Primitive humanity used stick, stone and fire technology for thousands of years before Judaism, Christianity and Islam was invented. In some regions this primitive albeit efficient survival technology continued into recent history. Science and technology as we now know them, has caused significant changes to humanity’s lifestyle bringing it from primitive existence to modern civilisations.
Some science and technology is only referred to in general to reveal their importance, and to encourage further study of their possible future consequences as they continue to develop.
Sumarians, Persians, Egyptians, or one may say, the Arab and Greek worlds dealt in the science of astronomy and mathematics long before Christianity, which in its inchoate phase, chose the path of misology and ignoring much of science and technology. Christianity relied on maintaining superstition and human labour power. Slavery was a normal factor of life in Christendom until into the 1800’s. Exodus 21:7-11, is only one of many statements about slavery in Christian bibles.
Flowing on from ancient Hebrew concepts of the natural world, there was a certain innocence during early Christianity emerging in the period of Roman Empire conquests, during which, following a charismatic Jewish leader, biblical Jesus, some Jews’ attempted reform of Judaism. These ‘reformist’ Jews appeared naïve and ignorant of any science giving them understanding of natural laws.
Hebrews and Christians rejected ideas they thought may jeopardise their notion of a supernatural creator god, who they believed, was responsible for their existence and all they beheld. They thought that not believing in their ‘chosen’ god and disobeying its laws would bring terrible vengeance.
Exposures of the numerous inconsistencies, errors, contradictions, myths and absurdities portrayed in Christian bibles seem not able to dissuade millions of devotees from believing their ‘holy’ books contain the words of their god.
Most religionists are aware science and technology continues to reveal more knowledge of the universe, which bring into question, their holy books’ supernatural explanations of it. Religionists, with their backs to the wall, can only state, creation is the work of their god. And here lies the conundrum; which god?
In retrospection, Christendom’s modern generations in their millions, equipped with increasing science knowledge and history, recognise Christian biblical fallacies, superstitions and myths, mostly plagiarised from pre-Christian history for all to study.
With virtually no science and using logic and a priori reasoning, [knowledge gained or attempted to be gained outside the sphere of physical experience] pre-Christian Egyptian, Sumerian, Babylonian and Greek intellectuals were exceptionally advanced in mathematics, astronomy and mechanical technology compared to Hebrews and early Christian Jews, who were not aware of what the sun was, or knew of the solar system. If any did know, it was secret.
Aristotle [384-322BCE], who educated Alexander the Great, and was known as a peripatetic teacher because he walked as he lectured students following him, presented a supposition of the observable solar system. He believed that Earth was the centre of the universe. This concept was adopted by the astronomer, Claudius Ptolemaist (c.100-168 C.E.) of Alexandria, and also by the Roman Catholic Church, and its theologian, Thomas Aquinus. His ‘Summa Theologia’ remains influential in Catholic thinking. After centuries of this erroneous concept embedded in Roman Catholic ideology, Copernicus, a deist, is given credit for evicting it from its hallowed religious niche in 1543. The Roman Catholic Church with its ancient superstitious mindset has an observatory in the Vatican State.
For centuries, Roman Catholic hierarchy and Catholic populace ignorance underpinned the Christian notions of the natural world often defended with cruel vigour. Christians believed the world was created specifically for them (anthropocentric) and were the central interest of their ‘chosen’ god. Fundamentalist Christians often berate those not believing in their plagiarised ancient myths, superstitions and invented religious notions. But they cannot stone people to death.
Ignorance of the natural world appears to be a major catalyst for inventing religions which are an integral element of psychological phenomena, specific to humanity. Religions as a natural corollary have a multi purpose in that, they explain, however incorrect, aspects of the natural world, inspiring rituals, inducing tribal bonding and a priestly class and underwriting social laws. All this considered to be instigated and demanded by gods who appear very human in thinking and actions.
The king of kings appears to be adopted from Eastern style signatures of rulers of Egypt, Babylonia, Persia, and Ethiopia. Religious rituals, such as the feast of the sun god (Saturnalia) ending on the feast with Brumalia, the 25 of December, named Natalis Solis Invicti; birthday of the unconquered sun. It became Christian Sunday. Note the coincidence with winter solstice. Western world week days are named after ancient mythical gods. The compass appears to have originated from somewhere in the far Eastern regions of Europe. It advanced planet exploration as no other technology did.
