Sunday, August 18, 2013

Technology VS. Religious Zealotry

pig on hackernews posted: We need an NRA for privacy. And it got a lot of play. That's good. As the majority of techie's are left-coast liberals whom regard the NRA as a manifestation of everything that's wrong with the world: "the NRA is a bunch of violent, ignorant, bigoted, religious zealots". 

The underlying subtext of what pig's question was: "How could a bunch of ignorant bigots control such a powerful lobby capable of shaping the destiny of America's collective will in the 21st Century", and how could such an important concept: "digital privacy", have so few people lobbying, shouting, and voting this contempt of the laws as they exist today?

I propose: the idea of "independent progressive thought" that rejects "group think" - "religion" - "blind faith in ideals", and embracing "independence", "revolutionary ideas", that has so long guided the tech-minded, maybe they're rejection of religious zealotry will be their own undoing.

The NRA is powerful not because it's ideas or members are so intelligent, or well thought out, or devoid of glaring hypocrisy: they're powerful because religious zealotry is powerful...blind adherence to a set of ideas of principles in-spite of ALL logic, is more powerful than any degree of independent thought will ever be.

Don't believe me. Tell that to the Monks whom set themselves on fire to protest the Roman Catholic Church, the Indian Religious Shaman whom starve themselves and live a life of adjunct poverty in the streets rank with disease, the holy warriors of the Mujahideen, or the Zen Buddist whom rejects worldly possessions.

Hates the Catholic Church.

"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." (Leviticus 20:13 KJV)

Rejecting consumerism?

Thinking for yourself.

Probably gonna have a hard-time getting another job because of religious beliefs.
Gave up a pretty cushy life to live a cave. Ultimately martyred living in a mansion.  Probably doesn't want starving followers to know about that one.

Defending your spiritual homeland.
Religion is about faith, religious zealoutry is about adherence to an interpretation of a belief system to a degree that one would sacrifice him or herself for that cause. 

A citizen contemporary society, I know quiet the opposite is true. We sacrifice alright: morality for modernity, the spiritual for the earthly, the humble for the heathonistic, and the private soverign of our lives for the convenience of information at our fingertips. The platform to broadcast the most asinine vanity egos in exchange for all seeing eye of society to judge our leaders and heros by the content of the tweets. #awesome

I'm no different than the next person. I'm a digital lab-rat. It'd take all of 2-3 seconds for Jack Black to geo-locate my caffeine addicted ass and have me targeted for round-the-clock surveillance. Hell I'd probably "Check-In" at Starbucks and the 4-Square API would have an easier time finding me than my GPS tracker in my phone (read soon to be implanted under skin). 

Progressivism idealizes the independence of the self from institutions and rejection of conformity to traditional doctrine (religion). Arguing that the benefit of the many redounds to the empowerment of the few. As opposed, to say, conservatism, which argues the greed of the individual is to the benefit of the many. 

The totalitarians and communists downplayed symbols of religion and tradition as threats to the hegemony of control, the association between religion and conservatism not withstanding. 

More contemporarily, or at least in the Western World: Liberals dogmatically attack religion in state institutions weather it be a Christmas Tree at the capitol, the Ten-Commandments on the court-room wall, or a preyer at a public high-school graduation. They argue the fundamental separation of church and state in the US constitution is sacrosanct, just like constitutionally protected freedom of speech. Are they defending the constitution or Progressivism against against the oppression of religion? (And while they're so keen on defending the 1st, 3rd, and 4th amendment to the constitution I guess the 2nd is just well...ummm?)

"The voice of God is government." - Greg Graffin, Bad Religion

What I'm getting at here is, humans aren't infallible, institutions are even less so, and religions and social norms are even more susceptible to the immorality of group think. So why assume that a state / an institution / a government / a society that doesn't take it's morality from a religion is any more capable of making moral decisions.


Dare I say it, god, irony, or karmic balance, whatever you want to call it has a way of making fools of us all. 

So doesn't it make sense that the self-impowering nature of the internet and technology to break down the barriers of to freedom of information, to empowering people to stand up for their liberties ("Twitter and Facebook are the reason the Arab Spring happened!" - CNN, "Mark Zuckerberg should get the Noble peace prize!" - Another asshole on MSNBC) might have a darker more sinister side to it?

Evangelized by the very people whom so zealously believed in freedom, self-empowerment and rejecting religiosity, might need some religious zealotry to save them from themselves?

"Life in the modern far out of reach...desperate souls in this electric sea...It's a tale about the end of the world...encrypted in the heart of us all. I don't wanna hear, I don't wanna say, I don't wanna know, I don't wanna prey... We are the dark. We are the light. We are the voice you hear at night. We are the architects of void. We right the wrongs, we built the bombs, we put the heavens in the sky" - Strung Out, City Lights. 

PS. I just liked the Strung Out song because (1) It's punk (2) The lyrics mention religion, the modern world, the world "void" (common in programming) and encryption... smiley face emojii

1 comment:

  1. I am a subscriber of an Australian broadband service provider and I can testify that modern technology and religion can work together effectively.