Friday 12 October 2012

Reply to Snowbrush.

The tragic fact is that human beings are genetically programmed to be religious. That is, to believe things and beings exist for which there is no evidence and to believe certain events happened, even those that have been proven to have not happened.

To believe, despite evidence to the contrary is called Faith. We all have it and will give it expression unless we work at understanding its nature and, particularly at times when we are being threatened, refuse to let is take charge of our emotions and actions. Faith has been useful in Human evolution up until E=MC2. But now, if we are to meet our human-induced challenges of climate change and over-population, we must realise that Faith has passed its ‘use-by-date’ and start acting on fact.

 You mentioned a few absurdities in a recent post on Religion, and in the next post presented a fairly detailed account of the progression of your own obsession; that of transforming normal women into sexual angels and acting on that obsession. I suspect both posts are expressions of the same mental process by which we create Faith and they are both examples of how we become prisoners of Faith.

Transformation of normal women to supernatural status was a process of your mind that most of us recognise as 'falling in love'. But for you, and many others, that same process pushed you to act out what, for most of us remain fantasy, outside those 'moral' boundaries we are all taught as children and are expected to maintain as adults. Fortunately for this discussion, we have become accustomed to your confessional style and your determination to let it all hang out. And being accustomed to you means we can get past our own boundaries and experience yours, in my case, without judgement.

In your sexual history post, you documented acting out your sexual fantasies. But like a religious extremist, you did not stop where you worshipped at the altar of your fantasies, but become what could be called a Sexual Terrorist. Your fantasies were so compelling that they needed expression in action and were so strong that you ignored real dangers to yourself and trespassed the boundaries of others as you followed wherever they led.

However, your fantasies were gentle and consensual, unlike religious, racial and political fanatics who are consumed with a fervour that often drives them to murder. We all ask why this schoolgirl was shot when all she was asking for was gender equality, and the answer is as old as God and lies deep within our genetic code. It was her challenge to dogma that incited the response it did, not the essence of her request  and we need to understand that. In a comment on Selma's blog, I sought to answer the question; why there is so much religious (and political) violence now. Of course, world-wide instant media brings every statement made by anyone to the attention of everyone else, so what was said in pre-Internet times was more likely to remain local and not trigger a response. I think my comment (paraphrased) is worth repeating here.

"If you tell me two plus two is five, I can demonstrate your error. I take two coconuts and hand them to you, saying; ‘count them.’ You say: "Two". Then I hand you two more coconuts and say; ‘count them.’ You say: "Two". Then I ask you to count the number you now have. Unless you are a complete idiot, you will concede that two plus two is four and there is no need to hit you over the head with the non-existent fifth coconut to change your mind. 

However, in matters of Faith, the rules of evidence change as do our responses. If you claim your ‘imaginary friend in the sky’ is better than my ‘imaginary friend in the sky’, we are at an impasse. Because there is no verifiable evidence with which to demonstrate your 'error', the only way I can stop you from saying it is to kill you." Humans have always done it and we still do. So what do we do about it?

 Chimp pic courtesy of National Geographic.


  1. Wow, I inspired you to write a post! That's quite a compliment. I'll just respond to one part of what you wrote at the moment because a moment is about all I have--at the moment.

    "Fortunately for this discussion, we have become accustomed to your confessional style and your determination to let it all hang out."

    It strikes me as important to say that I'm not actually determined to let it all hang-out, but rather to write fully and honestly. What I mean is that my goal is to explore thoughts, feelings, beliefs, personal history, etc. for purposes of making sense out of it, critiquing it, teaching other people about it, creating literary art with it, or deciding how I feel or what I think about it, as opposed to writing so that the whole blogosphere (or at least the twenty or thirty of its participants who read my blog regularly), can see me emotionally naked.

    I see that Helen follows your blog too. She was delighted by your comment in response to my last post, as was I.

  2. I stand corrected. Your description of your motivation is very consistent with how I see it too, but you said it better. Thanks.

  3. I had a lot of things to say. Instead, I sent you an invitation to a discussion I had last night over at Facebook, Stafford. See you there.

  4. I am reminded of that line from "Sound of Music".

    Captain Von Trapp : "Flatter you? How clumsy of me. I meant to accuse you."

    1. Yes, my dear friend. The accusation is there, but so is the understanding of the why and how which indicates the way out.
      To defuse anger, one must first recognise it then express our willingness to listen. Unfortunately, we seem to jump past that into effrontery and reaction.
      But then, how often do we get to experience conflict resolution by negotiation? In children's literature, films, children's television, in families relationships and in almost all video game, we see resolution of conflict by force. We are marinated in violence from birth, so I am never surprised when it is expressed in real life.
      I also understand there are sound reasons why it is so but those reasons deserve careful consideration and a separate post.

  5. My goodness how well you state the absurd. It almost sounds like riddles, or children's stories. I'm not sure.....why? Although I can think of no other way to explain, it. Well done. " We are programmed...."

  6. Stafford dear,
    My friend Naz Ghazali sent you an invitation on Facebook. Once you accept, it will be easier to see and participate.

    Are you going to the Willow ball with helen again this year?

    This time around I shall make an appearance with my darling husband Rudy for a change!

    1. I have 'befriended' Naz, and have read many of her Facebook posts. I intend to join in eventually, but for now, I am fascinated to read what she writes and how fresh, at least for me, is her POV.


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