Early Christian hierarchy determined and pronounced the birth date of biblical Jesus because they did not know it. He is but one of many mythical virgin births of leaders resurrected after their death, and apparently the last in the world of Christendom. Christian doctrine, claimed as absolute truth, states a young Jewish virgin gave birth to Jesus. His father was the Jewish god Yahweh. Jesus was actually one of several sons of the Hebrew god.
Christian doctrine imposes an institutionalised delusion upon people who, until recent history, most could not read or write. The divinity of biblical Jesus, literally a vicarious god, appears to have gone forever. Biblical miracles have been dislodged from religious pedestals by modern rational thinking. Centuries ago, Spinoza stated that miracles cannot occur, if there were a god, miracles are performed by that god within natural laws, the god is the cause of all things, if not, there is no god.
Christian dogma cannot revert to Hebrew monolatry unless it adopts Thanatos. Notions of religious gods etc. are recognised by rational reason, to be projected constructions of ingenious abstract imagination outside of prevailing logic and rational philosophy. A carpenter constructing a chair expecting from it ‘magnum cum laud’ is no less ridiculous than humanity inventing gods and worshipping them.
Religion had a placebo role in a world of ignorance in which, Christianity imposed itself as an international organised religion, bonding people through its doctrine and fearful psychological terror. Christians in general, believe they will suffer terribly in their hell for sinning (whatever that may be). What Christian militarists who kill other Christians and non-Christians feel is difficult to evaluate,
Ancient religious notions concerning the cosmos and natural events have been bypassed by science and technology, leading to the discovery of planets and laws governing their behaviour. Cosmic observations aided by technology led to the discovery of the apparent infinite universe. Planets like Neptune, were discovered independently by Adams  and Leverrier [in 1846], through their understanding of solar system laws presented by Kepler and Newton. Modern philosophy presents a different understanding of scientific, technological advances, and cosmic phenomena to that stated in Judaic, Christian and Islam dogma.
To state that the cosmos, planet system and life forms are the creation of a god, does not satisfy modern sophisticated intellectual curiosity seeking greater understanding of the cosmos and natural laws. Inchoate Christian hierarchy resisted science; and still resists some aspects of it, particularly in the medical field. The dome over flat earth has gone with its heaven. No Christian knows where their space paradise (garden) is. Jews and Christians used to think it was above the ‘dome’ over the flat earth, where the gods lived. No god is recorded arriving on Earth since biblical times.
Science and technology today is inexorably homogenising the global population which increasingly requires science for its survival. Science and technology helped to abolish the slave system that was the base of most economies in Christendom until the advent of industrialisation. Slaves became ‘educated’ wage slaves dependent upon their proficiencies and the vicissitudes of supply and demand.
Christendom today, with considerable science knowledge and massive industries, some automated, contains the world’s most powerful militarist economies and military forces that can rapidly deploy anywhere globally. Christendom is not likely to relinquish it primary position and the vast wealth generated from it.
Despite hyperbole extolling Christian doctrine encouraging peace and tolerance, Christians in general, act today as the merciless savage Semitic tribes of centuries ago. Christians in general appear peaceful. The fact is that Christians killed each in millions over the last century. Christian murderous behaviour is little different from that of people of various other denominations, such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism etc.
History reveals that religions do not unite people and generally tend to intensify the estrangement factor that induces xenophobia. Until global scale co-operation and trust is established between religions to induce peace and harmony, altruism will remain submerged. Strange but true, when it comes to suppressing women, mainstream religions readily collude.
Besides estrangement, another evolved human condition factor is acquisitiveness, the basis of today’s materialism and capitalism’s greed. Reforming materialism would require considerable mitigation which means reforming economic systems, science, technology, industrial structures and trade.
Capitalism is dependent on exploitation of humans for labour and as commodities, i.e. an economic unit of production and consumption. This induces a dehumanising social system and prioritising profit before people, which may emerge as a destructive aspect of Western civilisation. Capitalism induces an atavistic survival format which is literally, a primitive ‘survival of the fittest’ attitude denying altruism and eulogising rapacious greed, power and violence.
