On 07 Apr 2012, at 21:54, meekerdb wrote:

On 4/7/2012 1:32 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

The fake political use of religion, which lasts since a long time in occident, can only be promoted by the rejection of free-will and conscience.

I agree with most of what you write about free-will, but the above seems empirically false. Organized religion and the political use of it has always assumed free will and the guilt of the individual.

OK.


At one time even animals were tried and convicted for crimes.

Interesting. Ir reminds me a scene in a café where someone (drunk) was proposing a biscuit to a dog, but insisted that the dog stand up before. The dog was old and did not learn that trick, so he just get more and more nervous. Everyone was trying to convince the guy that it was nonsense to insist that the dog does the gesture, but the guy insisted up to the point the dog get really nervous and bite him (and get the biscuit!). To convict an animal does not make much sense, but they do have some free will and responsibility, and by using some serious tone in the voice, or some reward/punishment we can teach them. I also remember a cat who did look like he was felling guilty of something, and eventually we discovered he did pee in the living. Between human and higher mammals, it is just a question of degree, I think.



I also think you're wrong to single out the Occident. The Orient has effectively combined religion and politics too.

I agree. I was just citing Occident, because I know it better, and the political use has been quite effective and general. I am not sure there has been a buddhist state anywhere, nor a taoist state. Of course the antic pharaonic religion where the reason of the state existence, so that religion has been used before the christians as a way to build an identity for the people, and a reason for the king and family to keep the power, justified by the divine. For the Muslim religion has been political at the start, and some East countries have used religion indirectly. Shintoism does contribute to politics in Japan, but is not part of the constitutional rules. More research on this might be interesting. It is rather normal that the political leaders try to use the fundamental belief/science (or their time) to their profit. The marxist and materialist have also politicized science, but it led quickly to catastrophes, so that they took distance with it (cf Lyssenko's genetics). So you are right, anything related to profound question end up soon or later as tools to consolidate power. The use of health politics in the USA illustrates a similar phenomenon, and basically the idea is "we will do the thinking for you", but it is just a matter of controlling you.


Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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