The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

What Constitutes a Religion?

The necessary features which constitute a religion are a great deal less in magnitude than one might think.  There are only two necessary ingredients which are folded into the recipe formulating a religion; a body of tenets which are both compulsory and prohibited testing for falsification.  The ingredients of a religion have nothing to do with truth, deities or ceremony.  The role of priest can be played by both scientist and credulous alike.

Religion – The compulsory adherence to an idea around which testing for falsification is prohibited

religionTwo necessary components form the fabric of doctrines which can be used to herd the faithful and control the fold.  The components have little to do with the subject at hand, its veracity, nor the presence of a supreme personality or ethereal spiritual principle.  By pretending that religions only involve supernatural elements and worship of deities, SSkeptics divert attention from the fact that they are priests of a specific religious order, which targets a set of non-falsifiable and highly compulsory belief requirements mandated before one is allowed to be called ‘rational.’ Fortunately, not all scientists agree with the SSkeptics and quietly go about their research, contrary to the desires of the Cabal. There are penalties for such scientists if they are caught researching/discussing unauthorized subjects.  Heavy penalties.  As a result, what scientists say in public  is a bit different than what they will tender in private.  This is the key symptom of an enforced religion.

The two features which render a person bound, and unable to extricate themselves from a belief construct (religion) are that its key tenets be characterized by the following.

1.  Prohibited Falsification

The key doctrine of a religion, first must pass muster in that it be non-falsifiable.  That is to say, that the founding theory, construct or philosophy not be approachable by direct application of the scientific method.  The founding idea must be so untouchable, subjective or abstract in its formulation that man, in his current technological state is ill equipped to prove or disprove the contention at hand.  Non-falsifiable, of course is not synonymous with un-falsifiable.  The mathematical statement 2 + 2 = 4 is an un-falsifiable construct, in that it is proven true in finality.  Non-falsifiability simply pertains to our current inability to address the topic in an evidential discovery frame of reference, regardless of whether it is indeed true or not true.  This does not mean that the construct at hand cannot ever be dis-proven, rather simply that the religious priest knows that currently, it would constitute a tough challenge for the construct to be placed by our level of technology under the scrutiny of the scientific method; long enough to buy them some important time.  Moreover, the condition of ‘cannot be falsified’ includes the condition where SSkeptics block research so that falsification and predictive testing are not permitted because the subject threatens the SSkeptics’ power or Cabal teachings.  This also constitutes a condition of ‘cannot be tested for falsification.’  Albeit simply by religious enforecment itself.  Examples of religious tenets include

  • There is an old man with a long white beard and a 20 year-old’s athletic body, who is infallible and omnipotent, who created and rules the entire universe and will soon whisk me away leaving you to rot on this planet in fire and brimstone
  • Life emerged from the primordial ooze (oozeolution)
  • Life only emerged on earth
  • The bad events and the evil state of the universe are all your fault (Original Sin)
  • There is life in the galaxy but it is all microbial and none of it travels the stars
  • Raising interest rates is necessary when the economy heats up
  • Evolution originates from a base of solely random allele drift, culled by other environmental factors
  • The organs of the body are the result of pure accidents and may possess no current biological function whatsoever
  • The systems in the body are perfect designs of a creator and only go wrong when we do something wrong
  • The universe goes on forever and ever
  • Angels are all around us
  • Consciousness is only the firing of neurons and the interactions of chemistry
  • Our person is a soul which resides separate from and lives on after the machine of our body.

None of these items can be proven or dis-proven in our current state of technological practice.*  Each may indeed turn out to be true or not true one day – but in the meantime, it is what we do to others with these ideas which demarcates the threshold of whether or not one is seeking to establish or adhere to a religion.   Which introduces the second key component comprised by a religion, the ‘doing to others.’

*Notice here however, that Evolution is not a religion under this context, because it CAN be tested for falsification.  Were we to find an out of place genome which broke the cladistic progression history, then a component or all of Evolution could be falsified in theory.  This has not been the case; however it is this tenable exposure, the risk to be vetted under the experimental looking glass of science, which renders Evolution a science and not a religion.  Nihilism ( Big-A Atheism) on the other hand, makes a whole series of claims which are non-falsifiable under the scientific method and is contended to be an essential conclusion on the part of a rational person or by science.  Regardless of what one calculates as the likelihoods involved, as such, Nihilism (Big-A Atheism) constitutes a religion.

2. Compulsory

The key construct must constrain you of course in that you possess an abject lack of ability to disprove it, through our current limited state as man, or through active blocking of research by policing clubs – even if our technology can address the issue.  But as well, commensurate with this non-falsifiability constraint, is the door to the same cage, in that the idea must be made compulsory for membership in or entry into a formal or informal club.    This does not mean that a governing  body need enforce the tenet being pushed,  although that applies as well; only that any form of undue pressure be applied on individuals to accept it, through some subjective personal approval means.  You are irrational if you do not accept what I am saying.  A non-falsifiable construct held for personal inspiration may constitute a faith of sorts, but it only becomes a religion when one begins to require adherence to that construct in order for others to stand approved for entry into my club.  Such compulsory enforcements include

  • Considerations as enlightened
  • Allowing club membership
  • Accusations of being stupid
  • Media bullying and campaigns
  • Religious confirmations
  • Career penalties
  • To get to heaven or avoid the apocalypse (notice how there is always an apocalypse)
  • Mandatory methods of apologetics
  • Pat and authorized approaches or answers
  • Because it is the ‘simplest explanation’
  • Withholding assignments of tenure or position
  • Public ridicule, wink and nudge
  • Unfavorable personal categorization
  • Threats of being ostracized
  • Dissertation approval
  • Conforming with peer review.

Our dance from this point on more involves tactics, arguments and smoke screens targeting hiding the fact that we are indeed a religion to begin with.  One might consider that the third necessary element of being a religion would involve the requirement that the club ironically cite evidence that it is not a religion.  But some clubs are not so surreptitious, admitting freely that they are indeed a religious order.   Having a religion which requires faith in the admittedly unknown or unknowable is OK.  But it is pseudoscience, to create a religion and pretend that it has resulted from application of the scientific method. All of the pressures which are applied in order to bind the club together, are the compulsory sinews of a religion. Once combined with enforcing an idea which our victim is patently unable to disprove, we have done our job.

religion

An additional trap exists inside the principle of Negative Reactance. If you are pissed at your former religious mates, and for the period of time in which you exit that religion and aggressively adopt its antithesis or some, pretense to cover its antithesis, as a form of catharsis or revenge: you are still acting under a religious set of practices.  Be very cautious therefore of bifurcation fallacies and philosophies adopted in disgust or disguise.  Be honest, calm and objective. If you hold enemies, be careful as you may be susceptible to:

Corollary: Negative Reactance

/religion by default/ : if one adopts a set of tenets or a lie of allegiance, even if that set of beliefs does not qualify as a religion in and of itself, solely as a reaction to a religion one has departed from recently or in the past, and/or as a way of seeking revenge or retribution or cathartic reward over past hurts and regrets regarding one’s membership in the former religion – then one is simply operating inside a duality and indeed has simply adopted another religion.

To put it in the immortal words of Darth Vader “at last, the circle is now complete.” We have established a religion in two simple steps (and a caution).

April 28, 2012 - Posted by | Agenda Propaganda, Argument Fallacies, Ethical Skepticism, Institutional Mandates, Social Disdain | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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