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  one who is striking at the root."
- Henry David Thoreau
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"The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false." - Paul Johnson

Solutions for Disunity
06/19/2019

Humans have a strong tendency to let established leaders tell them what to believe. What we have seen and therefore should be obvious is that overwhelmingly the majority of humans do NOT develop their own religion or take responsibility for it, but are instilled with it by their family, culture, and/or mini-culture. They absorb it in a somewhat natural process, and do not examine every important precept to see if it is well grounded. Indeed, they do not even know what well grounded really means.

Well, what does it mean? Can we admit that it doesn't mean much if it isn't honestly grounded in facts and information and dealt with by rationality, logic and reason. But whose rationality, logic and reason? Mine, of course. Yours, of course.

These passive believers DO always develop personal wrinkles, but these are actually usually superficial. As long as these variations are not extreme, or are not actively advocated, everybody in a church, sect or denomination gets along with at most mild disapproval. Generally, the zealous ones do not even realize that their cherished special personal variations are trivial compared to the underlying paradigm and the bulk of what has been accepted. Much ado about nothing, because it doesn't make a lot of practical difference!

Old Testament Times

In the Old Testament times it was radically different. Unity was thought to be paramount, and the solution to disunity was extreme! Given that different cultures developed their own version of religion—which of course was of ultimate importance in order to placate the planet gods who otherwise rained down fire, brimstone and rocks on the dis-unified and/or disobedient—it was inherent in the thinking that other people should practice the same approach. If they didn't, the gods could not be pleased or placated, and the whole world would suffer the consequences. The result of this straightforward logic was usually violent, a lot of stoning, burning or slaying of problem people, usually men.

Given this mindset, and given that during this period of time there were terrible periodic global catastrophes that were delivered from overhead by the planet gods, there was plenty of motivation for effective unity. Translation: there was a lot of motivation to conquer your neighbors and impose your religion upon them. Overwhelmingly, upon conquering, part of the solution was to kill all the men and yet spare the women and children.

WHY? Was it because the conquerors were inherently or extremely misanthropic? No, it was because they knew this one thing; that less than 1 percent of males can be converted by almost any means, and that they WILL fester with resentment and WILL conspire and mount rebellion. They can NEVER be trusted to submit to the new culture/religion and will be an endless source of trouble and danger. In contrast, women were used to being less important and more submissive, and are inherently more practical, docile, less violent, and they can still be useful as concubines, servants and slaves, Although adult males CANNOT be reprogrammed, both male and female children CAN be infused with the new culture/religion, and are thus relatively safe to save and try to incorporate into that culture's society, usually as second rate citizens or slaves.

Pre-modern Times

In the medieval times for European society, it was before the Reformation and the burgeoning of Protestantism. The Catholic organization, amalgamated with the various state governments, relied upon the force of state power, and feigned unity based on their overwhelming majority and their claim that the Pope speaks for God. Even after the great Protest, the rise of Protestantism and its military victory, the Church of England was quite comfortable in being allied with the king.

Modern Times

In modern times, with its absence of periodic, unpreventable and somewhat predictable, global catastrophes, the harsh, more tangible pressure for unity is no longer present and apparent. Very few, if any, now think that Saturn is actually God, and the theological thinking has shifted to an invisible and inscrutable one, a God that only occasionally visits catastrophe upon the human race. These manifestations are not so much tied in the thinking to a lack of unity but to more specific situations of corruption and perversity, but even this is a hard case to make to those that see the bigger picture with its so very prominent inconsistencies.

However, in the Christian world of today it is widely acknowledged that the J-person called for unity, yet the absence of unity is actually quite apparent. You have the split--between Catholicism with its orders versus Protestantism with its multifarious denominations, orders and sect--still in place. Catholicism confronted serious disunity early by labeling its divisive factions as "orders" and basically only demanding acceptance of and submission to the Pope as God-given authority. In Protestantism, there is no earthly center of mass like the Vatican and the Pope, and so the various denominations are freer to go their own way. As reported elsewhere, it is estimated that the number of identifiable religions in the world is around 100,000. In most of these, you can spend a lifetime without hearing that a person's belief should be intellectually responsible, rational, logical and reasonable. Almost all of the organizations accept that unity is a GOOD thing but not an ESSENTIAL thing, a difference maker but not THE difference maker.

Whatever these more formal structural differences may mean, the underlying disunity of dogma and doctrine is even messier and more problematic. And yet this is where it really matters by affecting the quality of life and how people live and relate. The bottom line is that the problems preventing unity are enormous and enduring because they are systemic, built into the various Christian denominations through an underlying dystopian theology.

HOWEVER, to give real meaning to their lives, humans need a transcendent goal, and the meaning is derived, not by the achievement of the final result, but by the progress toward that goal. Except for a short period of celebration and basking in the glow of achievement, we ALWAYS need a goal, something to work toward, something to look forward to beyond just having our more immediate needs and desires fulfilled. THIS is the genius of the "kingship of the heavens" conception. For these that catch the vision of the goodness and elegance of God, full equality of value, rights, privileges and what a healed reality looks like, it is truly compelling to an unsurpassable degree. It reduces all aspects of unimportant disunity to chaff that blows away in the wind.

See: Christian Issues

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