Friday, November 30, 2007

The Mohammed Bear Affair - More Evidence of Arrested Development

In a previous article I argued that religion hampers the development of true morality. Once again with the ‘Mohammad bear affair’ we see more proof that religion also limits intellectual development. Intellect when considered in its fullest sense requires the successful use or application of the three areas of intelligence i.e. problem solving capacity (IQ), emotional intelligence, 'relationship management' (EQ) and spiritual intelligence, 'character development' (SQ). It is also worth remembering that the ability to reason in ‘humans’ is not developed until about the age of nine.

If a bunch of seven year olds and their teacher can create a sense of insult to the fragile egos of supposedly reasonable adults what chance for the future do those tainted by this ‘madness’ (and the rest of us) have. Back in the old days when they had spears or bows and arrows and they where more isolated we may not have needed to worry too much about a bunch of ‘wackos’ brutalizing or slaughtering each other in the Horn of Africa.

Today things are different. With us all needing to address serious problems of our existence it is time for the rest of us to stand, speak out and take action to consign this blurred reality (fantasy) of the masses to the “dustbin of history” where it belongs. Global communication means that religious poison can be spread to all corners of humanity. Childlike ‘we are insulted’ cries by parental minded dictatorial fully-grown ‘adults’ must not go unheeded… they must be stomped on.

‘God’ when will these people grow up, a plea for a saner world!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hey teacher/preacher leave those kids alone!

The eight year old son of a friend came home recently from a school in Beijing distressed because his dad was going to hell. His mother is upset and enormous stress has been placed on the family by the incident. Why was this child disturbed? Because his irresponsible prosthelyzing teacher told him dad’s trip to hell was pretty much inevitable.

Reminds me of this event… ‘David Paszkiewicz of the Kearny School District faces public scrutiny over religious discourse delivered in his high school history class. One of his students, Matthew LaClair, broke the story by providing taped recordings of Paszkiewicz's lectures. In September 2006, the teacher spoke on the fallacies of evolution and described dinosaurs as present on Noah's Ark. He continued telling his students that, "If you reject his [Jesus] gift of salvation, then you know where you belong ... If you reject that, you belong in hell."’ (1)

When will these subverters of the young be stopped.

If you are as outraged by this ‘teacher’s’ lousy behaviour as I am or you have your own experiences to recount, please comment below.

Its been a while since I’ve written I guess because I no longer live in Indonesia and I suppose the lack of a manic mullah screaming a call to prayer through a loudspeaker five times a day has made my environment a little more real.

ref: 1)

Friday, June 15, 2007

“Islam is a way of life”… and perhaps that’s the problem

If you type ‘Islam a way of life’ into Google you will get about 10.9 million listings, so I guess it really must be a lifestyle rather than a religion.

A few quotes and caliibre [bracketed] interjections to confirm [and comment on] this fact:

“Islam is not just a religion. It is a way of life. It should [but doesn’t] bring about peace, stability and success. It is a way of life which does not neglect spiritual values and can bring greatness to the followers of Islam, as it once did.” [This is an admission that it isn’t currently!] (1)

“Malaysia Today” provides an insight in an interesting article by Raja Petra Kamarudin ‘Islam the religion vs. Islam the way of life’ (Oct 03, 2005)…

“Why go to great pains to impress upon all and sundry that Islam is not just a religion but a way of life? Well, ‘religion’ involves a set of rituals based, of course, on certain beliefs or akidah, which would be the foundation of the religion. A way of life, instead, would be broader and the rituals of the religion being just a small part of it. Malays… (abbrev) …would argue that Prophet Muhammad did not introduce a new religion but just perfected the old religions (or corrected the misconceptions and deviations through the ages of the old religions) of the ‘peoples of the Book’ -- meaning Jews and Christians -- and turned it into a way of life.” Interestingly, or perhaps obviously, the author then points out that the Malays in Malaysia are mostly hypocrites as he goes on to say… “But then, when it comes to practice, that is another thing altogether. Malays pay lip service to this whole concept of ‘way of life’.” (2)

Again… “In Islam, the word “religion” means way of life, a way of living that includes all aspects of life, be they spiritual, moral, social, economic, or even political [now there’s a problem, ask the Irish].” (3)

