Sunday, November 25, 2007

Yet Another Example In Which Power Corrupts

Here is another cautionary tale of giving power to religions. No matter how noble the teachings sound, when there is a power hierarchy, unscrupulous men will more likely climb to the top and do evil things under "religious" supreme authority. Rational arguments with these religious power-holders are impossible since their religious belief says they are absolutely right and anybody who disagrees is wrong.

The funniest/most ironic sentence in the article for me is "Here is a historical irony: the first Dalai Lama was installed by a Chinese army."

You might ask, what would be an alternative to blindly uncritically following a religion then? I think you can start with Humanism and won't be too wrong. Also, practicing the more reasonable teachings in each religion while ignoring the blatantly stupid ones would be a good guide to life.

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1. I don't automatically say a religion is non-sensical. However, to a very high probability, if you use the "and" conjunctive between all teachings in a religion, the result would be false. (Since True and True and True and False = False.) While there are many true/applicable/moral things in each religion, the trick is to separate the true/applicable/moral teachings from non-sensical ones. I think our ability to discern which is which would be enhanced if we subscribe to humanism in the first place.

2. See Buddhism role in my Things to Teach My Children (Version 1.0). Even there, my children and I must have some ability to separate the good parts from the non-sensical parts.

3. You can guess my stance on mixing Buddhism and Constitution in Thailand. The last attempt of such mixing was significantly sponsored by a certain temple known for its exquisite blend of {Buddhism + Greed + Capitalism + Conflicts of Interest + Human Stupidity} that would have benefited greatly from a state-backed religion. Thank goodness there were enough people with clear head in the parliament.

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