Madness Of The Crowds: Comfortable, Cuddly, Yet Also Experimentally Useful.
In brief: Why do people “believe”? Superstitious religions are tools of oppression. They impose the unbelievable, making the masses stupid and gullible. If so why do they still seduce people? The charitable explanation, is that they offer hope: be nice to Moloch, and Moloch shall give you everything.
But is that all? No. The main reason (for higher-ups) to believe the unbelievable, is that it introduces a simplification of the mental system. It forces a hierarchy of causality that denies whatever contradicts the religion. That means, of course, that it denies most of the world. So the world goes poof. Is not that great?
[Ba‘al dhubaab: in Arabic, “Lord of the Flies”, that is, Lord of Dung, a rich idea coming from the Jews, two millennia earlier! Someday soon the Abrahamic religion will also be seen as a pile of dung to join Beelzebub.]
Superstitious systems of thought occupy a double-faced position in the jungle of ideas. On one end of the spectrum, they are a simplification, a laziness, a creature’s comfort, a herd phenomenon.
On the other end, being a simplification, precisely, they allow to experiment more cleanly with new systems of thought. For example, Christianism imposed murderous altruism: an interesting experiment.
WE ARE GOD, And TO PROVE IT, WE KILL YOU:
A young mother, who does not even look Sudanese, was raised an Orthodox Christian (her Muslim father was in absentia). Later she married a Christian Sudanese. Some Muslim then accused her of adultery (if a Muslim woman has sex with a non-Muslim, she is committing adultery, says that religion).
While she was waiting for another child, Sudanese authorities decided that she had renounced Islam.
Renouncing Islam is a capital crime in Sharia, a set of “laws” (of the jungle) invented by Muslims a few generations after the Qur’an, the book of eternal peace, 5 feet under.
Sharia is the law in Sudan. So the 27 year old mother was condemned by a so called “judge”, to be whipped 100 times, before being hanged to death. No doubt the “judge” had some prurient interest. (Sudan’s president there is under an international arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court. I propose to arrest the “judge” too.)
Chris Snuggs a rather fierce participant to this site wrote: “Islam in many countries is a hideous barbarity, the ultimate manifestation of unhinged minds. Perverted “religions” of this kind are the most staggering example of mass-hysteria the world has ever seen, and peculiar to Homo Sapiens. No “ordinary” animals suffer from this kind of mass simultaneous mental illness. Three billion people need psychiatric help. Astonishing. Why are we prone to mass-hysteria and irrationality on this scale? The French people regularly voting socialist is another example, and of course reminds us of the definition of a lunatic: someone who does the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.”
[This is the wedding picture of the woman who got condemned to death for marrying the Christian on the left. Is Islamophobia truly Homophilia?]
By “belief, and believers” one commonly means “deciding to believe in the unbelievable, because it’s so convenient”. “Belief” is commonly believed to be an acquired taste at best, an imposed violence at worst.
Nietzsche pointed out about Christianism, Voltaire, about Islam, or Marx, in general, that religion is the opium of the people, or something to make the people into a herd.
More generally, theocracy has been used as a weapon of terror, for the oppression of all sorts of peoples. The Aztecs captured their enemies alive, and then sacrificed them, opening them up, and tearing out their beating hearts. Before cutting them up, and throwing the proteins down the steep pyramids.
This robust religion kept peoples subjected. However, when Cortez showed up with 2,000 super warriors, those the Aztecs terrorized were enthusiastic to levee huge armies to help the Spaniards with the Hummingbird God.
Christianism and Islam do not basically differ from the Aztec gig. The Aztecs brought death through cannibalism. But it was a rather quick death. The Aztecs were horrified by the tortures of the Spaniards. Those knew no bounds. If Spanish tortures were so advanced that was, no doubt, to keep up with the Muslims, and beat them on their own torturous ground.
In Islam, slavery is kosher. All men are viewed as slaves of dog (typo, sorry!) god. A standard punishment for Muslim slaves who had tried to escape was impalement. As the patient could take several days to jerk about, all transpierced, that procedure had an educative effect on the otherwise ignorant masses.
Violence is intrinsic to the Abrahamic religion. It all started with the Bible, a compendium of holocausts, praising an holocaust driven god. Getting advice and example from the Bible allowed Europeans, clutching their bibles, to massacre the Americas, and much of Eurasia and Oceania.
