In the previous podcast, we broadcasted the final part of Chapter 15 of the Tyranny of God where I hope to have shown how the two dominant religions, Christianity and Islam came to dominate our civilisation not by mysterious divine powers but by being methodical in ways that evolved over time as religious leaders learnt from what worked and what didn’t. For thousands of years, humanity has followed similar patterns of inventing religions, growing their number of followers through brute force and violence as evidenced by our history of wars and battles due to religious competition. Although we still have many people holding to divisive ideas and belief systems today, it is still remarkable and worthy of celebrations that we have managed to somehow break free from a world totally led and controlled by religious zealots.
In the next Chapter, we will come to understand the inspiring story of how we have accomplished this feat. This Sunday, 23rd of February 2014, Chapter 16 of the Tyranny of God, Escape from Religious Despotism.
In the previous podcast, we broadcasted the first part of Chapter 15 of the Tyranny of God where I began going through the process in which religions, more specifically, Christianity and Islam have come to be the most powerful religions today. First, they establish their god and their scriptures as authorities. Then they demand people to take their god and their scriptures seriously. They encourage people to substitute the need for evidence with faith. They instil obedience. They discourage doubt and enquiry and they enforce regular meetings to keep the faith strong within the minds of their converts. They then proceed to protect beliefs and silence contradictory ideas. In this second part of the podcast, I will continue going through the steps in which these two major religions have come to dominate our way of thinking. This Sunday, 9th of February 2014, Part 2 of Chapter 15 of the Tyranny of God.
Marquez discusses how the two most dominant religions today: Christianity and Islam, have spread. We will see how they achieved this by simply looking at the way their memes work together. We will look at how their belief system is structured to understand what continues to enable and empower them to thrive in the minds of people as parents pass on their beliefs and ideas from generation to generation.
Religions are just human organisations and like other human organisations, they are under pressure to survive. To survive, they need believers to support them financially or otherwise. Thus, they act like memetic organisms. Like viruses, they replicate in the minds of people, influencing the actions and behaviour of people the world over.
Perhaps gods do not exist. We only believe in them if we make ourselves believe in them. We kill and die for these gods. The tragedy is that in our willingness to believe, we end up wasting and squandering our resources and our lives and of others', as we serve and worship these gods we have imagined. Today, Sunday, 9th of December 2013, we will discuss why our ancestors used religion.