viernes, mayo 27, 2016

Is religion abuse?

Homeopathy is staring down a barrel. The European authorities have decided that there is no scientific evidence that it works, in spite of the anecdotal evidence of millions of patients who claim that it has cured their ailments. A placebo effect? Maybe. Worse than tobacco? Probably not.  In fact, given that using this kind of medicine is a free choice and the information about the risks or lacks of guarantees is so widespread that it is hard to suggest that anyone is being led down a blind alley.

Not so the case with traditional religions. I would argue that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to argue that religions are not imposed on their adherents in highly abusive ways and that they need to be combated with the same strength as other forms of emotional coercion.

Let's start with the scientific evidence. Obviously, there is no proof that any of the beliefs: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc. have even a grain of truth to them or that they are anything less than instruments used by authority to exercise power through coercion and fear. And what is worse is that they are imposed from a very young age, before citizens have the capacity to reason. In the specific case of Christianity, the whole belief system is based on the choice between chosing 'the path of good' and submitting to the demands of the Church, or being led by temptation to stray towards 'the path of evil' which in the book of Genesis is equated with 'knowledge'. Ie. the very education which is supposed to enlighten us and set us free is 'evil' and if as a result of this we come to the conclusion that the beliefs we have been taught as kids are little more than mumbo jumbo, we will always be haunted by the fear that we are straying from God.

I have no problem with the essence of God, in the sense of there being a higher power or force of nature, and that this power can be felt and identified by any sentient being on his journey through life. Nevertheless, this has to be a permanent discovery, sought through experience and without other human beings using it as a tool for oppression. And this is exactly what religions do. They profess to know the truth and to use it for the sake of social control. Once we recognise this, -and all the more so when religion is being used as an argument for mass slaughter- the State has the obligation to step in and prevent this falsehood and abuse.

Until we reach this stage, I suggest they leave the homeopaths in peace. In comparison to the works of the priests, rabbis and imams of this world, theirs is at the most a very minor misdemeanour