Until greater control of materialist saturated intellect occurs and its greed operation outlawed, it will be virtually impossible to sway the global population to reform materialism. Organised religion in general, supports materialism, and any attempt of reform, would find itself contesting the might of an elitist economic class that controls the global profit making system and pays the ‘dogs of war’ to protect it.
Science and technology has already placed weapons of mass destruction that kill thousands in seconds into Christian hands. They have already used them and other outlawed weaponry. The millions killed over the centuries in many internecine wars have been mainly sacrifices to materialism and the wars are continuing.
Organised religion should eradicate the tendency to create xenophobia, discriminations, estrangement and violence. If not, one may question the agenda of international organised religion. Is it to encourage members to be better characters, or mind condition them to be subservient members and encourage them to participate in global religious and economic based conflicts.
Although reform of Capitalism may be considered essential for making a better, safer world, this economic/political issue is not the main discussion here. However, materialist minded Religionists write history that endeavours to vindicate them of their mass murdering of each other in increasing millions with each passing century, all in the name of materialism [control of markets and resources for manufacturing that underwrites rapacious greed on a grand scale].
Many Christians believe there is a possibility Christendom could be overrun by other organised religions, such as, Islam, with its rigid dogma literally demanding the death of all who do not believe in their Allah, or of Muslims who convert to another religion, or desert Islam belief. Islam has absolutely verified itself as a model of institutionalised intolerance and delusion bordering on psychopathic. It allows through fundamentalists, the sanction of murder and violence for proselytising and solving what Muslim fundamentalists regard as problems. Peaceful Muslims need to organise en mass to eradicate fundamentalism and control present fundamentalists who often want to lead them to violence.
The statements of Locke (1676), Voltaire et al related to personal freedom and free expression go unheeded in many countries, particularly where ultra conservative religious rulers do not seem to understand, the adverse consequences of inhibiting the progression of democracy to a basic altruistic society, which in turn, inhibits global progression to peaceful co-operation.
Fundamentalist Muslims are in the category of ultra conservative religionists and bring world attention on Islam. Where Muslim fundamentalists dominate regions, they appear far from the level of civilisation that Christendom in general has achieved. Fundamentalists are perceived as holding the Islam world back from the democracy and of personal freedom that occurs in Christendom.
One may say, Christendom has long gone through its tyranny and torture phase. Modern Christian hierarchy has lost its power to impose its will through fear and violence on the Australian populace. However, Australians and their governments are now effectively controlled by global and national economics, and considerable influence of organised international religion making anodyne references to freedom.
Muslim fundamentalists fear, just as early Christians did, that Islam will lose its influence and power if it makes radical changes to its ‘Dark Ages’ cruel barbaric laws, and its culture of oppression of women and men. The pressure is on Islamic people to reform and change to a liberal democratic religious and political system.
Christians and Muslims should eliminate discrimination against women and eradicate violence and terror for religious and political advantages. Religionist fundamentalists have no right whatsoever to impose their belief system by using fear and violence, which is what, occurs in many regions.
Allowing Muslim women complete physical and intellectual freedom and access to full education will advance Islam culturally, and scientifically, only then, will the Islam world begin to emerge from its self imposed ‘Dark Ages’ incarceration.
Two major religions, Christianity and Islam remain in somewhat of a global impasse; each with their concept of enlightenment. Muslim fundamentalists and probably Muslims in general regard Western democracy, free expression, equal rights and non discrimination against women as immoral Western culture. Some Muslims continually proscribe it. Millions of Muslims live in the so-called Western world in peace enjoying the democracy offered them.
The Muslim fundamentalist stance discriminating against women, virtually halves Islam’s potential intellectual power in its struggle to catch up with scientific and technological advanced Christendom. Full personal liberty for millions of religious women, and particularly for millions of Muslim women rarely exists.
The UN Declaration of Human Rights appears not to have been successfully established for millions of religious women and particularly, millions of Muslim women. Muslim fundamentalists are endeavouring to make Sharia law universal in the Islam world. Fear, brutality and barbarism are a major central factor of Sharia law.
