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Cameras, microphones and God
#1
Cameras, microphones and God
I just had a thought. Imagine this scenario.

You're living in a total fascist dictatorship. The leader has absolute power over everybody and there is never any way he can be replaced or removed from power. This is it, forever. He is so powerful that there is literally zero chance of any sort of uprising ever succeeding. But you know the dictator has everyone's best interests at heart. Everyone always says how much they love him!

Now imagine that there are cameras and microphones absolutely everywhere. There is no way to get away from them, or to disable them. You can't do or say anything without the dictator knowing about it. And if anyone does anything that breaks his rules, or speaks badly about him, that person will be marked for torture. Not tortured right away, but at some point in the future the dictator will send out guards to grab that person and move him to the torture chamber, where he will be artificially forced to live forever to endure endless suffering.

People who never break the rules however will be grabbed by the guards at some point and taken to live with the dictator, where they will have everything they ever want and will be happy forever.

You know all this to be true. Would you ever break the rules? Would you ever speak ill of the dictator?

Now consider this extra information. You've never actually seen the dictator. You've not heard from him, you know nothing about him directly except that he has supreme power which can never be defeated. You have his book, of course, which supposedly tells you everything you need to know about him and his rules. You've also never seen any of these cameras and microphones, because their technology is so advanced that they are undetectable. You have seen guards come and grab people, and after that you never see them again. But you don't know for sure where they've been taken, or why. The guards will never say.

You believe it all. You believe it because it is true. It must be true. It's what you've been told since you were born...

I now have more of an idea what it must be like to be religious, and why some people would do or say absolutely anything in order to avoid somehow admitting the fault of their God. I can understand it, and it's fucking terrifying.
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#2
RE: Cameras, microphones and God
[Image: o2j12.jpg]
No God, No fear.
Know God, Know fear.
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#3
RE: Cameras, microphones and God
Bbbbbbbut he loves us!!

It's so scary. A classical abusive relationship. It's sick that people do it to their children, forever living in a slave mindset, and being grateful for it Undecided
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#4
RE: Cameras, microphones and God
You describe a 1984 scenario, and so much of it does hold true to religion...

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
“The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.”
“The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.” - one for the creationists
“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
“If you kept the small rules, you could break the big ones.” - like almost all members of a church

And just like any other pointless conversation with a theist...
“Winston Smith: Does Big Brother exist?
O'Brien: Of course he exists.
Winston Smith: Does he exist like you or me?
O'Brien: You do not exist.”
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#5
RE: Cameras, microphones and God
If there's one little thing that could vastly improve the quality of life for millions of people, it would be leaving any sort of exposure to religious doctrine until children can think properly for themselves.

You're setting them up to be slaves to their own minds, and you're planting all these microphones and cameras yourself.
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#6
RE: Cameras, microphones and God
God would never use cameras and microphones. He's clearly allergic to such devices.

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#7
RE: Cameras, microphones and God
Haha! Slam dunk in your face God Big Grin

He be bringing that weak D in here again.
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#8
RE: Cameras, microphones and God
(July 11, 2015 at 4:40 am)robvalue Wrote: I just had a thought. Imagine this scenario.

You're living in a total fascist dictatorship. The leader has absolute power over everybody and there is never any way he can be replaced or removed from power. This is it, forever. He is so powerful that there is literally zero chance of any sort of uprising ever succeeding. But you know the dictator has everyone's best interests at heart. Everyone always says how much they love him!

Now imagine that there are cameras and microphones absolutely everywhere. There is no way to get away from them, or to disable them. You can't do or say anything without the dictator knowing about it. And if anyone does anything that breaks his rules, or speaks badly about him, that person will be marked for torture. Not tortured right away, but at some point in the future the dictator will send out guards to grab that person and move him to the torture chamber, where he will be artificially forced to live forever to endure endless suffering.

People who never break the rules however will be grabbed by the guards at some point and taken to live with the dictator, where they will have everything they ever want and will be happy forever.