“Islam is not a religion in the common, distorted [is the use of the word distorted an arrogance?] meaning of the word, confining its scope only to the private life of man. By saying that it is a complete way of life, we mean that it caters for all the fields of human existence. In fact, Islam provides guidance for all walks of life – individual and social, material and moral, economic and political, legal and cultural, national and international.” (4) Well there is a load of rubbish if I have ever heard it. Perhaps this quote from Karen Armstrong’s book “The Great Transformation” explains it better than I can: “Zoroaster’s [another religious leader of about 1200 BCE] traumatized vision, with its imagery of burning terror and extermination was vengeful. [Sounds like he was living in times not unlike now.] His career reminds us that political turbulence, atrocity and suffering… [abridged] can inspire a militant piety that polarizes complex reality into oversimplified categories of good and evil.” (5) The major problem with Islam [and other religions for that matter] is that they try to pander to the ignorant ‘tribals’ among us by using the principle of ‘make and keep it simple for the stupids’. Lets be honest there a lot of stupid people out there. Just look at the Palestinian gunmen, Iraqi gunmen, Afghan gunmen to name but a few that you see on TV firing into the air. Perhaps they haven’t noticed they are no longer in the desert and what goes up doesn’t stay with Allah, it comes down… amongst their own local citizens including innocent kids. What a puerile bunch of grubby fundamental orifices this religion has inflicted on the world.

And again… “Islam is a way of life that an individual chooses [or is forced into by his/her parent/s as a result of the accident of the place and the unfortunate circumstances of his or her birth]. This is a fact. It is also a fact that when a society—of individuals—adopts a certain way of life, this way of life will definitely affect that society’s decision-making and leadership, or in other words, politics. So, in that sense, Islam has a lot to do with politics within Muslim societies. In my view, saying that “Islam has nothing to do with politics” is a denial of the very nature of Islam as a comprehensive way of life, not just a system of spiritual rituals performed in a place or time specified for worship, in the traditional sense.” (6) Yes definitely some raw and revolting despots are produced by the politics of Islam.

So have a browse at the Islamic lifestyle at:
and/or at
perhaps a worse site at:

and you may see why “the lifestyle” option is a problem and why it represents a way of life that most rational individuals of the 21st century don’t want! In some respects headlines like this say it all… “Female Pakistani minister shot dead for ‘breaking Islamic dress code’”. If you would like to read this article in full it is here:

Another female victim of the Islamic lifestyle is discussed in chapter two of Christopher Hitchens’ book “God Is Not Great” and I quote “In Gaza, a young woman named Yusra al-Azami was shot dead in April 2005, for the crime of sitting unchaperoned in a car with her fiancé. The young man escaped with only a vicious beating. The leaders of the Hamas “vice and virtue” squad justified this casual murder and torture by saying that there had been “suspicion of immoral behavior.” In once secular Palestine, mobs of sexually repressed young men are conscripted to snoop around parked cars, and given permission to do what they like. (7)

A further troubling issue is, according to one source, the fact that Muslims must have a: “Belief that Allah (God) has the power to determine one's destiny. A Muslim believes that all that is good and bad emanates from Allah. Allah governs all our actions, but a true believer will be thankful to Allah for all his good deeds and expresses remorse over his bad actions.” (8)

Any system of beliefs that shelters its adherents in a cloak of ‘superior being’ impunity and that negates individual responsibility for humanities wellbeing is an abomination on the earth and its people. Cults and faiths through constant questioning need to be exposed as the shams they are and of course must be vigorously resisted.

Islam in reality is just another ‘religion’ or perhaps ‘cult’ that should be consigned to the dustbin of history with Christianity so it can be forced away from the daily lives of the long suffering ‘realists’ of our troubled earth.

1) (Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad)
2) (Raja Petra Kamarudin)
3) (Professor Dr. Jamal Badawi)
4) (Dalia Salaheldin, Ask About Islam editorial team)
5) The Great Transformation - Karen Armstrong - Anchor Books p.13
6) (Jasser Auda, PhD, Dir al-Maqasid Resch. Cntr. Phl. Islamic Law)
8) (author unknown)

ps How is this for a 21st century headline: “Iranian police have warned barbers not to give men Western hairstyles or use make up on them.” My your gods or great armies protect you against an Islamic lifestyle!

