Religion, A Primordial Humbug
Plutarch, who is considered today to be a Middle Platonist, affirms: “In wandering over the earth, you can find cities without walls, without science, without rulers, without palaces, without treasures, without money, without gymnasium or theatre, but a city without temples to gods, without prayer, oaths and prophecy, such a city no mortal has yet seen and will never see.”
Astute and rational beings cannot accept and swallow any motif and matter until they have carefully examined, scrutinize and weigh the pros and cons of the issue. The myths and stories we take so much for granted with the crescendo, ruling and sentences people speak every day with so much tenacity, certainty, and strong conviction; has it ever been brought to their personal scrutiny and examined by rationale, before being accepted by masses? The whole idea is preposterous because we accept; merely it has traveled down to us through many, many generations. If that does not happen to be the case, then let us have the daring to face the culmination of the ancestral paths we have chosen.
Lunatic, recreant, and those too lazy to think, accept and follow blindly, without examination, dogmas, doctrines and religious beliefs which instilled in their mind with fear, concept of an angry vengeful God and guilt; imposed upon them from cradle by their Parents, Priest parasites, Mulla, Molvi, Pundit, Teachers and Society, when their minds were immature and they could not reason.
Religion is a superstition born of human wishes and fantasies. Its function is to provide illusory gratification to human wishes which are denied satisfaction in the real world. From this point of view, religion originates in the primitive mentality of humans in their ignorance, their fears, and hopes.
Almost 1.6 Billion Muslims believe that the Quran, Hadiths, and Sharia are all equally the words and desire of God. Approximately 1 Billion Hindus believe in numerous God, Goddesses, and Deities and they will be reincarnated. More than 2 Billion dominating Christians believe in a God who keeps the family. And the irony of the situation is apparent when Muslims and Christians both equally believe that Jesus was born of a virgin and Joshua stopped the sun and moon; nullified laws of nature to perform miracles. It is wiser to assert them as erroneous beliefs because scientifically no one can proof of any of these assertions. As a matter of fact, there is nothing supernatural and nothing contrary to laws of nature.
These primitive beliefs, superstitions, and unreasonable claims have been promoted and kept viable by a huge legion of Mullas, Molvis, so-called Scholars, Priests, Pundits, and Rabbis because it is to their great interest to bolster them. They tactfully prey the gullible and the intelligent alike.
These Priestly loafers and their Multi-Billion Pounds properties and incomes are exempt from taxes, everywhere they get special treatment, forces all to pay tribute them and receive billions of Pounds in the name of grants of taxpayers' money to build up and sustain their influence, power, wealth, and luxurious living; that by paying money with different titles to these holy and sainted swindlers and thugs, they will be favored by one of the Gods!
For ages, some thinkers choose to remain silent or non-confrontational but there are also courageous thinkers who have a spark of truth, decided to vocalize the truth. They lose their fear of Mythical God, Goddesses, and Hell, and have been suppressed, tortured, ostracized and even murdered and their writings destroyed. The Catholic Church burned Giordano Bruno at the stake and imprisoned Galileo Galilei for life because they discarded and disagreed with their doofus and superstitious beliefs, Muslims’ history is also full of such blunders and mess.
The primitive human being suffered from an intense feeling of helplessness, lived in constant frightened of the violent forces of nature. Fierce animals, beasts, storms, thunderbolts, earthquakes and other cataclysms and calamities of nature frightened and overawed him and be decided as the wrath of Gods and Goddesses.
As animistic tendencies dominated his mind, he personified the Gods and Goddesses and sought to placate them by offering them worship and sacrifice, even sacrifice of human beings. He was unacquainted with the law of cause and effect,’ hence anything which can hurt or excruciate him, become Gods and Goddesses, he thus peopled the earth with Gods, Goddesses, and Deities.
This was the primary stage of religion, called the age of worship in which man humbly prostrated himself before these Deities in the hope of mitigating them and inducing them to spare him.
Out of them, some wise people surmised the actual situation but belied the facts and exploited the ignorance of masses by saying to follow them and then see how these Deities will fulfill their prayers and save them from all catastrophes and scourges. These wise but cunning people deliberately created a con by promoting the concept of Demons, Fiends, Ghosts, Apparitions, Evil spirits, Goblins, and Jinnee.
This attitude developed a new phase of religion which was called the age of magic. Now human beings tried to influence their illusory Gods, Goddesses, and Deities by charms, spells, incantations, and occult practices; now the institution of Priesthood came in full existence and the magicians became the first Priests, the first thralldom for human beings!
According to the Anthropology, human beings never lived a solitary life like the critters and beasts. This creature was weak and defenseless against the powerful gigantic beasts that roamed about him. He could survive only through some form of group life. A group of human beings could survive in such a scenario and a single individual had no chance, so early human beings naturally lived in groups.
The group life starts with blood relations. The authority exercised by the Father passed into the hands of the Priest, finally, overgrown families changed in tribes. Now Priest is the head of the tribe, a new authority enlarged in the human society, his supremacy was accepted.
Priest gradually made rituals very complex, interpretation of omens become business, Superstitious, a factor to be reckoned with in primitive life, lent powerful support to the authority of the Priest; consequently, Priesthood snatched individual liberty. Priesthood first generated the theory of supreme power which they called ‘the God.’
The idea of God or Deities was fashioned on the model of the absolute potentate sovereign, and God was conceived as the Being who ruled from the heaven on the earth in very mysterious ways, the Lord of the universe as an arbitrary despot. The King of kings, whose desire and wish was unquestionable. Human beings stood before Him, quaking with fear, as an abject and helpless creature.
According to this self-made Priest’s theory, religion now entered in the third stage. God was conceived as a tyrant and religion became an instrument of oppression. It served the ruling class by representing it as appointed by the GOD to exercise power on the earth and control over the masses.
As human groups increased in size and their structure became complex, the need was felt for a central organization. The tribal organizations merged in a purely political organization and the institution of Kingship founded.
Finally, the Kingship supplanted the Priesthood; it was usually a man who had organized a military force which had enabled him to extend his dominion over several tribes. A single man was invested with absolute power and the entire administration was placed in his hands. He occupied a position high above the common men and exercised absolute control over their lives and property. The social order had now to be maintained by physical forces. If the King was powerful, he usually succeeded in this task and held the straggling group together. His word was law submission to which was considered essential, in any case, he neither brook nor tolerate opposition, just one-man-show.
With the passage of time, this turned him into an object of fear, hatred or love according to his treatment. The theory that absolute monarchy is the will of the Lord became an indispensable and globally accepted. So, it was also bound to influence religion and its originators and organizers, viz the Priesthood.
Insurrection and mutiny often convulsed the King's authority. In such imbroglio, Kingship sought for an associate who coalesced with them, and such an ally was of course close at their hands, ‘The Priest.’
The Priest also had vested interests which he was not willing to cede on any cost. All social or political bouleversement or cataclysm would endanger the vested interests of both the Kingship and the Priesthood. The result was that the Kingship and the Priesthood made common cause, and each gave the other mutual support. The Kingship bolstered the power of the Priesthood in the religious domain and took steps to protect the interests of the sacerdotal order.
The appreciative and obliged Priesthood cloaked the King with inviolability, secure from violation or profanation; King now called ‘Shadow of the God.’ The obedience of the people was now enforced both by force and superstition. By means of "spiritual sanctions," it protected the ruling class against the fury of the oppressed people. With religion to defend them, the rulers could, with impunity, trample upon the rights of the common men and subjected to the double tyranny of Priest, and King, and finally the doctrine ‘might is right,’ practically implemented.