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Saturday, 30 August 2014

Fear is a useful weapon to subject the meek and the less intelligent.

For example, take religion. Priests, Imams and Rabbis find fear a useful weapon in their armoury to keep their flock “on message”.

Examples include: You won't go to heaven, you will burn in hell, you won't qualify for your seventy-two virgins.
(Mind you, if you add up the hundreds of thousands of Muslims killed in the last 50 years and multiply that by 72, that's an awful lot of virgins. But I digress.)
Take politics. Labour telling their people, “Don't let the Tories in” and the Tories telling their voters “If you vote UKIP you'll get Labour”. And, Clegg telling his voters, “If you don't vote for me I'll cry!" Then, Nigel telling us, ”Vote for the others and you'll get a United States of Europe and no England”!

Do not allow fear to interfere with your serious thinking. A favourite saying of mine by Frederick Douglass, the great abolitionist said, in the 19th century; "It's better to die free, than live as a slave!” (This was also said, in the 18th century by François-Noël Gracchus Babeuf); "Better that we should die on our feet rather than live on our knees".

Another favourite saying of mine, often repeated by my mother, is: “Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see”, sometimes ascribed to Benjamin Franklin in the 18th Century, but I believe it was also a favourite of Edgar Allan Poe.

Finally, whenever anyone in religion asks you to do something, or anyone in politics, ask yourself “Cui Bono”, roughly translated from the Latin as “Who will benefit from this action”.

If you run your life with reference to my first quote, action my second quote all through your life, and constantly question the motives behind what you see and hear, you could well end up an atheist, and a follower of UKIP.

Ampers

PS Written with humour but a serious message nonetheless.

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