Control Through Fear

I’m sure most of you are aware that the Bible reflects the prevailing morals of ancient Israel. Along with the “good” morals there are other not-so-good ones that don’t need enumeration here. Unfortunately, all these morals, good and bad, right and wrong, were permanently incorporated into the Bible.

As humanity progressed, we recognized undesirable moral teachings in the Bible and simply quit practicing them. Even the most devout Christians became “scripturally selective” about teachings they practiced.

Biblical morality is set in stone, like an ancient statue, forever unchanging, because it is God’s word. But the true morality of both adherents and infidels, as actually practiced in the world, is decided by social norms. And there’s really not that much difference between the morality of adherents and infidels. There’s very few points of ethics limited strictly to any group (including Christians and atheists). The operative word in the prior sentence is “strictly”, okay? So don’t waste pixels replying with examples of ethics “favored by”, “typical of”, or “associated with” any particular group.

So WE decide what is moral. WE decide what biblical teachings to follow. We decide what is truly religious.

So why do we need or have religions at all? Whatever the reason, it’s DEFINITELY not for moral guidance. Although Jesus preached love, forgiveness and humility, he accepted slavery as a normal part of society and apparently felt no compunction to speak out against it. Neither did anybody else in the new Testament. In fact, Jesus advocated punishing servants severely for purposely shirking their responsibilities and punishing them less severely if they “are not aware that they are doing wrong” (Luke 12:47-48 NLT). There are many verses in the New Testament advising us how to treat slaves . . . and none of it is very loving, forgiving, or humble. So, in the modern world, even Jesus is morally overruled by adherents and infidels alike.

So if morality isn’t, in reality, the purpose of religion, what is? That pretty much leaves salvation and the eternal reward of heaven. In other words: control through fear — because the alternative is damnation and the eternal torments of hell. In the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, “Morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the nose.” As long as religions can convince people they have a monopoly on morality, they can continue to disguise their true motivation: control through fear.

I posted (as “admin”) a reply to a comment, below, that adds to and clarifies the post, above.

© Copyright 2012

6 thoughts on “Control Through Fear”

  1. hmm.. very interesting. If I’m getting this correctly, you are saying that Christians are using the threat of hell as leverage to gain some sort of mind control. Because they know that hell is something that everyone fears. That’s a thought. Very interesting about the elements of punishing slaves written in the bible as well.


    1. Hmmm, I replied but it disappeared. Strange. I’ll try to rewrite it.

      Fear as a means of control is a very early rap against the Bible. What I hoped to convey was that the cherry-picking practiced by ALL Christians reveals that there really is no other purpose for the Bible except control through fear.

      The moral authority of the Bible rests on the claim that it is the divinely inspired word of God: perfect and immutable. But because all Christians are actually “selective Christians”, they overrule Biblical divinity, authority and morality with their own personal authority and morality. Do they not? They don’t recognize they’re doing this, of course, but they are in actual fact admitting that the Bible is not perfect and immutable and must be overridden by their own personal beliefs. The idea of slaves, for instance, is abhorrent to almost all people (including Christians) even though Jesus accepted and reinforced slavery.

      As actually practiced in the real world, Christianity is explicitly stamped as an out-dated fraud by the very adherents who claim it’s the immutable truth. If you see this, then you know that the Bible is not divine, not perfect and not authoritative. Most importantly, nobody really obeys it. The only reason Christianity has survived is because of the threat of eternal damnation and torture in hell. Its brainwashing prevents people from thinking things through. Its claims are upheld by the suspension of disbelief. The Bible is extraordinarily good at control through fear.


      1. I think I see where you are coming from. If this book was really of divine inspiration, then man would not feel the need to continuously bend its interpretation to suit their needs of the moment. The scriptures would be absolute and irrefutable. Also, the message would not degrade due the passage of time since the almighty deity who wrote it would also be immune to such a concept.

        Also, thank you for the response that you left on my discussion board. It gives me a lot to think about. Especially your advice on whether to proceed with the new or old testament. Coincidentally, I created a poll in a post right before that one asking that very same question which is currently at a deadlock.

        I was wondering if you would be so gracious as to break the tie 🙂


        1. Hi Nowhere Man,

          About that deadlock . . . I voted BEFORE posting my comment to your site. I think that means I can’t vote again. And, if I recollect correctly, believers outnumbered atheists and agnostics in the poll by a considerable margin.

          About reading the Bible. I believe it’s best to read the whole thing. It helps to know what is and isn’t in it. But that’s an onerous task that could take a year or more if you only read while on the toilet :-). There are many books of the Old Testament that you can skip. Deuteronomy and Numbers leap to mind but there’s many more as well. The New Testament definitely should be read in full.

          As Isaac Asimov said, ““Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”

          Read it with an open mind.


          1. Ah yes, I believe you are referring to the poll in the sidebar. I do indeed have more than enough Christians to evangelize my wayward soul. The link above is for a different poll attached to a post about which direction to choose..old or new.. and it is split right down the middle. I am pretty much indifferent to this book and could go either way so I’m going with the People’s Choice.


          2. Okay, I found it . . . way down at the bottom of the page. I voted to finish Genesis but, perhaps, the best option is to read all the famous stories from the Old Testament before skipping over to the New Testament (which you should read in its entirety). This way, you’ll at least be fairly well-versed without wading through so much inane verbiage. Some famous characters from the Bible, after Genesis, include: Moses, Job, Sampson and Delilah, Rahab, Solomon, David, Elijah, and many more. There’s plenty of smiting, fornicating, incest, assassinations, wars, plunder, pillage, wrath and vengeance.


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