Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bernie Madoff, Pascal's Wager, & The Ponzi Scheme of Salvation

Bernie Madoff made off with a lot of people's money by running a $50 billion ponzi scheme. A ponzi scheme is when you basically take money from one guy and give it to another. You do this by convincing both that they're both making money in the process. You use their "greed," in other words, to entice them.

Basically, you convince people that their initial investment is steadily earning them ever more money, even though it isn't. In some ways, if you actually understand that "money" is not actually based on anything but people's "faith" in it, the entire global financial system is really just an extremely elaborate system of self-replicating ponzi schemes.

This shouldn't be surprising to anyone. The "faith" that leads the entire financial system to bilk the whole world (it hides the worst of it's effects either by minimizing our view of it via media etc, or it blames what misery we do see on everything but itself) is the same "faith" that religion has always used to convince people they should, or must, subscribe to a "belief" that their "sins" can only be forgiven by a "God."

It just so happens that that "God" can only best do all of the forgiving we need, so that we all have at least the chance (and it's only a "chance) to avoid hell and reach heaven, by our willingness to subscribe to, join, and even contribute money to, a completely man-made "Church" here on earth.

That a "god" who decided to give us all the "stain of original sin" as a birth right, but decided NOT to either withhold that "sin" (as he proved he could do by doing so partially with Mary and entirely with Jesus) or at least include we also be born with the very "forgiveness" we require to "save" our souls from the hell he had created for us, should alone illicit the skepticism of anyone who has not chosen to simply check their ability to reason at the doors of their temple or cathedral.

Instead, according to the priests who have such a deep and sacred knowledge of God's mysterious ways and means, God wants us all to ultimately obtain "His" forgiveness by joining the right "Church" and subscribing to the right "religion" or "beliefs."

In other words, God wanted to create not only a means of obtaining spiritual salvation for the disease (i.e original sin) he saw fit to infect us with at birth, but more importantly, he also wanted to create an earthly institution that would provide his "professional priestly class" with a means of life long employment. And a retirement package out of this world!

And to encourage people to subscribe to this idea that God wanted his super natural dispensation of forgiveness dispensed by a professional class of priests, God saw fit to provide the world with Pascal's wager, which basically says "it's better to believe in God and be wrong, than NOT to believe in God and be wrong."

That's because, so the thinking goes, if you believe in God but you're wrong, then no real harm is done, while if you do NOT believe in God and you're wrong, you could end up in hell for eternity.

Aside from the necessary emotional terrorism that such a wager relies on to coerce people into accepting the whole racket of beliefs, none of which can or has ever been established as "true," it also ropes people into a spiritual ponzi scheme through fear.

The ponzi scheme of religion, then, is to convince people that a life lived in fear of a God is the same thing as a life lived in love with that same God. And even though religion claims to be offering people "the truth" about God and everything else, even if that turns out to be wrong (they won't admit that it could be "a lie," even though that is what it would actually be), a person is still better for having believed it anyway.

I doubt a single person who's children were molested by a priest, let alone the thousands of those who were molested as well, would actually agree with Pascals's claim that it is simply better to believe and be wrong, then not believe and be wrong. Because obviously, had they or their parents NOT BELIEVED, they would not have been raped by those priests who simply claim it is better to believe than not.

How then can a person claim to be "saving up riches in heaven," if it turns out there's no heaven whatsoever? How many people have been murdered and mutilated for God? Can a single one of them be justified if there really is NO GOD? Do all of the old women who pray in Church on Sunday somehow compensate for all of the evil that religion has done in the world, especially if there is no God at all, and all of their prayers are for nothing?

But even excusing all of that as simply the by product of "original sin," how can anyone claim that a life lived believing in a God that isn't (or may not) be there, especially when religion boasts of only offering it's "believers" of such an idea the undiluted, unvarnished "TRUTH," could be better than one lived without such a belief hamstringing their every decision about EVERYTHING they might ever choose to do?

How many relationships have ended over differences of beliefs, how many life choices might have been made differently had people NOT become so obsessed about God that they chose to focus all or most of their energies into "believing" that they are destined for a better life in the hereafter for having suffered the misery of the life here on earth? And what about the amount of suffering and personal denial of passion that people forgo, all because they believe that doing so will net them a much greater reward in Heaven for doing so? And so much more.

Like Bernine Madoff's son Mark, if there is a God and Jesus was his son, then perhaps the suicide of Christ was intended not as an atonement for the sins of men, but for the sins of His father, for having created a spiritual ponzi scheme that allowed for as much confusion, hatred, and murder in the name of Our Father, who art in heaven.... hollowed be thy name..." 


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