Author Topic: Celestial North Korea revisited  (Read 860 times)

Celestial North Korea revisited
« on: December 18, 2018, 03:43:55 PM »
Christopher Hitchens called religion a celestial North Korea--slavery to a totalitarian, under constant surveillance for thought crime. It is an argument I've often heard repeated in an attempt to convince the religious and It is an argument that I've often found convincing. Naturally we look at North Korea and are repulsed by the brutality and assure ourselves that we--everyone--would obviously choose freedom. But isn't that ignoring half the proposition?

Let's take "Celestial North Korea" seriously for a moment. Imagine North Korea--the same repressive regime, gulags, torture, ect. But all 3 Kims are still alive (Father, Son and Holy, eh, something), have magical powers and use them to reward their followers. You have to kowtow to the glories of the Kims, but in exchange no one gets hungry or sick or dies. Not just "Mussolini made the trains run on time" but paradise in exchange for worshiping mini-Hitler. Every time someone leaves a nursing home after visiting Alzheimer ravaged Mom a missionary comes up and says "Kim can make your mother whole again, if you just praise him". Every time a child dies of cancer a missionary promises that Kim can resurrect the child to an eternity of bliss, if only you lick Kim's boots. And Kim actually does preform those miracles.

Wouldn't people accept Kim's offer? If I were desperate enough--facing the death of a loved one--wouldn't I be powerfully tempted?
Further, and most disturbingly, wouldn't people actually come to love North Korea and the Kims? If their child were brought back to life, their parent restored, their every need fulfilled wouldn't they come to think that the Kims deserved the love and praise they demanded? Wouldn't they think that anyone who refused would deserve the horrible punishments meted out? How often have you heard a Christian say something along the lines of "god is entitled to your worship because he gave you life and sustains you"?

Taken seriously, I'm afraid that Celestial North Korea is not an attack on religion but simply an explanation for it.
"Observe that noses were made to wear spectacles; and so we have spectacles. Legs were visibly instituted to be breeched, and we have breeches" VoltaireοΏ½s Candide

Re: Celestial North Korea revisited
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2018, 04:09:07 PM »
But "Kim" does none of those things, so it's all merely false hope. It's lies designed to pull in desperate, gullible people and chain them to the walls of a dungeon, and make them give the leaders of the "Kim" religion all their worldly goods.
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"Ideas have consequences, and totally erroneous ideas are likely to have destructive consequences."
Steve Allen

Offline Baruch

Re: Celestial North Korea revisited
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2018, 07:23:26 PM »
The N Koreans have their own secular religion, that barely resembles Marxism ...

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Certainly monarchial leadership isn't Marxist.
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Cavebear

Re: Celestial North Korea revisited
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2018, 09:29:56 AM »
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You lost it at "but in exchange no one gets hungry or sick or dies. "  They do.  All 3 in fact.  Try again...

And I'll add that we went through this crap with Hitler and Stalin and Mao (sort of) in WWII.  What kind of bridges are you trying to sell?
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 09:32:35 AM by Cavebear »
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: Celestial North Korea revisited
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2019, 05:59:50 PM »
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How often have you heard a Christian say something along the lines of "god is entitled to your worship because he gave you life and sustains you"?

If Christ or Kim or Donald Duck wish to do good things for me, then they should do so and earn my love and respect. I can't love somebody just because that person demands that I do so. Christ would be awfully petty to command I show him gratitude. Is that why he died for me? Does he need worship to stoke his ego?

Re: Celestial North Korea revisited
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2019, 06:07:11 PM »
Well, the God of the OT did all sorts of things just to make people think of him with awe, so the God of the NT probably isn't any different.
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"Ideas have consequences, and totally erroneous ideas are likely to have destructive consequences."
Steve Allen

Re: Celestial North Korea revisited
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2019, 07:30:02 PM »
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Well, the God of the OT did all sorts of things just to make people think of him with awe, so the God of the NT probably isn't any different.

If God is perfect, then he's be perfectly complete and needs nobody to think of him with awe. People, on the other hand, might well wish to create a God who shows off his power to impress the masses and garners their allegiance and support. Since the Bible god fits the latter, then I think it's reasonable to assume that people created him.

