In favor of official religion

Official science is, as all reactionaries know, and all progressives deny, a disaster.

All progressives also know that official religion is a disaster, despite the fact that progressivism is the official religion.  This should make you suspect that official religion is a good thing – unless, of course, it is progressivism.

If a meme complex is selected for virulence, if for example if it is transmitted by street corner preaching, it is going to be a cult, will have characteristics likely to be harmful to the host.

If, however, a meme complex is parentally transmitted, then it is going to reflect the characteristics of those who successfully reproduce, hence likely to be beneficent, providing divine authority for behaviors that parents know to be beneficial, behaviors which provide long term rewards but not short term rewards.

If a meme complex is state transmitted, the meme complex will reflect the values of a successful state.  Unless, of course, it becomes a tool for power struggle within the state, and so continually changes to become ever more extreme, as each pharisaic politician priest strives to be holier than each of the others, resulting in a left singularity. If, however, it is a conservative religion that claims to transmit the wisdom of your forefathers, and sends any living saints to hermitages on the outer Hebrides where they cannot cause too much damage, generally works tolerably well.

An official religion should squeeze out and discourage more virulent religions, such as street corner religions, without, however, discouraging and displacing parentally transmitted religions. Parentally transmitted religions should be encouraged, protected, and supported, but individuals who deviate from the official belief system should not be allowed access to the levers of state power. The Ottoman empire operated in this fashion, with an official Judaism, various official Christianities, etc. One might point out that the official belief system of the Ottoman empire was pretty bad, but we have seen a great many worse. It was not cultish, which lack of virulence in the end led to its undoing.

Theocratic Anglicanism allowed parentally transmitted religions through latitudinarianism, though this ultimately was its undoing. William Wilberforce and the rest claimed to be living saints, claimed to be the elect. All elect that were plausibly saintly should have been sent to hermitages in the Outer Hebrides. All elect that were obviously pharisaic, for example William Wilberforce, should have been sent to the West Indies as slaves to cut sugar cane. Official religions should not tolerate the dangerously holy, and particularly and especially should not tolerate those who claim to be exceptionally holy adherents of the official religion.

8 Responses to “In favor of official religion”

  1. spandrell says:

    What you need is an official church. When you get a decentralized religion (Protestantism, Sunni Islam, Mahayana Buddhism), and make it official, you get new sects popping up like mushrooms trying to outleft their peers, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

  2. Baker says:

    On Zhang Xianzhong, many of the records were illogically impossible and self contradictory. And all official accounts were from the later Ching dynasty who had every reason to fake them. The records are far less reliable than your post make it seems.

    c.f. chinese wikipedia: http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%B1%A0%E8%9C%80

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