(Note: It is said the biggest contribution of the Catholic Church to the whole world is to make it guilt conscious inside-out. All those who are caught in that sense of guilt, are easily enticed, trained and disciplined to go through an endless list of rituals and prayers – mostly lip-service with hardly any involvement of the mind of the one who parrots these prayers, which they call Religion.
Rituals of course are time-consuming involving man-hours of Priests and Pujaries to be paid for. That makes the Mammon of inequity become the God almighty. Thus emerge organised religions to justify what Vayalar Ramavarma poetically described: “Man created religions, religions created Gods (in this case God of money) and both Gods and men concocted to divide this mother earth among themselves, and minds of men (human thinking) among themselves.
As though to deliver a terrible body blow to this irrational thinking listen to what Vivekananda said so very emphatically: “Never ever dare to call MAN the crown and Glory of creation a SINNER!” Pure logic and reason will tell us nothing more can be more convincing than what Vivekanda says, granting our present understanding of the idea of God: “Embodiment of goodness (Summum bonum), Sachidananda (Sat+ Chit+ Ananda) etc. In addition reason and logic would tell us: Good tree produces good fruits only, not poisonous ones. “You shall know them by their fruits” the bible endorses. Then who else can run after these irrational fads called Organised Religions? The brainless, unthinking multitude for whom religion has become an “Opium”or time pass, a diversion!
We are living in a questioning world. Answering all possible questions is the best way to make sure that our assumptions are rational and flawless. Socrates is called the father of the questioning world and was poisoned for misleading the youth of his day for prompting them to ask inconvenient questions. Following in his footsteps, our columnist Pamplani is raising ever so many unsettling questions. The more we try to answer them, the more it may help us all to become more rational and human – ‘rational animals’ as humans are defined. james kottoor, editor ccv).
Read below Pamplanil’s article.
During the course of the last two millennia, the religions of the Sky God and the Book have splintered into hundreds of mutually antagonistic warring groups engaged in fierce fights of attrition and annihilation among them and others.
They are at the throats of each other with their teeth bared, fighting with tooth and nail to retain their turf and, if possible, expand their domain. They often resort to means foul and nasty to achieve their ends The reason for the bitter feuds may boil down to bringing the maximum number of followers into their orbit of influence based on the assumption that there is security in numbers.
The leadership of the Catholic Church exhorts its members to follow simple and frugal lifestyle, eschewing comforts. Poverty is glorified. Pursuit of happiness is looked down upon. Pleasure seeking is taboo. Maximum discomfort to the maximum number seems to be the motto.But the very persons, urging frugality, occupying positions of power in the Church, in cahoot with its elite, have no hesitation in indulging in conspicuous consumption or amoral life. To most, Mammon is their God. They may even strike deals with the devil to achieve their ends.The peoples of the Book are prone to unleashing mayhem of bombing, murder, rape, pillage, gratuitous violence in the name of their Deity and what they claim as the divine commands.
Bewildered believers are drifting aimlessly like headless chicken. Their desperate pleas to their favourite Deity to help them to tide over the vicissitudes and problems of life obviously are unheard and un-responded. The crazy running from pillar to post with supplications backed up with offerings seeking boons and giveaways seems futile. But the priests and their henchmen tell the favour seekers to wail louder and louder and undertake self flagellation for sins, especially those of the flesh, supposed to have committed by them against their God. The priests and their agents urge the dumb believers to participate in more and more novenas, conventions, prayer meetings and other circuses for realising their wish lists. In the process the charlatans pick the pockets of the credulous. The wonder workers and pedlars of instant cure by means of nostrums still hold sway over the misguided believers. They exhort the gullible to part with at least one-tenth of their gross income till they are reduced to paupers and compelled to beg, borrow or steal to pay even their taxes. Many of the women especially, post menopause ones, after their compulsive obsessive attending of the Mass and other prayers in the church on all days of the year, thunder or pouring rain, spend their time, after finding fault with and talking ill of others, spreading canards and gossiping, in reciting prayers mass produced by the clerics. There are prayers meant for various periods of the day and for different purposes: morning, noon, evening, night, before a journey, prior to an interview for a job, before an exam and may be before peeing. The mass produced prayers are so silly that any person with a modicum of IQ and common sense may feel of nausea on reading them. Sex being viewed as a dirty thing to be engaged in sporadically solely for procreation, many Catholic women folk tend to deny sex to their husbands, who let go their frustration in alcohols and all types of intoxicants, gambling and womanising and even pouncing on innocent and hapless children.
