Tuesday, 30 September 2008

God is not Great: Religion Poisons Everything

I was going to call this post: "MiniDiscs are not Great: Bad Technology Poisons Everything" but decided against it at the last moment, mainly because I've just finished reading Christopher Hitchens wonderful book and even though the sound fucked up a bit last night during Zero, it couldn't stop if from being an excellent opening night.

But before that, a brief word on Hitchen's grand book. I won't harangue you with large swaths of the text or bang-on endlessly about how much I believe all religion to be deeply wrong, anti-humanist and the nearest we have to organised child abuse but I will share with you my favourite bit that made me laugh out loud on the bus to the theatre.

One recalls the question asked by the Chinese when the first Christian
missionaries made their appearance. If god had revealed himself, how is it that
he has allowed so many centuries to elapse before informing the Chinese?

Like the best texts that outline the case against religion, Hitchens presents the argument that for me is the desperate undoing of all the organised forms of human control: is your god/gods willing to prevent evil but unable? Thus she/he is impotent. Or is your god able to stop evil but unwilling? Thus making she/he malevolent. Or perhaps your god/gods is both willing and unable? Thus they are evil.
Back to Zero, as I mentioned, yesterday was our opening night and it went very well indeed, aside from some sound issues and tonight promises to be another grand adventure.
As well as reading Hitchens, I've been digesting some of Leon Trotsky's essays of late and was struck that his idea of the working class looking to transcend the world of material goods and material wealth in which they could never hope to be a success in, is in part reflected in the story of the terrorist in the play itself.
The idea that when the world of money and wealth seems so far away as to be unreal, a fantasy, then action can be taken to transcend this world by acts of violence in order to become something in another way, in order to find a degree of success in humanity by playing by a different set of rules.

12 comments:

  1. I'll make a deal with youas far as our comments to each other's blogs go: Since we are on different sides of the political fence, I will not make ugly political comments on your blog if you will not make ugly political comments on mine. Deal? Can we just agree to disagree?

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  2. Ugly political comments?

    Where?

    Ugly political posts perhaps but the whole point of blogging is cross-fertilisation of ideas and open debate.

    Otherwise what's the point of having an idea?

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  3. Ugly political comments?
    Anything less than full cum swallowing fellating of Bush, McCain is an ugly political comment.

    The other kind of ugly political comment is any statement that points out that Sarah Palin is an extremist who wants to ban books, abuse power, help rapists reproduce and hasten Armageddon by starting a nuclear war with the Russians.

    Meanwhile, "leslie" cheerfully advocates the assassination of politicians and thinks that is not an ugly political comment. Usually the fascists like her say "I was just kidding" when you call them on their eliminationism.

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  4. Daniel:

    What's the point of having an idea?

    Having an idea means you're most likely human, you are 98.6 degrees, you breathe, you have brain function, and you're not comatose, so you can probably let others know your idea. Big deal...you have an idea. How about we go a few rounds about how we know ideas have any value, like say, whether ideas are True?

    The Common Master Logic is always watching you!

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  5. Since you are in London, you should look up Maryam Namazie. She is close to your opinions. She was voted secular person of the year several times.

    I disagree most with Hitchens, is his naive or oppurtunist view, that US policy, is to spread secularism. It is only to contain it. Islamists are open to negotiation with imperialism, and support neoliberalism.

    I would say start with Trotsky on art and literature.

    Leslie: Come to my blog. I'm sure you'll agree with it.

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  6. Bud: missed you man, spot on, nice to have your words around.

    UL: logic and truth can watch me all they like, as long as god isn't...

    ;-)

    Ren: the US wants to spread the word of Christ, not the secular word. I'm getting into my Trotsky though!

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  7. Well, that's up to God. It's out of your hands, pal.

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  8. You know as well as I do that there is no god.

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  9. You're quite a man of faith.

    Well, the talking is over and now we wait, don't we? Perhaps for a long time, you and I will live out our lives, each according to our own conclusions. Then when we die we'll discover what the truth is.

    Oh, and we'll also find out if there's do-overs, or not.

    Happy waiting...

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  10. It's not our waiting I worry about, it's that poor old wandering Jew...

    You have to laugh at what lengths humankind will go to hold onto precious myths.

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  11. Look--the reason I visit sparingly is because I don't know what good I bring to your blogsite. But I can say this with confidence, I am concerned when you make statements like the above. I'm not trying to be contrarian simply to piss you off. I really truly think that you are not being open minded because of some of the shit some professing Christians pull.

    Could you at least admit, that there may be something to this faith, outside of the sometimes abysmal examples some Christians give? You're adamant to holding as myth a person who has made the greatest impact in human history; Jesus Christ. An intellectual midget can make that assertion. If you are saying all this to test me and are not being genuine, be careful here. If you are genuine, and you are not doing this for some dramatic effect, then, at least show some intellectual fortitude and look at history.

    I will end this for now. But, for all that is good, do me a favor, will you? Cut back on the drama and LOOK at those around you who DO live a great example and ask if there is some substance to this all. If not, then, well, have a nice day?

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  12. Point taken on why you visit sparingly. Point also taken on the contrarian comment.

    To a degree I am not open minded on matters of religion (all religion may I add). I see it all as a terrible waste of human endevour and time and as a destructive influence on humanity.

    I do not hold the figure of Jesus Christ in high esteem I'm afraid, he was alright as people who think they are the son of god goes but he was clearly mad, mad in a good way but many people now profess to be the messiah and we lock them up.

    I appreciate your candor and words UL, I agree that as we approach this in different ways we will always be at a pointless loggerheads but I really can't see the worth, benefit and point of ANY religion in the modern day, aside from its current use as an anti-humanist device of repression, isolation and terror.

    I wish it wasn't that way.

    Peace.

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