Friday, June 08, 2007

Why Europeans Are Irreligious

The more different religions there are, the more power they all have. Religions thrive on conflict and they smother themselves during peacetime. This is seen from the Americans' great diversity of religions and the Europeans' habit of state religion.

And really, how could it be otherwise when a single religion will never fulfill everyone's psychological needs? Multiple religions do not cancel each other by offering "options", they cover each other's lapses, preventing anyone from leaving the religious system.

But there's more. The state religions of Western Europe have transmuted into atheist religions. In France, state Catholicism transmuted into Gaulism. Quebec underwent something similar during its Quiet Revolution. Both are a belief in the power of the state to do good and an expectation that it actually do so.

Ironically, this "naive" belief in the goodness of the state leads to more effective (beneficial) control of the state by its people than the knee-jerk suspicion and animosity that is so common in Anglo countries. People will rise to your expectations or lower themselves to them. You just have to very strongly and consistently expect good out of states.

So the European State fulfills most people's need to subsume themselves in a power hierarchy. And that's why Europeans don't need to invent religions. Because they already have a religion which fulfills their psychological and all of their material needs.

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