Fire
Tripod

Rostra
Rostra

BACK TO ESSAY POTPOURRI



The Most Basic Freedom Of ALL:

The Freedom To Think As You Like!









“I think, therefore I am."



Rene Decartes







[Today, 1/4/2016, I update this essay with a song, I think appropriate for it that truly embodies everything I think of, when I think of America. When I get mad, and start cusing this country out ... and all the injustices, I so often find that hurts me and others, like me... I play this song to calm me down!

Also, this past year, 2015, marked the 100th birthday of my father, and of a great Italian-American artist, Frank Sinatra; who, whether you liked him or not, gave us many beautiful songs, like this one. Like my dad (who greatly resembled Frank, when he was young), who served this country in World War Two, Frank served this country with his artistry. So, here it is, "The House I Live In." Hope you like it!]



"The House I Live In" Sung by Frank Sinatra

From The Movie Short: "The House I Live In" 1945. RKO Radio Pictures.















[This is the story of gullibility; how innocence put into the hands of the fanatical, at a young age, cannot only be taken advantage of, but can itself create a world, where that same fanatical create a farce of what good and morality really mean. It shows how even the most basic freedom a human demonstrates, the freedom to think1, can be hijacked, and held ransom. How even the most precious human values can be twisted into their opposites, and distorted into a vile, debauched manikin (called a "GOD"), that separates and polarizes humanity from itself.

(But Note: this fanaticism is not only showing itself in the Muslim world of Islam; it is also emerging, right here, in the Judeo-Christian religions. In the same religions that were supposed to venerate a God of Love; yet, today, this God has become a God that excludes His own creations from Him, through a Love, steeped in Hate and prejudice!)

Unhindered thought is humanity's greatest gift. A gift that has given humanity the power to be a God; but, at the same time, it is humanity's greatest handicap, for it has also given rise to the power to twist and distort truth into its opposite, and lead the gullible into a state, where it, itself, is discarded, and the mind held captive to a fantasy, which a self-elected elite controls. This is today's religions; and, the divided, confused and terrorized world, they have created.]



I have spoken before about religious aristocracies and the concept of a God, or, what many prefer to call it, “A first Cause”. In this essay, I will address, what I consider is the biggest problem today's religions pose: the ability to discard reason.

Reason is something, which should never be discarded. Reason is what has made the human a creature that can recognize its limitations, and use this knowledge to improve itself. We are never apart from reason, for reason is what makes us what we are. But, the unscrupulous among us (and, in most cases, this is not even a conscious unscrupulousness in them), have learned how to shut all reason down, and in the process, exalt themselves into our Masters. This process is called “religion”. It creates, what the old longshoreman philosopher, Eric Hoffer, called “The True Believer”2. And, religion is the most insidious and depraved instigator of this “cause-addicted” mindset, which creates the “mindless” follower, oblivious to the dictates of thought. The “True Believer” mindset is still a problem today, as the terrorists and the religiously prejudiced continue to prove. And, ironically, they have gotten hold of the power they have through making humans discard the very thing that distinguishes them as humans: reason. Let me begin this essay, by speaking about my own personal acquaintance with this mindset, and its origin, for me, in religion.

I grew up a Roman Catholic. In those days (in the 1950's and 60's), the Catholic Church was a strict authoritarian bureaucracy that fed on the guilt it taught in its schools, to instill fear in the hearts of its school children. We were not only judged by our actions, but even by our thoughts! The terror of “Impure thoughts” was constantly drummed into our brains, by the nuns and priests, who became the guardians, not only of our actions, but even of our thoughts! To lonely (I was an only child), impressionable kids, like I was, it was a type of Hell; because I was constantly thinking that I was breaking God's laws, by merely thinking things, I shouldn't be thinking. For a while, I was definitely convinced that God hated me, because I could not cleanse my mind of these “wicked” thoughts. For about a year, I was thoroughly depressed by this conviction; and even the purge of constant confessions3 could not erase the guilt, I felt, so acutely, crowding itself into my mind. It caused me sleepless nights and bad dreams. But, as time passed, and my interactions with my peers increased; as I read and thought more and more, I realized that this tyranny that was depressing me, was a hoax, perpetrated by the meanness and perversity of people, who were convinced that God should be formed in the light of the prejudices, they held. And, they even had the audacity to take advantage of the innocent, and try to make them even think the way they wanted them to think!

Today, many religions are still creating this very same atmosphere, in an attempt to occupy and control the very minds of their adherents. But, what is really scary, is that even government is, at least indirectly, for now, trying to do the very same things! Mottoes, like, “In God We Trust”, are trying to say: to be an American, you must think like we do! This type of attitude, not only undermines our most basic freedoms, but kills the whole idea that democracy was founded to preserve: individuality and diversity!

