Once again the topic for evaluation is the book Humanus Diabolicus written by James Houk, Ph.D. You can find parts one and two below if you have yet to read them!
In this excerpt we find a highly debatable paragraph! One that I enjoyed immensely but seeing that I have been questioning our ideals on religion for most of my adulthood, that’s probably not a surprise. I do have to say I started reading this with an open mind and I ask you to do the same. Whether you are Christian, Buddhist, or study any of the 10,000 religions that are out there today, look at the message behind this excerpt before you critique it. READ IT before you get your hackles up and start to denounce not only the writing but the author. What James Houk is saying in this book is THAT is exactly what we do to each other. We judge based on what beliefs one has before we even get a chance to understand those beliefs! If they differ from our own should we not first listen and try to understand one another instead of bashing each other over the head just because I believe in a different god than you, or if I believe in no god at all!? Just read the excerpt with an open mind, you’ll appreciate it later, I promise!
From Humanus Diabolicus, page 124
Who’s to say that such beliefs are any less valid than Shintoism or Wicca or Islam or Santeria or Christianity? None of these ideologies has what one would call a monopolistic stranglehold on empirical substantiation. Besides, what can one say about a cultural response, be it political, religious, agnostic, or whatever, that facilitates sanity in a world that is perpetually poised and ready to eat individuals alive at any moment? Here’s what one says: it works! What more do you want? Bow down ye deluded and troubled masses to the only real god: pragmatism. If you’re looking for “truth: then major in physics; if, however, you’re looking for “Truth,” then you’re fucked for the simple reason that such Truth can only be glimpsed subjectively and will only be True for the individual that is fortunate enough to be blessed (cursed?) with mystical (delusional?) insight. Anyone metaphysically assaulted on the road to Damascus should know better than to expect others to uncritically embrace the details of such a highly subjective experience. Anyway, here’s another problem: would a just god give one individual such an unfair advantage over others who are searching diligently for something solid, spiritually and thus, psychologically, to stand on? No, of course not. That is why revelation, mystical experiences, apparitions of the Virgin, Gabriel’s recitations to Muhammad, and the enlightenment of Siddhartha Gautama, are meaningless, or should be, to others, whether or not they actually occurred.
Now, let me start by saying that I used to be Pentacostal. In my particular case I was still pretty young and the church was very loving and accepting, however because of this I hold ALL other Christians to a level that probably isn’t fair. Without even thinking about it, I have become a jerk with most religions. I don’t understand if you say you are a Christian but then judge other people harshly, exactly what are you upholding? Also, if you are talking about people, being snide and/or mean, how is any of that doing what the bible has told us to do? In my studies the past few years I’ve come to realize I’m being hypocritical. I’m doing the VERY things that I judge others of doing. Simply put, I’m being a jerk. So, I started asking myself, why am I being a jerk, why do I want to put Christians on such a high pedestal. I want all peoples of all shapes and sizes to love and respect everyone but because of the way I was taught we as Christians are supposed to lead by example. But that is hardly what we are doing. Instead we judge people the second we see them. Are they churchy enough? Do they live up to the standards that MY god has taught me?
Funnily enough, there are 10,000 religions around the world! What makes mine right and their’s wrong? Now I’m not saying that you are wrong, but what I’m asking, and what James Houk is so eloquently asking is can you open your mind to a world full of peace? Can you realize that we have painted ourselves into corners by believing only what we were taught when we were young. And a lot of children are only taught hatred to others. If we are not changing our minds, how then can we expect people that have learned basically from the womb, to change how they think? This is not only for religion, but for race as well as politics. If someone thinks differently from us why do we want to hurt them instead of trying to learn from them? In the long run if we opened our hearts to all ways of thinking we would be much better for it!