Let's clarify this:
There was a time when religion
served the exact purposes Jaez describes above. The laws created by early man, and shoved into a religious framework to get the common people to wrap their brains
around was all well and good. The dietary restriction of the jewish prevented folks from keeling over due toparasitic
or bacterial infections
. The bans on birth control of the christians ensured plenty of workers for the fields of feudal Europe
. The problems started when religions became organizations.
, like a religion or a corporation, is expected to outlive any of its participants. Therefore it's bound to have many leaders, spokespersons, CEOs
, etc... some of these will be good people who have the best interests of the organization and the people
it serves in mind. However some will want only for themselves and use the to serve their own interests.
With religion the influence of these individuals can be much more damaging. One of these less than honorable
leaders can say "The Great God Om tells me that all women must be branded on the forehead
".It's not "Bob Says", it's "God Says", they have become "god's words", it gets worse when a religion views its god or gods as infallible
"Ok, we're not doing that branding thing any more"
But the Great God Om Said we had to!
"Yeah well umm.."
Was the Great God wrong?
"Well, umm, no it's not that...."
Faction Spilt, Holy War!
Occasionally you can catch it..
"Oh yeah, that was just Bob, he was an asshole"
But usually that's only if you're able to replace all the cardinals, assistant vizirs, high priests etc... that Bob had appointed during his time in office otherwise they'll probably get you to shut up right quick
. Laws grow out of date, or some slip through the cracks and get in where they have no business, some were possibly enacted as a favor
from the religious leader to a powerful political leader (king, emir, sultan, emperor, shogun, duke, take your pick), those little factors
are lost through the annals of time.
Now we take all of this, and add to it a text
. Oh boy! The written word, probably one of the worst tools we have for giving someone a literal picture of what we're talking about, and yet, billions of people base their lives on it (or make their living off of it... see: lawyer
). The written word is open to massive
interpretation. Before mass printing these books were written and re-written, by hand! Each rewrite could contain any number of minor changes to put whatever spin
that particular writer wanted to on the events. Look at the Holy Bible
. Not the most concise piece of literature ever created. Add to this the morphic nature of language
, terms in any written text are bound to change over time, changing what a passage means in a religious text can have huge implications on dogmatic (dogmatic... sounds like a new pet-related product from Ronco
Well in conclusion, religion was a good thing at one time, it ushered the time of nations
, helped ensure the survival of the human
race. However it's become outmoded and corrupt
. Functionally they have been replaced by governments and corporations (which also have the same problems inherent in all organizations).
I offer no solutions
, just observations.