A Chicken Story: The connotation: 1

chicken crossing street

A dramatic story where a brave and curious chicken questions the blind faith of society and hence saves it from ignorance and exploitation. True, that certainly would be the summary of the articles formerly presented. But within lies an analysis of what we call in modern years, religion. Here I dismantle the story down to its essence.

The creation of religion by beings developing an understanding of their surroundings: Just as the ‘prophet’ came up with an explanation for not stopping when you’re crossing the street, once upon a time people, human beings, did not understand their surroundings. When lightning flashed or thunder sounded, they did not know the cause, a virtue called ignorance. When people murdered,pillaged or raped, they knew instinctively deep inside that something was wrong, but not why. Again, the cause is ignorance, since people did not understand psychology, that morals are written into our genes. Not so much that  we hold others before our needs, but not so less that we completely disregard them.

One more factor was laws. At the time, countries were small and unstable. The laws of one ruler today may not be the same tomorrow. If people were told to stop fighting, they saw no cause. This was the same case with countries: Peace would be an impossibility in such unstable times.Rulers and advisers knew this. They needed something to hold the people together, something that no one would question. They needed something similar to discipline in the military: Something that would prevent the thought of mutiny from even forming in their minds.

The first two factors can be made into one: Ignorance, or better put, cognital dissonance. People cannot easily handle uncertainty. If a doubt forms in their minds, it must be cleared soon or forgotten. The latter would not be possible in most cases like in science and morals, and security. One had to know who one’s tribe was, and who was his enemy. It was vital to survival.

So, when science lacked the answers, the people had to find a new source: Religion. The idea of an almighty who judges you based on your behavior, holds you fast to your moral code, defines tribe hierarchy, and ALSO affects the universe through the mediums we were yet to understand proved quite convenient. People would now obey laws, have a social hierarchy, and have an ‘understanding’ of the universe, logically flawed though it may be. Often, the fundamental laws of a religion, and its ‘explanation’ of the universe would be based on the state of society during the time of its birth. Examples, you ask?

Consider these three properties of proper, undiluted Christianity.

The idea of requiring biblical study to be eligible for marriage.

The idea that children must be raised to never question their parents.

The idea that marriage should stay within the subgroup.

What is common between them? They ensure that Christianity would be passed on generation to generation, and would never be questioned. The hierarchy of royalty above land lords above peasants and so on would be maintained This was important to the Roman empire, because spread of Christianity would ensure their hold on conquered people.

Move on to Islam. Consider these:

The rule that a husband may have up to five wives as long as they consent. This rule came up during the Arab wars. It was a time when men went off to war, and women were widowed in the thousands. Since women had few (Or no) avenues of employment at the time (Again due to religion), men were required to consent to looking after more than one woman, leading to polygamy.

Another rule forbids Islamic women from marrying men of other religions, while permitting Islamic men to do so. The underlying logic being that, in that day and age, male dominance would ensure the man’s views would guide the family.

These are political traits, meant to ensure survival of a religion. Now move on to preventing cognital dissonance.

The view that the world is the centre of the universe, or rather the solar system since that was the extent of the known universe at the time, is a good example.

The view that the universe was created by ‘God’ Shiva through his celestial dance in Hinduism is another example.

Both of these claims have been refuted by science so far, but their purpose is evident. For a man to believe and follow laws made by another may be difficult. But what if the laws were said to be created by a supreme all-knowing, kind but vengeful, loving but torturous being who could reduce all you stand for to nothing?

Obvious, really.

The chickens made their God for hierarchy, a farce of knowledge and to justify morals. Well, so did we.




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