinese traditional religion[c]394 million
Buddhism376 million
Ethnic religions excluding some in separate categories300 million
African traditional religions100 million
Sikhism23 million
Juche[d]19 million
Spiritism15 million
Judaism14 million
Bahá'í7 million
Jainism4.2 million
Shinto4 million
Cao Dai4 million
Zoroastrianism2.6 million
Tenrikyo2 million
Neo-Paganism1 million
Unitarian Universalism800,000
Size of Major Religious Groups, 2012
Buddhist *
Pew Research Center, 2012[2]

And yet still, this is not a red flag to the true believers. Why the hell not?

The word divine means that it is 'of god', right? To me, that means what is being handed down is truly his divine word and there would only be one message, not a gazillion different ways of looking at things. For this very reason, having numerous, in my opinion - subjective interpretations - means that these religions are not imbued with his divine word, but rather all the different religions are man-made because every off-shoot has been tailored according to the one who initially heralded it. There seems to be no other take-away from this.

Not one person of faith has been able to detail to me how my thought process about this issue could be any different than what I've resolved in my head. My initial assumption is that religions (all) are basically just created to appease an individual's ideal about what religion means to them. They wear what feels right for them and then encourage others to follow their ideals. If they're lucky, it's popular and it grows. If not, it falls by the wayside and dies out.

Luckily, people with a natural bent towards the supernatural have so many to choose from that if they get bored with what they were indoctrinated with or the religion doesn't meet their needs anymore, they can switch and try on another more to their current liking.

For us non-believers we'll continue to just pick apart the illogical and continue to point out what so richly deserves to the criticized.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Kids Will Believe Anything, It's Exactly Why Indoctrination Starts At Birth

Children believe shit... period. Especially from people they trust - teachers, parents, friends - although the order of trust may be different. I'm not shocked, having two of my own that swallowed things hook, line and sinker at not so crucial times.

Imagine my chuckles when a teacher came into my job and described how students in her class were mistakenly led to believe she had 'eyes in the back of her head' when she could detail actions of her students doing things without her directly looking at them, and then would chastise them when her head was turned the other way for things 'she couldn't have possibly seen!' It scared them into thinking she did indeed have that super power! The children, being as naive as they probably would be at that age, didn't realize she had the benefit of a reflection of a window or mirror at her disposal. Obviously, she never shared that little detail with them while they were squirming or later when she could have come clean.

Hearing her laugh about what kids would ultimately believe from people whom they trusted is what lead me to this thought... Kids truly do believe anything, and this is the very reason why indoctrination takes place from the time they are born. The sooner they are fed stories about a parent's belief system, the sooner they will emulate what they have been taught. The intention of the parents may be to ensure their place in Heaven, but the exercise of not thinking for themselves is grounded in what the institution of religion wants and always has wanted... to take center stage no matter what, the individual be damned. There is no such thing as autonomy, it's only about what the collective wants so let the assimilation begin... as soon as they are born.

It's not just about what they believe, but it's about continuing the retelling of the same stories... over and over again. It just makes it harder for the kids to confront the belief system or ultimately ask the relevant questions when it's continually forced down their throats, that's why it's called indoctrination. It's a systematic process and it's one that is reinforced by Bible School, church on Wednesdays and Sundays (or whenever the specific denomination meets) and those supreme holidays like Christmas and Ash Wednesday, or whichever high holy days that specific religion or church decrees.

Ironically, the teacher I mention is religious and she can't see how the misleading of young children contributes to the cycle of indoctrination she condones, even though she would readily admit in this instance she is a participant in lying to her students. If only people (like her, and all) would truly reevaluate the things they engage in. If only they understood the impact of their actions. It actually would positively affect their small bubble of influence if only they would tailor their behavior and actions to reality, and thereby the rest that, by chance, came in contact with it.

Hmmm...I wish.