I'm descended from the Shawnee Chief Cornstalk who was killed in 1777.
I am also of Scots-Irish descent and VERY proud of my heritage and my culture. I do not apologize for my culture, nor am I "politically correct", and do not tolerate others who think that it is a necessity to be so.
Visit my Etsy site at: http://aeryckdesade.etsy.com
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Morality and Choice, or Why Religion is Better than Government
So then question becomes, Choice OR Morals, and whether or not there is even a possibility of one without the other. I say, that's not even an issue. Of course someone can have morals without having a religion; look at the ancient philosophers, especially ones like Aristotle. There is, within ancient philosophy (as I would focus on them in this entry as opposed to some more modern thinkers who would call their ideas "philosophy" at all) the very structure for the forms of morality and ethics in particular. These philosophers focus on just that, ethics and morality, leaving religion aside in such cases. Therefore, it is a morality of Choice and not one of fear of retribution or a heavenly punishment versus reward scenario, let's say. Having a morality for the sake of morals itself, and for your own life and/or that of your fellow man.
That idea, of morality of choice versus force, then leads us specifically into the discussion of government versus religion. I would even venture so far as to say that this could lead us to include not only religion and choice, but atheism and choice as well, versus the force of governmental control, or rule by the State, in particular.
Perhaps first we should clarify some terms.Merriam-Webster gives as one of its definitions of "State" as follows: a : a body of persons constituting a special class in a society 3 b plural : the members or representatives of the governing classes assembled in a legislative body
Whereas it defines "Government" in such a way: the act or process of governing; specifically : authoritative direction or control
So, for general purposes, let's take the definition of "State" to mean 'a body of persons that are in a special class in society', and to take "government" to mean 'the force or method with which the State uses to control those people under them in society'.
Of course, "government" would, ideally, mean a group within a country that is used to DEFEND the inhabitants of that country (via a military or citizen group), but that's not the case, really, so we'll focus on the facts of what "government" REALLY means in this entry.
Let me ask a couple of questions to get this in its final stages before I wrap up with why I think religion is better than government, or at least freer in that it has choice.
Can, in this modern age, in America, an institution such as the Catholic church, or any Protestant church, come into your home by force, and demand that you follow its teachings, tithe to its centers, obey its laws, and submit to its rulings? That question really doesn't even need to be asked, because the resounding answer is NO, of course not! You can choose to be Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Jewish, atheist (because, let's face it, I have to lump atheism with religions, because atheists defend their views more militantly than religionists do nowadays anyway, and much more aggressively to anyone who may be so "foolish" [according to them] to believe in anything OTHER than atheism), or a believer in aliens from the planet Marmalade. Whatever you religious belief may be, it is simply that... a belief, a CHOICE.
Government, on the other hand, is NOT a choice, as far as concerns what you may choose to believe or not believe in its regards. Government lives and breathes solely and completely by the act of force and violence, in regards both its own servants and anyone else who attempts to face it with a contrary act.
That last paragraph is just way over the top, huh? Really? Try telling the government that you don't believe in taxes and that you have decided not to take part in that "sacrament" of theirs any longer; see if they don't answer you in return by imprisonment. Now, go to a church and tell them you don't believe in God (or Adam and Eve, or whatever else you want to disbelieve in for this example) and see if they don't, perhaps, try to convince you otherwise, but then let you go on your merry way. See the difference?
Therefore, doing something like defying the church can get you retribution from the church, or even expelled from that organization, but it cannot jail you, torture you, take away your rights, or even kill you, as government can, and does, on a regular basis to those who oppose its arbitrary and violent laws. Why do I say that the government's laws can be construed as violent? Well, simply because they are in place in such a way that exists solely and completely by the act of force; i.e., obey or pay. The very fact that the government rules by aggression implies force and violence, held in control by the "elite" class of society that run it, known in this example, as the State.
So here's where my atheist friends jump in and declare that upholding religion is not objective, but somehow they think that upholding government is objective. To them, let me make this very clear: the atheists that uphold the idea of government being good and religion being bad, have supplanted the very mysticism that they renounce in religion with an even more brutal and extreme mysticism of government and rule by the State. Like I said previously, religion is choice, and government is force.
It is better for a religion to promise a reward or punishment in an afterlife, and leave it up to you to decide the path you follow, than it is for a government to give you the choice of obeying its dictates or face death or imprisonment in this life. One is choice and the other is not.
But, there are some that do not value life, or choice, or the freedom for people to even choose for themselves. Those people, I call Statists. They somehow think that they CHOOSE government over choice itself. That is another, and wholly more involved, form of mysticism and deluded logic that only leads to defy its own existence, and therefore is not even worth going into at this point. Those that would have and hold that the government is somehow "good" or looking out for peoples' best interest; it's okay, you can continue to live in that delusional world. Have fun with that, but keep it to yourself, because there are still some of us alive that value choice and freedom and liberty, not servitude and aggression and lifelessness.