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Tai-Chi Tu
Tai-Chi Tu

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Issue 2:

Beliefs Belong To ALL!





[I have added this issue on free belief because of the atrocious step that Congress recently took to reaffirm the motto of the USA as “IN GOD WE TRUST”, instead of “E PLURIBUS UNUM”; what this reaffirms is that to be an American you must believe in a God. In other words, Congress is now telling the public that they must believe what Congress tells them to believe; and that if you are an atheist or agnostic, you are not an American. See my other essay: ‘“In God We Trust”; Which God?’ ]



Beliefs pervade every human mind in just about every mental area, for they are the stuff from which the causes of the mind spring – the motivations – created from the definitions we form in our act of living. These mental definitions 1 derived from life itself, create the behaviors that mold our interactions with the world, and the interactions with the other people that inhabit that world. Their creation defines that “free will” that makes us distinctly human. At the same time, they are that agony and ecstasy that gives us the potential to reach a godlike status, or, on the contrary, the status of a demon from Hell; in other words, they define the human condition, and that often misunderstood creature called the personality that actually defines our identity. We are therefore their result, since they define what that ‘we’ really is.

Because of this, the issue this essay will discuss is the potential we are seeing come up so often in our current political climate, namely the creation of these beliefs of ours, by someone else, indeed by that very same democratic government we created to do away with this scenario.

In the past, many have said that democracy is centered around what we call the “common good” of a nation. This “common good” is rightly or wrongly, described as the common beliefs of the people of that nation; it is their mores, or the customs of their society; in short, it is their culture. Now culture is not really legislated, but evolved. Beliefs, which are these values or mores that are shared, are not dictated by anyone, but grow through the interactions of the people of that society. And, in a democracy, they form the accepted way in which a society creates the trust and harmony that hold it together as a society. Thus the mores, not only grow through the interaction of beliefs, but, in turn, evolve the beliefs of all members of a society so that those beliefs create the harmony that is that society.

But in recent times, we have seen a scary phenomenon grow up right here in our democracy: the legislation of beliefs. 2 And, what is even scarier, the pawning off of this phenomenon as a prima facie attribute of true democracy!

Of course, this is not surprising in a country where the word freedom has come to mean the freedom we all know, and its opposite, at the same time! 3 This outright hypocrisy has become quite common in recent times, because the same two institutions (religion and the economy) that have caused all the societal troubles throughout the history of the world are again trying to take humankind down that very same path they have always led it. If history shows us one thing, it is that a human can be again, and again, made to see things falsely, yet not learn that they are false. Why? Because all of us have a chink in our armor: the motivations. Yes, those very same beliefs they are now trying to legislate for us!

The motivations, our beliefs, are the chink in our armor, because they form the causality of the mind. And, even more, they are easily created because they tend to follow the path of least resistance, the path of what that old longshoreman philosopher, Eric Hoffer called the “True Believer”. 4 Humans are social animals that are drawn to the group – to belong. They love the solidarity of feeling that their beliefs are vindicated by group participation. Because of this, humans can often cause within them a “disconnect” of sorts, between their beliefs and the reasoning abilities that cause them to vindicate those beliefs; this chink, as I have called it above, makes them vulnerable to those that would deceive them using this very same flaw as the weakness to lead them down the false path they would have them follow. The politics of all ages have used this ploy to hood wink these “true believers” into believing what the group believes. Thus has religion created its societies of true believers , 5 enduring the most depraved of conditions, just for the satisfaction of being a part of the group. 6

So, today the same old ploy is still used, but this time to have government legislate our beliefs for us, and even that same government that was created for preventing that very same purpose from ever happening: a democratic government!

For democracy is a government, and as such works through its laws; but laws work not on beliefs, but on the behaviors that are the things that affect the other people of society they are meant to protect from these behaviors. Beliefs are, as I have pointed out above, entirely of the mind, and democracy was strictly defined not to create laws that restrict thought, but only to stop actions that hurt others. Indeed, that is the whole point of democracy, the creation of unity from the diversity of the many free wills its people bring to it. Thus freedom is the freedom to believe whatever you want, but act in accordance with the laws of society, to maintain the harmony of that society, through the respect of all other’s freedoms.

But, today, in this same country, that gave refuge to the many persecuted religions of Europe, giving freedom to all to practice their beliefs unhindered and respectful of all other beliefs; today’s religions have, in the false zealotry of the bigotry they practice, stolen this right from all others but themselves, and in consequence distort our democracy into a religious dictatorship, where government decides what people can believe. Thus the legislation of beliefs is the actual mind control of the ultimate Evil Empire, an empire that dares to dictate what people would think!

Yet these same people, who would hate the zealotry of the Muslim world, which they have caused so much disturbance in with their wars to free these same people, would now dare to become themselves the “Taliban of the West”, through dictating what people should think, right here in the land of the free.

That the very idea of mind control should rear its ugly head right here in America, as an issue, is a warning of how perverted and disconnected from the reason of the mind our society has become. The same ‘disconnect’ that has unhinged our society from actually being a society, and divorced our politicians from the sacred oaths they have sworn to protect our people from all enemies both foreign and domestic. And these domestic religious zealots, who dare to breach our freedom are a threat to all, for they think they rule over all through laws that tell us how to think.

I have treated this issue as one of the most important of the issues in this series, because it is the issue that all must constantly be on guard against; for it is the supreme deceit that uses the God of ALL to divorce himself from ALL, and favor only the FEW. It takes from the human the one gift that God gave to the human to let that human decide his or her own fate – free will. For when we have lost that we are no longer human! 7




FOOTNOTES

To return to note's origin click the footnote number at left



1 See my essay: “Modes Of Awareness And Mental Causality”



2 See my essay: ‘“In God We Trust”; Which God?’



3 See my essay: “Freedom And The Human Being”



4 See my comment in the Errata section on my essay: “Religion Is It Becoming Just Another Name For Bigotry?”



5 See my essay: “Religion Is It Becoming Just Another Name For Bigotry?”



6 Witness the depravity that the serfs and commoners of Europe underwent for some fifteen hundred years through the “Dark Ages” of Christian civilization, and the hegemony the Church created, by using this very same chink in the human’s armor, the chink of the “True Believer”.



7 What is the true distinction between a human being and all other animal life on this planet – the freedom of the human will! This freedom to behave contrary to the dictates of Mother Nature, which all other animal life cannot refuse, the human can, because we are endowed with a will not tied only to the primitive instincts of the body, but freed from them, through a mind that has enabled us to be self-aware; and thus, we have separated ourselves from the world through this “perceptual viewpoint” this self-awareness confers. The ability to form a “viewpoint” distinctly our own, is this will of ours that gives us the freedom to choose our own destinies, free of the mechanical restraints that all other creatures rely on to create their futures.

For more on this, and further speculation as to how the will comes about, see the essay: "Will"







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Tai-Chi Tu
Tai-Chi Tu

Originally Published:

October 11, 2007

Revised:

June 23, 2014