Monday, August 23, 2010

Religiously Damaged Thinking.

What is wrong with the mind that believes humans would be nothing less than beasts were there not the teachings of Ten Commandments? What is wrong in such a mind, is, that it possesses no regard for, or has no awareness of humanity's social development.Such minds may be inattentive to the history of writing, lacking the knowledge that the human, as a specie, was not always able to read and write, that there was a time in the evolution of humanity when writing did not exist,and so written commands did not exist, yet humans have been governed by unwritten rules influencing what was deemed right or wrong, fair or unfair by human communities.
The animal of the wild do not have commandments, nevertheless they evidently have some instinctive appreciation of right or wrong, fairness or, to some degree, unfairness. This awareness, of course, is not as sophisticated or as ordered as rules governing human behaviour, but it is still observed when food is located and shared,and when larger animals defend weaker ones against aggressors.
It is difficult to imagine there are people who believe that, had it not been for commandments which forbid humans to kill each other, we would simply take lethal weapons and slaughter our fellowmen; that people would be capturing other people's wives had the commandments not ordered us not to "commit adultery", and that we would all be "bearing false witness against our neighbours" if the commandments had not cautioned us against doing so.The implication of this is that without the Ten commandments we would all be savages.
It is unthinkable that some believe humans can only be civil when commanded to be, although it is evident that, (if one believes the Bible) the Ten Commandments came to a tribe of humans who were already living in communities and had already established some type of working social order, and even if there was the practice of adultery or covetousness, greed and theft in such communities,the development of the human brain, and the essential human need for order as an ingredient for survival, (even without the Ten commandments) would have put together their own commandments in attempt to avoid chaos.(Humans cannot thrive in chaos). Believers of the Bible are compelled to see that God's Ten Commandments were therefore introduced to people already governed by rules of their own. They could not have escaped the bondage of Egypt if this were not so.
The passionately defensive religious would argue that the laws of God were already written in the hearts of men, hence, man's sense of right and wrong.The irony is that neither the laws written on stones nor those etched "in the hearts of men" have made any difference in the way man has behaved, because man must command and govern himself, or the laws, written or otherwise would mean nothing to him.
The Bible is full of commandments; many more than ten, and they are not only in the Old testament; they extend deep into the new. (New Testament is a term not recognized by the people who best understand the book, Jewish religious scholars).It is the commandments in the New Testament that pose the biggest challenge for Westerners, because many of the rules outlined by the Apostle Paul, in particular, are steeped in a culture and an era that is foreign to Western Societies of the Twenty-first Century.Many of the teachings are simply not applicable, and when followed, have done tremendous damage to adherents.
Take the commandment in Second Corinthians, chapter six and verse fourteen, where the Apostle Paul admonishes believers not to be "yoked" with unbelievers. it is difficult to believe that the people to whom Paul referred as "unbelievers" in his day, are nothing like what Christians refer to as "unbelievers" in Twenty-first Century Western Societies. It is difficult, if not impossible, to find unbelievers (of the type referred to by Paul) in societies once gripped by Christian Colonialists and the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church, as well as, Pentecostalist-Evangelical-Protestant influence.
In the Caribbean, for example, an unbeliever is someone who has not "accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior". What this means is that the person perhaps has sex outside of marriage, probably lives with someone to whom he or she is not married, dances in the street during Carnival, uses swear words and basically does not adhere to any of the regulations and teachings of any established religious organization.Such persons would not have been considered "nonbelievers" in Paul's society because a "nonbeliever", as far as Paul and his followers would have been concerned, would have been exactly that; a person who did not believe in nor give any credence to the new"cult" called Christianity. Paul himself rants in the book of Corinthians, about the many "idols" that the "nonbelievers" worshiped during his time. The people who worshiped these "idols" were the people to whom Paul referred as "unbelievers".People who did not believe in the Christian God at all.
But the Caribbean is teaming with "believers"; they are everywhere. Most attend no church at all, but they believe everything those who attend do, including the teachings about adultery, fornication , judgment-day, hell fire and that Jesus died on a cross for their sins. There is nothing that the Caribbean "believer" believes, that the Caribbean "unbeliever" does not. In fact, some "unbelievers" do believe more fervently than many "believers" do.
When a beautiful person, (let's say a young lady) in the Caribbean church is deprived of the pleasures of marriage because she is fearful of breaking the "commandment" forbidding her being "unequally yoked" with unbelievers, when there is an adoring, young, intelligent, caring unbelieving-believer at her workplace whom she is aware would be a beautiful husband with whom she probably could raise a wonderful family had he only been the correct "yoke".It becomes evident that our thinking processes and our effort to build bonds of unity have been damaged by religion.

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