Tuesday, May 19, 2009

History reveals that there is very little correlation between religion and morality and some may even argue that the converse is true. (journeymanphilosopher.blogspot.com)

Today's Rant:
A young mans brush with power, or A plausibly universal tale of sodomy and unrequited love:

Joe's dad worked his way up from a bank teller to a loan specialist, it took 35 years. There was however, a glass ceiling to further advancement. Above a certain level, the aspiring professional of this bank was required to join the Mob (Gosh! Which bank is that?). Those of you who saw the movie "The Godfather" may remember the scene where a guy comes in to ask a favor and is required to kiss Marlon Brandos hand in recognition of patronage. Well the '60's version was to dedicate a son to the "family" and, as young Joe learned on an executive hunting trip with mob honchos: the novice is supposed to provide ass to the Don. Joe was repulsed by the proposition and declined, so his dad got transferred to the boonies and bumped to a mid level manager, & Joe grew up to be a homeless scavenger and like most homeless people, worthy of any slur (regardless of fact) because nobody had his back.

A somewhat similar culture in Japan had this to say from the Book of the Samurai: "A man is a good retainer to the extent that he earnestly places importance in his master. This is the highest sort of retainer. If one is born into a prominent family that goes back for generations, it is sufficient to deeply consider the matter of obligation to one's ancestors, to lay down one's body and mind, and to earnestly esteem one's master. It is further good fortune if, more than this, one has wisdom and talent and can use them appropriately. But even a person who is good for nothing and exceedingly clumsy will be a reliable retainer if only he has the determination to think earnestly of his master. Having only wisdom and talent is the lowest tier of usefulness."

Now at the risk of getting sued by the Committee for the Prevention of Defamation of the Mob, I'd like to postulate the following from Joe's albeit limited experience: (and It's not really their fault see, they're just victims of society like us. My heart goes out to you guys, really). I propose the underlying problem is that they're Italian & Catholic. That inseparable combination has a deep tradition of patronage going back through Rome and the Etruscans to be lost in the mists of prehistory. Other cultures have or have had similar traditions but this one has survived the ravages of the centuries with pretty much a working edge. This particular tradition codifies Ass as a form of social commitment. Compare, if you will, the Irish (Joe's people). The peaceful Greens have their smirking pedophile priests to pat their pubescent butts, while the bloodthirsty Orangemen have none and are forced to demonstrate their social discontent through endless strife and upheaval.

The late drift w/ democracy & all (since The Enlightenment) has been to idealize independence, and avoid serfdom & patronage. What used to be called virtues are now social deadweight. So here's contemporary America, Land of the Free, w/ the highest prison population in the world, & a self replenishing source of scandal because the only people in there to form bonds of patronage with are felon Mobsters without civil or voting rights or self respect, who's default class is Pro-Sodomy/Anti-Law. See where this is going? The system denigrates Ass patronage while creating it. There's no socially acceptable rout to a "real world" community. In all honesty though (and I think Joe agrees), that Ass patronage would select for bitchy, pompous incompetents, and not be much different than the politics we have now. But it would cut the crap so people wouldn't get blind-sided by some force they never knew existed, and Joe could have had his own squad of goons by now.

Personally, I'd be just as glad if all that strife didn't exist, but there's a kind of honesty that goes with it. Sort of similar to a commitment that can change the world, like marriage or combat. It may be only a substitute for those, but what (outside of religious literature) makes it such a unique issue of bad morals?

A handy Atheist pamphlet that you can print out on glossy paper to have ready when someone hands you a copy of "The Watchtower".
Atheism is hot! (yahoo)
Atheism pays (the Orlando Sentinel)
Christian Zoroastrianism (Reddit)

No comments: