How Religion Created Capitalism

Below is a link that explains the phenomenon:

https://acton.org/pub/religion-liberty/volume-10-number-3/how-christianity-created-capitalism

My thoughts are simply that I reject the ongoing necessity of religion, similarly to how machines which surpass humans in intelligence and physical capacity might reject our ongoing necessity.

While I accept that religion had a hand in the progression of civilisation (which might now be more advanced if religion had stopped at the paganism of the Greeks or Romans, who I believe, had Christianity not appeared, were already on the verge of the eventually 1700 to 1800 years later Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution), it’s inevitable that we should relinquish such wastes of time as spiritual literal nonsense.

It will take a little while longer (Islam, unfortunately, is predicted to become the dominant world religion before religion ceases to be (futuretimeline.net)). However, I certainly hope it happens ASAP (and that Islam is rendered more moderate by its dominance, if that is what happens).

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We May Have Doomed Ourselves

Sitting around, waiting for work to start. This is modern life for me now. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy my so-called “down” time. I’ll eat a pleasant meal. Have some drinks. Talk to people who endeavour to understand, empathise with me. (Not sure why so many of them don’t.) But of course I’ve realised recently that really down time is about nothing other than me spending the money I’ve earned, in the context of the dystopian tug-of-war system we’ve all found ourselves in. So it’s hard to enjoy it on every level.

Then there’s work. The other end of the rope. (We’re the rope.) It’s ok. I mean my current job is ok, without going into too much detail. It’s simple. There’s a good atmosphere there. It’s hot as fuck but as long as you stay hydrated it’s fine. It’s the cameras that get me. They’re all throughout the building. So the owners and their agents can monitor us toiling away to build their pyramids via their nightmare rectangles, at their old pyramid at which they’re sipping champagne and drinking babies’ blood or whatever stupid shit the bourgeois get up to these days.

It’s absurd. Ridiculous. It’s a nightmare. And I’m trapped in it. But I’m calm because I know it. I don’t know if my colleagues know it. They’re mostly Maori, by-the-way. There’s nothing wrong with that on its own, of course. But it does deepen my sense of Orwellianism, when I realise that in this particular case some white people who half the time just manage their business by camera have a bunch of dark people propping up their privilege. I mean, phew. They’re probably not calm. They’re probably “grateful” to have a job. It’s literally a shame.

I don’t see any way out of it. I could invest in the stock market. Except I see that system as just a part of the broader shit system that keeps fat rich people hoarding more fat and riches, while everyday there’s less finite wealth for poorer people – even though all things considered things have improved across the board for most, thanks to science, compared to history. So while remaining conscious that there’s no such thing as morality, I am in this context morally reluctant to help a business, that helps entrench poverty, help me. If you understand what I mean. The stock market. Pfffft. It’s nothing but a capitalist video game.

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Capitalism’s biggest flaw is that you have some (not much) choice about what job you do, but no choice to not work – unless you want to live in poverty. (Conveniently, it’s exactly like how most religion blackmails people into believing or expecting punishment after death.) It makes the aforementioned cameras ironic. The whole problem with the current labour “market” (another typically de-humanising term) is that machines are taking over jobs – changing the system from the inside out – yet the system is not changing. Instead you end up with people doing bullshit jobs like public relations or working at job providers – places that basically just babysit and discipline the unemployed, for large profits workers mostly fund through their taxes.

I’m doing a lot of laughing these days, because the absurdity has finally dawned on me. Even though I feel like I could just as easily cry. And that’s the thing, really. I have no choice but to do a job where even if my managers weren’t literally machines they’d be some other cynical thing, in my experience. (As an aside, I once had a manager literally get upset at me because I stuffed up my work in a particular way that interfered with his addiction to loaning company property out to people whose arses he wished to live in. Fucking madness. Or idiocy. Still not sure.) Shit. I could go on.

Why are we doing this to each other? Have we truly become so obsessed with material wealth that we are willing to tolerate – even benefit from – other humans being treated worse than some slaves might have been? The future is coming. The machines are coming. What are we going to do about it? Are we going to phase each other into slavery and have the last slave (the last human left free to slave master the rest of us) hand the keys to a robot who is now our master? Do you understand what I’m saying? It’s a fucking disgusting system we’re living in, and allowing to become worse. And if something’s not done about it we’ll all one day either be crying, laughing, or dead. Very surprisingly soon for some people. And I wouldn’t expect the machines to shed an electric tear.

Atheism

Religion’s biggest and most fundamental problem is that it’s complete fiction.  I don’t mean that just in the sense that it’s not true.  I mean that in the sense that it’s deliberately fabricated.  Ironically, the reason why it’s a problem that religion is fiction doesn’t have to manifest itself in religious ways. To wit: the problem is religion, but the consequences of the problem can manifest themselves in any manner imaginable other than and including religion. The following anecdote will help articulate my point:

I once shared a duplex with a man who was religious.  Christian, of whatever denomination, to be specific.  He was also an early-30s full-time student earning not possibly any more than $400 (and usually some or much less) per week.  To compound this, he had debts in the tens of thousands.  And he also had serious anger management issues, which is beside the point other than that I can’t resist pointing out religious hypocrisy (despite the fact it’s EVERYWHERE).  One day, this man decided he was going to buy a house.  He did have two financially reliable housemates in me and another guy. 

