get your war on

Russell Turpin
Wed, 17 Oct 2001 22:10:49 +0000

Bill Stoddard writes:
>The last strip is an ignorant low blow against religion.

Note that it is aimed at a specific kind of religion:
those with a Judge-god who divides humanity into two
camps, the saved, the chosen, the select on one side,
and the damned on the other, in an ultimate reckoning
after death.

>Humans are tribal and will synthesize something to draw boundaries between 
>themselves. In the extreme case, they
>will fight over those boundaries. If humans didn't fight
>about religion, they would find something else to fight
>about, like the shapes of noses or some other equally
>stupid reason.

Even so, it may be that certain kinds of religion reinforce
this kind of thinking. Now what kind of religion might that
be? Well .. you'd want it to be one that draws boundaries
between people, one that gives the weight of the gods to
one side, or better yet, to make the "reason" seem not too
"stupid," the weight of one ultimate Judge-god. And to
maximally reinforce this boundary drawing, you want to
keep the follower uncertain about his own status, while at
the same time, giving that status ultimate importance. So
maybe it should be an infinite reward or punishment after
they are dead? Yeah .. there's the ticket to reinforce
that kind of tribal thinking, and inject it into the
decision process at every level from state politics to
foreign affairs.

As I think on it, the blow doesn't seem ignorant at all.
Low, yes. Low, but well aimed.


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