May 24, 2019, 10:19:43 PM

Author Topic: Politics and other ailments of the real world  (Read 228098 times)

Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3000 on: February 20, 2019, 05:51:48 PM »
In non-political scandal news: It comes to light that the Vatican has a secret rules for handling priests who father children, which apparently happens quite a lot. There is also recent discussion about widespread abuse of nuns by priests.

Why do people still stick with this institution? Just how rotten is it? They've fought against condom use in HIV-stricken countries, they've molested children on a massive scale and covered it up for decades at the very least, they cling to medieval sexism, their decades-long control of Ireland was a nightmare of slut-shaming and dead babies. I could go on and on, without even getting into all the historical horror.

I can't stand religious horror movies, because they depict the Catholic Church as some kind of sole bulwark against evil. More and more skeletons keep dropping out of their gold-plated closets, yet they remain the most powerful religious institution on Earth, even in the face of raging hypocrisy and corruption.
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Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3001 on: February 20, 2019, 07:22:38 PM »
Quote
In non-political scandal news: It comes to light that the Vatican has a secret rules for handling priests who father children, which apparently happens quite a lot. There is also recent discussion about widespread abuse of nuns by priests.

Religion is and always will be Political. There will always be those with religious beliefs who feel whatever their books says trumps the rule of law and a very corrupt world-view becomes permissible.

Offline Neveesandeh

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3002 on: February 20, 2019, 09:15:30 PM »
In non-political scandal news: It comes to light that the Vatican has a secret rules for handling priests who father children, which apparently happens quite a lot. There is also recent discussion about widespread abuse of nuns by priests.

Why do people still stick with this institution? Just how rotten is it? They've fought against condom use in HIV-stricken countries, they've molested children on a massive scale and covered it up for decades at the very least, they cling to medieval sexism, their decades-long control of Ireland was a nightmare of slut-shaming and dead babies. I could go on and on, without even getting into all the historical horror.

I can't stand religious horror movies, because they depict the Catholic Church as some kind of sole bulwark against evil. More and more skeletons keep dropping out of their gold-plated closets, yet they remain the most powerful religious institution on Earth, even in the face of raging hypocrisy and corruption.

I think there's a difference between what corrupt people and groups within the Church have done and what it actually teaches.

Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3003 on: February 21, 2019, 12:14:09 AM »
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I think there's a difference between what corrupt people and groups within the Church have done and what it actually teaches.

Take any social or political system and show me where that is not the case. It's like an iron law time corrupts. There are also the absolutist teachings that get quietly ignored largely because they were ridiculous when written and utterly irrelevant now.


Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3004 on: February 21, 2019, 07:15:58 AM »
It's like an iron law time corrupts.

Time, authority and being a subject of reverence.
I'll notify your next of kin... that you sucked!

Offline Neveesandeh

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3005 on: February 21, 2019, 12:13:45 PM »
Quote
I think there's a difference between what corrupt people and groups within the Church have done and what it actually teaches.

Take any social or political system and show me where that is not the case. It's like an iron law time corrupts. There are also the absolutist teachings that get quietly ignored largely because they were ridiculous when written and utterly irrelevant now.

So are we supposed to destroy these systems completely and live in a state of anarchy?

Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3006 on: February 21, 2019, 01:38:19 PM »
Quote
I think there's a difference between what corrupt people and groups within the Church have done and what it actually teaches.

Take any social or political system and show me where that is not the case. It's like an iron law time corrupts. There are also the absolutist teachings that get quietly ignored largely because they were ridiculous when written and utterly irrelevant now.

So are we supposed to destroy these systems completely and live in a state of anarchy?

Hey don't knock anarchy!!

Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3007 on: February 21, 2019, 02:37:10 PM »
Ok I really planned to keep my mouth shut on all this religion crap, but I just can't anymore.  So here comes a 20 page essay no one asked for and probably no one is going to read but whatever.

Anarchism probably isn't what you think it is.

The way most people think about human nature today is influenced by Freud, Malthus and Hobbes: People are violent animals at the core (the id), and social control from government and religion and whatnot (the superego) is what keeps us from tearing eachother apart.  Freud psychologized it, Malthus biologized it, but this statist bullshit has been spouted since Hobbes in his "man against man" to rationalize the monopoly of violence held by the state.

