Comments

You must log in or register to comment.

5

Pop wrote

I don't think so, but I do think that gods have been shaped by rulers for their ends

1

Brick wrote

Is there any functional difference when they control the concept of God and use it to rule? If the concept of God is constantly seized by our rulers and used to control us, is it even worth attempting to sculpt an alternative perspective of God? Won't that perspective ultimately become corrupted too, and used to rule us? Isn't the entire concept of God, or a superior being that decides our fate, ultimately oppressive?

3

Pop wrote

Well there are other ways to think of gods than superior beings that decide our fate

and I'd guess that people came up with the idea of gods long before we had states or rulers

if we think of gods just in terms of the divine and as something on the same level as us that we are part of and participate in, it could be ok

I don't believe in gods but I think that anarchist conceptions of the divine could exist

3

ziq wrote (edited )

I think "gods" is a lot different than "God". Multiple gods needn't be hierarchical. The idea of one single God on the other hand (at least the Abrahamic version of which I'm familiar), was very likely created, or at least popularized by Kings and other bigwigs to enable slavery.

3

Pop wrote

I don't know much about the abrahamic god's genealogy

I like to think beyond that god though, I've already written it off

but I'm a bit interested in learning about how to emphasise anarchist-friendly elements of gods / religions including the abrahamic ones since it seems like they'll be around for a while

3

bloodrose wrote

I've heard the theory that religion was the first specialization. And with specialization comes hierarchy.

3

mofongo wrote

I heard it backwards, as control over regions expanded beyond the initial tribe, religion became less animist and more obey the heavenly father that sees all and his representative on Earth.

3

ravengrace wrote

Well, yes and no. I don't think someone just woke up one day and thought "hmm I think I'll create a religion to control the masses" but more like spirituality and religion evolved over time both shaping and being shaped by society, and spirituality was co-opted by ruling class/ men/ etc and used to control people.

3

rtsn wrote

I think this reasoning is at best to a very harsh simplification of things.

2

GaldraChevaliere wrote

^ It's just fedora tipping and circlejerking about "oh wouldn't we be so much better off if religion never existed muh dark ages". Religious structures, like secular structures, can be tuned and bent towards a ruler's end. But to say religion is a product of authoritarianism is to ignore pre-agrarian religion, religion in a liberating and revolutionary context (even in baby steps like the covenanters), the role of religion in preservation of knowledge through monks and rune-stones etc, and the abhorrent industrialized crimes of even a completely secularized society. You're not a good person for being an atheist, and atheism is not a radical position any more than faithfulness is.

1

Brick wrote

Religious structures, like secular structures, can be tuned and bent towards a ruler's end.

Then why not reject them outright if they're so easy to control?

2

GaldraChevaliere wrote

Because religion itself isn't a negative force and can spur people to fight for change and lead better lives. Religion is a powerful motivator on both the personal and societal level and can help bind communities to each-other outside of bare pragmatism, to fight against injustice and to root out corruption where it grows. Religion only becomes authoritarian when a religious structure becomes hierarchical and begins to preach that particular belief's superiority to other beliefs.

As an example, Catholicism is flawed but essentially morally neutral, it can be malignant or benign depending from person to person and parish to parish. On one hand you can get the Crusades, on the other hand you can get liberation theology and a ton of worker-led movements. The Catholic Church however is undeniably authoritarian and a threat to peoples' autonomy and especially non-Christian ways of life because of its supremacist, expansionist mindset.

It also really can't be denied that rabid anti-theism is essentially a religious dogmatic code of its own. It has its own hero-worship, its own sense of smug self-righteousness and superiority, and its own desire to expand at the expense of others' autonomy. It has all the negative aspects of organized religion because ultimately it relies on the same structure of a flock and a preacher telling them what to believe.

You can bend any structure and pervert it to something unjust. That doesn't invalidate all structures, but it gives us a duty and interest in rooting out corrupt ones and trying to put better ones in their place. There's a reason why religions are so prone to reform and splitting into denominations. When people aren't satisfied with what they're experiencing, they change it until they are.

1

ziq wrote

tbf the subject didn't say "was religion created to", it said "was God (singular) created to".