Several Muslim States have adopted Sharia law. The brutality and barbarism of Sharia law is not tolerated in Christendom which encourages women in intellectual endeavours. This does not mean that what are considered negatives of so-called feminism (usually stated by males who generally appear to be misogynists), are paramount, or should be in a social context. This also applies to the negative aspects of male attitudes, frequently referred to as chauvinism.
The global population of women has a right to equal opportunity and justice in all of humanity’s activities without discrimination. Women should not be regarded as domestic and biological slaves. Organised religion should not have State status and power to suppress women in any sense.
The early Islam world endeavoured to pursue science and technology. Egyptian, Abu al Hazen (c.965-1038) a brilliant physicist was born in what is now known as Iraq. He contributed much to optics. In the early Islam world of Asia, Africa and Spain, great irrigation systems were successfully developed enhancing food production. Islam Architecture was spectacular.
But from the end of the first millennium, the Islam world appeared determined to stay with its religious notions, because apparently, science and technology was thought to compromise its belief system considered to be sufficient for all intellectual and daily existence needs. This was how inchoate Christian hierarchy thought.
Such is the stultifying influence of Islam upon millions, with the halving of its potential intellectual power, and having millions of poor people in its regions, the world of Islam will find it difficult, if not virtually impossible to match the advanced science, technology, economics and militarism of Christendom.
So far, the Islam world attempts to emulate Christendom, has resulted in creating an Islamic militarist world. If Muslim fundamentalists and Islam ‘holy’ literature are to be believed, Muslims will continue to try and conquer the world in the name of Islam. Muslim fundamentalists wish for the collapse of Christendom. Hypothetically, if Christendom became predominantly secular, it is doubtful that its previous religious populations, used to relatively personal freedom and determining their lives according to their desires, would submit peacefully to Islam and particularly, to fundamentalist Muslims.
Whilst Islam dominated States may conspire to eradicate other religions, and continue to murder those in disagreement with Islam, some Muslim States are not united economically, politically or religiously. Millions of Muslims oppose Muslim fundamentalists and fear an Islam world being ruled by them. Outside of Muslim controlled States, Muslims have few, if any real allies.
The world of Christendom, Hinduism and Buddhism present a global economic and physical block to Islam, which has to deal peacefully with it. The Christian world does benefit economically from what resources the Islam world offers it, although millions of Muslims do not. Discounting possession of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’, Islam, with virtually no allies and unable to eradicate the considerable global fear factor of it, will have to radically reform.
Islam as with Christianity carries innate seeds of its self destruction in a modern world becoming inexorably more scientific minded. Fundamentalist Muslims appear only to envisage violence as a means of maintaining their religion with its barbaric laws and global place in a changing scientific and technological driven world.
Inflexible mind-set mainstream religionists (fundamentalists) in general, want all people to be of the same belief system. This has proved impossible and attempts to establish a single global religion have caused several internecine conflicts. It would appear religious fundamentalists seem to suffer from their religious belief rather than gain pleasure from it.
Islam, Christianity, Hindu and Buddhism predominate within the global population. How these religions will prevail and co-operate in the future for humanity’s benefit and survival is anyone’s guess.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY USED AS TOOLS FOR POWER
It is a natural corollary for humanity with its evolved aggressive aspect of survival to use science and technology as tools for survival and power. Human types thought to be our ancestors, have survived probably from long before the protolithic period with only the weapon of intelligence and stick technology.
Some animals and apes also used stick and also stone technology, probably before human types did. For homo, fire technology followed. In the period of human types, such simple technology lasted for the longest period until the age of metal technology which changed the survival game forever.
As humanity continued to dominate life forms in the natural environment and domesticated some animals, much of its superstitious based belief systems changed. Trees, seeds and many animals including snakes considered to have magical powers (Christian doctrine maintains these magical beliefs) or representing magical powers, were no longer revered, feared or worshipped.
Humans learned about the ‘magic’ of seeds and procreation and considered themselves masters of their natural world. This is revealed in Genesis 1. Invented technology changed modes of production as advanced agriculture supported growing communities indulging in diverse occupations that included technology.
Millenniums ago, gods and goddesses emerged in human form. They were endowed with great magical powers and human type intelligence that humans could relate to. Humanity believed them to be supernatural beings that were usually meteorological, agricultural and fertility gods.
