Randall Eades: Some Random Thoughts

I agree with you that atheists should be as aggressive in proselytizing their non-belief as religions do their belief. There is more to it than simply a lack of belief, that once you’ve achieved it you’re done. There is a long-running war between rationality and superstition, reality and myth, and until very recently we’ve been losing badly. It is a war for the minds of our children. Religions have no qualms about indoctrinating children even before they can form a rational thought, when they are most easily warped and shaped. Once a mind is formed as a child, it is very difficult to change as an adult. Anyone who has tried to argue rationality with a Christian fundamentalist knows they have an impenetrable Jesus Shield in place that simply deflects any fact contrary to their dogma. They not only don’t think about it, they don’t even hear it.

Religion is not just an alternative way of looking at the world. It is a controlled way of thinking. It is dictatorship over the mind. They are big on preaching free will, that their god allows us to freely choose to follow his will. But then they wrap that free will in chains of commandments and thou-shalt-nots so tightly their followers don’t dare think outside their box for fear of eternal damnation of their immortal souls. They aren’t even allowed to question whether they do, in fact, have immortal souls. It cripples the mind, then sells it a crutch. It is a form of slavery that should be fought with all the zeal with which we would fight against physical slavery. The goal of a Beta Culture should be to end this blight on humanity.

There is the notion among theists that Humans have an innate, almost instinctive, need for “God,” that everyone has always had gods. That’s not true. The early Chinese, one of the great cultures of the world, never invented gods. They had a Heaven, but that was a kind of system within which the dance of Life took place, not an Afterlife for the righteous. There was no capricious anthropomorphic deity that demanded worship in exchange for fair weather and good fortune. They worshiped, or at least prayed to, their ancestors, who they didn’t consider dead and gone, but simply transformed. They didn’t have gods until the Buddhists brought them from India. Then the Christians came and really screwed things up. But we can live without gods.

There is the notion that there can be no morality without the commandments of a god. True morality has nothing to do with a god. It is totally rational. It is about survival. Put in terms of the Venn diagrams you like, it is a set of concentric circles. In the center circle is Self. Our own survival, doing whatever it takes to stay alive, is basic morality. Any deliberate action that threatens that survival is immoral. The next circle is family. While I must strive to survive, to sacrifice my own survival for that of my family is a higher level or morality. I work at a job I hate to ensure their survival, and, if need be, I stand between them and the gun. The next circle is friends, to whom I have no blood connection, no genetic imperative, but only bonds of love. The next circle is community, some of whom I don’t even know, but still help when there is need. The next circle is nation, whose taxes I pay to care for the less fortunate among us, whose call for common defense I answer with my life. The next circle, the highest level of morality we know, is the Human species and the planet we live on. Morality is simply stated as, to quote the Vulcan, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.” Or, for those who like the carpenter, “Greater love hath no man, than that he lay down his life for his friends.” Morality is not about how we worship a god, but how we treat each other.

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