Systemic Reliance of World Religions on Human Sacrifice
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 11 Aug 2014
Covert Use of Fatal Conflict to Ensure Vital Resource Management
This is not intended as a condemnation of religion — of which there are many, as with that of Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion, 2006). The concern is rather to highlight a mode of operation of systems of belief in general of which awareness appears to be variously discouraged. Scientism and atheism therefore merit related consideration as forms of belief — as “religions”, understood metaphorically. The assumption is that, with respect to such religions, civilization may well be unconscious to a degree which only the future will recognize (John Ralston Saul, The Unconscious Civilization, 1995).
As argued separately, the nature of the consensus cultivated and promoted by any system of belief may prove to be as “deluded” as Dawkins claims with respect to religion (The Consensus Delusion, 2011). The argument may well extend to sport — upheld by many as a religion — especially given the striking manner in which international games are played for worldwide appreciation at times of bloody conflict, as with the FIFA World Cup and the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Video games and social networking may evoke analogous “religious” enthusiasm, especially amongst the young.
In a period in which crises of deliberative governance become ever more evident, notably in response to access to resources (energy, food, water, shelter, etc), the question is whether civilization has an unconscious systemic control mechanism of which it is inherently difficult to be aware. The argument here follows from the manner in which religions, individually and collectively, encourage the “pumping” of more and more people into the system — despite the manner in which this exacerbates the problems of ungovernability (Ungovernability of Sustainable Global Democracy? 2011).
Expressed otherwise, religions encourage unrestricted increase in family size, irrespective of evident constraints in practice on provision of resources to sustain the family. Families of 5, 10 and more children are not uncommon — especially amongst the impoverished, whose condition it is proving difficult to alleviate (as indicated by progress on Millennium Development Goals). With the disassociation from nature, reduction of human reproduction rates is no longer triggered by environmental stresses — as it is with other mammals.
Is it then the case that religions, separately and together, function as a system of covert resource management? Through the periodic conflicts they engender, millions of deaths thereby reduce the demand on resources. Is systemic neglect at a more conscious level effectively remedied by meta-systemic processes of a less conscious form, as separately implied (Spontaneous Initiation of Armageddon: a heartfelt response to systemic negligence, 2004).
Through inability consciously to take adequate account of resource constraints and challenges to governability, are religions together to be considered as the ultimate covert operation in systemic terms — a regulatory system of last resort? Can this be understood as systemic reliance on human sacrifice by world religions — for the long-term benefit of human civilization? Is this the key to understanding the bloody conflicts of today — termed “massacres” and “genocide” by some — in which Islam, Christianity and Judaism are variously engaged, as they have done for centuries?
Curiously this suggests that a high level of concern for the future of human civilization may be quite unnecessary. More relevant is whether the systemic processes are inherently instructive as previously explored with respect to media bias (Vital Collective Learning from Biased Media Coverage: acquiring vigilance to deceptive strategies used in mugging the world, 2014). Religions are after all both a medium and a message, and — following Marshall McLuhan — the medium may indeed be the message to which greater attention may be fruitful (Investing Attention Essential to Viable Growth, 2014).
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 11 Aug 2014.
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