Sam Harris wrote a blog post on some thoughts and observations around September 11, now 10 years on and as usual it’s worth a read: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/september-11-2011/
I particularly liked the paragraph quoted below; it put’s the problem of religion into a perspective I had not really considered in this way before. The things that make religion dangerous and wrong are the thought process and the implementation of the religious ideology: conformity, worship, authoritarian hierarchical organisation, an absolute dictator as the ruler, obedience without question. Other ideologies that follow a similar format are just as wrong:
Whatever else may be wrong with our world, it remains a fact that some of the most terrifying instances of human conflict and stupidity would be unthinkable without religion. And the other ideologies that inspire people to behave like monsters — Stalinism, fascism, etc. — are dangerous precisely because they so resemble religions. Sacrifice for the Dear Leader, however secular, is an act of cultic conformity and worship. Whenever human obsession is channeled in these ways, we can see the ancient framework upon which every religion was built. In our ignorance, fear, and craving for order, we created the gods. And ignorance, fear, and craving keep them with us.
Read Sam’s full post here: September 11, 2011
There is quite a lot of irony in the American political position.
They wish to export democracy to the rest of the world, by force if the rest of the world isn’t amenable to their humble suggestion. If the American government had a penny for ever time the words ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ were used by an American to describe what is great about America they wouldn’t have any debt at all. Democracy, freedom, liberty is the cornerstone of everything that is supposed to be good about America.
1. Immunity from arbitrary exercise of authority: political independence
2. Freedom of choice
3. Personal freedom from servitude, confinement or oppression
Those are certainly things to strive for, I couldn’t agree more…
The irony is that what Christians believe the order of the world to be after they die, is essentially Stalinism. The world defenders of liberty and justice and champions of democracy are frothing at the mouth to join the ultimate fascist organisation in the despotic state of Heaven:
A form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution, laws or opposition etc.)
A political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism)
1. Dominance through threat of punishment and violence
2. A form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution, laws or opposition etc.)
“God” is an absolute dictator in an authoritarian, hierarchical government and if you don’t agree with him you will be punished with the ultimate violence… forever.
They will fight to the death against Stalinism, fascism and despotism… just to spend eternity in a despotic, fascist, Stalinist state. Christians, you will never cease to amaze me. I would say amuse, but the thought of spending eternity in North Korea isn’t really something to laugh about.
To paraphrase alleged divine insight: “Humanity, forgive them; for they comprehend not what they claim”.