Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Cult of Life


I sometimes feel sorry for people of faith when I see the manner in which religion is depicted in the popular media in Britain. Invariably, Catholics are the target and they’re portrayed as insane, devil-worshipping paedophiles who’d be better off in a lunatic asylum. It’s unfair because of the 5 billion + of the world’s population who are religious, most practice their faith peacefully and just get on with their lives, but in the grubby old UK the media love jumping down the throat of anyone who professes a belief in anything other than money and soft-soap liberalism. Such baiting is also highly hypocrital because those who take the cheap shots belong to a far more dangerous and irrational cult: The Cult of Life.

This cult is distinguished by the following features:

It demands unquestioning obedience of its adherents.

Any members who come to their senses and speak out against Life are liable to vituperation, excommunication, social ostracisation and accusations of insanity.

Members of this cult (estimated to be around 7 billion) believe anyone who does not share their beliefs is mentally unbalanced and damned to unhappiness.

Criticism of the cult’s belief-system results in extremely emotional and aggressive responses; reason is generally disdained in favour of emotion and cliché, the following of which are typical:

‘You have to take the good with the bad’ (It is never specified why this is so. Why, for instance, Nothingness should not have been left in peace, when there was no need of good, bad or anything else.)

‘Can’t have an omelette without breaking some eggs’ (Generally, the broken eggs are not those of the speaker, are broken out of sight of said speaker, and speaker sits down at life’s table ready to tuck into omelette with a hearty appetite.)

‘But then the species would die out!’ (Everyone’s gotta go sometime, and the word ‘species’ is just an abstraction that deflects attention away from the real suffering of individuals.)

‘But things are getting better all the time’ (Wrong. The amount of real individual suffering is constantly increasing, contrary to what percentage merchants like Steven Pinker would like you to be believe with their finessing of statistics. Statement is also mere reflection of speaker feeling not-too-bad at moment of utterance; pronunciation may not occur when speaker is feeling bad.)

‘Get a life!’ (We have one, that’s the problem.)

‘Stop thinking so much!’ (A sad reflection on life is that as soon as you start to think about it, it becomes problematic. Advice essentially amounts to ‘become a satisfied pig, like everyone else’.)

‘The show must go on’ (Really? Must it? It didn’t go on for eons until biochemistry started its black magic, and if humanity ends the universe will roll on for eons more. What exactly is the show accomplishing? Who’s writing the script? And excuse me, but it seems that quite a lot of the extras, as in all of them, as well as the 'stars', are being killed.)

‘But we’re programmed to reproduce!’ (Speaker here is referring to DNA molecule, the insidious puppet-master of the Life Cult, a strange chemical agglomeration that manipulates its marionettes for its own mindless survival, with no concern whatsoever for welfare of said puppets. More dangerous than Great Cthulhu Himself. Do not approach.)

In conclusion, members of this cult can be quite dangerous, as they look and sound normal, may approach you in an affable manner, and generally claim to be concerned with your well-being. Do not give them money and do not let them into your home or, more importantly, your mind.



40 comments:

  1. Wise words as usual Karl. And this Cult of Life is something that includes the deluded from Dawkins to the most fanatical of religious types / pro-lifers. Anything uniting people as disparate as these ought to be feared.

    And I like your simple deconstruction of the 'devil theories' by which the Great Swine live their lives by.

    There is so much more I could say but I will refrain...

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    1. Thanks, Mr Graverol. And please, do feel free to say more; no need for restraint. I hope this blog can serve as a screaming chamber for those who otherwise have no outlet:-)

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    2. Apostate of Moloch26 July 2012 at 14:19

      The most important part of the Cult is its demand of its members to make a blood sacrifice, to appease Moloch the DNA God: their own children.

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  2. " It’s unfair because of the 5 billion + of the world’s population who are religious, most practice their faith peacefully and just get on with their lives,"

    Since most of them reproduce it can hardly be called peaceful. Catholics are even more so a part of the Cult of the Living.

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    1. Excellent point, anonymous. I stand corrected. Religious people do indeed reproduce more than the faithless, on account, I assume of their fundamental trust in life, something I so sorely lack....

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  3. Don't forget the most dangerous thing about any cult: they make it extremely difficult (physically and emotionally) for the individual to leave the group, label those who express a desire to leave as deficient or deviant, and often impose cruel punishments upon those who try and fail.

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    1. Very true, Todd. Such punishments can even lead to unemployment, homelessness, suicidal isolation etc. The masses don't like it when you decline to come and huddle with them...

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  4. This is a very good post Karl. Most people consider it an unquestioned assumption that it is always better to be alive than not, no matter how terrible someone's life is. I think this strong emotional belief is what drives some people to be so hostile toward assisted suicide even for terminally ill people. It threatens their sacred belief that living is always better than not living. Anyone who expresses a preference for not existing is considered mentally unstable.

