Friday, August 14, 2009

Religion in Western countries

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People reading my religious blog might be inclined to find me very critical about religion. They might find merit in my statements about religion in the third world. True, the third world is full of desperate people who use religion as a crux to manipulate or deceive others out of money. They will assert in defence of religion 'that that does not happen in the West'.

I want to make a number of points to dispel any residue Christianity in you:
1. Religion in the Western colonies was just as manipulative historically as it was in the third world. Afterall religion was essentially a 'franchise for manipulation' developed in the West before it was spread to the developing nations. You can consider religion to be the first franchise. It was not about accumulating money, it was about accumulating souls.
2. Modern religion is not as manipulative as it was in the old days because general standards of education standards have improved. Not just in your country, but internationally. Churches have to apply quality control measures. Yet no accountability or special ethical standards have been adopted by organised religion. It is all about managing perceptions. In fact, with respect to sexual abuse, the church has proven highly secretive, soliciting confidentiality agreements and offering pay-offs to 'aggrieved' persons. In the same way the Church has also been protective of its 'brand', and it maintains strict compliance with central policy. This would be understandable and logic if indeed logic and judgement were facets of religion, but they are repudiated by the churches. Faith and acceptance were the premises I was raised upon.
3. Rule of law. You cannot get away with deceit in the West as you can in developing countries. People in developed countries have more to lose from breaking the law, both in terms of future employability, damages from any successful law suit, and the prospect of imprisonment. In developing countries, people are less likely to seek legal remedy, police are less likely to take action, and courts are more readily paid off. The poor have no chance against the rich, if only because they don't have the education or support to take successful action.
4. Ethical values. Traditional values in developing countries are often of a low standard, particularly in the lower income portion of the population. There tends to be greater reliance on gratuities, a stronger desire for 'easy gains', greater cynicism about the system (thus greater willingness to breach the rules of that system), less judgement, greater acceptance of collectivist/religious philosophies (ie. They embody these philosophies as opposed to giving lip-service to them). In truth they are the practical manifestation of a Christian people, yet they are materially and spititually they are broke. They have greater integrity than any rich man in their city because they have nothing to give.
5. Western romanticism. The Romantic tradition associated with the Western Industrialisation is a philosophical system that sits juxtaposed against the naturalism of the prior period. Unfortunately romanticism never had a complete philosophical justification. It was smeared by collectivists who far out-numbered the logical exponents of justice. Romanticism still requires a defence today.
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Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com
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Attention all atheists!!
In fact anyone who has had an interesting encounter with a Christian which involved manipulation, deception or blatant rationalisation. This is research or material for a forthcoming book. I am not suggesting that all Christians are criminals, dangerous or threats to society, but I am suggesting that Christianity is a basis for moral inefficacy. There is a reason why Christian nations are always at war. There is a reason why former Christians (or children of Christians) have a tendency to drift into cults and extreme religious groups. Thank you for any life experiences you can recall. ----------------------------------------------- Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com