Sure, we are a society, and as such, we share certain norms or mores that keep our actions in line with the furtherance of all; but, this no way implies that we cannot think the way we want to; and hold even opinions completely opposite to the majority! In fact, that is why Patrick Henry mouthed those very famous words: “Give me liberty, or give me death!” The freedom we conceived in this country was, and is, always, a freedom that made beliefs and opinions sacred, and beyond authoritarian control by anyone, but ourselves! For, when diversity dies, so does any vestige of freedom! That is why such insidious slogans like “In God We Trust” are so dangerous, because they rob us of the same diversity that “individuality” guarantees!

The authoritarian sickness that is today's religions, have bred this viciousness into people's beliefs from childhood. The ideas of “impure thoughts”, “evil ways” and the mind control, that these practices foster, rob the innocent child of its innocence, and submerge it in a doctrine of hate and guilt, for thinking, what it should not think!4

They have invaded the mind, and have submerged it in hate and prejudice, in the name of the very same God, who said: “judge not lest ye be judged!” By breeding a love based on exclusion, they have instead bred the opposite of love, and made the God of love a God that fosters hate, prejudice and division – while, pretending love and unity!

Is it no wonder that this same religion gave birth to that most tyrannical of all ideas: the doctrine of the “Divine Right of Kings”? Or that its Pontiff has, as his personal bodyguards, the Swiss Guard – soldiers, representing the most exclusive country in Europe, that caters only to the rich and powerful of this world5? Is it no wonder that this same religion sees only charities as the cure for the poverty that they themselves originated all over this world, in their creation of the Third World through that repugnant doctrine (stated above), they promoted? Impure thoughts? That the ideas of a truly remarkable man (and God), such as Jesus Christ, should be perverted into such hateful and exclusive doctrines and practices is an indictment of a world gone insane, because people have lost the right to think as they choose; and, even the flexibility that reason and thought give the human mind!

And, now this same tyranny threatens to spread even into the fabric of democracies, themselves, and create “free” governments that keep people from even thinking, what they don't want them to6! Is this Individuality, or dictatorship at the highest level? A dictatorship that not only rules action, but even thought! No wonder our Military-Industrial complex now thinks that it can grow human brains, without bodies7, to control humans at the highest level, and even deprive the human of its most valuable asset: the free will!

Thought is the way that the human deals with this world. It unites the self with all others, through the thought processes all share. It makes our species see beyond the individual, so that the empathy of the GOOD within us, unites us in love and cooperation. To control the human's thoughts nullifies that free will that God was suppose to give us; and makes these rote actions meaningless, because they're created not through the generosity of the human spirit, but by the regimentation of the human soul by the control of the group. A “mechanical” morality, without choice, is not morality; for morality must include choice to make it meaningfully moral! We thrive on the choice that thought and reason inspire, to enhance that free choice that “God”8 supposedly gave us, to make us the willfully humane creatures we are. Choice is what drives the human, and creates a conscience that knows the correct choice from the spurious! It is this that creates diversity, and let's all humans learn from their mistakes, and make that “burden” of free will, its opposite – not a liability, but an asset.

When the human losses the capacity of reason, he has lost the humanity that distinguishes him among all living creatures. He has even lost the concept of "God", itself. And, has instead, created something dead and soulless – a robot, without conscience, that hates, instead of loves!

When this regimented thought becomes the norm, then we are dead.

But, we must see this freedom of reason and thought, not through the eyes of the trolls. For diversity is not the hate or freedom of the bully, the freedom to hurt; but the freedom to choose, in light of the diversity, free wills give all. This freedom does not alienate, but unites, by always bringing the human race together, as people with the ability to unite through diversity (as the unprejudiced, true, motto of the United States of America states: "e pluribus unum").

Religions and governments must see that the choice of free will is what humanity is. It is that freedom that this democracy was created to maintain. The opinions of all are the freedom of democracy. We may not agree with many, but we must all, always defend to the death, their right to think and say what they believe, as long as those beliefs create no hurt. That is the difference between human beings and robots – we can dispute our programming, while they, the robots, cannot! And, that is the primary problem with the religious groups today: they are no longer a group of humans, but a group of robots, who have lost the choice that human thought confers!




FOOTNOTES

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



1 Thinking is a type of freedom conferred through interaction with the world. It allows us to make decisions, and create purposes for ourselves that guide us through life. It makes us, essentially, the independent organism we were made to be. Yet, that independence is conferred through the accomplishment of mutual interactions with others of our kind. No better title for this has been created than that ancient phrase: “The One In The Many”. Christianity coined it as : “God is love”. But the religious club that religion is today, has contradicted this very thing. Even going so far as to change the nature of love itself, to further this “club” attitude.



2 See the book: “The True Believer” by Eric Hoffer; Harper & Row, Publishers; New York; 1951.

I might also add here that, although I denounce the religious club, I don't really think that most of the people involved in this are being this way consciously, as criminals act consciously to deceive; instead, I see even these ruling hierarchies, as people, who the True Believer attitude has itself deceived into a fanatical type of delusion that keeps them from using any reasoning abilities to clear this delusion. They are themselves as much the victims, as the victimizers.