Real biologists have found extensive evidence for the value of mutualism and cooperation (ideas pioneered over a century ago by the anarchist Kropotkin but independently arrived at by modern biologists like Frans de Waal) and Freud's statism was largely reversed by Marcuse, but these severely dysfunctional Freudian ideas have political agency and keep everyone acting like Sheeple so they are here to stay.

Anyway, anarchists have a lot of opinions about human nature (some think it's good, some think it's neutral), but they think evil actually comes from the state.  It's states that drive war, facilitate gross inequality (via the monarchy, it's invention the corporation, and of course colonialism and imperialism).  Anarchists are different from libertarians because they are critical of both the state and capitalism. In fact they see the two as being inseparable and call it state-capitalism.  They usually support alternative social organizations (indigenous self-governments, cooperatives, syndicalism, you name it). Some of them even like the church. Some of them have run for political office. (as did Proudhon, the first Anarchist). It's about fighting *hierarchy* and *inequality*, usually with consensus-based (as opposed to representative) democracy. The circle-A is actually an A within an O and the O stands for Order. In the late 1800s and early 1900s most social movements were anarchistic.  People saw the state AND capitalist exploitation as neo-colonial forces to fend off.  The reason you have a 40 hour work week today is because ANARCHISTS died to bring it to you.  Look up the Haymarket Affair. Go. Right now.  Google it.  And come back and publicly thank anarchists that you're not working 20 hour shift in a factory since the age of 7. (Some hack historians will tell you it was b/c businesses "found people worked more effectively" when they weren't deprived of sleep and starving but that's a load of shit. It was anarchists, and if you don't believe me sod off.)

(FYI I emailed FF about writing a post about anarchism in fantasy but, as with all my emails they never replied.)

Okay so that's settled.  What about religion? What Rostum was saying was that all institutions are inherently political and therefore corrupt. But unlike the state, which owes it's existence to authoritarianism, violence and capitalist exploitation, religion has the flexibility to be many different things. Religion is just a form of "social thickness"-- a way that people relate to form independent networks with their own sorts of norms. You've got Quakers and Unitarians (I'm sorry you sour atheists, but there is nothing bad you can say about Quakers) on one hand, then you've got Evangelicals on the other (I seriously can't think of anything good about Evangelicals no matter how hard I try).

In my opinion. Religion, when it's good, is anarchistic. It is a control on the inevitable repressive trajectory of the state.

For all its corruption, and priests banging nuns and kids and murdering people and who knows what else over the centuries.... the catholic church was the ONLY effective control on the monarchy which would have driven serfs to even more unsavory levels of exploitation. Alms for the poor isn't a solution, but without them we might not have the space for social movements today. Philanthropy might not even be valued.

In the colonial period, it was largely Jesuit priests that organized indigenous resistance to colonial powers and slave traders.

Today, the catholic church is the largest social service agency in Latin America. Liberation theology is responsible for anti-poverty and indigenous rights movements across the continent. It is the most effective way for people to organize en masse.  In El Salvador, priests and nuns died defending people from a violent, repressive state owned by a few families.

In Spain, interestingly, things played out differently. During Franco's rule, the Catholic church sided with the state, supporting fascism and essentially attempting to re-establish the monarchy.  Anarchist were Franco's biggest thorn, suicide bombers and armed resistance keeping him at bay in southern Spain.  Any way long story short, Spain is now incredibly atheist, b/c Franco lost and they never recovered.

As a dominant ideology, religion plays a much more unleasant role in the US. Religious leaders are responsible for the xenophobia, racism and fervent mobilization of much of the Republican base.  But you still have those crazy catholic nun activists that tried the shut down the School of Americas (a center training torturers in Latin America) in protests year after year, and all kinds of anti-nuke protests.  You also have the Baptist church in the African American community, both politically mobilizing people for the democrats and providing an anti-gang influence.

So which of these is doing "what it actually teaches"? Most of the bible is poorly translated, third hand accounts, invented in a congress of elites. If God is real, he didn't say any of those words and he's probably royally pissed that people would dare to pretend to speak for him for their own personal gain. So by that logic, joining a church is probably the fastest way to go downstairs.

If God isn't real, or if he's just really chill and forgiving about that whole hubris thing, then maybe "what it teaches" doesn't really matter and religion is just a social technology: the compassion or lack thereof in the hearts of those that use that social technology is that makes it good or evil.