Friday, June 01, 2007


May 30 2007, what a sad day for Malaysia. The court verdict against Lina Joy has destroyed her bid to have her religious choice be seen as a matter of personal conscience rather than a state imposed obligation. Whilst the angry young men rejoice and shout “Allah-o-Akbar”, the Muslim religion again trumps the constitution and provides yet another early indication of the cracks forming in this previously rights based democracy.

This verdict and other sad cases such as that of Subashini Rajasperhaps, may mean that the country’s tourist promotion board needs to rework its “Truly Asia” campaign. Perhaps now they need to market as ‘Malaysia truly Arabia’. Actually the government sometime back removed its English street names so it should be no problem for them to re-brand KL as the centre of “ASIARABIA” and perhaps they could call it ‘Riyadh Lumpur’. Oh yes and of course Putrajaya could become Meccaminor.

Now get the tune in the head and its… Malaysia…. truly Arabia… yessssirrrr sounds great.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Jerry Falwell’s Dead - May 15, 2007

Killed by mother nature in the normal course of events. This special occasion reminds me of the great Clarence Darrow quote: “I never wanted to see anybody die but there are a few obituary notices I have read with pleasure.”

His life for me was a great testimony to another Darrow quote: “The world is made up for the most part of morons and natural tyrants, sure of themselves, strong in their own opinions, never doubting anything.”

What a great day for humanity May 15th has become.

Oh yes and... “a date which will live in infamy” (Roosevelt) perhaps could be applied to August 11 1933, the date of his birth.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Does God really despise Indonesia or isn’t it listening?

I guess recently the cultists (sometimes referred to as ‘the religious’) in Indonesia are scratching their heads trying to understand the reason for the country’s recent calamities. A prayer session was undertaken in February by a number of the top echelon of cult leaders after the train derailment in central Java that killed five people and injured hundreds that closely followed the crash of Adam Air Flight 574 in Sulawesi and the burning of the Senopati Nusantara ferry in the Java sea that left the country with a combined death toll in the hundreds. The local cult (religious) leaders who held the large joint prayer meeting were apparently asking god to bring safety and relief to Indonesia.

Since the initial prayers there has been the sinking of the already damaged ferry on February 25th while investigators and news people were on board thus losing another 4 lives. There has also been a massive landslide that killed at least 34 in Cibal district, East Nusa Tenggara, Flores Island on March 3rd and a second air crash with 21 killed in Yogyakarta on March 7th. Hence my question; does god really sit about listening to the prayers of the ineffectual and the top ‘god botherers’ of the country?

Then of course we get this…

“Leaders join prayer for RI safety” (Again?) - Saturday, March 10, 2007- M. Taufiqurrahman, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta. “…the country's leaders sought assistance from on high Friday by joining a mass prayer at the Istiqlal Grand Mosque in Central Jakarta. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Vice President Jusuf Kalla and almost all the ministers from the United Indonesia Cabinet joined with thousands of Muslims to take part in a group prayer (dzikir) held after the Friday prayer. The seemingly ordinary Friday prayer took on new meaning, especially after the director general for Islamic and haj affairs at the Religious Affairs Ministry, Nasaruddin Umar, focused his sermon on natural disasters and other calamities.”

Then on the following Friday we get this ‘The Minister of Religious Affairs Maftuh Basyuni…’ “has called on the public, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, to organize a mass prayer every Friday at least three times a month to mark the nation's repentance, self-introspection and reconciliation with God.” He is then quoted as saying… "If we have not been behaving appropriately, we should start to behave better."

Another Post journalist Mohammad Yazid also on Friday, March 16, 2007 gets a bit closer to the mark by saying; (abridged) “many accidents [have] occurred in Indonesia... [that] could have been prevented if compliance with the regulations on passengers' safety were heeded and the government's control over the roadworthiness, seaworthiness and airworthiness of modes of transportation had been effective.”

So this leads us to the sinister aspects of all these ‘prayer-happy politicians’ being reported at the central (rather than their own) houses of worship. As it happens coincidentally and in normal Indonesian style no government minister has resigned as a result of their ineffective governance, nor for what perhaps may be even seen as a worse case of gross negligence. Why? Because it’s not the government’s or its minister’s fault it’s a clear case of… “inshala” or “god’s will”. Worse still it’s actually the mass population’s fault (us) because we as the Minister for religious affairs puts it “we need to reconcile with God” and “behave properly”.

