I’m likely to catch shit over this, but I have to maintain my integrity, and by implication, there’s certain things that have to be posted here in spite of how unenvious I am of doing so.
I cannot morn the apparent near-term passing of Pope John-Paul II. At least not in the sense of his office, anyway. I don’t know his heart, of course, but I am automatically suspicious of all authoritarians, and the Roman Catholic institution (as all religious institutions) is as authoritarian as you can get without actually engaging in violence or the threat thereof. Moreover, I have not a shred of doubt in the world that if any of these religious institutions again possessed the political power they once held, that they would use it precisely as they once did.
I believe they are wholly unrepentant in this regard.
Thus, while I can grudgingly accept the apparent "need" for some people to harbor and maintain fanciful notions of a God and streets paved in gold, etc., that is a far cry, to me, from institutions that preach the natural depravity of man, and who, incidentally, advance the even more evil agenda of foisting unearned guilt upon innocent people for the very involuntary thoughts that go through their own private minds.
You know, if we ever perish as a civilization, it will be this mysticism disease—the stupidity disease—that sends us once and for all down the river. As primitive philosophy, it suited men fine for a while, I suppose. In a world where man handily outcompetes the primitive notions of God on a daily basis, it’s foolhardy and dangerous nonsense that risks killing us all.
The real distinction to make between Islamic insanity and modern religion is that so far, modern religious institutions have been able to keep pace, to a degree, with the advance of man—with the advance of his knowledge and increasing ability to control realms of existence. But as man’s knowledge and abilities increase, and even the rate of that increase grows more rapidly—toward Godhood, or, more accurately, to ultimately far surpass anything mentally primitive humans ever imagined that a God could do or be—then at what point do even "modern" religions push back?
When God is your premise, and not man and his life, you can be safe only so long as man is willing to submit to whatever your notion of God is. The problem is, your notion of God is somewhat fixed by ancient texts. Man’s potential is open-ended.
That’s why one time, someone advised us to "check our premises."