The “guilt thesis “ evolved at the beginning of the 5th century of the Common Era enabled the Church to keep the proletariat in a tight leash. This pernicious abomination, in tandem with the pessimistic and anti-life view of Christianity, could have been a stumbling block in the path of progress. The abject submission to the autocratic authority of the priest-hood and elders and the surrendering of individual autonomy and freedom to think differently leads to intellectual stagnation. In this milieu, new ideas scarcely emerge.The condemning of pleasure seeking, an off shoot of the Stoic regressive view of ideal human behaviour, could have stood in the way of enjoying life.
Enquiry and experiment, the prerequisites for acquiring knowledge, was put down on the premise that the divine inspired Bible is the final word about the affairs of the visible universe as well as the world in the heavens. This view, along with the Judeo- Christian insistence of unquestioning acceptance of the Bible as the embodiment of all wisdom and the frame work for human behaviour could have been another negative factor impinging on intellectual endeavours. No book can encapsulate the whole gamut of life and its multifarious dimensions in its pages, divinely inspired or not.
The enlightened in the West have realised that they can lead moral lives with out the clutch of any Deity or religion. It is empirically proved that there is no casual linkage between religious practices, altruism, tolerance, social empathy and cooperation in the social context.One need not a believer of God or follower of a religion to be a good human being. But the superstitious, unthinking people equate religion with ethical conduct and view nonreligious persons with suspicion. This mind set is endemic among Catholics in Kerala’s back wood rural hinterland. An all-pervasive aversion to anything contrary to the Church dogma prevails in the minds of these people.
For the modern man technology is the new religion. The innovators in the Silicon Vally are in search of ways to improve the condition of humanity, a few aberrations notwithstanding. There the techno-utopian club, a mix of Ayn Rand devotees and engineer absolutists, see their hyper logical world view as the Answer for every-one and everything, sure that one day soon enough, it will be possible to down load human brain to a computer and let their algorithms take care of every thing.The integration of technology – the harmonious melding of software, electronics, advanced materials and computing horse power – they are sure will pave the way toward an age of astonishing machines and science fiction dreams made manifest.
Elon Muskhas already made rapid strides in tapping solar energy, advanced rocketry and electric cars. He has plans to construct under ground tunnels at different levels to ease traffic congestion in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco etc. The same technology will be used to dig tunnels under the crust of Mars suitable for human habitation. Humans may migrate to the moons of Jupiter such as Enceladus, Europa and Titan where conditions favourable to human life may exist. Living in the moon is passé. Musk fully intends to try to transform the cold, barren red orb Mars suitable for human habitation. Turning humans into space colonisers is his life goal. With a reliable energy source in place, humans may be on the way to becoming a multi-planetary spices with a self sustaining civilisation on other planets to cope with a worst-case scenario happening and extinguishing human consciousness. Other entrepreneurs are putting in place ways to make trips to galaxies far beyond our galaxy, the Milky Way .
It seems that the majority of Catholics hold the view that they experience is maya and unreal and that the nether world and the existence after death is the reality; life here in this world is inconsequential; human body is evil and the abode of sin; that God has created the human race to serve Him (in practice serving priests who arrogate themselves as earthly representatives of the God). Can any thing possibly change the attitude and behaviour of these people till the arrival of the doom day their Book has predicted? The leitmotif of the Catholic religion is the Sinner Human. Catholic theology says God the Father has created the human. The saying is: Lik father. Like son. Ipso faco, sin is inherited from the sinner Father God.
Litany of questions!
Ye Church what is your aim: Make every one your followers wallow in misery in perpetuity? What is it that the Church gives in terms of values? Why this religion is out of sync with nature? Why this dichotomy between preaching and practice? Why is the Church teaching so out of alignment with reality? What is its contribution towards human happiness? What is its hidden agenda? What is its roadmap for humans in search of meaning of life and the relevance of human species in overall scheme of nature? Why this religion is so pessimistic about human destiny? Has it not degenerated itself as the messenger of doom? Why does it not make its moral code be attuned for harmony among peoples of all faiths instead of claiming that it is the sole custodian of all the truth and all other religions are in the wrong?
Is not its worship a distorted version of the animal sacrifice of Judaism and a rehash of the Roman spectacle? Why it encourages the worship of countless idols of so called saints? Can any civilised human view, without aversion, the shrivelled up body parts of dead persons? Why the Church stoops so low by encouraging its followers to worship remnants of hair, tooth, bone, nail and skin as relics? Does its theology stand scrutiny by the yardstick of common sense and bare minimum rationality? Why the message of Jesus is buried under the debris of his miracles? Why is the phobia about the virginity of Mary, Mother of Jesus?
Is not the chastity prescription for its priests more violated than complied with? Why not for a change, the church orients itself for improvement of the condition of have-nots of the world by selling vast accumulated wealth and make the lives of its de-possessed and marginalised better?