What a crass crock of crap this is. The government is inept and ministers charged with overseeing what has been proven to be a faulty transport system should resign.

What is particularly annoying about all this is that any emotionally intelligent individual should be able to see that the prayers are a total waste of time and that they won’t solve the problems of any lousy administration. What really irks me personally is that the politicians walk away unscathed for their irresponsible inept behaviour and then in collusion with the high priests of hypocrisy try to shift responsibility onto the general population by selling them on the idea that they are not ‘good’ enough in god’s eyes and deserve this crap.

“You can fool some of the people all of the time etc”


Friday, January 26, 2007

Pigs... can you believe it?

See the gif of today’s Wall Street Journal (Asia) Edition

By the way… The Chinese zodiac has been around as part of their tradition or belief system (with animal symbols finalized) since about 200 B.C.E. and there are about 1.35 billion mainland Chinese. Islam was started in 622 C.E. and there are about 20 million Muslims in China.

Read the article and give me a break… no pigs… huh, is this a case of the tail wagging the dog (I mean pig)… see the article… oops most of them don’t like dogs either…

What a load of crap…

If as two ladies reminded me the other day I should respect the beliefs of others isn’t it right that others should respect my beliefs. It is my firm belief that their belief about pigs is a whole lot of crap and it is my belief that they should stop moaning and making a nuisance of themselves and should suffer the lovely little piggly wigglys in silence.

What about respecting the Chinese mainstream, are they to be robbed of the spiritual year of bounty and walk away from the fact that for them pigs are characterized as “honest, noble, generous and joyful”. Pig people are believed to take pleasure in caring for others and constantly worry about the happiness of everyone else in their life. I for one prefer this outlook than the mad bombing secular infighting pain in the backside winging, ‘you must respect me’ Muslim complainants with their anachronistic health fears.

Oh by the way we shouldn't respect the beliefs of others, thats another load of old thinking, they should have to justify their position on sound argument and proof, not just claim 'rights' or considerations just because its always been that way and because 'I believe it'.

What about the real people?

The arrogance of religious fanatics constantly astounds me particularly when they claim some superior right to exist or right to rule over parts of the earth. These ‘rights supposedly ordained by their mythical personal gods and then reported and supported by the words of their ‘holy’ books or by their so called prophets show how intellectually and spiritually bankrupt many of them are.

Take a look at this lovely curly side burned little prick and ask yourself who taught him this crap. Click the link... watch the video of...

a 'delightful' young Jewish boy whom Jesus loves

Mainstream religion has always and will always, breed radical or fundamentalist elements. Because of this inescapable fact it needs to be put back in its box. The Jews, the Christians and the Muslims don’t have any more claim to the earth than the rest of us and they all need to be resisted, otherwise the rationalists and other intelligent people of the earth will get caught in the crossfire.

So the next time the nasty, ‘I’m in the right’ Catholic Pope talks about interfaith dialogue just remember he is talking about dividing up the power and control of the earth with manic Clerics and anal retentive Rabbi’s. Perhaps it would be better if all “god-botherers”, including the ‘big chip on the shoulder’, ‘live in the past’ Jewish ones could to be separated from the rest of us. So maybe their wall is a good idea and when it is finished we should insist they stay behind it. Also when the Muslims say its not fair and that the world is at war with them claiming ‘it’s only a few radicals spoiling their reputation’, we need to tell them “that’s crap”, its all of you are that the problem and yes our resistance is aimed at all you single minded “we have the answer” freaks no matter whether you call your god; God, Yahweh or Allah… you are all a pain in the arse.

“When the truth dies bad things happen” and the truth is that religion hampers civilizations progress.

Friday, January 05, 2007

How Religion Impedes Moral Development

First of all it is important to define moral behaviour. To help us in this task here is an amalgam of various dictionary definitions of the word “moral”: ‘relating to principles of right and wrong; i.e. ethics’; “standards of behaviour and character based on those principles i.e. a "moral sense"; a notion of duty and virtue’ and finally from an old Concise Oxford “conforming to or required or justified by conscience if not law”, “the courage to do the right [thing] unmoved by odium or ridicule” and a “standard of conduct respected by good [people] independently of positive law or religion”.

