Archive for the ‘Religion As Emotional Tech’ Category

Celebrating A Feast Day

The basic structure of religion may be shown by an invented example. Suppose there was a local saint, Saint Schnozz, and his feast-day was to be celebrated by not scratching one’s nose. Then anyone who successfully refrained from scratching his nose on the Feast of Saint Schnozz would be officially authorised to congratulate himself. The […]

Posted on February 10, 2010 at 10:36 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Emotional Tech

The True Church Is Me And The Wife

It is a common perception that Judaism is clannish, inward-looking and suspicious whereas Christianity is universal, expansive and embracing. And yet the Greek word synagoge actually means “coming together”, while the first Greek word used for the Christian fellowship was ekklesia (the origin of our words “ecclesiastical”, “église” and so forth), which means “called out”. […]

Posted on February 10, 2010 at 11:17 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Emotional Tech

Telling It Like It Is

A survivor of the massacre of the Rhineland Jews in 1096 wrote, somewhat oxymoronically: “May the Merciful One avenge the spilled blood of your servants – and the blood yet to be spilled – during the lifetime of those who survive us, before their very eyes.” This seems just a little bit more honest than […]

Posted on February 11, 2010 at 11:40 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Emotional Tech

Misery Loves Company

If a person has done something which he is not sure is right, or is beneficial to himself, he will generally seek to persuade others to do likewise. Since we are social animals, seeing other people do this thing will reassure him that it was right or beneficial after all. So, too, will seeing others […]

Posted on February 12, 2010 at 10:43 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Emotional Tech

Viler-Than-Thou

One Dostoyevsky character says of another, “He thinks that by saying he’s vile he can get away with it.” Indeed his “borderline”-type characters sometimes seem in competition with one another for vilest-of-the-year award. Such posturing is hardly comprehensible except against the background of centuries of teaching about humility, crossed with the human thirst for one-upmanship. […]

Posted on February 13, 2010 at 09:53 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Religion As Emotional Tech

Enter Into The Joy Of The Lord

The Last Judgment, the separation of the sheep and the goats, is something that people want so desperately that they are willing to stand for hours in the rain in the hope of being classified as “sheep” by a complete stranger. As regards the girls, the dread judge Minos – the club bouncer as religious […]

Posted on February 13, 2010 at 10:19 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Emotional Tech

The Spiritual Is Never The Other

I have argued elsewhere that the word “spiritual” is very difficult to parse. When it means pertaining to a ghost, that is, to some alleged residue of a former human, it is almost comprehensible as a name for something that does not actually exist, but otherwise it seems to be mostly a pointless synonym of […]

Posted on February 22, 2010 at 19:04 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Emotional Tech

I Am A Worm, And (More Importantly) So Are You

The view of humanity that other Christians call “Worm Theology” takes its name from a verse in the Psalms, “For I am a worm and no man”. It is doubtful that the Psalmist meant this utterance as a norm or programme; the Psalms are religious poetry describing emotional states – in fact, states so emotionally […]

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 12:45 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Emotional Tech

It’s All About MY Soul

Some people consider that that the essence of religion is helping other people. There are voices in favour of this in all the religions, and monastic orders that exist for this purpose. Other monastic orders exist for contemplation, which presumably benefits the contemplator alone. One particular flavour of Christianity takes holy self-centredness so much further […]

Posted on February 24, 2010 at 10:46 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Emotional Tech

The Ultimate Choice

Even if belief in a God were conclusively proved to be good for you, that would not prove that there is a God to believe in. Suppose then, for the sake of argument, that happiness and health come from believing something that is untrue. What then? Shall we choose truth or happiness?

Posted on February 25, 2010 at 10:31 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Emotional Tech