Religious people who believe without thinking do so at the peril of their very souls, and atheists who dismiss it sourly are equally lost. In my opinion.  Obviously this is all just my most very humble opinion. Except the anarchism stuff. That's fact.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 02:51:08 PM by J.R. Darewood »

Online ScarletBea

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3008 on: February 21, 2019, 02:53:47 PM »
probably no one is going to read but whatever.
You underestimate the need to take a break at work ;D

Quote
(FYI I emailed FF about writing a post about anarchism in fantasy but, as with all my emails they never replied.)
@xiagan, do you have any influence on Jenny? Could you draw her attention to these things? I'm not saying that she has to publish everything, but a reply of "thanks, but no thanks" would go a long way :-\
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Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3009 on: February 21, 2019, 03:09:15 PM »
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So are we supposed to destroy these systems completely and live in a state of anarchy?

If you like, I am a big fan of dystopian futures, or maybe just question everything. Faith is belief without proof and if that works for you fine, but please think about your faith don't blindly follow.

I would count atheism as a religion it has the inverted belief structure of one after all.

Offline Peat

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3010 on: February 21, 2019, 03:32:29 PM »

(FYI I emailed FF about writing a post about anarchism in fantasy but, as with all my emails they never replied.)

Guest post it on my blog. Nobody will read it but it'll be there!

Quote
You've got Quakers and Unitarians (I'm sorry you sour atheists, but there is nothing bad you can say about Quakers) on one hand, then you've got Evangelicals on the other (I seriously can't think of anything good about Evangelicals no matter how hard I try).

Quakers make the most disgusting porridge.


Seriously though, I wanna read this anarchism in fantasy thing. Also, have you ever heard of The Invisibles?
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Offline Neveesandeh

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3011 on: February 21, 2019, 05:51:49 PM »
Quote
So are we supposed to destroy these systems completely and live in a state of anarchy?

If you like, I am a big fan of dystopian futures, or maybe just question everything. Faith is belief without proof and if that works for you fine, but please think about your faith don't blindly follow.

I would count atheism as a religion it has the inverted belief structure of one after all.

Firstly, thanks to JR for the post about anarchy, that was really enlightening to read.

Secondly, the belief that faith is belief without proof isn't universal to all religions. It's probably an idea that comes from that Danish existentialist philosopher whose name I won't embarrass myself by trying to spell. I wasn't really a religious person until a few years ago and it was only because of thinking through these things that I ended up that way.

Please don't think I'm unaware of the issues within the Church. It's completely riddled with corruption and that has had some horrifying results. Believe me, there is nothing I would like more than to see the vile people responsible for the abuse and the cover ups defrocked and thrown to the dogs and it infuriates me how the Church has spent decades relying on the secular authorities to resolve this issue instead of doing it themselves. But they are making some progress recently.

Offline Neveesandeh

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3012 on: February 21, 2019, 05:54:51 PM »
Also, I second (third?) the anarchism in fantasy thing. It sounds really interesting.

Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3013 on: February 21, 2019, 06:32:21 PM »
First of all, I want to join in on voicing appreciation for that anarchism post. It was an interesting read. Secondly...

I would count atheism as a religion it has the inverted belief structure of one after all.

... well, I can only speak for myself here, but no. My atheism isn't a belief structure. It's simply an absence. That's like saying an empty lot is an architectural style, or a bunch of blank pages are a genre.

Atheism isn't something I turned to out of spite, or something I decided on. I can't move my belief in whether or not something exists in one direction or another. I just don't have it in me to believe in something unverifiable and beyond the physical world.
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Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3014 on: February 21, 2019, 06:50:00 PM »
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Secondly, the belief that faith is belief without proof isn't universal to all religions.

A statement not an opinion, faith is exactly that. A belief without or not requiring proof to the believer. This is not a good or bad thing it just is. I am happy if you find comfort in religion of any flavour so long as it judges itself and not others.

There is a trollish arguement that whatever you believe or don't believe you don't actually know, which kind of makes us all agnostic really. Atheists tend to argue the hardest about this.

Personally I would consider myself a lazy atheist pushed more towards the not believing the more polarized various religions and sects get in meddling in the lives of others.