Marvin W. Berkowitz, Ph.D. in an article entitled “The education of the complete moral person” quotes studies in Canada by ‘Walker, Pitts, Hennig, & Matsuba’ that have resulted in the following “twelve most common descriptors, in descending order of prevalence: compassionate/caring, consistent, honest, self-sacrificing, open-minded, thoughtful/rational, socially active, just, courageous, virtuous, autonomous, and empathic/sensitive. Berkowitz also states that he has “less formally found the same basic set of responses in the USA, Scotland, Switzerland and the Netherlands.”

Berkowitz then points out that much human activity is condoned as a result of a state of “social agreement” or “social convention” which does not necessarily make such activities morally ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. He then states… “Therefore, when schools teach social conventions, they must be prepared for moral evaluation of the validity of those conventions, no matter how widely accepted they might be. The personal domain is concerned with those issues, which should not be socially regulated; i.e., matters of personal preference and taste. No one should be able to tell me what my favourite colour should be or whether I should prefer the taste of chocolate ice cream with or without fresh raspberries. Schools certainly should not teach children which flavours or colours they ought to prefer.”

When we look at religion closely, surely by intellect and reason we must immediately come to the conclusion that neither is religion moral, nor do many of its leaders qualify as apt examples of sound morality. Take some the current Pope’s (previously Cardinal Ratzinger) questionable behaviour. If a recent documentary on BBC has it right he was the primary architect of a major cover up and responsible for the withholding of information from civil authorities regarding cases of priests who committed child molestations with what so far has amounted to ‘holy impunity’ for many of the perpetrators. Also you could name a number of Muslim muftis that with the issuing of various fatwas may do what is acceptable to their social congregations however much of what they advocate in no way can be viewed as moral. The call to murder the now famous cartoonists is a great example. I guess also the infamous call for the killing of Salman Rushdie by the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini calls into question the morality of that individual. Khomeini claimed that Rushdie's murder was a religious duty for Muslims however that is a cultural issue, (as religion is merely a component of culture) and in my view both he and his fatwa were totally immoral under an objective test of ‘Berkowitz’s twelve factors’ and the dictionary definition. It is worth remembering that Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator of the book The Satanic Verses was murdered and that two other translators of the book survived attempted assassinations.

Another commentator and the original writer that stimulated this particular blog posting, Brad N. Clark, a correctional educator in California sheds some more light on the uselessness of religion as a moral standard setter. In a 1994 article for the “Free Enquiry” he quotes a body of literature that offers, “observations” regarding “religion's negative effect on the development of those functioning at low moral reasoning levels.” His views in the article are also apparently based on his first hand observations of the high levels of religious converts and religiosity levels in US prisons, apparently encouraged by the US government to have the inmates ‘develop’ into more moral citizens by their release. By ‘develop’ I guess he is referring to their personal growth toward being healthy social functioning individuals able to effectively live with those around them. This of course must also assume that the relevant society as a whole is a ‘mature’ and ‘enlightened’ group functioning in a ‘civilized’ manner.

He goes on: “The underlying assumption that religion and morality are interrelated is simply untenable. For example, Freud suggested that religion served to undermine moral responsibility while promoting fanaticism. He contended that people who behave morally only out of fear of supernatural penalty would be unlikely to respect and care for others from an altruistic perspective. This argument receives support from the theory of moral reasoning developed by the late Lawrence Kohlberg.”

“By moral reasoning, Kohlberg (1981) meant the process behind the conceptualisation of the rights and obligations that define an individual's relation to others and to society as a whole. He recognized that moral growth, like cognitive growth, is developmental in nature. Maturation proceeds from a desire to enhance one's self by any means as long as one escapes penalties (stage 1), to a willingness to do for others if there is a clear reciprocation (stage 2), to a need to conform to peer expectations (stage 3), to a need to follow the law uncritically (stage 4), and finally to concern for the rights and humanity of every person that is not bounded by conditions (stages 5 and 6). At the highest "post conventional level," (5&6) moral judgments must be justified on rational-moral grounds rather than by appeal to the order of nature or to religious authority or revelation. Healthy people normally move from one stage to the next, progressing as each stage is understood. In studies involving various cultures, researchers have found that individuals work through these stages between early childhood and young adulthood, although they estimate that only about 20 percent of the population reaches the post conventional levels of stage 5 or 6. What does this research say about the role that religion plays in moral growth? Clouse (1985) summarizes, ‘It would appear from the literature that adults who accept the basic doctrines of the Christian faith are less apt to reason at Kohlberg's highest stages than those who do not accept the Christian faith’ (1992).”