Nevertheless, one day I tried to explain to him the unlikeliness bordering on impossibility of his at the time current personal circumstances gaining him a mortgage.  His response?  He had “faith”.  I like to think I did, but if I didn’t then I wish my next words had been something like: “Economics doesn’t care about faith.”  Needless to say, his application was denied.  To this day I’m still not sure whether I hope the bank laughed at him or not (like I said, he had anger management issues, and while living with him for a full eighteen months I didn’t escape entirely without incident).

Once you believe the in actual fact stark, raving lunacy of there being a “God” out there, who you can talk to and ask for things from, you can and probably will accept literally any imaginable nonsense in any part of your life.  I’ll leave the various ways that can and definitely has fucked up the world to you.

For most of my life I’ve been agnostic about most things.  I’ve always valued learning about a wide variety of topics, albeit not to enough of a degree of depth on any one of them to become an expert on it.  I’m a generalist.  And if I aspire to anything, I guess it would be to move from being a generalist to a polymath (though in my opinion, in the strict definition of the word, I don’t think anyone has lived long enough to genuinely become a polymath and it’s probably a state only truly attainable by advanced artificial intelligence).

This has taken me to interesting topics and encounters with interesting (sometimes for all the wrong reasons, such as in the anecdote above) people.  Such as religion, and the religious, respectively.  The first notable example is a concise history of religion I read probably a decade ago.  To put it simply, it outlined the various religious beliefs humans have had down the ages.  From paganism (worship of many gods, often represented by features of the landscape or small figurines) to monotheism (worship of a single deity, ie Christianity, Judaism and Islam).  This book caused me to ask myself one simple question, which may have actually put me on a path to atheism: if religion can change, how can it ever be true?

In other words, if every single ancestor of every single Christian, Jew or Muslim on this planet at one time backward through history once had absolutely no idea who Jesus, Yaweh, or Allah was, how could Jesus, Yaweh or Allah then, now or ever exist?  Again, I’ll leave that up to you.  The second example is more controversial: the Koran.  It took me a good year to read, because it’s laboriously preachy and repetitive.  Positively, it’s a staggering work of imaginative (if somewhat plagiarised from Judaism and Christianity which came before it) genius.  And proposes many ways in which people not only can but should be a good person.  Negatively, it mentions some pretty reprehensible stuff about treatment of women.  Without intending a defence of it, it was written in the 8th century.

The Koran cemented for me the question of how could religion be true if it changed (arguably the next, and second in ridiculousness only to Scientology, big one to appear was Mormonism, from the United States in the 1700s, from memory).  It also caused me to ask another, not particularly original, I must admit, question relating to terrorism and child marriage and the like: if religion proposes such good, antique attitudes toward women aside, why does it seem to cause such bad?  The answer lies in the fact that, as I said at the start, it is deliberately fabricated.  Religion is literally everything, only just to religious people and not in the way they believe.  Every time something good happens, they interpret it through their religion (God’s work).  Every time something bad happens, the same (God’s plan).  Ever heard of Christians saying a natural disaster was the fault of gays or some other scapegoat? Yep.

The difference for atheists is they see good things as a purely human construct, even and regardless of if done by a religious person or people.  And bad things as simply the weather (or climate change, but that’s another story), or again a non-spiritual human construct in the form of some nut with a gun/bomb/car, or some religious nut (terrorist) with a gun/bomb/car.  There are two things and two things only which need to be used to explain good or bad things: science, and psychology – which could also come under “science”.  Attributing anything to a fictional construct is dangerous at worst, and an unnecessary waste of time at best.

So why isn’t everyone atheist?  Again, let me refer to the beginning.  Religion is not just fabricated.  It is deliberately fabricated.  The Bible, Koran, Torah, etc. didn’t just fall from the sky.  They were written (and rewritten and translated countless times) by people, and almost certainly, in the case of every religious text ever written, exclusively by men.  But why did men write them?  To control women and other men.  That’s why religion’s fundamental problem is that it’s complete fiction.  Because, it is complete fiction written by men to control other people. And, it’s complete fiction written by men to control other people not just in regard to their religious (or absence of religious) lives, but their entire lives. Or as much of them as possible.

And they’re still using it to control people to this day. But not for the sake of control. For the sake of manipulating you into believing lies. Like my former housemate above, if you can be convinced there’s a god, you can be convinced  (or convince yourself) you can afford a house, even if a reasonable person can see you can’t. If you can be convinced of that, you can be convinced that prohibitively costly medical care for your needlessly terminal child is all part of “God’s plan”, when it’s really because of bloated pharmaceutical company profits  and shareholder dividends. Or you can be convinced that, when you die after blowing yourself up in a crowded shopping strip, you’ll awake in eternal paradise. I don’t want to be controlled, or at least I’d like to be less controlled in ways I have choices over (as opposed to ways I don’t, such as living in a capitalist system of wage slavery).  So I’m atheist.  And in the spiritual aspect of my life I am perfectly free, ironically because there is no spiritual aspect of my life.  I highly recommend it.