Re: Celestial North Korea revisited
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2019, 07:31:58 PM »
Agreed, he was created by people to have control over other people.
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"Ideas have consequences, and totally erroneous ideas are likely to have destructive consequences."
Steve Allen

Offline Cavebear

Re: Celestial North Korea revisited
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2019, 05:34:11 AM »
My basic assumption has always been that all deities come AFTER the people who think they need them, and as such, are entirely imaginary creations.

Think of all the ethical statements in religious texts.  They had to come from the experiences that people had first to make communities function and THEN they assigned them to deities retroactively.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Celestial North Korea revisited
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2019, 07:05:58 AM »
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My basic assumption has always been that all deities come AFTER the people who think they need them, and as such, are entirely imaginary creations.

Think of all the ethical statements in religious texts.  They had to come from the experiences that people had first to make communities function and THEN they assigned them to deities retroactively.

Correct regarding ethics.  Except for the irrational ones.  Called "chok" in rabbinical Judaism.  The rabbis say .. G-d includes them, just to test your blind obedience.  I say, they had a reason at one time, but the rabbis have forgotten why they have them.
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Cavebear

Re: Celestial North Korea revisited
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2019, 08:36:06 AM »
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Correct regarding ethics.  Except for the irrational ones.  Called "chok" in rabbinical Judaism.  The rabbis say .. G-d includes them, just to test your blind obedience.  I say, they had a reason at one time, but the rabbis have forgotten why they have them.

Oh the faith test.  Do this to prove you trust me... Right.  There is a reason why almost all religious food restrictions exist.  Hindus and cows baffle me though.

Most religious rules about society exist because they were already proven to work. 

Of COURSE you honor your elders.  They survived because they were the smart ones.

Of COURSE you don't covet your neighbor's goods.  That caused problems. 

Of COURSE you didn't covet the neighbors wife.  See above...

Of COURSE you didn't steal.  You all spent time together, how could you hide stealing stuff?

Etc, etc, etc...

The rest of the rules were so the shamans had something weird to demand...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Celestial North Korea revisited
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2019, 09:55:54 AM »
Correct.  But all social rules are observed in the breach of them.  People are natural sociopaths.  Whether "natural law" covers the rules or arbitrary magic covers them.

The dietary laws came about thru natural observation of human life, by Jewish doctors.  Don't eat shit ... pork and shellfish for example.  At that time, that was bottom-feeding species, and food was undercooked.  In Lebanon the Arabs still eat sheep tatar (sheep and goats carry parasites too, not just pigs).  Gentiles were filthier creatures than kosher observant or halal observant people.  There were reasons for high infant mortality and short adult lifespans.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 09:59:18 AM by Baruch »
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Cavebear

Re: Celestial North Korea revisited
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2019, 12:20:49 PM »
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Correct.  But all social rules are observed in the breach of them.  People are natural sociopaths.  Whether "natural law" covers the rules or arbitrary magic covers them.

The dietary laws came about thru natural observation of human life, by Jewish doctors.  Don't eat shit ... pork and shellfish for example.  At that time, that was bottom-feeding species, and food was undercooked.  In Lebanon the Arabs still eat sheep tatar (sheep and goats carry parasites too, not just pigs).  Gentiles were filthier creatures than kosher observant or halal observant people.  There were reasons for high infant mortality and short adult lifespans.

I have always said that religious rules FOLLOWED human rules for mostly practical reasons of social management and health management reasons.  And I have always granted that the religious texts (in practical matters) reflected previously-understood secular ones.  If the religious texts limited themselves to "don't steal from your neighbors" and "don't eat 2 day old crabs", I would have no objection to them.  I even agree that having a "day of rest" is a good idea.

I might EVEN agree that making a golden statue is a waste of limited resources and time.

It's when the shamans go on to say  "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain..." that practicality goes wrong.  I mean, if I stub my toe in the dark, a good curse or two seems justifiable.  Partly because it isn't exactly MY god, but also because certain phrases express meaning to theists and atheists alike...

Though personally, for that reason, I tend more toward the scatological.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Celestial North Korea revisited
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2019, 04:36:15 PM »
You can follow the advice of your Jewish doctor, or just be a stupid Gentile ;-)
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Cavebear

Re: Celestial North Korea revisited
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2019, 02:52:28 PM »
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You can follow the advice of your Jewish doctor, or just be a stupid Gentile ;-)

Why do you dislike jewish people?
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

 

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