Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How the concept of "God" is used to control throughout the ages.

 Throughout the ages man has worshiped everything that he has laid his eyes upon; men,women, animals, statues etc.Religions of the world; in an attempt to control God, and by default everything else have created the multitude of "gods" that we follow today.The idea is ancient and simple; the one who has "God" on their side has the power and control over the masses. In ancient Egypt the Pharaohs were worshiped as the fleshly incarnation of God on earth under the name of Horus.(Note: The theme of God coming to earth as a man occurs in many ancient writings). Believing that the Pharaoh was "God in the flesh," gave him great power.Fast forward to the Roman Empire; Jesus was worshiped by the later Christians as God Incarnate.(see I Tim 3:16) The emperors were also worshiped, especially in the east and in Asia.In the western part, the people worshiped symbols of the emperor. In India; the word "Avatar (you may have seen the movie!) describes an incarnation of God on the earth."Eventually; the idea of "God-Men" walking the earth faded somewhat; and then we had people claiming to be sent as Gods messenger. For instance your local pastor,priest, rabbi, Imam etc often claims to be sent by God in one way or another. Or they say  God is "speaking through them." Notice the results are still the same; if you believe I am from God, then you are likely to listen to what ever I have to say.How can you refuse God after all? It is possibly the greatest hustle of all time; for another man  who is born to live and die just like you, to elevate himself above you by claiming power from an invisible deity.Moving on; The rise of the Catholic church and the immense power of the popes and bishops all stem from these old ideas. It is well known before the invention Gutenberg`s press, that the Bible was only in Latin and translated and interpreted by the Catholic priests. It does not take too much imagination to think of the control the church had over peoples lives, and the injustices wrought as a result. This of course would birth the protestant revolution; but that is another topic. Across the world many are going to war and dying because they believe God is telling them; of course it is another man, who simply says that "GOD told HIM to tell YOU" to give your life. In the days of slavery in the U.S. the slaves were taught to expect little here on earth, but to "wait for their reward in heaven." The barbarian Nordic tribes (inaccurately called Vikings) believed that if they died in battle; that they would go to Valhalla, which is sort of a paradise or heaven. Overkill; is mentioning the 10+ Crusades or "holy wars" that took place between the Christians and Muslims. The point is; that many millions and millions of people have lost their lives needlessly, because of these beliefs. If anything God should sue for defamation of character and copyright infringement. God has been used to control, steal, and kill more people in this world than anything I can think of. Why?? I think that inside many of us, resides a deep fear of the unknown; we desire to know. The charlatans take advantage of this longing inside of us; and many of us waste our lives serving other people, who made us think we were serving God.  In the next blog we ask and answer the question :What is God? (hint: Spinoza)
suggested reading:

The Crusades: A Short History by Jonathan Riley Smith
Edward Gibbon: Decline and fall of the Roman Empire (It is a huge work, but great)
Plutarch: Moralia vol: V, Isis and Osiris
Anything! on the Catholic church in the middle ages
Slave Narratives (U.S)

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