Vexen Crabtree 2015

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Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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Vexen Crabtree 2015
vexen

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My Bane Of Monotheism has been given a bit of a makeover, and I've been rewriting a few of the more embarrasingly amateur stuff from it's inception in 1998/1999.

Bane of monotheism banner

http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/

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Looks great, I can definitely notice the mature development. Have you ever read any of Kevin Filan's material? I recommend you check out his Layman's Guide to World War III, I especially think you'll like his article on religions.

Large portions of his site are dysfunational, but the bits you linked (his articles) are good, and even useful! He paints with realistically harsh words!

I'll definitely read it soon. The Jesus Mysteries, yes--good book! :)

Yeah, it rocks! The extensive notes, quotes and references really make it an excellent book to work with!

Definitely! It's an eye-opener. :) I have another book that, although not as extensive, suggests the same thing: myth. He goes as far as to hint that maybe even the original Buddha is another myth. What do you think?

Similar books I've seen are The Greatest Story Ever Sold and The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory. Excellent debunking.

I believe that the Buddha's history is almost definately an amalgamation of myths, or of the stories of a few real people, in either case what we know as "The Buddha" isn't a singular real persons' story, so in that way history is playing the same tricks on us as it is with other myths. The closest parallel to Buddha is probably Moses. I think.

Chapter 31 of 'The Ways of an Atheist' by Bernard Katz gives a list of 30 clues as to a particular *person's* history. Most would probably guess Jesus, but in fact the correct answer is Buddha (he says). The similarities are amazing. It seems one era just copies a myth from a previous era, making just a few changes. Not very original, is it?

QUOTES FROM:

"Sociology. Themes and perspectives" by Haralambos and Holborn, fourth edition 1995, HarperCollins Publishers.

p450, "Religion - a Marxist perspective"

In Marx's words, 'Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.' Religion acts as an opiate to dull the pain produced by oppression. It does nothing to solve the problem: it is simply a misguided attempt to make life more berable. As such religion merely stupefies its adherents rather than bringing them true happiness and fulfilment. Lenin argued 'Religion is a kind of spiritual gin in which the slaves of capital drown their human shape and their claims to any devent life.'

From a Marxist perspective, most religious movements originate in oppressed classes. Their social conditions provide the most fertile ground for the growth of new religions."

Engels concurs with this.

Satanism provides rebellious and pseudo-oppressed (or actually oppressed) teenagers and youth as /their/ sigh. The sigh of Satanism as a result of teenage emotion can go two ways:

* The more introverted and intelligent person will use Satanism as a new-found source of strength to deal with existing oppression, and continue towards adulthood in the face of it. Not necessarily productively, but at least not destructively. This is the "opiate of the oppressed" function of Satanism for a rebellious teenage stereotype.

* The extroverted go-getter will rebel with aggression and force, utilizing Satan as a symbol of strength rather than concentrating on Lucifer as a symbol of internal enlightenment

p454

"Unlike Durkheim, the American sociologists Stark and Bainbridge see religion as meeting the needs of individuals rather than those of society as a whole. Unlike Marx, they see religion as meeting universal human needs rather than those which stem from class inequality and exploitation. Furthermore they reject the view **** shared by the classic sociologists of religion ****, that the development of industrial capitalist societies would, one way or another, ultimately undermine religion. Stark and Bainbridge claim that religion helps meet universal human needs. As such, changes in society cannot diminish its appeal."

p455: J. George Melton's 1978 /Encyclopedia of American/ religions that listed no less than 1,200 different religious groups.

p456

Religion - a phenomenological perspective

Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann say that "religion is produced by members of society subjectively interpreting and giving meaning to the world around them. ... They see the sociology of religion as part of a larger field - the sociology of knowledge - which is concerned with the meanings and definitions of reality held by members of a society."

p457

Criticisms of Berger and Luckmann

"Berger and Luckmann's views on religion are open to a number of criticisms. Rather like functionalists, they tend to assume that religion unites society and they neglect examples of societies where religion is divisive or causes conflict. Furthermore, they tend to think that religious beliefs are widely held, and they fail to account for the continued existence of societies where many members are indifferent to religion."

p463
Examples of destructive and active religion causing change in society leads sociologists such as G.K. Nelson to conclude that "far from encouraging people to accept their place, religion can spearhead resistance and revolution. [...]

Engels, unlike Marx, did realize that in some circumstances religion could be a force for change. He argued that groups which turned to religion as a way of coping with oppression could develop into political movements"

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