04 February 2014

Why do we worship at the altar of modern-day prophets?

When I was a boy I read stories about the ancient Greeks and the Romans and I was always left wondering why these people believed that there was some group that was invisible, and did not exist in the real world at all except when they wanted to manipulate human beings for their own selfish pleasure? These people had planted the seeds for Western civilization, so why were they so superstitious? Why did they allow charlatans and tricksters to fool them by acting as some type of interpreter between themselves and these imaginary gods?

I am reminded of those stories now due to multiple reasons:
  1. The continuing corrosion of religion on our culture.
  2. The worship at the altar of Wall Street.

The corruption of religion.
This is a continuation of the scenario I mentioned above. Apparently, there are people who cannot accept that they are responsible for their own actions, and that as a society we are to a large degree responsible for each other in order to preserve the common good. Religion remains a drain on human potential that diverts tremendous resources and potential from solving problems that exist in the real world. I suppose that it must make believers feel better to simply claim that things are out of their control and attribute all things to some god or another. This approach is intellectually lazy and disingenuous because it is nothing more than the individual and the society absolving themselves of any responsibility for correcting problems and making things better for everyone.

I cannot understand the mindset that some god is controlling everything because those who promote this view are inconsistent in applying their own beliefs to the world. Since religion is so fractured, only things that meet with the interpretation of some privileged class such as ministers, preachers, imams or whatever are allowed to determine how others see the world around them. Of course this system is tremendously beneficial to those select few and functions to keep the believers in line. Those who disagree are usually threatened with the displeasure of some invisible god, and that ridiculous threat is enough to keep the sheep from wandering.

Worship of Wall Street

Most of the people who allow themselves to be governed by religion also seem to be seduced by Wall Street and "The Market". These terms are interchangeable and mean the control by a handful of the activities of all of us. Every time something happens the pundits wonder "How will The Market react?" They treat The Market as some Oracle that will answer all of their questions and they also preach that The Market is best left alone by mere mortals and by anything that smacks of controls designed to protect us from the abuses of this faceless predator. Yet, whenever something catastrophic happens to The Market and people are hurt by it, it is NEVER the fault of The Market, or of those who worship at the altar of The Market. Conveniently, these are the same people who seem to suffer the least from these periodic disasters. The Market is nothing but a game to fleece people of their hard-earned money with the elusive promise of things getting better if you just believe and do what you are told to do. Sounds like religious BS to me!

Why do we allow ourselves to suffer from these ridiculous superstitions in this day and age? Have we not grown past that stage?