Monday, 22 February 2016


Yes, she is saying "Crap!"

-note: the kicker is at the end.

There is a little sea dividing believers from non believers. A little sea, or the biggest and deepest ocean on Earth (the Pacific, they tell me - I was horrible in geography).

If one does not believe in a religion, chances are that said religion will look to this person as, at best, a collection of fairy tales.

At best, because fairy tales may be written by one author that - usually - tries to keep things coherent and in line with the accepted moral tenets of the society he -or she- lives in.

Unfortunately, seldom - if ever - the written texts of any religion are the product of the work of just one man, created in one era-society with unchanging mores.

Generally, the older a religion, the more complex and - in the end - contradictory is the corpus of  texts - and of commentaries on said texts - that constitute the intellectual structure of the faith.

Even accepting a divine inspiration for all these texts, the sheer extension of human societies the transcribers of the divine words had to speak too means that the message had to be tweaked, time and again, in order to be understood by its intended recipients (to be sometime fully misunderstood by their successors... ).

On the other hand, religions which only have texts written by a founder and his nearest associates, in a short period of time, usually fare not much better... depending on how many and how powerful are their members, they may or may not be recognized as a religion by the rest of society - if they have not enough political clout, they often ends up called just a (dangerous?) cult ,with all that applies.

So, the average miscreant - that is a member of another faith - is only all too keen pointing out the "mistakes" in whatever religion has the misfortune of being worth of his, or her, scorn.

Then there are, of course, those that do not believe in the basics of any faith - the actual atheists.

These poor fellows cannot help it but, forced to consider the objections that members of any faith have moved against any other faith, they reach the - not unreasonable, if seen from their point of view - conclusion that every faith is, at the bottom, just crap.

Or worse, just another example of those entities - like computer viruses, the '70s career woman and summer pop hits - called memes.

I.E. self-replicating, often stupid ideas.

Of course, when a believer and a non believer meet, they better do not tackle religion in their discourse.

Because it is bound to be a dialogue between deaf.

The believer often resorts to so called appeals to authority - alas, that is a logical fallacy even when the authority one appeals to is recognized by both parts - or tries to exploit the moral high ground provided by the tenets of his faith, failing to recognize that the authority he is invoking has no value whatsoever for his interlocutor.

Said interlocutor most often than not do the same or, worse, tries to use logical arguments that the believer has no intention to accept, because he already knows that they are incompatibles with his faith.

Which is why keeping a  separation between faiths and state is important.

Because governments are, really, just means to allocate resources and compose disputes in a safe and reasonably efficient way - after all, the alternatives are called mayhem, civil war, tribal clans infighting etc. - and, as such, require people to discuss and compromise all the time.

Which is something that cannot really happen, in a discussion in which one or both sides are believers motivated by faith.

OK, same old same old, these notions are some centuries old, it is not exactly a modern discovery, so why did I took the time to write it?

Take a text editor and replace faith with ideology, religion with party, believer with ideologist, atheist with pragmatist and cult with radical group. Or just download the replaced version here.

Now, read it again - if you need to.

(yep, the replacements rise a notch the sarcasm level... funny, isn't it? Unfortunately, it also insert some redundancy.)

Does it remind you of your country's political landscape? I hope not.

 Because if it does... Yes, Crap! is just about the right expression.

- Final notes: the idea that, at a certain level, rigidly ideologised political parties and dogmatic religions are interchangeable is not really mine. 

I met it first when I was a kid, reading a piece of Sakharov -by then already a Soviet's dissident - about the subtle religious nature of the Marxist regime, as it came to be in the SSSR. 

In turn, I think that Sakharov was influenced by Arnokd J. Toynbee (that thought Marxism was a materialistic heresy born out of Christianity) , or by some other historicist thinker of their time (before my birth).

However, I think that this was not only a characteristic of the Soviet's Marxism, or of the German Nazism.

I think that it is more general one, that the "core supporters"of any political party are pure believers of its ideology - in an almost religious sense, without any critical ability to revise said ideology even when faced with the proofs that it is failing to help solve a country's issues.

Which is the reason why parties invariably try to convince the men in the middle - they may not be that bright, as some say, but they can change their mind.


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Feel free to point me out conceptual, orthographical, grammatical, syntactical or usage's errors, as well as anything else