Devil-goat

A conceptualization of the Devil, one that most with America will relate to. (Image via Wikipedia)

“With the gauze removed from your eyes you will finally see the lies the perpetrator has wrought”- Reneta Scian.  That line acknowledges my state of rising from ignorance into reason, and logic from magical thinking prevalent in religion.  As the title states, “Idle hands are the Devil‘s play things” is so commonly used among many other probabilistic errors made by Christians, and other religious types that some people even believe it is in the bible.  It’s possibly a variation exists in there, but that is aside from the point.  What this meme as well as other demonstrates to me is the demonization of free thought by religion.  I find that the phrase indicates at least in some sense that having free time is bad, or that having time to idle is something the fictitious demigod uses for evil.  It seems to me to resonate with the idea that you must somehow “be continuously busy” to be a good person.  What’s ironic is that there are syllogisms in Marxism very similar to that concept, and it is not the first mention of such tactics.

It sounds a lot like a lot of other oppressive mentalities that deride a person’s ability to reason by keeping him/her so busy he doesn’t have time to question flawed logic.  While this concept is hardly limited to Christianity, it is hardly the only one.  “Reason is the enemy of faith” – Martin Luther the namesake of the Christian Denomination of Lutheranism and the Lutheran Church.  That phrase has also been plastered all over church billboards in America from time to time.  “Like a child before God” and “babe in the woods” are all insinuations prevalent in religion edifying ignorance, and abdicating free thought.  This is because the religious institutions realize that ignorance, fear, guilt, control and blind faith are the pillars by which it survives.  It’s the common trope of the religious to proclaim persecution even when they enjoy a healthy majority, and all the rights and protections of the law you could ask for.  It’s all simply because they aren’t the eponymous philosophy of our country (likely The United States of God, or The Republic of Zion).  It’s not that their persecuted that they complain, but that they aren’t accepted as the righteously bless truthsayers they claim to be by all men, women, child and animal.  They aren’t here to play nice, they are here to convert everyone; or at least that is the perspective of the more fundamentalist groups.

A diagram.

I don’t think any human being can fully function as such if they are kept at the lowest level by a constant and unrealistic demands of tasks.  I do believe it is better for people to be gainfully employed, and it is a feasible exchange of skills fulfilled for services provided in a balanced system.  Providing for all of a persons needs only facilitates co-dependency which is proven to not be good for societal stability as it tends to concentrate points of failure.  As Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs demonstrates, is that a high risk systems much like those proposed by the eponym of this article it prevents people from reaching states in which they can question the questionable.  It order to carry out things higher up the hierarchy you must first fill the needs of the tier below.  Understanding of the concept contributed by Abraham Maslow a psychologist can help you understand how political and religious ideologies can effect a person.

Imagine a person who morally feels homosexuality is wrong, but the reality is that homosexuality exist and you can do nothing about it.  Imagine the effect that would have on all those other above aspect, moreover imagine how homophobia will play into finding stability in the 3rd tier.  I would suppose that homophobia, transphobia, and prejudice would prevent a person from having a more intimate understanding of morality, and colluded the morality of his behavior.  Hateful behaviors are certainly not healthy for loving relationships, especially if you have children.  Arguable are the effects of such a mentality, but psychologically it is impossible to fully love if you hate, and vise versa.  That is at least my extrapolation from what I have learned in my life about love and hate.  Fundamentally, the picture this should be painting is that true understanding, knowledge, and advancement is impeded at least to some degree by mentalities fuel by religion.  It facilitates the “Ignorance is Strength” position which is contrary to logic on all counts.  Ignorance means that you can’t possibly foresee possible risk factors to your way of life, thinking and position.  Ignorance only works if change does not occur.  Change is the only constant in this universe.

Think

If we as a race don't learn to think for ourselves we will commit the greatest atrocity possible against ourselves. Failure to Grow thus leading to our demise. ("Think" Image by aftab. via Flickr)

Religious Apologists often site that, “You can’t think about God with Reason, or think about God with logic” that you, “have to ‘feel’ it out to find what is right”.  However, feelings are often not the logical guide to true moral behavior unless they are tempered with logic.  Even the very bible which they promote is against letting emotions govern morality.  It seems quite contradictory, as does much of religious dogma.  Fundamentally, our progress as a species depends on our ability to think rationally, scientifically and the use skeptically question things to find answers that are functional and closer to the truth.  Science, however, comes with it a certain level of uncertainty which people have to learn to cope with to embrace it.  But it isn’t something that is hard, much less impossible.  All one needs to do is critically challenge even their own most cherished and sacred beliefs.  “The fool is always assured of himself, and the wise man always doubts himself”- unknown.

Carnegie Library, Horbury

Remember this humanity, "Knowledge equals Power". Ignorance is not strength. (Image by Tim Green aka atoach via Flickr)

If something can’t stand up to critical thought then on what basis can we understand reality to accept them.  Religion seeks to get around your ability to question it through tactics all to similar to Marxist Philosophies, to keep you so busy, wrapped up, and ignorant that you lack the ability to challenge it.  And philosophy that doesn’t stand up to the light of reason is flawed plain and simple.  That which scurries away when the lights are turned on doesn’t belong in our society.  Religion, specifically Abrahamic faiths all push this subjugation upon the minds of the innocent without their consent and claim that all those who “think for themselves” are entrapped by the devil.  This is called black and white thinking, and it is riddled with logical fallacies and manipulation.  They want their helpless masses to feel helpless without them, dependent on their words for guidance, ignorant to the alternatives, and too busy to challenge their authority.  It’s how all tyrannical regimes stay in power.  They don’t want you to think for yourself then they are not your ally, as they likely seek to make or keep you gullible so they can take advantage of you. You know, they already have a word for this… It’s called coercion.  In the end, as I have mentioned before, religion when broken down by the tactics they use to keep their followers loyal sound more like an oppressive form of government than an “enlightened” doctrine of love and moral guidance.  Skepticism is the gift to shine light into dark corners so that you may see what is really there.  A wise person remembers the infective power of words, and questions them all before accepting them at face value.

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