[NetBehaviour] questions of faith

mark cooley flawedart at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 13 16:52:44 CEST 2009

i agree with Michael here.  There needs to be some criticism of enlightenment ideology. As was stated, it's not too difficult to criticize religion as strictly ideological, but if we can apply Marx's critique of ideology to many other realms - including science. The definition of ideology that I like and comes from Marx's line of thought, specifically Althusser is - habits, values and beliefs that are assumed to be natural.  This definition is not limited to religion and would include the natural sciences of course. Religion is ideological but so is science - that is if you take a Marxist / Poststructuralist perspective. When folks pit the against one another as if they're doing battle they're missing this point.

Message: 5
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 2009 09:54:02 -0700 (PDT)
From: Michael Szpakowski <szpako at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] questions of faith
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
    <netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
Message-ID: <980525.99829.qm at web110713.mail.gq1.yahoo.com>
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I think Marx had it right:

"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions." 

at the strength of the attraction of religion for the poor, the
dispossessed , the wretched of the earth...( "Pie in the Sky when you
Die" as Joe Hill had it)
The danger with the uber rationalists, the
Dawkins &c, is that they are not neutral seekers after truth but
ideologues of militant liberalism and as with all liberals they claim
to be ideology free but they end up supporting the status quo -here in
particular offering intellectual succour to the Islamophobes at a time
when Islamophobia is the principal and most potent form of racism in UK
They are also in general horribly smug, as if being opposed
to religion is such a terribly difficult and demanding thing to do,
when of course it costs no serious political commitment, risk or effort
at all.

I'm an atheist and ultimately opposed to religious ideas
but I don't believe religion is currently the main enemy  - capitalism
, imperialism and the consequent drive to war are. When I hear the
supporters of the Iraq war, the Straws, the Blunketts, the Blairs use
defence of the enlightenment arguments to ,for example, bash Moslem
woman who choose to wear traditional dress I both reach for my sick bag
and I know precisely which side I'm on.

Just as a matter of
interest here's a little film, transmuted into gif format, I made of
young Moslem women on the defend Palestine demonstration earlier this
year -they don't look too oppressed or incapacitated by their manifest
religious belief to me...



and just to be ecumenical about it, it's certainly been the case that
on the whole the Church of England leadership has been *far to the
left* of all the mainstream political parties on most (not all, it's
nuanced) social and political issues for about the last ten years...

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