Friday, November 14, 2008

The Only Homeopathic Remedy I Will Ever Recommend.

Homeopathic "medicine" is based on three principals and one unavoidable fact.

1. The Law of Similars. Or, like cures like. 2. The Law of the Infinitesimal Dose. Or, the more diluted a homeopathic solution is, the more potent. 3. Illness is specific to the individual.

The unavoidable fact, of course, is that homeopathy is complete and utter bullshit that does not, can not, and will not work.

This last fact is precisely why I find the idea of a homeopathic remedy perfect for one and only one disease, religion.

The trick is this. We don't treat religion as the disease. We consider religion the homeopathic remedy. Stay with me, I think this could work.

First, "The Law of Similars." We take a societal problem like hatred of gays. Next, we find the religion that hates gays the most and send them in to do the fixing. At this point, it's not sounding like a very good idea. But don't give up yet. Just remember the very important fact that follows the 3 laws.

Next enters "The Law of the Infinitesimal Dose." This is where we take that particular religion and water it down with more reasonable ideas. Slowly chip away at the old religious dogma. Dilute it with sanity. Slowly it becomes more and more powerful (diluted). The proof that this sort of dilution works can be found in Scandanavia, where most people are "christian" but don't follow christian dogma and have the happiest most peaceful societies on earth

Finally, "The Illness is Specific to the Individual." Remember, the "illness" is not religion in this case. The societal problem is. And realistically, societal problems, especially those related to religion are often specific to the individual society.

Admittedly, this is not a perfect fit but it is a useful starting point for a discussion about the cure for religion. I have come to the conclusion that we will never "cure" religion. The best we can hope for is a healthy watering down. I'm also ok with that. As long as religion serves to uplift, comfort, and bring together the members of a society, it can be a good thing. Did I just say that? Yeah, but remember, I'm not talking about religion as it stands in the US today. Think Sweden. Anyway, the only way this is going to happen is if all religion is watered down to the level of say, Santa at christmas time. Nobody thinks he's real, but he makes everyone feel a little better about themselves, a little more giving, and a little less hateful.

The impetus for this post was a three minute video sent to me by on the Charter for Compassion. The video has been posted at Pharyngula and has really generated a lot of discussion (currently at 335 comments). Unfortunately, too much of it was very hateful. I despise the bad that comes from organized religion, but I'm learning to recognize the good. And if there is some way to dilute the bad and keep the good I'll feel a little better about the fact that religion is here to stay.

I think that's really what the Charter for Compassion is all about. Recognize that all societies accept and embrace the golden rule. Convince them that it should override any other rule, especially those created by invisible friends in the sky. Spread it around bit by bit. Baby steps.

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