Women were gradually stripped of their mystique of emulating nature in producing new progeny and respected social status, often honoured with statuettes, carvings and pottery. For millenniums, women were relegated to being second class people although, many goddesses remained. Hebrews vanquished all goddesses, but one remains in Genesis mentioned several times; (Asherah, Queen of heaven; note, not Mary, mother of biblical Jesus).
As gods were not found on Earth, it was a natural corollary for humanity to think the domed sky was the domain of gods who occasionally came ‘down’ to earth. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are based on these myths. Christian biblical texts give considerable clues to how pre-Christian ancients thought.
The discovery and development of agriculture and invention of the plough diminished the prevailing nomadic system. Villages, towns and cities appeared as large scale agriculture and irrigation became a permanent support system of populations.
There were conflicts between the agriculturalists and nomadic herders and their gods, as Genesis reveals in the Cain and Able story. Conflicts between these two major land based economies continued throughout history ending in the USA in the late 1800’s. Full on science and technology won the day. Industrialism triumphed in the USA on a scale no country matched; its population increased dramatically and slavery was abolished.
Over centuries, astronomy and mathematics had led the way to explorations of the observable cosmos. These scientific ventures suffered interruptions by adherents of some philosophies and religious notions that introduced the ‘Dark Ages’ maintained by the Roman Catholic Church.
Scientific exploration and philosophy continued inexorably to dominate endeavours leading to knowledge of the cosmos and on to incredible technology that the modern world depends on. Powerful chemicals (acids) were discovered in the 12th century that led to advances in chemistry.
From the 1700’s, science, technology and philosophy emerged up and running as a main force driving the renaissance further from the inhibiting ‘Dark Ages’. They carried the new era of industrialism that changed forever, the world enmeshed in religions maintaining ancient primitive notions of the cosmos.
Science and technology developed rapidly. In 1776, the year that the USA became the first country to introduce complete freedom of religion (latitudinarian) in the ‘Declaration of Independence”, Benjamin Franklin visited France and was eulogised by Parisians who made a bust of him. A century later, the USA 1876 Philadelphia Industrial Exhibition took Europe industrialists by surprise and realised they lagged behind the USA. Australia held an exhibition in the 1880’s in Melbourne. The British held an industrial exhibition in London in 1900. The Eiffel Tower expressed French engineering genius.
Industrialism in Europe and the USA changed the lives of people en mass and is continuing to influence global populations. As industries emerged and grew, they attracted people from the land and machines had to replace them. Cities appeared where once there was nothing but grass and forest. International trade increased, shipping construction developed on a massive scale. The world was being embraced by ever new forms of science and technology leading to newer forms, a mode which is continuing.
For centuries, Christendom carried a land ownership class usually headed by a monarchy in collusion with Christian hierarchy, also large landowners. Christendom was coerced to embrace advancing science and technology to maintain its economic viability. It may have changed unwillingly, but had no alternative. Christian hierarchies invested in the new world of industrial-banking cartels virtually as a partner.
The power of organised religion was based on land ownership; large populations and money it extracted from them. It now shares global power with the powerbrokers of highly scientific and technological industrialism, also banking and trade that changed old economic structures. Organised religion has become a major aspect of the globalised profit making system, which is being inexorably homogenised and controlled by an elitist economic class.
The international Roman Catholic Church remains the world’s largest institutional land owner and maintains no small influence in political arenas as all Australians know. It has had centuries of practice in manipulating political machinations. It reaps billions of dollars annually from half (42%) of the religious population of Germany and dips deeply into Australian government treasuries.
Regularly, international organised religion issue demands to Australian governments for money for some purpose. A few examples mainly concerning the State of Victoria are:-
The Victorian government made a grant on St Patrick’s Day 1992 of $2 million of taxpayers’ funds for the appeal to restore St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne.
There is the contentious issue of public money in government treasuries subsidising private religious schools, particularly Roman Catholic Schools.
The Roman Catholic Church is a private organisation that does not have to account for its financial affairs to any authority.
The hand over in 1994 of the new Werribee ‘public’ hospital to the Sisters of Mercy for management, and its Roman Catholic restrictions on certain medical procedures. This religious organisation also manages the Melbourne based St Vincent’s ‘public’ hospital and other institutions.
