The View from the End of the World

India, like all other countries of the world, is embedded in the larger context of the world. Naturally therefore India’s fortunes and the prospects for its development are circumscribed by the world’s prospects. Religion — especially the monotheistic ones — are arguably one of the most powerful of the forces that shape the human world. One cannot hope to study economic growth and development without understanding how religion is impacting the world at large. One fact is undeniable: when societies undergo severe stress, they fracture along predictable lines. The most prominent of these fault-lines is religion — and I stress once again, that monotheism is at the heart of all major religious strife. That is so because monotheism does not, by its very constitution, suffer non-believers to exist or even tolerate a plurality of views. The danger to the continued existence of human civilization on earth may proximately arise from such matters as doomsday nuclear warfare but the ultimate cause can definitely be traced to anti-humanistic monotheistic religious dogma.
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Thomas Jefferson on Christianity

UPDATE 23 Oct 2018:

The post is clearly wrong. It was Mark Twain, not Jefferson, who wrote this about Christianity.

See this:

Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), the third President of the United States (1801–1809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) had this to say about Christianity —
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Bill Maher’s Religulous

Bill Maher is not everyone’s cup of tea but I absolutely enjoy his shows. He pulls no punches when it comes to ridiculing monotheism. But then you may say it is an easy job considering that monotheistic religions are ridiculous. Here’s the opening paragraph of a review of the movie:

What if there was a religion, asks comedian Bill Maher, in which an all-powerful god from outer space decided to send his unborn son on a suicide mission to planet Earth? So this space-god impregnates a human female in some mystical, not-quite-physical fashion, and she gives birth to a baby who is both a human being and a divine incarnation, simultaneously the space god’s spawn and the space god himself. (Oh, space god also has a third manifestation, one that’s totally invisible.) So space-god junior is born on Earth destined to be killed, even though he’s a space god and therefore immortal.

Read the rest of the space-god story in the New Testament (aka the Bible). Check out the Old Testament and the Quran (Koran) for the other versions of — to borrow a phrase from Richard Dawkins — breathtaking inanity.

India, being the land of people who are more Catholic than the Pope and more Mullah than the Ayatollahs (remember, India banned “The Satanic Verses” and thus set in motion the reward for the murder of Salman Rushdie), there is no chance of “Religulous” being shown in theaters in India. The government would not allow it. Only books and paintings denigrating Indic religions are allowed by the “secular” government of India.

So I do my best to counter the “secularism” of the government of India by ridiculing monotheism.

A bit more from the Salon review below the fold. Continue reading “Bill Maher’s Religulous”

On Competition and Ideas

The Dance of Creative Destruction

At the shining bright core of our galaxy of ideas lie a bunch of super-massive ideas that are tightly bound to each other. The core’s gravitational attraction holds the galaxy together, draws in stuff and transmutes them into higher elements.

Exploring the metaphor a bit further is interesting. At the center of galaxies dwell huge black holes which destroy both matter and time. And like the great god Shiva — the Mahadeva as Nataraja, the king of dancers, dancing the Tandava, the cosmic dance of creative destruction — the galaxy core produces novelty and thus advances the evolution of the entire galaxy. Black holes, just like Shiva, destroy time. Curiously, the Sanskrit word for time is the same for black: “kala”. The universe evolves because ceaseless change is imposed upon it through the dance of creative destruction.

Evolution. It is hard to escape the gravitational pull of the idea of evolution. The idea goes back into antiquity. But it was only recently (in terms of historical time) in the mid-1800s that Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) pondered the biological variant of evolution and figured out the mechanism. It was natural selection. That is one of the superstar ideas that populate the core of our ideas galaxy. Everything that is known about biological evolution can be explained through natural selection.
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The Tyranny of Faith

One can’t seem to get away from the devastating effects of faith – especially monotheistic religious faith – around the world.

Blind faith can justify anything. If a man believes in a different god, or even if he uses a different ritual for worshiping the same god, blind faith can decree that he should die–on the cross, at the stake, skewered on a Crusader’s sword, shot in a Beirut street, or blown up in a bar in Belfast. Memes for blind faith have their own ruthless ways of propagating themselves. This is true of patriotic and political as well as religious blind faith.

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The Tyranny of Christi-insanity

Swami Laxmananand Saraswati, an 80-year old Hindu priest, and five others were murdered by what is suspected a Christian mob recently in Orrisa. The news is that “police have arrested Pradesh Kumar Das, an employee of the World Vision, a Christian Charity, from Khadagpur while escaping from the district at Buguda. In another drive, two other persons Vikram Digal and William Digal have been arrested from the house of Lal Digal, a local militant Christian, from Nuasahi at Gunjibadi, Nuagaan. They have admitted to having joined a group of 28 other assailants.”

What else would one expect from the followers of Christi-insanity? Their scriptures teach them hatred and intolerance of all non-monotheists. Let me just cue up Pat Condell (who perhaps coined the term “christi-insanity”) and let him rant on my behalf on the insanity of the monotheists and their murderous ways. Here’s “The Tyranny of Scriptures.”

I wonder when humanity will become free of the curse of murderous madness of monotheism.