Re: Superstition (A Halloween Message)

Spike Jones (
Sun, 31 Oct 1999 11:51:02 -0800

> [ thinks] variety is good. Religions, as Voltaire pointed
> out,
> become tyrannical when alone, participate in gruesome civil war in pairs, but
> become well-behaved when facing a slew of competitors. This variety means
> that even if the superstitious types win the day, we won't face a theocracy,
> just a lot of airheads.

Thanks Curt! Very insightful comment. This explains why religious organizations in general have been better behaved this century: the proliferation of competitors for customers. The same holds true for cultures. When there is a great variety represented in the neighborhood, everyone benefits, as each puts forth their best foot.

As for superstitious types winning the day, I often dispair that this is exactly what is happening. The Chinese are showing that superstition is not necessarily passed from one generation to the next, but can spontaneously arise where none existed previously, and when it does so, cannot be stopped, even by brutal and tyrannical oppression.

If we had a spaceship with a collection of rational thinking humans and no influence from earth, I suspect that 4 generations down the road, religions would spontaneously form, and would likely go thru the destructive phases described by Voltaire. {8-[ spike