Thursday, August 17, 2017


New cartoon from the excellent J&M ; this time it's talking about the retarding effect of religions on people, the way in which being enslaved to ancient ideas is problematic and leads to the fragmentation of societies and almost inevitable conflict. Of course religion isn't the only reason that societies fracture, sometimes it's pure tribalism, despotism or simply squabbles over resources, but who has the biggest and best imaginary friend is probably the most prevalent and certainly the least worthy reason.

I was watching a programme on TV last night about the events surrounding partition in India in 1947, it's a subject I know little about as it's not really taught as history here or even discussed much. It was incredible to learn that roughly a million people lost their lives simply because of their religious differences as nearly 15 million people scrambled across newly created borders to escape sectarian violence. The idea of the program was to follow the stories of a handful of UK born people of Indian heritage who wanted to discover what happened to their own families at that time, each person was either Hindu, Muslim or Sikh. 

The stories were pretty much identical, what were fairly harmonious societies in different parts of the country, where people of different religions lived side by side and got on, disintegrated into mob violence and genocide along purely religious lines. It's interesting to note that pretty much all other factors were identical, i.e. wealth, biology, language, geography etc. the people that were slaughtering each other were effectively the same, apart from, the mythology that they were indoctrinated with as children. If you ever wanted an example of why religion combined with stultifying ignorance is bad for human beings then the partition of India is an excellent case-study. Some of the people who witnessed events first-hand were interviewed, quite incredibly the response of many was simply to shrug and say "it was God's will". There's not much hope for humanity when vast numbers of people remain enslaved to fantasy like this, the saddest thing is that the stupidity of insisting that morality and ethics should be eternally locked onto ancient myths continues to this day in both India and Pakistan.

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