3 The “Sacrament” of Confession was a way to purge the penitent of his guilt; and, also, a way to confirm the mastery of the clergy. Amazingly, no one ever seemed to question why a God who lived in the heart of this penitent, was unable to communicate with him without a living intermediary. If one thinks about it, it is almost laughable that people would not see this as the gimmick it is, to create a need for people who interpreted a God in a way favorable only to themselves. The same Masters, who want everyone to bow down before them, as if they were Gods themselves. This stupidity, on the part of the "true believer" has kept the world the captive of these fanatics for 3000 years. A perfect, all powerful God, who has to do everything through human, imperfect intermediaries – the mere thought of such a farce, causing so much harm and destruction to this world, and even still continuing in this, would be hilarious, but for all the misery and horror it has caused this world, for untold ages, right into the present! For some, stupidity is really bliss!



4 As I said above, the “sacrament” of Confession, that replaces the God in every heart, with a temporal judge (in the form of a living man) that judges and forgives, even the thoughts, of its adherents, is the ultimate tyranny – a tyranny even over the penitent's thoughts! Is this the representation of a God, who gave humanity “free” thought? And, the notion that certain people (the clergy) are better than others, is nothing but what it is: the outright, ultimate tyranny of one person over another, through that person actually dictating what that other person can think!

Even more than this, this “thinking only what is allowed”, is a way to keep people from thinking all together. It is a way to say that the mind itself is something untrustworthy, and that the mental process of reason is itself a deception, instead of the way we learn to control a greedy body, and the survival instinct that drives it on. The irony of this is that that was the very thing the Christ taught people to avoid. His message was not to stifle thought, but to encourage it, so that it brought all of humanity together in the oneness of being human. The Love that lives in the heart, that is itself the oneness of the human race, does not alienate, but unites humanity in this oneness (in fact, this oneness is God, expressed in love).



5 I personally remember, when, some thirty years ago, I was an American soldier in Germany, I drove with my car, which was only two years old at the time, to the Swiss border. I had broken the small plastic grill on the front of my car, and was waiting for a replacement that had not yet arrived, so there was a small empty space in front of the radiator of my car, which was purely cosmetic. The border guard told me I could not enter Switzerland, because my car did not look good! But did they refund the 30 Mark ticket I had to buy to get on the Swiss Autobahn, to drive there – no, of course not! I found out then, what rule by the rich was! Now, is it any surprise that the Catholic Hierarchy chose Swiss guards to guard their leader (what is even more annoying to me, is that a Christian religious leader, even needs these "soldiers" to protect him)! I'm sorry, I have to say this about a whole people, who I am sure are not all this way, but they seem to have let the rich continue to rule there! Also, in the current European refugee crisis, it will be interesting to see just how many poor refugees, if any, go to Switzerland!

Perhaps, I'm showing my own prejudices here; prejudices grown through hurt. It is a reminder as to how easily prejudices can generate resentment and division; and color generalization. In a way, religious prejudice is even worse, since it enters the primary beliefs of the believer, and distorts the thinking process itself, by creating false premises, upon which to form false judgments.



6 The recent “martyrdom”(I'm being sarcastic here) of a public official (the Kim Davis issue), who discriminated against gay marriage applicants, shows that religion is trying to become a type of tyrannical wing of government. Is this what we created "religious freedom" in this country to be? If free enterprise is now also becoming free to choose the very people it deals with, is it no wonder that the “private property”, it touts so loudly, is becoming anything but “private” in this “Subscription Society”, it has created?



7 See the essay: "A TRUE CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY!"



8 The concept of a “God” is not at all contradictory to human thought. In fact, that thought (or, reasoning ability) should help us further understand what that concept of a “God” should truly mean for all humanity. Religion's “mystery” of God is a misunderstanding of what the concept of God really is. God is not something to pray to for help, since that would contradict the very fact that it was God, who left us on our own in this world. Instead, we should look to God as something perfect, within us, that allows us to cope with, and conquer the mortality that we experience. God is not something superior to us, but a part of us. God is that part of us that allows us to accomplish the most important job, we have on this earth: survival. It does this through letting us come together as cooperative expressions of this divinity that resides in all of us. And, it accomplishes this with the use of our reasoning abilities. God, the Mystery, is not God at all; but only a way to make the concept of God into a type of organizational group, that becomes True Believers, totally adrift from the very same reasoning abilities that have conferred humanity on them; and, fanatical in the prejudices, the group's interpreters hold. God is not a tyrant, but a power that unites us in overcomming our prejudices, with the conviction of a single human race, who allow ALL to find their way, through the use of reason.







BACK TO ESSAY POTPOURRI


Rostra
Rostra

Originally Published:

September 13, 2015


Revised:

January 4, 2016