—“There is a correlation between denomination and understanding. At the higher end, you get something more like “religion is studying the mind of God”, symbolic reasoning, metaphor, etc. At the lower end, you get something more like “Don’t loot stores. That’s bad.””—Will Peavy
How about this:
1 – religions all evolved from the feast ritual ( debt, submission,, equality) to the death mourning (debt), to pre-history (myth, debt), to pre-law (rules of cooperation).
2 – That all organized religions evolved at about the same time – during the recovery from the bronze age collapse – and that there is a correlation between ‘ancient mysticism’ of the axial age religions and the pre-axial age religions.
3 – That religion provides services that people consume. Those services satisfy a cognitive necessity, which we experience as an emotional necessity. But in most simple terms they solve the problem of alienation (fear) at scale.
4 – That organized religion created monopoly institution that used those services for political purposes to various degrees of beneficial and harmful.
5 – This monopoly conflated all knowledge into a single paradigm that caused stagnation and nearly destroyed human civilization with ‘false comforts’ – that were addictive because they deprived us of competitive incentives and natural selection.
6 – The opposite strategy – markets rather than monopolies – created specialized knowledge that continuously advanced and reversed the stagnation of the monopoly religions.
7 – The church failed in Europe to consolidate power in opposition to the state and failed to solidify its monopoly, because our martial and legal tradition persisted despite the competition from the church – and largely because the church as a political institution was subject to even greater corruption than the military and financial competitors.
8 – That the continuous need for military competition given the distributed agrarian geography, the continuous use of our traditional common germanic law, and then it’s roman institutional inheritance, were more influential than the church, despite it’s near-monopoly as land-renter, as commerce and trade moved north as the north sea and continent developed trade given the impossibility of trade in the Mediterranean given Muslim conquests.
9 – That between the restoration of Aristotelian learning, the restoration of trade, increased demand for literacy because of it, the restoration of literacy, and the re-expansion of knowledge, and the corruption of the church, the ‘rising’ germanic regions of Europe sought to reharmonize their civilization’s hearth and myth, it’s law, and its military tradition, by removing a corrupt church that exploited the people and sold them falsehoods.
10 – Unlike the orthodox that had not created a competitor to the state, the western church was both a landholder like the aristocracy – because it functioned as a holding company for local aristocratic families – and as a landholder, local administrator, had material interests in resisting reform that would deprive them of rent-seeking, the assets that they used for rent-seeking, the status that came from both, and the false promise that made all of that possible.
11 – That the protestants have, generation by generation, continued to divest their religion of the institutions and propaganda and dogma and instead return Christianity to its function: mindfulness for those that need it by immaterial means.
12 – And that the Orthodox have a lesser problem, and less need of fundamentalism because their state does not tolerate competitors, and they have not been as thoroughly undermined by the (((enemy))) as has the west.
But if we eliminate those threats to our civilization what would a Christian religion – one that taught the love of Jesus – that did not require fundamentalism and falsehood, look like?