“While Kohlberg never explicitly examined whether religion could arrest moral development, a study he conducted in Turkey found individuals in a strict Muslim community demonstrated no ‘post conventional’ thinking. Clouse's assessment of the relationship between Christianity and moral growth finds confirmation in the circumstances surrounding the quick religious conversions and renewals of prisoners that result from moral reasoning on Kohlberg's lowest levels. The prime motivation is to assure pleasant circumstances in an afterlife, an incentive that has nothing to do with examining one's relationship to others. Accepting ‘Jesus Christ’ as your ‘Lord and Saviour’ under these conditions is an example of a stage 2 ‘deal with God’. Most religious texts are concerned with defining human-to-God relationships. Four of the Ten Commandments dictate rules of behaviour toward [YHWH], not other humans.”

It might be a good place here to reflect on the definitions of EQ and SQ intelligence and consider what religious indoctrination is doing to these two facets of our existence particularly in the area of moral development:

‘Emotional Intelligence is the way we recognize, understand and choose how we think, feel, and act. It shapes our interactions with others and our understanding of ourselves. It defines how and what we learn; it allows us to set priorities; it drives many of our daily actions.’ (Freedman)

‘Spiritual Intelligence, is an internal, innate ability or functioning of the human brain and psyche, which draws on its deepest resources. It is a facility developed over millions of years that allows the brain to find and use meaning in the solution of problems. SQ is what we use to develop our longing and capacity for meaning, vision and value. It allows us to dream and to strive. It underlies the things we believe in and the role our beliefs and values play in the actions that we take and the shape we give to our lives.’ (Zohar)

So if our emotional intelligence levels are limited by a religious dogma that defines us as a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim, or worse still, as someone governed as a sect of one of those religions and if that dogma then expects us to act on those sectarian principals what chance is there for us to lead a moral existence? More particularly if by labelling us (and others) our religious teachers diminish the worth of others who are ‘different’ (as infidels etc), what chance do the religious have to even come to grips with a basic understanding of ‘inherent’ human moral principles? Spiritual intelligence development hijacked, particularly at a young age, by a mindless adherence to a dogma such as ‘all I need is Jesus and I will be all right’, does not promote a thinking, dreaming, vision developing human being that is able to grow and shape his or her own moral future.

Clark continues: “The Bible, and most other religious books, contain numerous examples of low-level moral reasoning, and this makes them poor vehicles for moral development. Consider, for example, the popular Sunday school story of David and Goliath. In the tale, David becomes enraged at the taunting challenge Goliath makes to the Israelites. After volunteering to answer the challenge, David brutally kills Goliath and becomes a tribal hero. To the literal understanding of most children and inmates, the story teaches that violence is an appropriate way to resolve conflict and its use will gain you respect among your peers. Inner-city youths use the same level of moral reasoning when they commit drive-by shootings against those who have offended them.”

“If, then, biblical instruction and the basic doctrines of religion do not contribute to moral growth, does a high level of religiosity improve moral reasoning? This question has special relevance since inmates seem particularly inclined to ‘zealotry’ and are attracted to extremes such as the Calvinistic view of humanity as vile and depraved. Such a perspective seems to speak directly to their own inadequate self-esteem and sense of identity. But it reinforces a belief that they are compelled by their nature to sin, a view that can serve as a rationalization for committing further crime.”

“The high number of religious child molesters illustrates that religiosity provides no guarantee of moral behaviour. It is well recognized that religiosity is central to the personality structure of certain types of child sex offenders (Schouweiler). The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (Hathaway and McKinley), a widely employed psychological assessment, uses religiosity as one indicator of paedophilia. In the reasoning often associated with such individuals, they have been forgiven for all sin (and criminal behaviour) through acceptance of ‘Jesus Christ,’ who redeemed their sinful deeds before they were born. As a consequence, they relinquish all personal accountability for their actions. In addition, a religiously deterministic rationale for criminal behaviour could claim that such conduct is all part of ‘God's Plan.’"