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    1. I agree. Anyone who has that belief (that it's always better to be alive than dead) is naive. They have not suffered so much in their life, thus far, to make them ache to die. Believe me I know all about what it's like to wish for death (cause of my deformities). I am not mentally unstable even though doctors put me off as being "depressed" and "anxious" and whatnot. Ironically, none of these doctors is facially disfigured. Funny how that works. So easy to label others when you don't walk in their shoes.

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  5. Apostate of Moloch26 July 2012 at 14:35

    This is a good rebuttal to the (bizarre) "Antinatalism is a cult" argument.

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  6. Can't think of much to say but excellent post Karl. By the way, have you heard of Kefka Ponders? It's a blog on suicide and antinatalism, which talks about a similar tyranny in which life is always valued over death in some posts. Here's one of his best posts in my opinion:
    http://kefkaponders.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/giving-birth-join-the-army/

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    1. Thanks for the comment, estnihil. Yeah, I'd briefly skimmed Kefka's blog previously, but you made me go back and read it more thoroughly and I'm glad you did, cheers. I came across this gem:

      "I think meaning stems from choice. And since we were given no choice in the most important thing (coming into life itself), there can be no meaning in our lives. Being created has removed all freedom which in turn negates all meaning."

      I think that's a very profound observation and books could be written about it. Definitely one to ponder.

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  7. Wahahaha! So true.

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  8. Karl, I've enjoyed the post. I'm curious about the last bit though - would you like to elaborate a bit on the "Do not give them money and do not let them into your home or, more importantly, your mind."?

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    1. Just a lame attempt at humour. Comparing pro-lifers to door-to-door evangelists.

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  9. As a tangential note to Catholicism: Fillipinos re-enact Christ's crucifixion for real:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/22/us-philippines-crucifxions-idUSTRE73L0XU20110422

    What a twisted mind religious folks have!

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    1. Life has enough pain without voluntarily crucifying yourself. The sin of pride, maybe:-)

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  10. I can only echo everyone else - great post, Karl. You covered the bases well.

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    1. Thanks, filrabat. Hope you're keeping well, buddy.

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  11. Great post Karl, i instantly googled deprogramming cultists :

    "Deprogramming is the more drastic of the two approaches because it usually involves an initial kidnapping to get the cult member away from the cult. For this reason, deprogramming is a very expensive service. It can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. After the forced removal, deprogramming mostly involves hours and hours of intense "debriefing," during which a team of deprogrammers hold the cult member against his will and use ethical psychological techniques to try to counter the unethical psychological techniques used by the cult. The goal is to get the cult member to think for himself and re-evaluate his situation"

    Haha unethical psychological techniques by the cult, oh boy. Spot on Karl:)

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    1. Imagine teams of antinatalist psychologists kidnapping and imprisoning pro-lifers and trying to "snap them out of it!" I think it wouldn't go over so well ;)

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    2. Unfortunately, it's much more plausible that some family members might do the same for antinatalists. This is especially true for those who think AN has a strong central leader to whom we pay homage or see as the ultimate source of wisdom.

      Anyway, the diversity of thought among ANs should show that it's not some monolithic group-think.

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    3. Yeah, I guess if Benatar ever gets as famous as Dawkins, we might be in trouble, haha.

      The thing about cults is that even the most apocalyptic ones are still convinced that life itself is something worth preserving, and that the Chosen, Enlightened Few are destined to outlast the imminent catastrophe and usher in a new golden age. I would think it's very difficult, if not impossible, to rally a group of humans in a cult-like fashion around a philosophy that says "we're all in a terrible position, and it's never going to get better, and there's nothing we can do about it." It just doesn't have enough to offer the prospective adherent who asks "but what's in it for me?"

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    4. Thanks, Kaboem. Al-Ma'arri, what a guy! Thanks for the heads-up.

      And yeah, I guess one man's cult is another guy's support group. Could be an amusing sci-fi set-up, with pro-and anti-natalists kidnapping each other and trying to convert their opponents.

      Todd, very true. All cults are about salvation for its elect. Ans, however, know we've been fucked since the second we slithered out of the womb:-)

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    5. No problem Karl^^, Al-Ma'arri supposedly wanted to inscribe the following sentence over his grave : "This wrong was by my father done to me, but never by me to one". He is pretty amazing , i recently just heard about him and i'm on the hunt for his books^^. I discovered him because of a one post poster on the ligotti boards, he just spammed one huge list of antinatalists and it got rapidly deleted. anyways..

      Yes movies, we really need to see at least one antinatalist in a tv show, movie whatever and not a villain please! Not a VHEMT,child hater or efilist, just a plain old philanthropic antinatalist. Ah well we will always have DerivedEnergy's home moviesXD.

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    6. Wow! I just looked up Al-Ma'arri. To think that someone like that existed in 11th-century Syria (and WASN'T brutally tortured to death for it) is pretty astounding.

      Yeah, I think it'll be quite a while before we see an antinatalist protagonist in mainstream fiction, excluding unsympathetic comedy protagonists (Archie Bunker types) and brooding comic-book anti-heroes. I'm not aware of any fictional "good guys" who are just average, friendly people that happen to be against having kids on the basis of preventing suffering.

