Religion and Politics: On Useful Distinctions
Preacher man don’t tell me, heaven is under the earth
- Bob Marley
I am also instructed that my culture is rooted in myth
And that it is with art and poetry that we shape reality
What you call reality is rooted in myth
The tree that you eat from is actually upside down and the roots are in the sky
- Bro A.A. Rashid
When does science become political? When does science stop being religious?
So science and epistemology both deal with knowledge. Epistemology considers any kind of knowledge from any distinction that can identify a kind of knowledge. For example, plants know how to photosynthesize. Human do not. Humans can know how photosynthesizes works while plants likely cannot. Humans know how to read. Humans do not know why humans can read (or rather, humans do not know why humans can give extended meaning to simplifiable stimuli; stimuli can be objectively defined by it can go beyond what is objective. You can “read into things.” But it’s likely that reading into things is primarily why anything can be read at all. The point is not to be able to read but to be able to use the reading to an advantage; especially if the advantage doesn’t exist until it’s read into).
Science provides very good answers for some of the questions we cannot conclusively solve. It’s as if the plants and humans can experience different forms of knowledge. Science aims to somehow create a consciousness that is ever present and thus can provide an answer for understandings the individual human could not otherwise understand.
The difference between religion and politics is how power is understood to be distributed. Religion is from a power “greater than us.” Political is practical power that we actually have at the moment of any given event.
Religion and politics are like space and time. We can only understand anything by understanding the context of two planes of existence: religious and political.
Religion here is being used in the abstract sense so as to become useless for most people but correct for those that value technicalities.
Religion and politics can be simplified to the individual. Regardless of society, the individual is the person that merges cultural religious beliefs with political consequences.
Religion is any power that comes from beyond us. Politics is the practical autonomy we pretend to have in our conceptualization of the going-ons in the world.
We wake up and eat breakfast instead of flying to China and freeing the Uyghurs because of an understanding of the political consequences weighed against our religious beliefs: “thou shall not skip breakfast” decides the political conflict of what consequence is our self-awareness.
Religion for the most part, if it wishes to be secular, has to be intellectualized against personal beliefs and, ironically, created in a universal way. Ironically because we can only validate universal religious beliefs through personal, political actions. Thus each personal action is a universalization of our pragmatic religious beliefs.
Thus our latest generic, populous response: there is no sacredness because the sacredness can offend somebody. That is the secularization of religion. The spritualizing of nothing. This is your religious belief? We’ll respect it to the utmost by disrespecting it. We’re ignoring your teachings and this is the highest compliment. We’ll allow you to praise, but we will not. We will think the opposite of what you do but commend you for it.
The power that this negation implies is both nihilistic (no religion is true) but pragmatic (there is a power beyond our political power). It’s contrasted with the bigots of yesteryears that were xenophobic and hateful to outsiders, who they justified death on. We, the powerful, the politically relevant, will not castigate the ones that do not acknowledge us. We will not hurt or destroy those that wish us harm.
We will tolerate your pain so that you tolerate our religion of the self.
The self is a negation of the universal. The individual is forged by the power of the everything, the same power that keeps the Sun together. Yet the universal power creates a unique power that must account itself among the everything.
From this accounting comes the faith. We do not know what tomorrow holds but eliminatively, at this point in time, it must hold at least what we’ve accounted for politically.
Here’s the disconnect. The secularization of religion. The objective force of reality that has the last word in any matter, must abide by our politics.
We’re not sure what the power is. As the next generation enters the soul-crushing realities of a physically limited dream, the expectations of tomorrow change the political landscape of today.
Beyond that lays the religious. The mysterious overpowering force that, thankfully, calibrates our theory so that we are not a chaotic mess when brought together. But a calibrated, religious expectation. This expectation is validated politically.
Thus it boils down to game theory. A game of religious fervor and political intrigue. A game that is marked by an abstract pattern of (work) = (conclusion).
The work is universal. Nothing is without universal consequence. The universal conclusion is only validated by the experience of the individual conclusion.
The conclusion is infinite. For our political interest, it’s mostly the manifestation of our accumulated physical sensory organs in a singular moment of mental clarity. From this stems the rest of the political treatise.
The relationship between the universal work and the individual work is measured in conceptualized patterns of religious expression of universal power against individual decisions that help create and perpetuate the patterns.
The patterns themselves are meaningless if they don’t follow a pattern. To create a pattern falls on the mysterious, religious side of reality. The power that is observed if one does nothing. If one prays and meditates or scientifically reflects, the individual quiets their own political relevance, and just experiences the religious coming together of everything.
In this meditative state, we reflect on powers that act without our interference. The negation of our interference is used create the political landscape of action. Inside this landscape, we act as individuals. Acts with consequences rippling universally.