I watched a really silly movie

In fact, I am not sure one can say it is a bad nor a good movie. It just is. But it is relevant for some of the discussions we have on this blog and elsewhere. In the recent post by Nan, Barry did mention that god has been defined by Lord Geering and maybe a few others as a metaphor representing some of our highest ideas.

This brings us to the movie. It is on Netflix and the tittle is Saladin. I found out this was the deliverer of Jerusalem from the crusaders in the 12th Century. Men were going to their deaths to fight over a piece of earth. And they still do, to this date.

One thing I can say for the script writers and the directors is they know how to revenge. In the whole act, the Arabs are referred to by the Europeans as barbarians and savages but in their actions, the Arabs come out on top. They are just, innovative and their leader Saladin is a man for lack of a better word, we will say is an just principled and generous man.

It is 3 hours long. And while it is the conversation that is riveting, it is in Arabic so you can’t let play in the background while you do some important thing like spoonfeeding a cat that has refused to eat.

Humanity doesn’t seem to have improved. We still kill one another for a piece of earth, or for believing incorrectly when these beliefs have no demonstrated truth/ facts to support them.

Without the devil

As the fourth and silent member of the trinity, churches, mosques and most likely synagogues would have closed. We must, if we look at the narratives presented to us, take it that the devil has equal power with the god head.

Many a Christian believe themselves monotheistic while they believe in a multitude of gods; god the father, the son, the holy ghost, the devil, Mary mother of god and a multitude of angels and saints.

The priests believe in magic. They persecute magicians only because they think they have commerce with the devil.

The miracles of Jesus do not provide definitive proof of his power. The good book says even the antichrist will do the same but doesn’t tell how we can separate the two.

Nowhere in the bible is to be found a defence of freedom of thought.

There was never a just war. Only defensive wars.

How faiths spread

But how do you think, then, that my religion became established? Like all the rest. A man of strong imagination made himself followed by some persons of week imagination. The flock increased; fanaticism commences, fraud achieves. A powerful man comes; he sees a crowd, ready bridled and with a bit in its teeth; he mounts and leads it.

Voltaire

We cannot be certain

Of the justice of men who are capable of fashioning and worshipping an unjust divinity; nor on their humanity, so long as they incorporate inhuman motives in their most sacred dogma; nor their reasonableness, while they rigorously decline to accept reason as a test of truth

Morley

I am sure Barry would disagree and I would too. There are many times humans have acted better than their gods. The Christians at least have stopped using the rake to discover who believes correctly and are no longer stoning their neighbours for having the wrong interpretation of religion.

But on the whole, if one worships a cruel overlord, it is not far fetched to imagine their capacity for cruelty. Look at the Muslims chopping heads in the name of God or it name of the profit?

To be fair to religionists, it can be said any ideology believed in that admits no error and is taken as absolute truth is likely to be intolerant of divergent opinion and can easily lead to inhumane and cruel acts.

Is it really the case that our laws

Laws and customs having the effect of law in our days can be traced directly to some powerful organized church or churches? That even in the US where they have an amendment separating church and state, the churches managed to have placed on the statutes the individual church’s code of moral taboos.

In his novel, For us, the living, Robert Heinlein writes and I quote

All forms of organized religion are alike in certain social respects. Each claims to be the sole custodian of the essential truth. Each claims to speak with final authority on all ethical questions. And every church has requested, demanded, or ordered the state to enforce its particular system of taboos. No church ever withdraws its claims to control absolutely by divine right the moral life of the citizens.

Robert A. Heinlein, For us, the Living

Such laws include but are not limited to tax exemption for church property, practically all laws pertaining to marriage and the relations between the sexes (laws against polygamy, adultery, birth control and others), censorship laws, laws prohibiting alocohol use, cigarettes.

In his book Genealogy of morals, Nietzsche makes the same argument and calls for a re-evaluation of morals. The difficulty I see is that after a while, these laws begin to have the form of common sense and thus their religious beginnings become obscured.

Do you agree or am i missing something?

imagine what would become of religion

if lies were disallowed.

We all know a good lie in the course of religion is acceptable even to god. I mean, Luther says it. Eusebius alludes to it. Even Paul agrees to doing it.

so friends, start your religion and use lies if you must as long as the cause is right.

and remember that a loving god sends no one to hell. Should you find yourself in the pit, you chose it willingly. It says so in the scriptures.

On grand cathedrals,mosques and temples

Wole Soyinka writes and I agree with him that

(..)all we can be certain of ( because it is clearly provable) is that the proliferation of grandiose cathedrals, basilicas, temples, mosques, shrines, and other places of worship throughout the global landscape has not perceptibly improved the living conditions or moral sensibilities of the large part of humanity

The open sore of a continent by Wole Soyinka