Does John Lennon’s imagine offer any answers

The lyrics first

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

And this author writes

Lennon was blind to the implications of this humanistic worldview he was promoting. If there is no heaven or hell, that means there is no ultimate reward or punishment for anything you do while living on this earth.

And me asks whether such a person has any intelligence greater than mushroom soup. We can safely say the fellows who attacked Paris believed in a world after this. The belief that this world is not only stained but also a training ground makes it possible for idiots to kill others thinking they have dispatched them either to heaven or hell. And it is this that Lennon speaks against.

When they write

What does a world look like with no moral constraints from God?

I think they haven’t read their bibles. The commands not to kill, steal were all thrown out of the window, if there were any, when god is reported to have drowned the world, when Jacob went a killing, stopping the sun in its course or when the sons and daughters of Israel went a repine before they left Egypt. Christians have gone to war to kill each other while still believing their god commands do not kill.

Only a person ignorant of the inquisitions and the crusades would write

The simple fact is, the true morality of the Bible looks absolutely nothing like the actions taken by militant Islamists.

maybe this report from the capture of Jerusalem in 1099 will do as a brief lesson

No barbarian, no infidel, no Saracen, ever perpetrated incidents of such wanton and cold-blooded atrocities of  cruelty as the wearers of the Cross of Christ (who, it is said, had fallen on their knees and burst into a pious hymn at the first view of the Holy City), on the capture of that city. Murder was mercy, rape tenderness, simple plunder the mere assertion of the conqueror’s right. Children were seized by their legs, some of them plucked from their mothers’ breasts and dashed against the walls, or whirled from the battlements. Others were obliged to leap from the walls; some tortured, roasted by slow fires. They ripped up prisoners to see if they had swallowed gold. Of 70,000 Saracens there were not left enough to bury the dead; poor Christians were hired to perform the office. Every one surprised in the Temple was slaughtered, till the reek from the dead bodies drove away the slayers. The Jews were burned alive in their synagogue. Even the day after, all who had taken refuge on the roofs, notwithstanding Tancred’s resistance, were hewn to pieces. Still later the few Saracens who had escaped (not excepting babes of a year old) were put to death to avenge the insults to the dead, and lest they should swell the numbers of the advancing Egyptian army. The ghost of Bishop Adhemar de Puy, the Legate (he had died of the plague at Antioch) was seen in his sacerdotal habits partaking in the triumph, and it appears, not arresting the carnage.

I think the song of John Lennon apart from dreaming up Utopia, beats any prospects proposed by all religious texts put together.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

67 thoughts on “Does John Lennon’s imagine offer any answers

  1. I don’t like the music but the words are sensible.

    Mushroom soup is at least useful and serves a purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tish Farrell says:

    I don’t follow religious guff if I can help it, but now find myself astonished by “If there is no heaven or hell, that means there is no ultimate reward or punishment for anything you do while living on this earth.” So these ‘believing’ people are expecting a prize at the end of life are they? And for what – for being kind, honest, supportive, grateful, loving? Isn’t living an ethical and humane life prize enough – FOR EVERYBODY – for those practicing it, and for those on the receiving end? This notion of prizes for being the best kind of human you can be is infantile. It also suggests some inherent dishonesty – of only doing good for the ultimate reward, or in case you will be punished.JEEZ! Thanks for posting John Lennon. We in the UK have such thoughts on our mind as our government proposes yet another bombing campaign…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “We can safely say the fellows who attacked Paris believed in a world after this” Terrific point. Of course, to the chowder head xtian you speak of, Islam is not a “real” religion, only their religion is. Right. The only thing my atheism leads me to do that some, and only a small “some”, would find to be immoral is my cannibalism. And, to be frank, xtian soup is SOOOOO tasty that I’d eat it even if I were not an atheist. So, there, that outta learn ’em!


  4. ladysighs says:

    For some reason I can’t get the video to play. Reading the comments …… I imagine I must be missing something.


  5. fojap says:

    I had a friend who was a history professor who once went on a rant about how stupid this song was. I was surprised at his vehemence. I’ve always thought the song was a bit sappy and the people who stand in Central Park laying flowers around the memorial were silly, but I never really bothered myself about it much. I said to my friend that I heard it more as an emotional longing or a wish and it was hardly sensible to expect a complete and viable political program in a pop song.

    He did not believe in God, but he was one of those people who “believe in belief.” He didn’t disagree with me about the existence of God, but he thought I was a little anti-social for saying I was an atheist. Once we had a contentious conversation about that. He didn’t seem to get, as many people raised in a religion don’t, that there really is no way for me to fake it as he does. People raised in a religion simply fail to tell anyone that they no longer believe and no one asks too many probing questions. I asked him if I should go to a church and lie and pretend to believe so I could join. There are days I wonder how a priest would respond if I said I wanted to be Catholic. “No, I don’t believe in God. I just want to fit in.”

    But my friend’s real problem with the song was not the God part, it was the no property part. I, personally, don’t think that’s workable, not at the level of population we have on the planet today. Hunter-gatherer societies need much greater acreage per person than primitive farming societies. Societies with modern farming methods need even less. Whatever you may think of modern farming methods the harsh reality is that we can’t go back to traditional methods without reducing world population by a significant amount. So, once you get settlement, you get private property. But the song doesn’t bother me, though. I think of it as a longing.