You know all this to be true. Would you ever break the rules? Would you ever speak ill of the dictator?

Now consider this extra information. You've never actually seen the dictator. You've not heard from him, you know nothing about him directly except that he has supreme power which can never be defeated. You have his book, of course, which supposedly tells you everything you need to know about him and his rules. You've also never seen any of these cameras and microphones, because their technology is so advanced that they are undetectable. You have seen guards come and grab people, and after that you never see them again. But you don't know for sure where they've been taken, or why. The guards will never say.

You believe it all. You believe it because it is true. It must be true. It's what you've been told since you were born...

I now have more of an idea what it must be like to be religious, and why some people would do or say absolutely anything in order to avoid somehow admitting the fault of their God. I can understand it, and it's fucking terrifying.


I have some suggestions that will help / hurt your parable, but in the very least it will make it much more intimidating because the people living under this dictatorship will not really know which is the correct way to operate because of all the confusion.

1.) Marked for torture - There will be several different conflicting ideas of what perpetuates one to this torture; namely:
  •  You must say that you believe in him (yet some say believing is not enough).
  • You must follow all the rules and regulations (yet some say that this is not the correct way even though the dictators alleged son said so).
  • You must follow the rules and regulations and believe him him, but if you screw up you must beg for mercy from the dictator, which you have never seen.
  • You must believe only and love everyone else in the kingdom (if you screw up, you must beg for mercy and hope your cries are heard)

Furthermore, there are other stories of multiple dictators that you hear about who offer somewhat similar but somewhat different scenarios so you don't know which dictator to follow after.
Hmmm..sounds like the dictator's instructions really weren't all that clear to begin with.
**Crickets** -- God
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#9
RE: Cameras, microphones and God
Ouch. It was bad enough, but it just got worse! Indeed, religion really is even more harsh than my scenario due to everyone telling you something different Sad

It may sound stupid, but this story I made up seems to have given me some real insight and I see religious theists as victims even more strongly than before. I try to find ways to "get into the head" of theists, having never been one myself.
Feel free to send me a private message.
Please visit my website here! It's got lots of information about atheism/theism and support for new atheists.

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#10
RE: Cameras, microphones and God
(July 11, 2015 at 12:12 pm)robvalue Wrote: Ouch. It was bad enough, but it just got worse! Indeed, religion really is even more harsh than my scenario due to everyone telling you something different Sad

It may sound stupid, but this story I made up seems to have given me some real insight and I see religious theists as victims even more strongly than before. I try to find ways to "get into the head" of theists, having never been one myself.

No, it does not sound stupid at all that this gives you some insight into the ways that some theists think.

Another thing to think about is, if you can remember an example of your parents teaching you something that you believed, that you later on found out was false.  Ask yourself why you believed it, and you should get some insight into why religionists believe their parents who told them about religion.  Still, there is probably much more to the religion situation, as typically it is taught as being of paramount importance, with various built-in methods to try to keep you believing it (guilt, fear, etc.).


We would have an entirely different situation if everyone were raised to think critically and logically, and then after they were adults first hear about religion.  But that is not the way the world is, and so that is why thinking about it that way (which some people seem to do) does not give one an accurate idea of what is going on.  If that were the way the world worked, it would be more straightforward in thinking that religious people were inherently more stupid than nonreligious people.  But that is not the case, as different people are raised differently, so it is not merely a question of innate brain capability.



Edited to add:

One more thing to make your analogy more exact.  Right now, scientists are working on trying to tell what people are thinking from analyzing brain scans.  Seriously.  And they are making some progress on this.  (I sincerely hope that if they perfect it, I will be already dead by then.)  Now, imagine in your story that the supreme leader has perfected this technology, and made it so good that your brain can be scanned constantly, and that you are constantly being monitored for "bad" thoughts.  That makes your story more like Christianity.

"A wise man ... proportions his belief to the evidence."
— David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Section X, Part I.
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