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    7. Yeah, Al_Ma'arri is the man, alright. I found some of his poetry online yesterday and will probably post a blog entry about him on Wednesday, so stay tuned!

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  12. Ha, in reality we would probably be the targeted ones. Wait we already are...everyday...hmmmm:p

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  13. Another excellent post, Karl. Thanks specifically for taking aim at Steven Pinker. That man is a joke! Every video I've seen of him reminds me of a man who is scrabbling for a handhold as he falls off a cliff.

    And yes, a cult around AN seems very improbable seeing that the idea has recurred throughout history. Those groups and individuals who did embrace AN-like ideas fell by the wayside. Makes sense that the idea does not propagate well.

    Anyway, I've spent some time in the last couple of days reflecting on the improbable course of events that lead to this twisted obscene reality we inhabit. It disgusts me. The whole chain of events leading to this moment. A world where ignorance and avarice reign supreme. Cruelty is rewarded. Boredom and terror exist side by side. Beauty is a lie that decays into dust.

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    1. Thanks, Artashata! Yeah, Pinker is such a dry stick. Here's a superb takedown by John Gray:

      http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/john-gray-steven-pinker-violence-review/

      And what an absolutely beautiful last paragraph. And so damned true. Funnily enough, I spent most of the weekend having identical thoughts, almost to the point where I just wanted to vanish. Yet somehow I live to endure more of it. What a nightmarish world!

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  14. You anti-natalists are just as frightening, to me, at least, as any group of religious extremists. Do you realize that you sound like a serial killer? Ted Bundy, upon getting caught, was incredulous: "But there are SO many people." That's what you remind of. If you don't like the rest of us, and life is just one miserable slog, then by all means, please exit stage left.

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    1. Try and understand the philosophy rather than resorting to the standard ad hominem, defensive, knee-jerk reaction.

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    2. Oh man, the "why don't you kill yourselves" bit. You sure are the first person to hit us with THAT trump card. Yep, the question of suicide definitely never crossed any AN's mind before you pointed it out. Good job.

      Dumbass.

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    3. I notice that neither of you actually have any counter-arguments.

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    4. A "counter-argument" would require that there be an argument to counter in the first place. "You sound like serial killers" and "go kill yourselves" are not arguments.

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    5. The AN argument is relatively simple: life contains unavoidable suffering; there is no guarantee of pleasure, nor does pleasure cancel out pain. Unless one believes in a god who demands humans perpetuate themselves, there is no imperative or necessity to procreate. Therefore in order to avoid creating pain, do not reproduce. It's a simple philosophy based on compassion.

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    6. Regarding the "antinatalism is a cult charge" -- It's obvious not a single person makes this charge did even cursory research in what plausibly qualifies as a cult. They appear to assume that any group of people who found they all have some highly unpopular belief in common is a cult. By that standard, almost every non-mainstream political party is a cult, regardless of it's leadership style or characteristics. Antinatalism doesn't even have a real leader as such. The closest I can think of is Gary of YouTube fame, and even he doesn't really qualify as a cult leader - especially given he has no power to enforce his will over others AND Fedea82 and Shadow (Sorensofos on YT) in particular lambasted gary in a video and on a webpage (respectively).

      If you want to see what a real cult is, then let's start with this list of recognized cult experts, do some research on their work, and see what they have to say.

      David Hassan, Margaret Singer (now deceased), Rick Ross, Arnold Markowitz, Michael Langone, Margaret Singer -- none of these are affiliated with any religion and certainly not fundamentalist/evangelical ones. more from here. This should get you started as to who to look for when it comes to legitimate authorities about cults.

      Other resources: Only Hassan is on the list, but this list looks credible too. If you have doubts, tell me why? Cult Experts

      Warning signs of a cult(Along with real, meaty questions like "Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader." "Ten warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader.", and very important "Ten signs of a safe group/leader."

      Cults 101: Checklist of Cult Characteristics

      Are Political Parties Cults?

      Very informative FAQ from Steve Hassan's site.

      And, from a lady who grew up in a REAL cult - TheRecoveringZombie's Video on the topic

      Regarding the last 3 links especially, do you REALLY think antinatalism qualifies as a cult? Do you think even Gary the Efilist has the power to create a cult even assuming he wanted to? If so, congratulations! You are an anti-AN of amazing faith!

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    7. ADDED:

      Shawdow's / Sorensofos's Efilism, Antinatalism, Semantics: A Fight in the House?

      Fedea's video explicitly challenging Gary, and Fedea gives as good as he got from Gary. He especially challenges Efilism's worst aspects.

      Cultists? These two antinatalists? I...don't...think...so.

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  15. I've been thinking about the Cult of Life for a long while, never finding a person to share my thoughts with. Brilliantly summed up!

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  16. Thank you. This post has made me feel better about keeping my AN beliefs personal. I'm glad I have fellow travellers with whom I can talk with, though. It does help. You guys are keeping me sane in this insane world.

    Brian L

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