This is part two of Shana Babilonia’s guest post. It first appeared at myiobi.com.
In a perfect world, we would all be informed, logically-thinking, reasonable, generous humanitarians who care for one another – and our environment; but – we don’t live in that world. Instead, humanity is afflicted by ancient ideas that have loomed within the minds of our species for millennia. We are suffering – and our wounds are largely self-induced. For many of us, this utter sabotage of the human experience is a vexing example of humanity at its worst and a blatant reminder of why change is crucial if we are to [one day] live in peace and unity. Are we living in a global nightmare, representative of yet another dark moment in the history of civilization? Is there anything positive that can be gained from the calamities our religiously-instigated ideologies have forced us to endure?
Is there hope that we will awaken from the global nightmare of religious psychosis?
Exposure of flawed morality
Religion has historically been regarded as the authority for human morality for thousands of years; and it’s easy to understand why: there was once a time when religious propagandists suffered little opposition when teaching religious principles as the absolute moral guideline for humanity. The problem with this is that much of our religious moral instructions have been saturated with half-truths, blatant omissions of facts and dishonest justification of flawed ethics.
Ask a Christian if God was justified in instructing the slaughter of entire populations based solely on their unwillingness to follow the Christian God, and many will agree that God was indeed justified by purging the land of these “sinners”. Ask that same Christian if Adolf Hitler was justified in ruthlessly murdering innumerable Jewish families and entire communities based solely on their cultural and ethnic origin and often, that same Christian will agree that Hitler was cruel and brutally insane. Religion allows people to justify atrocious actions that they would normally deem unacceptable, immoral and appalling when no deity is involved in those actions.
For many religious adherents, they are taught only the positive aspects of their religion and infused with frothy ideas of love and kindness that do not actually represent the totality of the words written within the pages of their holy text. The negative aspects of their faith are largely hidden, or mislabeled and justified rather than given logical thought as to what is actually being described. However, we are now living in a period of history where religion can no longer hide beneath dishonest propaganda without threat of that information being exposed by those who refuse to fall prey to deceitful religious dogma. Religious clergy can no longer propagate religious instructions without fear that followers can –and often will – research the information that is being handed to them in this religious mental illusion. Now that we are capable of finding our own answers to religious questions – many of us have; and it has been by a direct result of observing the religious psychosis that is largely justified by the words written in our own holy books.
The nightmare we all suffer, instigated by religious psychosis, is forcing humanity to more closely evaluate the lessons we have been taught about the morality of our religions. Upon honest and genuinely thoughtful inspection, we easily conclude that the ethics within our religions are not positively serving humanity; but rather, enabling bigotry, hatred, prejudice, racism, hypocrisy, and the maltreatment of women and minority communities such as the LGBT and ethnic groups. The more we are exposed to the religious fanaticism that plagues our world, the more we begin to awake to the reality that morality is not found in the confines of religion, but is found within the rational and ethical observations of our minds and our collective concern for one another.
We are capable of human kindness without the intrusive and dishonest propaganda that teaches us to overlook the transgressions of a work of literature, while simultaneously proposing that it is our sole source for moral behavior.
The spread of information
For centuries, humankind has lived in the delusion that our religions were created by gods, that our morals can only be founded on religious principles, that our entire existence spawned from the whim of a deity and that our purpose is to exist as religious devotees. During that time, the very information that would serve to dismantle these ideas was largely hidden and restricted, and in some parts of the world, is still restricted to this day. For the few who dared to engage in their own due diligence and learn the truth about the origins of religious thought, the capacity of human compassion aside from religious teachings and scientific and astronomical understandings – many of their works were destroyed, threatened and labelled as heresy. However, we now live in a time where a simple internet search can exponentially increase our knowledge within minutes – if we choose to engage in our own research. We can learn from others and expound on those ideas and grow our mental capacity quickly, with little interference. For many of us who are fortunate enough to live in free societies where our mental curiosity is not threatened by law (and for a brave few in cultures where knowledge is vulnerable to law), information is a valuable and necessary resource to procure a more humane, ethical and unified world – spreading that information is becoming an increasingly indispensable tool for accomplishing that goal for all of humanity.
The more our world is exposed to religious ideas that result in psychotic behavior, the more necessary it becomes for those outside the sphere of religious psychosis to disseminate information that leads humanity to the reality of how our religions began – their origins and their intrusive and dysfunctional history. The availability of quick access to information has made it possible for mythology to be largely revealed for what it is – the definitions our ancestors gave us before we, as a species, were capable of understanding our world and our place in the universe. The more knowledgeable humanity becomes about religion, the more the truth of religion is exposed – and as a result, it forces religious institutions and their followers to either adapt to the changing global landscape and take a more active role in promulgating positive change in the world, or risk being left in the pages of history.
An awakening world
As our world lives out its religious nightmare and humanity is forced to question its source for morality and learn the truth about our religious undertakings and their origins, we are slowly beginning to awaken to a more genuinely distinct world. We are reaching a critical mass where our understanding is in the midst of being redefined – as is supported by the massive shift in thinking by many global citizens away from religious traditions and the transition towards a new and more ethical treatment of our fellow human-beings. We are searching for answers and we are providing answers. We are reading, researching and learning all the things that were not readily available for our mental comprehension in times past. We are working together to inform the world and engage in the due diligence that will bring long-over-due clarification to ideas that have been largely undermined by insincere religious teachings.
It is improbable that we will ever completely eradicate religion from our world; but, we can come to a collective consensus. Whether we are religious or not, we can all agree that something is wrong with religion today and we must work together to make changes that will benefit (not hinder) the future of our species and our ability to live in unity and peace. As tragic as it is that religious psychosis has, once again, shown itself to be a stain on the history of humankind, we can find an underlying opportunity in the global nightmare facing humanity – we are waking up. The alarm has sounded, and we are becoming more knowledgeable about our religious traditions and more aware that reevaluating our definition of morality is a necessary step in the peaceful continuation of our human civilization.