Truth, Prayers and the Savage Human
It’s a dangerous thing, trawling through the world of blog entries, because you will inevitably come across something that irks, and niggles, and just won’t leave the back of the mind alone. One such entry, which need not be re-publicised here, focused on the fall out of the atrocity inflicted upon Norwegian society just a little over a week ago. In one particular blog, although far from constrained to that one entry, have been outpourings of finger pointing at ‘belief’, tied into the issue of faith and religion. Ironic in many respects as of course the initial kneejerk news reports considering what might have been happening in Norway, fell on the extent to which Muslim extremists were involved, which of course it was shown that they were not. Nor even could Christianity really be finger pointed at in this instance. Yet both faiths have attracted their fair share of criticism in the build up to and fall out following the massacre that so shocked the world. In a more general sense, beliefs have been challenged, the beliefs of one man to feel that he is in the right to exact some manner of nation changing pre-emptive justice, with the notion that beliefs need to be controlled, that the purity of truth without belief is the way forward. This of course is a complete fallacy. There is no one truth, for truth is a fluid entity, it changes from one to another. One person’s truth is another’s lie, and this is seen the same in reverse, offering a cyclical process of denial and counter denial.
There have also been claims that greater regulation of material is a requirement. Welsh MP Paul Flynn suggested greater control measures be introduced for the material seen and available via the internet, that the darker aspects of online contributions be removed from the reach of browsing fingers. As one man looks to impinge upon the freedoms of the many, our politicians suggest taking some more freedoms away at the same time.
All of these entries, pointing at the evils of faith based belief and the dangers of over stimulating online materials, all feel though as part of a wider desperate collective, though disjointed, strategy to cope with one simple problem, that this was not a religious fundamentalist, and not a teenager driven mad through accessing online quotes from Mein Kampf while jacking off to animal Nazi porn, this was a human being. Strip away the religion, and the extreme beliefs and you are left with one man, a single human. Of course the sad condition of humanity is that we need no religion or belief to exact such horrific suffering on each other; in many instances reason has absolutely nothing to do with it. No species on this planet has the capacity that we humans have to inflict pain on one another, this is the sad violent truth we must learn to address.
So for those who are looking for reasons for what happened in Norway, don’t think that by pointing at finger at faith, that somehow your scapegoat will come bleating at the front door ready to carry away the heavy burden of responsibility that society bears for the creation of such monsters. For all the damage that can be attributed to organised religion you will find as many, if you take the time to look, examples of good to come from such faiths as well. While if you try to control materials seen by some, those individuals will rebel, and draw more attention to their niche than they would have had before. This is not a defence of organised faith, nor is it a defence of those who distribute more hateful materials through the internet and other more traditional forms of publishing, both have their share of the world’s pain to carry. But kid yourself not that in pointing a judgemental finger at these two areas, that all this suffering will go away. Don’t think that by imagining a world without the malevolence of or a church or a mosque, that people will no longer stop dying without any logical reason.
The human condition is a sad one, a dark one. Take away its right to pray, and its freedom of belief, and little will change, because in our current state, we do not need a reason or an excuse, bad things will happen because humans are gripped with this innate capacity to hurt. It is not religion that needs to change or be abandoned, nor is it freedoms that need to be removed or controlled, it is humanity itself that must change. Without some form of mental evolutionary shift, faith and belief will continue to serve as excuses for a problem that goes much deeper, and is rooted in our very being.