I happened to find myself at a celebration marking the holy day's of one of Pakistan's minute religious minorities last night. This afforded me, for the second successive night, the opportunity to drag out my soapbox and rant about the fallacy of mechanical religion devoid or distinct of religious faith.
Of course I could only do this circumspectly, because - arising perhaps as the consequence of a community-wide identity crisis - minority communities tend to take themselves and their religions a lot more seriously than those in the comfortable majority.
When surrounded suitably by a bunch of people, I proceeded to tell them of how I had discovered the work of (the Prophet) Tonclerf who, between 1792 and 1796 BCE, was inspired by divine guidance to write what we do today know as the Talmudic Correctional Paradigm / Instructional Protocols. I introduced him to my listeners as a great member of the Jewish Enlightenment of the second millenium BCE; who first introduced the Tribe of Israel to the concept of the Kteowrn (pronounced Kteowrn), which I explained was the belief that the Eternal Soul exists between the time of death and the day of judgement in a state of Disembodied Life, in which it continues the pattern by which it has existed in life. A scholar continues to read and write, to the mathematician all the secrets he has pondered in life are revealed, a sinner on the other hand continues to exist in a state of sin: it is the continuation of life absent physical restrictions, the Soul is freed from the need for sleep, from emotion, from deprivation, and may fully pursue that which it has sought in life - something that defines why the Afterlife is eternal when life itself is so short. I scanned the faces of the audience for signs of disbelief but was disappointed; apparently the Faithful respect others' convictions - if they are convincing enough.
I continued, telling them how life in this blissful disinterred state is determined by our actions in life - a concept I named Bycorz; how our comings-and-goings, our interactions with people and their opinions of us shape our existence as Bycerii. I elaborated at great length on the social structures of the world and our existence in it, and why the concept of a social Ketowrn was not so alien as we might think. I also set their hearts and minds at ease, clarifying that I was not a preacher, that the Talmudic Correctional Paradigms / Instructional Protocols were not so much Scripture as a philosophy of religion, morals and social life. I likened it to Zen and explained how it could be adhered to in conjunction with one's primary faith - that it served to complement religion, not replace it. Having thus garnered several converts to the cause of the Social Ketowrn, and placated their concerns by grandiloquent answers to their timid questions, I made up a name for myself, gave out a bunch of fake names of websites, books and other sources of information, and left.
I suspect that if any amongst my listeners had recalled how Vinton Cerf co-designed the TCP/IP suite between 1972 and 1976 CE, how first the Internet and then Social Networking had evolved - I would have been torn limb to limb by a mob of frothy-mouthed zealots. What I managed to prove to myself - for no reason, and for the umpteenth time, was that humans have a strong ability to rationalize and give in to well-constructed lies, especially when the farce does not affect their lives in any meaningful manner. For some odd reason I'm reminded of a quote from the 1980 movie Flash Gordon, when Ming the Merciless Emperor of Mingo (yeah, I know) says:
"Pathetic earthlings. Hurling your bodies out into the void, without the slightest inkling of who or what is out here. If you had known anything about the true nature of the universe, anything at all, you would've hidden from it in terror."
What a horrible movie that was.