16A047 Religion in the ZGS by Jim Davies, 12/27/2016    


A zero government society will begin only when all government employees have quit their jobs in disgust (so causing its evaporation) and they will quit only after having understood what a destructive and immoral organization it is, and they will understand that only after having engaged their minds in a rational way with the facts of the matter as presented in such an educational facility as The On Line Freedom Academy.

To put that more briefly, a ZGS will consist only of people who have awakened their ability to think in rational terms, not in those of superstition.

All religion is irrational, and that's not meant as a slur; it's a fact which is accepted and even celebrated by religions. Christians for example rejoice in living by faith alone, and the Bible offers no reasoned proof anywhere that God exists but just calls atheists "fools". I don't mean at all to demean meditation or reflection on good moral conduct, but just to identify the often associated religious beliefs as non-rational; for example Hindus and Buddhists may enhance life with regular periods of quietness, but also believe in reincarnation even across species, something for which I'm unaware of a single shred of evidence.

From that, it follows that not many ZGS residents will be religious.

That conclusion can be reached in another way also. The process of becoming an anarchist consists of realizing that by right, each of us is the sole owner of his or her own life; that any others laying claim to control any part of it, including government agents, are usurpers. We revel in the discovery that we are - by right, although not yet in practice - sovereign individuals, subject to nobody. This discovery is enormously liberating, and was referenced in last week's ZGBlog Slaves, Half Free.

Now, all theistic religions including Christianity, Judaism and Islam hold that there is a God, to be worshiped and obeyed as Master. For example in Exodus 20 we read "I am the LORD thy God.... Thou shalt have no other gods before me." That is a claim to absolute sovereignty. Again in Matthew 22, "Jesus said... Thou shalt love the Lord they god with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment."

That too is a claim to absolute sovereignty. This religion teaches that each of us is rightly owned and controlled not by ourselves, but by God. Now, it's not possible to have it both ways, for that would be a contradiction; either we belong to God, or to ourselves. The anarchist has realized, by reason, that we belong to ourselves. Therefore, we do not belong to God, assuming that one were to exist - any more than we belong to government. From this too it follows that not many ZGS residents will be religious.

So we have two reasons to expect religions to play little part in the coming ZGS:

1. All of them are irrational, whereas everyone will be thinking rationally, and

2. Some of them demand obedience to Authority, whereas everyone will have learned he owes no obedience to anyone else but has sole control over his own life.

That said, the habit of being religious dies hard, so there may be a residue. A shocking example appears in a comment following my 2005 STRticle "Christian Anarchist": An Oxymoron? - a reader, johncioffi, protested that "freedom comes from God." Aaargghh! Freedom is taken, by the sovereign individual as a matter of natural right, and depends on no donor at all, even if demonstrably extant. He might just as well have written that freedom comes from that other fictional, religious source: government!

But Christianity is relatively benign, these days at least, while Islam is more of a problem. In its pure form that is a theocratic religion; that is, its demands on its members' obedience is enforced by the state. Mohammad himself was a political and military leader as well as a prophet. So any Muslim learning liberty and repudiating government must also repudiate his religion at the same time. Fair enough, but such apostasy is not allowed; it may be punished by death. For that reason, I think that as governments evaporate all over the world, Muslim ones will be the last to vanish. They have perfected their grip on their subjects' minds.

For the same reason I hope that Muslim immigration to the US and Europe will slow or stop - not by prohibiting it, but by removing the motive; I hope that Western intervention in Mid East affairs will cease and so that the wars in that region will cool down. I see some indications that President Trump will take some such action.

To the extent that Muslims are found in the ZGS, and to the extent that its leaders try to enforce their will on members who wish to leave, those leaders will of course be treated like any other aggressor, or kriminal; that is, they will suffer the ultimate sanction of a free-market court, to be shunned - for having flouted its decision and persisted in doing the one thing prohibited in the ZGS: to govern someone. They would be pariahs, for they would be denying him the right to own himself.

That imagined scenario may never come to pass, or if it does I hope it will be rare. But it does provide one further reason why religion and liberty fit ill together.



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