...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



More on religion, mostly just notes.
Really it's about the assertion that there's no reason to believe in anything that can't be demonstrated - evidence for the rational mind lacking, why go there?
Which, surprise, I'm a fan! Science is cool! Robots are cool! In the right hands*.
But. A little glance backward and we can see, time after time, thing after thing, that reliance on evidence alone either hid the underlying truth, or misled the rational mind in isolation.
The sun is clearly the source of energy for virtually everything that lives on earth. But that takes some understanding to get to, some evidence and thought. We're there, on that, got it. But it took some work, some gathering of information, and some individual partial understanding, before we got there.
So there's the distinct possibility of more like that still to come, for one thing. Since only a delusional fool would say we're anywhere near a full comprehension of life, what it is, and where it's being lived.
For another there's the total inability of rational views of life that center on all this being mechanical, and ultimately accidental, to comfort the human heart when it's overwhelmed by hurt, or in the midst of its suffering.
Disdain for hearts hungry for that comfort is pretty close to sociopathic. And sociopaths are well-recognized as being relatively unaffected by personal trauma - pragmatic, functional, rational, even in extreme duress - and especially impervious to effect by the experience of trauma in others.
Not the guidance any normal person would seek, or bequeath to their children.
The degradation of emotional being, reduced to secondary, almost luxury status, and the parallel reduction of the aesthetic response, while rational stances are elevated, rewarded, encouraged. It's suspicious.
The reverence and enthusiasm that was genuine, if artificially played, for the FDNY in the aftermath of 911, is pure emotion. The songs that celebrate heroes, the stories of sacrifice and bravery, these are with us because they move us, emotionally. There's nothing rational about it. Mechanistic dissections of emotion aren't alive, and they won't further human aspirations. Though they're great for the encouragement of sociopaths.
Religion's mandate is not confrontation with the unknown, not even maps to it or of it, but conversation with it, and the shaping of attitudes toward it. The absence of that conversation is what has enabled so much of the awful damage the world around us has received from us.
The perversion of that mandate into an excuse for collective selfishness, and the wholesale entrapment of yearning gullible minds in delusional chains, isn't enough to justify rejection of religion itself.
It needs redefining, it needs reformatting, as does the scientific model. Both are needful of each other, and both have been set to war against each other. Suspicious, that, as well.

*Killer drones are not cool, and in the wrong hands, which is the case at present, they're Satanic.
Facebook deploying near-orbital wireless broadcasting drones is a bizarre perversion of the human need for communication, and the possibilities of universal connection for enlightened human progress.
A proven track record of bottlenecking the flow of progress, metering it, slowing it down purely for venal opportunism, is close enough to evil that it should be called out and made to justify itself, before it continues fucking up the future.

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