Most people want security, personal and economic safety. They don’t want to struggle, they don’t want to suffer, they don’t want to have to risk their well-being. What most people want is certainty and order.
For this, people turn to religion. God(s) will give you security, will save you and take care of you, in the end. People flock to preachers and pastors and priests and pulpits, and the organization gives them order; it is right to do this, wrong to do that, and these things will make you happy; do not suffer, because the Higher Being, the Great Thing Above You, is going to take care of you – as long as you abide this order.
Most people inherently desire a Higher Power, a thing within which to give themselves – a thing within which to negate their will: my life is in God’s hands; this is comforting, it is an assurance that all will go well, that you will enjoy Order. If there is a Higher Power, a Benevolent Greater Will, then all one must do is accept that Order and they will be spared the suffering inherent of uncertainty. To have uncertainty is to need to exert your will, is to need to struggle so that you may create certainty. Struggle not, suffer not, this Higher Power will give you Order and Certainty. You in the pew have been saved.
And if another does not accept the order of this Higher Power? Well, then they must be converted, they must be taught to accept this Higher Power, because it is for their own good.
Most people wish for this, to be rid of the need to struggle; most people wish to be enclosed by the arms of a Greater Power that will protect, and save, and secure.
Thus, we have organized religion. And…
Those without televangelists and Ordained Hierarchy turn to bureaucrats and Almighty Government – the Higher Power will be had, life will remain in a top-down structure.
This is one of the reasons I refuse to vote for Bernie Sanders:
Because we are only humans with critically-limited intellect. No one knows what is “The Best” way to run a society; for all you know, Libertarianism works best, or Stalinism, or Corporatism, or Anarcho-Syndicalism. Because can’t be a Singular Order.
Rational arguments can be made for any Higher Power, any type of government, and all arguments have their rational adherents. But it becomes extremely difficult to make these arguments rationally on massive scales.
Because even if you use the Democracy Argument – Well, we’re a Democracy and Democracy means the majority wins – you are arguing for the oppression of a minority. Even if 70% of the population agrees with a policy, if there is a 5% minority which vehemently disagrees (larger than the LGBT population which was oppressed by DOMA), then you have a large population of people which is being oppressed.
It is just as absurd to force the order of Socialism, or Capitalism, or Anarchy on a massive population, as it is to force the order of Catholicism, Judaism, or Scientology on a massive population.
It is absurd to force the Order of a Higher Power on a massive population (especially a population so diverse as America’s) because the universe contains Uncertainty, Disorder, Subjectivity: one person’s Heaven is another person’s Hell; because there is no singular Order, and there are myriad possibilities.
And we need to be free to pursue these subjective Higher Powers.
Let New York and New Jersey go for Democratic Socialism, let Nevada and New Mexico have Anarcho-Syndicalism; Ohio can have Corporatism, and Tennessee can go Libertarian, and West Virginia can go Tribal or something weird like that.
There are other arguments against a massive Higher Power, such as States As Laboratories, or that nothing good comes out of Massive Power over the Masses, and the argument that, out of three levels of government, only the Federal level is restricted by enumerated powers…
But, perhaps those arguments should have their own posts.
I’ll finish with a pictorial comparison:
…I don’t want your Higher Power.