    • Churches have a great market on private property. Not only do they own innumerable acres of it world wide, they own it completely tax free. Belief, or pretend belief, in invisible guys is fiscally a very wise choice indeed. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      Maybe property could be held communally or like cooperatives to ensure all or the greatest majority participate in maintaining it. Whether this can work is another story altogether.
      I doubt you’d be welcome to a church on those grounds or if they did every effort would be committed to show you the ways of the lawd.


      • fojap says:

        There have been various schemes to that effect. The problem essentially is that there’s really no beating capitalism for efficiency. The matter, to me, is seeing capitalism not as a goal or an ideology, but a tool. So far, the best option anyone seems to have come up with is using the government to mitigate the inherent injustices that arise with capitalism. It’s an imperfect solution, but, since some of the worst human tragedies have happened to people searching for Utopia or some perfect solution, I’m sort of okay with imperfect, messy solutions.

        An interesting book (I try not to recommend too many at once since I know you already have quite a list and I just suggested one yesterday) is Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen. I’ve always had a hard time trying to reconcile more socialist ideals with the fact that socialist economies often don’t fare well. Many things in Sen’s book helped me reconcile that difference.

        That’s why I suppose Lennon’s song doesn’t bother me. It’s okay to have impossible dreams as long as that doesn’t blind you to reality.

        Actually, if you haven’t read Smith first, you might want to try that, then Sen. Since you like Hume, you might like Smith.


        • makagutu says:

          I will add the books to my reading list.
          Capitalism is efficient. Even communism can’t hold a candle to it. Maybe the thing to do is find a way of combining the good aspects of each system


  6. […] Source: Does John Lennon’s imagine offer any answers […]


  7. Scottie says:

    WOW I just posted the song on my blog, and I did not realize you had already done it. I wish I had your talent for writing. Hugs


    • makagutu says:

      Me having talent? Scottie you jest!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Scottie says:

        No sir, I learn as I read. and I thank you for that. It is hard for me some times, my education was spotty at best. I was forbidden from having even school books in the house for years. My adoptive father thought it would make me a man to not read. All I needed to do was work in the garden, do wood working ( he was a master carpenter along with other “manly skills” as he called them ) he couldn’t read much, barely could sign his name, but he did provide for his family and keep food on the table, scant at times, and his word was unchallenged law in our home. I was the least of all, and the one everyone could attack. He felt I needed to either become a man or take the abuse. So you do help me, even as I struggle with the ideas you write on. I love the learning. Thanks and hugs.

        Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          I am glad you learn something from this blog.
          And sorry to hear about the rough childhood you had. I had a far more pleasant growing up albeit with a bit of caning for minor infractions here and there


  8. I don’t believe Lennon’s “Imagine” was offering any answers. Rather, I think it was offering us a vision of a future which must come into being if humankind is to survive.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. themodernidiot says:

    The author clearly has a stick up his butt and is tone deaf. If you cant imagine Imagine, you need to reassess your selfishness as a viable lifestyle for sustainability.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. shelldigger says:

    I like the song for its religious statement. As I was reading the lyrics just now though, it struck me that the “no countries” and “no posessions” thing could be interpreted as a communist wet dream.

    I know the Beatles had a huge influence in music, but was never much of a fan…


  11. Nan says:

    Well, personally, I like the lyrics. Sometimes I think we try to read more into things than what’s there. To me, his whole message was/is (as someone else once said), can’t we all just get along?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Peter says:

    Well I am with John Lennon also. Though the fact he was shot and killed by someone who heard God tell him to do so is not encouraging.

    I think one of the big lies put forward by Christians is that the moral law in the Bible is somehow unique to the Judeo-Christian tradition. This lie is repeated so often many Christian uncritically accept it as fact.

    The OT law code was based on the much earlier Code of Hammurabi, whilst the adjustments Jesus later added in the NT are essentially Buddhist principles.

    But I fear it will be a long and hard struggle against religion.


    • makagutu says:

      Religion, all of them, are a system of control maintained through lies and always with the promise, that they have been sanctioned by god.


      • Peter says:

        Mak I can speak from experience that there is a lot of self delusion involved. As Dr Darrel Ray points out the religions that survive and prosper are those that win the evolution type battle. Think of Islam as a good example, why does it prosper? Well a few reasons are that anyone who criticizes is in danger of death, anyone who tries to leave is in danger of death. Then there is a threat of eternal retribution in the hereafter for opponents and eternal bliss for its most militant supporters. Promises that are unverifiable.


        • makagutu says:

          Human beings are strange. They have made gods by the thousands and now fear the creations of their mind, kill on their behalf and bow down to them. Strange in deed.
          Religion will prosper for much longer for those reasons but mainly because it is served when children are impressionable.


  13. jilldennison says:

    When I read these words … “And me asks whether such a person has any intelligence greater than mushroom soup” … I let forth a burst of laughter and nodded my head vigorously in agreement with your take on it!!! Great assessment! I am not religious and believe that, no matter what people choose to believe about life outside of this one, we must treat all life with respect. We don’t know if there is any other life after this one, but we DO know there is this one. Compassion, empathy, kindness and respect. My religion is nature, kindness and love. I need nothing more than those three.


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