POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE THEOLOGIES AND THEIR IMPACT OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION
The Evil Theologies of the World Are the Ones Punishment Rooted
POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE THEOLOGIES AND THEIR IMPACT ON WESTERN CIVILIZATION
Written by James J. Crook
The major world theologies divide between Eastern thought and Western thought which have created Eastern Civilization and Western Civilization. The theological division is sharp as Eastern theologies are primarily non-punitive and Western theologies are punitive i.e. “punishment” rooted, to destroy evil and “make sinners pay for their sins”.
Another way of phrasing it is there are positive and negative theologies. The three major Western Civilization theologies, being Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and being punishment rooted, are negative religions, having evolved from Zoroastrianism and its judgmentalness i.e. an eye for an eye/ heaven or hell, which all went down the same wrong rabbit trail by dividing human kind into good and evil, and mandating the faithful to destroy all that occupied the evil category. This punishment mandate made these theologies destructive theologies. The insidious situation was who was evil was left to the perceptions, regional biases, and politics of the high priests and religious authorities. This posturing placed great power in the hands of the church heads, and positioned these three punitive Western religions for tyranny.
Whomever the religious authorities chose to designate as “evil”, including their own enemies, were harmed and destroyed by the “wonderful” faithful. The good people. The sheep. This same destructive theological phenomenon, in Christianity, continues today as can be historically witnessed in dutiful American Christians murdering the evil Mormons all the way across the United States into Salt Lake City and Mexico after storming a jail protecting Joseph Smith, their leader, and lynch-mob hanging him. The three Western Civilization theologies are potentially deadly as again can be historically attested to from Christianity’s multiple persecutions of the Jews, Moors, gypsies, women, gays, Muslims, native Americans, African Americans, and individuals with criminal records. Such conservative religious actions usually come from the extreme Christian religious “Right”. Quite conservative and quite deadly. Islamic tyranny followed the same conservative theological pattern in occupying most of Europe, persecuting “infidels”, before the Reconquest in the 15th Century. Judaism has always been a punitive, non-forgiving eye-for-an-eye religion.
The three punitive theologies of Western Civilization spawned the widespread harming of fellow human beings because that is what those religions did. Destroy evil. The sentence can be shortened to “destroy”. Axiomatically between good and evil, all would agree the evil entity is the entity which is doing the destroying. “If the shoe fits”. The thesis of this writer is the three punitive Western Civilization religions are negative theologies and, as such, destructive theologies that have been quite harmful to the human race via their “intolerance” of others who are non-members i.e. the evil ones. The British call this social intolerance phenomenon “othering”. E.g. One is safe, very loved, and hugged as a member of the wonderful First Baptist Church choir in the Bible Belt in Tulsa, Oklahoma but maybe not so safe, loved, and hugged by the “wonderful people” if a black member of the choir in the Muslim church just down the street. Metaphorically as loving smiles from the wonderful people quickly turn to sinister frowns and homicidal hungers, someone cries “Get a rope”!
Regarding the three punitive Western theologies, it is their continuous pursuit and destruction of “evil” as their spiritual duty that has endangered the world and rendered these three destructive theologies. Religions rooted in punishment of the human race, with the latter being theologically perceived as innately evil and sinful man, have been labeled by world philosopher Bertrand Russel and others as theologies of sadism. E. g. consider the Spanish Inquisition’s burning of 1,000 sinners at once in the “grand fire” for the glory of god, also with the Inquisition’s testicle crushers, thumb screws, and the rack pulling bones from joints to be left in that condition. In these punitive religions, the world had to be purified via physical punishment and death resulting in the harming and ending of the lives of countless non-Christian and non-Muslim innocent human beings.
Pagans (non-Christians) and infidels (non-Muslims) were theologically designated as “evil” enemies of god and, as such, had to be harmed and killed by the dutiful “faithful”. Killing is what a punishment rooted theology does to evil members, and non-members i.e. killing is what a punishment-rooted theology does. Who can deny that such is the anti-thesis of spirituality and the parallel of evil. The philosophical question for scholars becomes Has Western Civilization been condoning evil? Is civilization ever safe from punishment-rooted theologies wherein whoever church authorities designate as evil is an “arbitrary decision”? When designated evil, whether religious or secular, becomes an arbitrary decision, we have Inquisitions, pogroms, and Hitler types the latter of which resulted in the murder and cremation of six million innocent fellow human beings as recently as 66 years ago. Still a danger? Yes. From a review of world history, it can be irrefutably stated as an axiom that punishment-rooted theologies are inherently evil. The logical premises here are: Destructive theologies are evil. Western theologies, being punitive, are destructive. Western theologies are evil. “If the shoe fits”.
Anyone within whom the authority to designate who is good and who is evil has been placed in a powerful position and is a scary person who has the capricious option of life or death sometimes over multitudes, e.g. an emperor, Pope, dictator, etc. Such power should not ever be placed in one person. A theology wherein good is mandated to destroy evil also should not exist as who is evil is always a subjective interpretation and usually a political maneuver. Rather than taking a punitive theology approach, why not perceive people as instinctively good (instinctive compassion), rather than innately evil and sinners, who are just imperfect, insecure, make mistakes, learn from them, and are trying to do better. This would be a positive and non-destructive theology as opposed to a negative and destructive theology. An example of negative theology is Christianity’s persecution of anyone with a criminal record from conviction to grave, never forgiving them, socially ostracizing them, and hurling them into abject deprivation. Cruel indeed if not sadistic and contrary to the Jesus model of forgiving the thief on the cross. “To err is human”.
The attractive of a positive theology is, since no class of people will be designated as evil as happens in negative theologies, no more classes of people will be persecuted or killed. If a Christian Crusader killed a Muslim and died in battle, he was promised immediate heaven. This is why Eastern thought and Eastern theologies are starting to attract Western Civilization as westerners retreat from the violence, brutality, tyranny and oppression of their punitive theologies. Who can deny that the Iranian theocracy’s recent sentencing a woman in 2010 to be stoned to death is theological brutality? Is negative theological brutality still with us?
Theologies no longer need to destroy evil because, for the most part, evil does not truly exist except in the mind of the perceiver. A lack of understanding of human nature is the theological culprit. Human beings are just imperfect people who are insecure, hence become defensive i.e. destructive and make mistakes in their relationships with others but usually always try to learn from them and get better. No one wants to be at odds with one’s neighbors. Generally, no class of people are “evil”, hence, should not be theologically targeted for harm or destruction. There are exceptions. The exceptions, though, also include those who are sociopathic, deranged, and insane and need to be removed from society but not harmed. If human perception and theologies designate a person or class of people as evil, the problem is usually not the people or class of people but faulty human perception - from punitive theologies. These anachronisms need to go the way of the Doo Doo bird. They are obsolete.
Food for thought.