Class Warfare Blog

December 25, 2017

Ah, Yes, Of Course … Now I See

Filed under: Culture,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 10:34 am
Tags: , , ,

Since it is Christmas Day, the N.Y. Times runs an almost obligatory op-ed piece on why Christianity is oh so reasonable (How Can I Possibly Believe That Faith Is Better Than Doubt? by Peter Wehner). This is, of course, pandering to the choir. They somehow didn’t choose to highlight how Islam is oh so right, or Buddhism, or Voodoo. They reached into a sack containing slips of paper and drew out one labeled “Christianity.”

The author goes to some length to explain the roles of reason and faith and how they are not so far apart. (I suspect that author finds the faith of Hindus unreasonable, but that is just a guess.) Here is a sample:

“The apostle Thomas clearly thought so. According to the Gospel of John, the other disciples told Thomas that they had seen the risen Lord, to which Thomas replied he wouldn’t believe until he put his fingers in the nail marks in Jesus’ hands and put his hand into Jesus’ side.

“Fast-forward a week, when Thomas encounters Jesus, who tells him, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas does, to which Jesus replies, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’

“Not seeing and still believing is held up by Jesus as a greater thing than seeing and believing. But I’m not sure I have ever fully grasped what it is about faith that makes it precious in the eyes of God. Recently, with the help of friends — pastors, theologians, authors, fellow believers — I’ve tried to deepen my understanding on that subject.”

I want to unpack just one sentence in this, namely “I’m not sure I have ever fully grasped what it is about faith that makes it precious in the eyes of God.” This is where reason and faith separate … widely. An assumption is made that the writer who put the phrase “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” in Jesus’ mouth is assumed to be “God.” To engage reason, one should consider the question “what it is about faith that makes it precious in the eyes of any one?” Such a question would illuminate other possible sources of the statement that could then be compared with the first interpretation, that the statement came from god.

I, for one, think that faith is prized over reason by anyone trying to sell you a bill of goods. “Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes” is punch line to a joke, I believe. If you take a step back and look at a few facts: there are many religions, all value faith over reason, all include statements regarding what we should do and think. All of these are therefore mechanisms to control human behavior. And, to answer the obvious question “Why should I do what you tell me to do?” the answer is either a very large carrot or a very large stick in the form of a very, very, very powerful god.

The only thing all of these religions have in common is their ability to control the behaviors of the adherents … the only thing. Is it not obvious then that that is why they exist at all?

Since getting large numbers of humans to obey by force is a rather daunting undertaking, requiring much expenditure of wealth and effort, it is very much easier to get the adherents to control themselves by creating a culture they can step into, or are born into, and then it becomes invisible. One ends up thinking “what it is about faith that makes it precious in the eyes of God” instead of “what it is about faith that makes it precious in the eyes of any one?” Trying to answer the first question results in one running down a rabbit hole of questions without answers. In answering the second question, the behind-the-scenes controllers and manipulators can be identified and the yoke of control thrown off.

It is a kind of red pill–blue pill moment.

It has been the case, for all of civilization, that the secular and religious elites have operated to control the behavior of the masses, for the benefit of the elites, not the masses. Are you aware of any culture or state in which ordinary people lived in mansions and the elites lived in simple robes in caves? No? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you. Are you aware of any culture or state in which the elites did/do not live in mansions, no matter how the hoi polloi lived? No?

In American culture now the elites have gotten us to believe that they deserve all of their wealth, because they earned it. Interestingly enough, the greatest number of new elites are the “rentier class.” This is the term used by economists to describe people who live off of financial investments. Some of these wealthy people inherited great wealth, then hired a financial manager to expand their fortune through the various financial markets. Just how did they “earn” all of their wealth? What is it about them personally that demonstrates their abilities to earn?

The elites have manipulated our culture to the point that they claim that their god favors them, a sign of which is the fact that they are wealthy. And this claim is made by Christians whose scriptures claim that riches prevent people from getting into Heaven, and that we should all give away what we have and follow Jesus, and … so on.

Reason allows us to take the cultural blinders off, if just for a moment, a moment that might just be a red–pill moment.

After Note In reading the op-ed piece again, it is clear that the arguments, though wrapped in Christian terminology, etc. would apply to any religion you might want to plug into the text, the religious culture is that powerful a weapon in the Class War being waged by the elites on you and me.

5 Comments »

  1. I read this and liked it. Would it be better in the eyes of God if I hadn’t seen your post but still liked it? Next time I’ll just hit the like button because I think your right most of the time.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by jim- — December 25, 2017 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

  2. I think this ties in very well with your post today. Of course I am just an old, broken down heathen/pagan/atheist, so……

    Like

    Comment by Walter Kronkat — December 25, 2017 @ 8:06 pm | Reply

    • That’s only really true for monotheistic religions – a polytheistic one could potentially incorporate one or more additional gods.

      Like

      Comment by List of X — December 26, 2017 @ 1:47 pm | Reply

      • And, not only that but polytheistic religions acknowledged a “Uber-god” in their panoplies (almost always, e.g. Zeus, Jupiter, Odin, etc.) but because of the large clutches of subordinant gods, they were more inclined to accept other people’s god’s too. (The more the merrier?)

        Only when monotheism came along did the efforts to exterminate the others begin. One stat I noted was that all of the Roman persecutions of Christians (there were four official ones, not counting wildcatting) resulted in a few thousand deaths. The St. Bartholomew’s Day’s Massacre of Protestants by Protestants killed five times that number … in one day! Apparently somebody had the wrong christology or something. The Pope, upon hearing of this massacre of Protestants by Protestants, was so joyful, he commissioned a work of decorative art portraying the massacre encompassing an entire room of the Vatican. Interestingly this room is off-limits to outsiders today.

        Like

        Comment by Steve Ruis — December 26, 2017 @ 1:59 pm | Reply

  3. The above is compliments of the Tumblr site Atheist Jack. I asked him if I could use some of his images/posts and he said I was free to do so. I told him I’d always give him credit if/when I do, so, this is his credit. Yes, I enjoy his site as I do yours.

    Like

    Comment by Walter Kronkat — December 25, 2017 @ 8:08 pm | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: