Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Criminalising denial and true friendship

I've seen on several occasions people advocating for criminalising denial of something, normally atrocities. Its so against free thinking, and its often very politicized. If one is sure ones opponent is wrong one should have some solid proof. Otherwise I can imagine a gloomy picture of future people discussing historical issues and one is saying: "I think in reality something else was going on"... - and all suddenly are quiet, terrified of consequences...

My old real friends stay with me whatever my worldview may be, however it changes. Some religious people used to follow my blogs have run away as soon as I told them about the changes in my attitudes. It's like that for fundamentalists the dogma is more important than people or that they are afraid following me as it will open their eyes and uncover their illusions too...

Thursday, 25 August 2011

A genetically modified tiger

Recently I watched an interview with Sir David Attenborough where he said that some wild animals will have to disappear because they are incompatible with humans. Like tigers. I thought if we already managed to turn wolves into puddles and so on, this could be the solution. Whats better, a tiger ?in a picture book only or a cuddly grass eating genetically modified pet tiger? I prefer the second option. Same with all other endangered species. Just imagine the Welsh countryside with all kinds of rare animals grassing together instead of sheep, sheep, sheep...

Monday, 22 August 2011

What to respect

I've got a scary comment on another site of mine "I respect the beliefs of others"... I respect KINDNESS the most. And many more things if they go hand in hand with kindness: honesty, courage, curiosity, learning, hard work, imagination, creativity... I couldn't respect things like believing in necessity of human sacrifices, cruelties, Hell, persecution of "infidels", ets. Watch what you respect! :)

What about "nice" beliefs? Somebody advertised a poster "Families can be together forever". Now who wouldn't want that to happen? Its a "nice" mind trap. It has no ground whatsoever, even in religion itself. During my 20 years or so going to church I've heard a lot about Hell and separation of families... Foolling yourself like that could make you think of you life as a rehersal and prevent you from being happy now.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Thats not the point, forgive my argumentum ad Hitlerum

There are debates whether Adolf Hitler was a Christian. The arguing is fueled by his (and his supporters) photos like these:

This is what I have to say.
 I've heard from many Christians (and Muslims too) that other adepts who believe slightly differently are not true, real Christians / Muslims. Every time a member of an organization does something outrageous all his organizations rush to say that this person wasn't their "real" member. A striking recent example is Anders Behring Breivik. Look what his church, lodge, party said. So yesterday he was their member and his line of thoughts probably was OK with at least some other members. But he followed it to the logical end and committed a horrific crime. Immediately they have nothing to do with him.

Hitler certainly posed with Christians and their churches whatever his true beliefs were. Presumably he thought it would help his image and popularity. Lots of political leaders since Constantine used Christianity in the same way. There were Christians and their clerics supporting Hitler. See here or here. IT WAS POSSIBLE. Would it be possible with Humanists / Humanism or Pacifists / Pacifism? That what the text under the middle photo ("Christianity is a religion of peace") really meant in my opinion.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Ideas and freedom

People who are not exited by anything in this life are boring. It is normal that a human being think about a certain idea, personality, work of art or activity much more and believes it to be more important than an "average" person would do. Only some ideas could be potential fertile grounds for hatred, cruelty, violence (e.g. nationalism, Christianity, Marxism, Islam - see the examples in the tumblr project from the previous post) and some couldn't be (e.g. stamp collecting, humanism, pacifism)... This makes you think.

I am against banning any thought, moreover, I would like to have real freedom of speech when for grown up people there is no subject immune to honest discussion or mockery. My past interest in religion has been fueled by its absence in Soviet school curriculum. This turned it into a forbidden fruit. If it was discussed freely and objectively I am sure there were much less church-going people in Russia now.

I used to say that there is no reason to life apart from religion. I feel I have been lying to myself. Deep inside I always knew there were lots of perfectly good reasons. Did a collection of images illustrating that. You either live a full life or a life full of illusions.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Freedom, ideas and crowds

I've started a new project: I collect stories of natural human kindness as opposed to idea-infused cruelty. I would appreciate any suggestions. Initially the idea appeared when an Orthodox Christian lady said to me that she is absolutely sure that non-Christians are incapable of good deeds. She also believed that non-christian souls won't be saved and at the same time boasted about her "friendship" with pagans. All this seemed so perverted to me yet so typical of fundamentalism (which is the core of any viable religion) - and it eventually helped me to say final goodbye to religion. Another thing was that many religious people commenting my posts in both languages seemed either to judge me most of the time or even tell me what I must think and do. None of my true friends would ever done something like this, be so disrespectful of my freedom.

