Axver (axver) wrote,

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On theocracies.

One thing that bothers me about human history right into the present day is the willingness of people to accept and submit to a theocracy, or alternatively, the willingness of those with power to distort religious texts for their own gain and the unwavering servitude of those who execute the commandments of the 'elite'. I'm not just talking about the present day Islamic theocracies of the Middle East or European Christian ones of the past, but in very general terms. I can understand how, in primitive times, one lacking knowledge may fear the world and the power of nature, and therefore put faith in those who claim they can appease the gods, but for the vast majority of the world, such times are gone by centuries, if not millennia. What I cannot understand is how theocracies can be established in anywhere even remotely civilised.

It seems to me that people are often happy to be mere sheep. It staggers me that if someone claims authority from a deity, or asserts that their laws and governance are divinely inspired, a large number of people would not instantly cry out "how do we know? Prove it!" While it amazes me that people fall victim to leaders who blatantly twist scriptures, it amazes me even more that so many will fall into line and willingly enforce these doctrines. I can understand how people may be won over by untruthful and blatantly distorted theological doctrines that sound really, really nice, but so often, the ones that actually do win significant supporters are those doctrines full of legalism, hate, and threats of eternal punishment. I suppose it's natural human selfishness, a desire for self-preservation; a willingness to overlook unfairness and persecution if it means the believer will be "holy" and "eternally secure". "The doctrine may be harsh and hateful to the point of being despicable, but at least I'm saved!" Even then, though, if someone's preaching that certain activities will give believers righteousness and salvation, I'm surprised people don't exclaim "prove it!" Sure, it may sound nice that you'll live forever, but what good is this doctrine if it's just totally wrong? I don't know how someone could accept such an offer or promise without first asking for proof. I guess I'm back to the first sentence of this paragraph: it's easier to be an unquestioning sheep than to challenge and search for answers.
Tags: belief, doctrine, faith, religion, theocracy
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