Bao's weblog


Meandering thoughts of a Bay Area college student… be prepared for some bipolar vocabulary


I should say that one of the most interesting social phenomenon is the advent of religion. It is interesting to see how religion and culture relate to one another because both are from the same basic idea.

Religion is grounded on authority. The basis of all religion is a series of omnipotent gods or supernatural phenomena and the facilitation of religion is through a highly complicated system of individuals who interpret what divine will truly is. The interpretations are not derived from any empirical or even any concrete evidence and is focused solely on faith/trust/belief in the person administering the sermons.

The truth of the matter is: nobody knows the divine will of God or any series of gods. The religious attempt to interpret their holy books as much as possible; but, as always, different interpretations shall always exist when too many individuals attempt to do so.

Note that I shall distinguish the spiritual from the religious. The spiritual are individuals who believe in their own system of beliefs relating to their God/gods and are set apart from organized religion. The spiritual are individuals who attempt to live their lives as best they can, taking into account the cultural and social factors that are prevalent in their lives.

The religious are individuals who follow their spiritual leaders as much as possible. In Christianity, the analogy of the shepherd and the sheep (God and his people) is often pointed out in contemporary culture. The analogy points out some very interesting implications. First of all, the sheep and the shepherd obviously cannot communicate with one another; any hope of attempting to learn about divinity or the origin of all life is thrown out. The shepherd will lead the sheep to a preordained location, but the sheep shall never know where they are headed and cannot hope to comprehend it even if the shepherd attempts to tell them. And so, the sheep have only one option and that is to faithfully follow the shepherd to wherever he decides to go, whether it is to a field of bountiful grass or a slaughterhouse.

Organized religion is divided into a vast system of authority-with the main god at the top of the ladder, which nobody understands but still attempts to do so anyways. We then have the pastors, the rabbis, the monks, and the “holy” people who are followed by a colossal amount of sheep.

Religion has no need for reason or logic. The existence of any kind of reasoning will undermine the iron grip that religion has on the masses. From the very beginning, the foundations of religion have never made any sense to begin with. The proclamation of a divine being without any empirical evidence, the supernatural explanations of phenomenon that have been disproved time and time again, and the insistence of veracity pertaining to their own respective religions despite common sense have made religion devoid of any semblance of logic in the first place.

Just as religion is founded on authority, the main aspects of racial culture are also dictated by the same string that pulls religion. Although there are some key exceptions (for pride and historical reasons), familiar culture is based entirely on authority. The diversity of the many cultures in existence in America may disprove my assertions, so I shall draw from my own experiences as a child growing up in an Asian family. I was always taught, as a child, that my parents were always correct and to never question them. In my culture, there is an implicit “rank” that is given to each member of the family and each person must act accordingly depending on their position in the family. Parents can be rude to their offspring and their children can do nothing but wave their arms in frustration, if that is even allowed.

My mother can do anything she wants and I can do nothing but be silent. She can be wrong, claim to be right and I can never do anything to correct her. She never needs to consider my feelings in anything because our culture allows her to. It is a culture that has been developed by her parents and their parents and so on in order to subjugate their children. It enforces an expectation of submission no matter what the situation may be. There is no room to object because objection shall bring about a cultural backlash. It is a system created by my elders so that control over their children can be enforced throughout all of the years of their own long lives.

Imagine how much easier it would be to raise your own children if there was a cultural expectation of filial piety in your family! There would be no need for good parents because the existence of these cultural “laws” shall govern the actions of how “good” children should behave. Despite the fact that the existence of these cultural norms have had a logical birth, it has evolved into an unchecked monstrosity. Children are no longer listening to their parents out of love, it is demanded of them. There is no need of independence or any kind of dissent as these children are culturally chained to their parents. Every decision must be checked and reviewed by their parents like a totalitarian government. These children have their lives planned out for them like some kind of a Role-Playing Game character.

A system that is based entirely on authority has no place in the new social era that we are entering. We may attempt to use authority in order to simplify our own lives, but at what cost? Authority is a system that characterizes a centrally-planned economy by a totalitarian government.

Authority undermines the existence, the diversity, and the freedom of individuals to live their lives as best they can. Is that a system that should be promoted in such a large, cultural framework?



Filed under: General

4 Responses

  1. map0wt0fu says:

    This reminded me of a few random things I read through out the day. Argentina has legalized gay marriage, and that will go into effect in a few days. This is interesting because the country is mainly Roman Catholic, but in the capital, the gay-rights supporters have more pull. Second thing was something I read about the Vatican. It seems the Vatican will be more strict on their holy men and women whenever they molest children or the mentally disabled. Third thing was my own culture, I was never really taught much about my culture. As a result I hardly know many of the fables, names of holidays, or even how to speak my own language. It’s a bit strange to have such a weak culture to the motherland. Still, I reconcile myself by thinking as my “culture” as an odd mix of Chinese and American cause after that’s what I really am.

  2. crispy001 says:

    Our lives lack any sense of meaning and purpose without someone or something give us something to live or die for. We seek meaning to feel important, and we find our purpose in religion, authority, or enlightenment.

  3. Eddie says:

    I don’t think meaning lies entirely in the hands of somebody else. Many times, people find meaning in their own lives by fulfilling their dreams, helping other people, and feeling good about their lives in general.

    I think that it’s just easier to believe that meaning or fulfillment is found in some higher being or in another person. People are attracted by something that relieves the burden on their lives and believing in something else is much easier to do than believing in one’s self.

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