Archive for the ‘Religion As Social-Status Tech’ Category

Cleaning Up After The Blessed

When you get to heaven, who will be your servants there? For if you have to do your own housework, it can hardly be heaven. Perhaps they outsource the maid service to an infernal cleaning agency. If that is so, the damned souls who come up on the service elevator every day to scrub the […]

Posted on January 22, 2010 at 12:40 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Social-Status Tech

Joining The Country Club

Jews believe that God selected some individuals for a special status on the basis of their ethnicity. Catholics, Anglicans and Lutherans believe that God selected for a special status everyone who agreed to be so selected. Calvinists restricted the franchise again, with a God who selected a restricted sample for a special status out of […]

Posted on January 23, 2010 at 08:56 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Social-Status Tech

Populating Heaven – Or Perhaps Not

Recently I came across the observation that if everyone went to heaven, as the very liberal Christians require, most believers wouldn’t want to go there any more. This is clearly true; the whole point of heaven is not the conditions of existence there, but the fact that you have been chosen and others not. In […]

Posted on January 24, 2010 at 08:06 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Social-Status Tech

The Motor Of The World

That human beings are powered by the drive to obtain social status is old news. My impression, however, is that most thinkers have concentrated on objective status, one’s actual place in a hierarchy, and done so on the assumption that the sole point of achieving this is acquiring objective goods such as access to resources, […]

Posted on January 25, 2010 at 20:36 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Social-Status Tech

The Ladder Of Social Ascent

The cognomen of the early Christian mystic John “Climacus” comes from his book, The Ladder of Divine Ascent. There are many icons and frescos based on this concept, showing people ascending a ladder to heaven, with devils trying to pull them off and frequently succeeding. (For those too impatient to put feet on rungs, the […]

Posted on January 26, 2010 at 10:55 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Social-Status Tech

Some Notes On Ibn al-‘Arabi

It is, I devoutly hope, only typical of Hugo that one of his greatest allergies should be to a twelfth-century Sufi mystic, not exactly a household name. I have tried, I really have: I have read a book of his, in Spanish, and lot of English extracts, and half of an English biography that I […]

Posted on January 27, 2010 at 09:00 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Social-Status Tech

The Price Of Censure

Having purchased one’s place in the hierarchy, and awaiting apotheosis in the afterlife, what else does one do in the here and now? The essential bargain of middle-class religion is that one renounces certain sexual rights – such as the right to open display of pre-marital sex, open display of adultery and in extreme cases […]

Posted on January 28, 2010 at 10:49 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Social-Status Tech

Pass Go, Collect Salvation, Despise Others

A medieval Jewish source on the Rhineland pogroms of 1096 has the martyrs in the afterlife refusing to talk to the non-martyrs. “You shall not enter our company”, they say, “since you were not killed in sanctification of the name as we were.” Thus, salvation as social rivalry; let us cut our inferiors dead. The […]

Posted on January 28, 2010 at 11:14 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 2 Comments
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Social-Status Tech

The Five Hierarchies

People talk as if a person is genetically programmed to be an alpha male (or alpha female). In fact there cannot be a simple “dominance gene”. If there were, its alleles, the “subordination genes”, would have been eliminated by reproductive competition millions of years ago. Animal dominance is a function of several things, such as […]

Posted on January 28, 2010 at 11:18 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Social-Status Tech

Verse-Fu

Fundamentalist Christians have their own idiolect, often called “The Language of Zion”. People may laugh at anachronisms from the King James translation, but these do no harm to anybody; of greater interest, perhaps, is the way in which the idiolect allows fundis to clothe continuous one-upmanship and self-aggrandisement in the language of humility. When they […]

Posted on January 29, 2010 at 10:50 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Social-Status Tech