The sale in early 1993, by the Nunawading Council, to the Roman Catholic Church, of a disused street in Mitcham for $5000 – only 10% of the valuation.
The announced intention of the Federal Coalition, during the 1993 Federal Election campaign, of channelling $100m of welfare funds through churches, and away from government agencies.
The practice of State Governments to adopt disaster relief plans around churches, rather than Government agencies. The awarding, in 2000, of employment agency contracts to religious organisations by the Federal Government.
Revealed above are how several Australian government departments are being virtually superseded by the integration of international organised religion, which has become a powerful secondary sociological organisation in Australia, acting as quasi government agencies.
In an Australian society accepting secular governance, science and technology and secular philosophy full on, such organised international religion integration with governments would become redundant and outlawed in the name of ‘Separation of Church and State’. .
ENLIGHTENMENT IN A WORLD DOMINATED BY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Enlightenment attempted to comprehend the natural world and this quest has never ceased. Modern enlightenment had to break bonds of traditional thinking encapsulated in erroneous religious notions of the natural world. Through various ages, Sumarians, Babylonians, Persians, Egyptians and Greeks indulged in enlightenment projects, particularly concerning philosophy, the cosmos, mathematics and mechanics. Heraclitus formulated that everything moved from one state to another.
Spinoza, Locke, Hobbes, Hume, Lessing, Voltaire, Goethe, Rousseau, Payne, Hegel et al contributed to the modern era of enlightenment. The compilation of their ideas indicate humanity is a by product of physics. Deist Descartes searching for certainty unsuccessfully, and believing our senses could not be relied on sought a concept that self exists. He gave ‘certainty’ its transfixed place in philosophy in an exceptional succinct manner; he presented a formula for ‘thinking matter’ in human form, ‘cogito ergo sum’ (I think therefore I exist’).
Science and technology has reached the deep cache of human creation which concerns religious moralists and ethicists and their supernatural beliefs. Interfering with genetic structures to alter humans is not on secularism’s agenda, apart from medical processes that help eradicate diseases and enhance health. People should remain as natural evolved humans but can, through co-operation, create the conditions with the assistance of science and technology to make the planet a safer and secure place to live. If international organised religion has a role to play in modern human affairs, then this is its direction. It should assist to mitigate the materialist mentality of its members that engenders aggression and greed.
Science should be open and accept public checks and balances to prevent humanity from following the piper to possible self destruction. Humanity has to be concerned that it does not become used as a means of only supporting an elitist economic ruling class controlling the global profit making system, and therefore, governments and the lives of billions.
The progression of advanced medical science should occur for all the obvious reasons. Secularists have applauded most science and have little concern regarding medical biological science. There is natural concern as biological science reaches deeper into the evolved human body and mind, of which, most humans know little or nothing. The public should be more informed about biological and genetic science activities.
It is humanist principles inculcated through education and example that should be the priority of humanity. Humans do not have to be aggressive or greedy, science has generally solved the problems of food production and distribution, and continues in endeavours to eliminate diseases which is more than any god has done.
Science can make a safer, secure life for global humanity. People should have freedom to choose their sociological agenda and religious beliefs, which should not be harmful psychologically or physically to anyone.
Secularists accept that humanity evolved in a hostile environment and developed necessary survival attributes that were not all pleasant, but they gave humanity ability to reach the modern age of science and technology, which can assist humanity’s progression to peaceful co-operation and altruism.
Secularists also accept the evolved human condition requires considerable socio controls, because humanity has not changed psychologically from its evolved primitive protolithic era, and probably millenniums before. This is a massive problem requiring a massive solution incorporating human rights which is also a global issue. Incidentally, in 1967 Pope John Paul, representing Catholic intellect admitted evolution is fact. However, millions of Christians still believe biblical creation accounts are true, because they believe the bible is the word of their god. Apparently the Pope does not. Such is the power of mind conditioning from childhood.
Organised religion has not solved or controlled humanity’s tendency of unacceptable activities including aggression and greed, induced by the evolved human condition sponsoring materialism. Religion has often exacerbated them in its own interests. The religious should only need to bother themselves with their belief system. They are private notions that probably in the future, humanity may look upon with amusement, albeit, some consequences of belief systems have been tragic.