“Research thus indicates that both religious instruction and high levels of religiosity should not be expected to contribute to moral development. Advancement in moral reasoning depends on exposure to the thought processes of Kohlberg's higher stages. The absolutism of religious reasoning encourages an inflexibility that stifles the cognitive conflict. This stifling obviates the mental processes required to advance to the next stage/s of personal moral development.”

Zohar Again: ‘Where IQ and EQ are naturally bounded, and can be quantitatively measured; it is in the nature of SQ to defy boundaries, to continually seek a broader perspective, a bigger picture. As such it resists quantification. Indeed, its essence is not about quantity, but quality.’

Point: By breaking the constraints of “absolutism of religious reasoning” more developed levels of SQ intelligence will help us overcome “naturally bounded” IQ and EQ limits, which in turn can lead us to defy implied doctrinal or cultural boundaries and to therefore continually seek a broader perspective and embrace a bigger picture. Perhaps that’s why madrasas, church schools and other single view organizations try to overcome the very nature of children by using repetition of a limited amount of specific information… to stifle both EQ and SQ.

“A fundamentalist position also limits an individual's ability to understand situations from another's point of view. It creates a personal and subjective orientation that interferes with the development of effective problem solving skills (Hanson,). Further, as Wendell Watters (1992) has noted, emphasis on the human-God bond inhibits the development of supportive human bonds required for adaptive interpersonal and social functioning. These human connections are what prison inmates need to develop most. It must be concluded that the use of religion for correctional rehabilitation is counterproductive to the type of growth that inmates need to make for their successful reintegration into society.”

Brad Clark’s final statement is particularly interesting: “When the issue of the religious indoctrination of children is raised it should be recognized that, from a developmental perspective, the use of religion for moral growth is clearly inappropriate.”

Now although one could argue that this is all theory and conjecture there is some statistical evidence for these statements. Ex Catholic Priest Father Emmett McLoughlin in his book “Crime And Immorality In The Catholic Church” makes the following statements:

“Catholicism, especially in America, now has the most unique opportunity in all history to achieve its goal and fulfil the purpose for which it claims to have been founded. Its most important product, its reason for existence is morality, the moulding of lives that are not only good but better than others, with a greater assurance than that of other religions that its members will be far less sinful, much better emotionally adjusted throughout life and thus more certain of eternal happiness in heaven. The purpose of this [his] book is to show that the Roman Catholic Church in its most important work is a failure. Among its members crime and immorality are greater than among the un-churched or the members of other churches. Whatever else the Roman Catholic Church may be able to do ‘in Heaven, on earth and under the earth,’ it cannot, it has not, and it does not make the majority of its members better and holier.”

In chapter two of his book he quotes prison statistics that show a disproportionate number of Catholics in jail in relation to state population proportions. Here a just a few of the statistics: State Name / Catholic % of population (Catholic % of prisoners);

Arizona/33.16% (53.26%) California/16.83 (43.61) Colorado/10.91 (37.42) Illinois/19.04 (32.35) New Jersey/26.82 (47.66) New York/26.73 (56.46) Oregon/5.95 (18.96) Washington/6.35 (29.43)

From Wikipedia the following also adds to the position that religion and morality are in conflict…

‘All theistic religion devalues human compassion and morality. For a principled atheist/humanist these are the foremost concern. For a religious person, obedience to a deity/scripture is morality and conscience has to take second place. The most widely known example of this is the order to murder Isaac. The Bible contains many injunctions against following one's conscience over scripture. Also, positive actions are supposed to originate not from compassion, but from the fear of punishment.’

This passage for me bears further testimony to Kohlberg’s view that religion is decidedly linked only to lower levels of moral behaviour, if linked to morality at all.

Meta-ethics addresses the question "What is goodness?" and is seeking to understand the nature of ethical properties and evaluations. Divine command theory is the “meta-ethical” theory that holds the view that “moral behaviours are only those that conform to the instructions given or commanded by a god or gods”.

May we for the sake of our children and their children, someday have the collective wisdom to rid the world of these bickering, loathsome, world destroying, simple minded, god bothers.

Edited excerpts from Magazine: Free Inquiry Issue: Summer 1994
(vol. 14 no. 3) - Author: Brad Clark
Freedman et al. Handle With Care: Emotional Intelligence Activity Book, Intro, 1997/1998