Religions have defined cultures and people since the beginning of time; man time, not time time — unless you ask a theologian. They will tell you that both are pretty much the same and that ancient man rode dinosaurs and made babies the same way sponges do; asexually through budding. This is when a small piece of sponge is broken off but is still able to survive and grow into another sponge, and surprisingly this fact is able to explain the genesis story quite effectively if you really think about it.
Jokes aside though, today’s blunder is focused on the essential functions of religion — especially its ability to placate the basic fear, that all of us humans carry inside ourselves, but rarely speak of. The fear of death.
Religions all over the world have built-up their core dogmas and other metaphorical stories to explain away the after-life, to give all of us a feeling of peace and even positive expectation of when the time comes for us to leave this world.
The obvious issue is, that such stories — aimed at making people more comfortable and content with their finite existence — produced innumerable conflicts between various religions. But apart from creating ideological oppositions, actually wars and a lot of bloodshed, there is yet another contemporary problem that humanity is facing today — atheist capitalism.
The real issue with atheism and capitalism is that neither of them build their ideology — their beliefs, morals, ethic practices, etc. — on a story of the afterlife. They obviously don’t even acknowledge spirituality as a real thing. And, even though I myself am not the biggest supporter of religion — you probably can tell — I know that without any spirituality, humanity is quite doomed in the long run.
Not because I fear that a lack of magical mandalas or astrological trinkets could ever ruin our society or that without religion to guard us from the evil illuminati, they will eventually summon some demonic behemoth that will send the world into an age of darkness and despair.
No, the problem I see is that a lack of spirituality and magic in the human mind is fatal, because it leaves the body to more or less do as it pleases. And with body, I don’t mean the sins of premarital love or some other archaic shenanigans that for some reason still exist today. I explicitly mean the way we humans — as basically the monkeys in shoes that we are — function in our daily lives.
The only things preventing anyone of us from eating cake and pizza all day, drinking and copulating till kingdom come, and murdering and pillaging our neighbours is our ability to control our amygdala — more commonly referred to as the lizard brain or reptilian brain. But, for the sake of brevity and the immensely pleasant mental image of us being monkeys in shoes, let’s call it our inner chimp.
The inner chimp cannot and does not think; it does not act, nor does it plan or think ahead. All it does is react — the effects of which we call emotions. When it is in the presence of food, it wants to eat as much as possible and as quickly as possible. When it’s close to someone that looks nice, well, let’s say it wants to do other inappropriate bodily shenanigans all the same.
But humanity, even though it might seem this way when reading-up on history, wasn’t built by horny and hungry chimps. It was built by thinking ahead, incredibly intricate strategies and precise planing. And the only way anyone was able to follow through on as grand a task as what we, as humans have accomplished throughout the millennia, is if they’ve had an incredibly strong dream, part of an even greater ideology to have been able to follow it through.
This is really the strongest and most captivating force a religion (or any strong enough spiritual belief) can have on humans. But the problem today is; a lot of people are becoming strict darwinian atheists and following the example of folks like Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins and others.
And while I have nothing against a lot of the points that such atheists mention (they are really effective in combing through all the ideological crap that has accumulated in society throughout the years), the idea that humans are nothing but monkeys in shoes and that spirituality is wrong is absolutely scary.
And I want to talk about why this is in tomorrow’s blog.