There is no excuse for any religionist to use the threat of psychological terror or physical violence in the cause of proselytising. By using psychological and physical violence, religionists encourage the enacting of evolved primitive aggressive survival elements of the human condition.
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
Over centuries in Christendom, many individuals stepped away from mainstream religious thinking embedded in traditional mores, and penned challenges to expose the fallacies of them. Using the relative new technology of printing from the 1600’s, literature delivered spasmodic persuasive condemnations on religion and offered philosophy and various other art forms hinting of secular themes, or specifically pronouncing them.
Authors argued, as Voltaire did so successfully for human rights, justice, and State implementation of the Magna Carter, and that life is a perpetual endeavour of enrichment. The Western literature of 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries ‘free thinkers’ helped mitigate the State status power of Christianity and continues to do so. Such secular literature deals with social justice, exposing the superstitious and mythological base and conspiracies of religions.
A 1215 Magna Carta ruling: “No freeman may be imprisoned or kept in prison without sentence being passed” has been ignored countless thousands of times in Christendom. The English Parliament 1679 stated a body (habeas corpus) must be produced to be accused. This English law is made risible in this age.
Christian church attendances are in decline in many countries including Australia. Nevertheless, religions still remain a psychological support for billions. The emotive aspect of the evolved human condition has been satisfied by the support of religious ideology for millennia. Cold logic is difficult to grasp and therefore, is cold comfort for those wanting certainty, comfort and support. The nearest most religionists get to a scientific mode of thinking is through hermeneutics.
The development of science and technology has an important role in paving the way for secularism which separates the many notions of religion from reality. Whilst science does not prove gods do or do not exist, Secularists concerned with reality have no experience of any scientific evidence of gods.
Australian secularism broke through inhibiting mainstream religious tradition much to the ongoing lament of ultra conservative, Roman Catholic Archbishop, Dr. George Pell. Australian private institutions including organised religion are becoming increasingly influenced by secular principles and ethics.
Permeating the framework of the 52 United Nations organisations is the UN Humanist Declarations, ratified by scores of countries and requiring no religious format to employ them which are secularist in nature.
A goal of Secularists is to work for the end of humanity’s violence, injustice and discriminations including organised religion’s unacceptable relegation of women to being second class people.
Organised religion (Christian) until recent history has not been confronted with organised Secularists that it was able to easily nullify or even dispatch them. There are now millions of non religionists in Australia according to the 2000 Census.
One challenge confronting Australian women is that, no Australian government has ratified the United Nations offered Optional Protocol to the ‘Convention for the Elimination of forms of Discrimination Against Women’ [CEDAW], and appear not to have an intention to do so. The gaining of full-on equality for Australian women has yet to be achieved. This will not occur whilst religious conservatism remains an influence in governments and social and religious traditions.
After years of collusion with Islam against women made public at the Cairo and Beijing Conferences and since then, the Vatican in 2000, declared other beliefs have defects that make them inferior to Roman Catholicism (Christianity). This hostile, disparaging hubristic Vatican statement opposes creating harmony and trust between major international religions.
Secularists, Atheists, Agnostics, Rationalists, Humanists or whatever label given to those who uphold the principles of the UN and Humanism world wide, are working for world peaceful co-operation. Given time and advanced human knowledge, atheism may become a primary element of philosophy for all humanity. Atheism offers freedom for every individual to determine their lives without fear of deities which are considered by Atheists to be imaginative constructs of ingenious abstract imagination.
The bottom line of humanity’s survival depends largely on peaceful co-operation of all individuals and their economic, social and political policies directed to underwrite humanity’s progressive patterns based on individual freedom, tolerance and altruism. In the present world milieu of materialism and militarism, it seems this is an impossible dream.
Everyone should have opportunity to contribute considered beneficial ideas to a global pool that can be voluntarily accepted and extracted by populations, but not imposed on them. Such processes may lead to greater harmony, fraternity and peace. What decisions populations make now will determine their immediate future and potential survival. This does not mean allowing interference from organised religion that is based on superstitious doctrine. Organised religion may be heard but not have the power to impose.
By Peter Plane