In the times of riots in Britain, once in the evening, I went to the shops here in Newtown and seen an interesting picture. Four teenagers, 2 girls, 2 boys, white and looking well of, were obviously ready for trouble. Empty yet aggressive faces, hoodies on, throwing traffic cones around. But in the small town like his there just wasn't enough of them. It is illustrating to me the fact that people feeling themselves as a part of a crowd are losing their normal judgements, "going mad". Obviously undeveloped brains are more ready for this sort of behaviour.

Both ideas and crowds (mad or organized) can make people cruel against their normal nature. We are born compassionate. It's a social animal's instinct. Even hungry rats can't eat if they see other rats suffer (I thing this is from the book "Wild Justice" if I'm not mistaken). I remember reading a bit of Nazi official's diary (in the book "What Is Good?"). He was organizing death camps or something like this but when he went to inspect what he's done he felt terrified, he couldn't bear that. Yet he didn't repent: the Nazi idea and complacence to the authorities were stronger.

I thing the idea that people are born sinners, bad, cruel, homo homini lupus est, etc. leeds to a distorted world view. Being good is more about both going to you "roots" (natural empathy) and thinking free with a clear independent mind unclouded by invasive ideas (mems).

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Back from Russia again

Sorry for not writing much here during last year but I'm really into writing in Russian in my other blog.

To try to improve the situation a bit I can say that during past few month I've been so completely happy like I haven't been for about 20 years. The dark menacing cloud is gone. Twenty years ago I've been given some poison and told it will make me better. I was free before, but after I felt like a fish caught in the net, lifted off my natural environment, helpless and suffocating. Now I'm free again, full of love and creativity. I am clean of this horrible addiction. I mean religion. It is such a relieve to understand that it all was just a big lie, a glitch of a conscious (but week, I admit) mind, deceit and self-deceit.

I can still appreciate religions esthetical side: music, temples, rituals, general feeling of something greater that you. It may even make somebody happier. Then maybe if people, straight from the beginning of history, could build beautiful libraries, train stations and univercities there would be no need for majestic (and very pricy) temples?

The danger of the religion is that your "invisible friend" will get stroppier and stroppier, wanting more love than your real friends and family. It will make you call others heretics and infidels. It will be threatening you and blackmailing you with the fear of Hell. It will tell you that people are sinners and deserve Hell while the truth is we all get pleasure from good relationship with fellow humans - just like animals living in groups. We like being nice to each other. We notice nastiness more because it is more rare. People love each other naturally, without need for a supreme being, fear of punishement or dream of a reward. Religions and kindness are not related.

I am so glad there is neither "invisible friend" nor a strange cruel outdated book between me and my conscience!

There was perhaps need for a religion when first humans got conscience but didn't quite knew what to do with it. When they couldn't invent themselves neither purpose in life nor the ways to behave (after behaviour according to instincts became optional). Now most people can find purpose in life, be kind and happy by themselves.

I actually never met anyone who became kinder under the influence of a religion. My experience is that kind and clever believers have a very hard time squizing their kindness and reason into the dark prison of religious thought.

When I read history of Orthodox Christianity I find suppression of free thought, angry disagreements, wishes for opponents to go to hell, growing political ambitions, hatred, cruelty, attempts of rewriting of history, etc straight from the beginning. There is not such things as "christian values": when slavery, torture and cruel punishments were common they were OK with the Church too. The modern history of Russia teaches me that as soon as religion gets a firm grip on the society, its "nasty" fundamentalist face appears. Even in 90s I've been told the orthodoxy coupled with nationalism and xenophobia (o, mother!) I've been told silly medieval things like to eat seafood during the lent because in the old days people thought its plant food not animal...

Why should anyone believe to the infamous organizations like the christian Churches or other religious orders? They are built lie on lie, they teach intolerance (every religion is a blashemy for another one), they take away the most precious possession any person has: his freedom of thought.

Anyway, it is really difficult to describe the level of happiness the realisation of all this brought upon me.