Now religious fanaticism is less of a problem than a distraction, as the secular, republican spirit mostly rules, except in a few places: Israel, some places in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, where old fashion Islam is gaining ground.
Does that mean we are getting rid of the COMFORTABLY UNBELIEVABLE?
INSANITY BRINGS THE COMFORT OF THE HERD, THE ECONOMY OF STUPIDITY:
Because having unbelievable beliefs brings mental economy, and ties that bind. What could go wrong?
Let me explain a bit more: intelligence is highly profitable, but it’s also costly. To become intelligent, one has to create lots of neurons and synapses. And the environment does it: studies on rats have proven this. Long ago.
All these neurons and synapses require a lot of energy to build. That’s exhausting: one has to go hunt and gather a lot. Also, once built, all this awareness brings pain: many a religion and philosophy have moaned about extinction (“nirvana”) of consciousness as the solution to the problem of pain (how that differs from Hitler’s solution beats me).
From there springs the opium of the people effect: opium creates an absence of mind by putting many neurons to sleep, but it’s the same result, even more efficiently, by making sure none of these neurons is ever born.
Finally, last, but not least, as the religion simplifies the system of thought, it creates a simple system of thought, and a simple brain. A simple type of a specific brain. Those are easy to match to each other. All those who believe some guy is the son of dog, chose to be crucified for man, and taught us love, are, clearly, made for each other. They have an insanity to share.
There is nothing more reassuring than the herd. And a crazy herd, charging all along, is the ultimate symbol of force, thus, safety.
MUSLIMS CREATED THE WORLD, ROMANS ATTACKED LATER, AND OTHER INSANITIES:
My spouse had a friend for a few years, and even travelled overseas with her. She was, superficially well educated. As all would-be shock philosopher, I tend to stay apart. Yet, in the end, we met. It was rather brief.
She was from Morocco. I know Morocco, first time I was there I was two years old. I mentioned in passing that this beautiful country was graced with Roman monuments. She mumbled something to the effect that Europeans could never resist invading Muslim countries. I pointed out that the Romans were in Morocco nine centuries before the Muslims ever invaded the place. Her face went white. She told us Morocco had always been Muslim. We were basically insulting her country.
I said: not so. I told the truth. Her world, her simple world full of simplifying lies that bind, was shattered. I was not just demolishing her world view, but her social fabric, made of victimized conservative Muslims invaded by greedy Romans.
She did not contact us ever again.
I am never the one to interrupt relationships, because I view even the worst relationships as interesting experiments in my philosophical laboratory… That has led me to harrowing situations, because insuring the integrity of their mental systems brings up the greatest ferocity in human beings.
Such is the human condition.
PASSIONS CREATE THOUGHTS, THOUGHTS KILL EACH OTHER, & GIVE BIRTH TO MAN:
That ferocity in things mental may look baffling. But it is of the essence. Homo is the intellectual animal. Human ideas compete, and they compete to death. Inferior ideas get killed. Superior ideas thrive, munching the bones of past guesses.
Lovers of the free market gloat that it can produce superior product. Bu there is no product higher than an idea. And the ideas do not just constitute a market. They constitute a jungle, where pain, greed, anger, rage, ecstasy and lust are just ways to achieve a healthy jungle.
FOLLY EXPANDS, OCCUPY ALL SPACE, REASON FOLLOWS:
Although I focused mainly on the Abrahamic religion above, the situation is general. Stupidity binds.
An example is indeed presently provided by socialism, the old fashioned way, complete with a plethora of useless civil servants and assisted ones (as Chris fulminates).
An other excellent mania of the crowds is found in physics, where completely insane theories have progressed in recent years ( for example the Multiverse madness).
By this, I mean more than physics became more insane than any of the preceding. Yet, precisely because it presents the neurological advantages of insanity, the insanity in physics has been progressing. A delicate moment.
That’s progress, how progress works.
When physicists have gone completely insane, hopefully someone will point out reason, and be believed (it took more than a millennium, between Ptolemy and Buridan, though!)
Folly expands, occupies all space, reason follows, and sweeps behind. That’s how intelligence progresses: even the mania of crowds can be put to work.
Whether it’s painful or not, is irrelevant. The fundamental constructive naturally occurring software, the fundamental principle, of man is not pain, but intelligence.