A system of beliefs integrating democracy, equality, and, most important of all, individual freedom. A religion based on free minds.
Note that this is a constructed religion by Roger Johansson. Please don't change anything on this page, because only RJ knows what to write about this. The portrait was made 1967 when I was young, I have no other photo of myself. Visitors are welcome to write on the discussion page. Click on the Discussion tab in the title line to get there. Or the "Talk" button if you get the view infested with a lot of ads on the right side of the page. sry had to.
There is a big problem in the world today. It is not a new problem, it has been going on for thousands of years. The problem causes a lot of human suffering, violence and during the 20th century alone it caused the death of at least 100 million people. This problem also causes child abuse, bullying, robberies, murders, terrorist attacks and wars. It also causes a lot of confusion and theoretical problems.
The problem consists of old social traditions from the stone age which are still influencing a lot of people although we officially have stopped these old tribal traditions, and even made main parts of the traditions illegal. Child abuse and bullying, for example is illegal today. But a lot of members of this international terrorist movement still justify their violence with old ideas like "spare the rod and you will spoil the child" or "that is a weak guy, let's kick him around some, to make him tougher and more manly".
Take the weapons out of the hands of the oppressors, bullies, child abusers, terrorists, etc.. Their weapons are machine guns, capital, ideologies, social domination, violence, bullying, property rights, control of media channels and the ideologies which are spread through movies, comic books, tv-shows and newspapers. Changing the political and economic rules we can make all individuals free and equals, not enslaved by chattel slavery, wage slavery, lack of food and other resources so each person is allowed to think for him/herself and decide for him/herself what to do.
The most important way to take the weapons out of the hands of the oppressors is to abolish money, and all value papers based on money, like stock exchange stocks and other securities.
Explain in clear language all the secrets in the social culture which cause all these problems. The secret social manipulation and abuse of weak or poor people is based on secrets, lies and confusion. The old tribal traditions, often called religions, can only survive as long as the secrets are kept secret. By revealing the secrets of these old systems for ideological, social and economic dominance we are liberating people from these ideologies and stone age social system. The violence used by these traditions can then no longer be justified by these ideologies and people will understand that we can live more natural and peaceful lives.
Individual freedom means that if you do not want to go to work you can sleep all day, and you can decide for yourself what kind of product you want to produce, and if you don't want to work at all that is okay too.
Everybody should be free to think and decide for themselves. Only then can the human mind be free and healthy. And the world becomes a lot more stable and peaceful. It is not very likely that millions of autonomous minds would suddenly decide to start a war or become terrorists, but in a system where a few people, generals, capitalists, religious leaders rule and control the media channels, they can decide and order millions of people to go to war. When the power is divided equally between all people everybody will be free to do what he or she wants to do.
We want a world where nobody dominates another, by violence, by monetary power, by property rights, by social weight based on anger and strong convictions or by being member of a gang, or any other means. Spiritual and intellectual freedom is the result of individual freedom.
There should be no way to change somebody's mind or actions except through peaceful negotiations and good arguments.
How do we want our society to work?Edit
That is the most important issue to discuss. We already have democracy in most countries, democracy means that the people rules itself. But most people still vote for old elites, who own the big media channels.
These media channels pump out large amounts of justifications and explanations for the stone age rules and ideology, with a lot of violence as the main ingredience. The businessmen who took over the power from old religious elites needed new rules, that is the main reason why the theoretical humanists had so much success and could lessen the power of the church.
That opened up for science and technology, and ideas about democracy instead of dictaturship, freedom of expression, etc..
But the businessmen kept the old social system, which keeps the people occupied and confused over social and economic issues, so they are unable to think clearly. The old elites, priests, kings and capitalists cooperate to preserve and reinforce the old tribal traditions, to keep the people under control.
But we can change the rules, peacefully and through democratic elections.
We can have whatever kind of world we like, we just have to discuss, come to an agreement and vote for that program. Here is a suitable political and economical program which allows individual freedom and combines it with a non-authoritarian, transparent and participative form of democracy. Individual_Freedom_-_Program
A lot of people are still strongly influenced by old traditions and let these traditions rule their actions, and how they treat people. Some think boys need to be trained and hardened to become grown men, and this is done with the help of violence. Tough men are created from soft nice boys. Women are created out of little girls. Gender roles and violence is used to create the eternal love and the holy matrimony. This creates a dualistic society of dominating and dominated minds, and none of them are really free, they are locked in a traditional society and do not have individual freedom, other than as an illusion created by strong convictions.
Modern media and communication tools makes the situation acute, as the old tribal traditions have gotten a lot of power to distribute that cultural pattern, so we need to raise the awareness about this old social traditions problem.
Otherwise the media will only communicate the old patterns with more and more communication power.
The best way to dissolve these old traditions is to explain them in clear language, because they can only survive if backed up by secrecy, lies and misunderstandings.
Theoretical versus practical religionEdit
A lot of people treat religions as purely theoretical ideologies, ignoring the social practices which are justified and explained by the ideologies.
The reality, the old traditional ways in practical social life are kept secret and hidden behind ideologies. But the reality is much more important than the ideologies which are used to justify the way children are trained, how gender roles are formed, the way people are bullied and manipulated in real social life. It matters very little if the people who are mistreating others find their justifications from the Bible or movies or comic books like Superman or other books or newspapers or tv-programs.
We need to change the social practices which cause so much violence and human suffering, bullying, terrorism and wars.
Economical and political programEdit
The social inequality also caused economic inequality, or you could say that social power caused economic power to develop. That's why we need a political and economical program to create a more peaceful and modern society, where individual freedom is the most important goal.
This is a simple and practical political program most people can support.
Everybody can register the same amount of private property, like cars, houses, apartments, boats, etc.. Special rules for children of different ages, they get a part of a grownup's amount of property to be handled by the parents. When this program is implemented the ones who have less than the average can register more private property for free until they reach the common limit, the average. Those who have too much can only register the same amount as everybody else so they must give the rest to the society.
Everybody has the same right to consumption of consumption stuff, like food, clothes, etc.. Most simple consumption stuff is not checked in any way, just get it for free at the supermarket. A few things like airplane travelling, russian caviar, must be divided fairly among all people, using a personal consumption card.
Everybody can choose for themselves what to do. There is no money system, all work is voluntary.
We simply assume that enough people will work in the production of food to satisfy the needs for everybody. This needs less than 2% of the people and the food production is being further rationalized with time.
The rest of the production depends on what people want to produce, it is up to each person to contribute in any way he likes to the society.
He or she can also choose to do nothing if he likes. Freedom of the individual is more important than production results, and we are still convinced that enough people will contribute with things that are useful for us all.
Look at the open source and freeware software production, for example. Millions of software writers are already today producing software without getting paid for it. A lot of people like to do things that are useful, or which generate happiness, like musicians, for example.
We must have some laws, like you must drive on the right side of the road, you may not steal other's property, you may not hurt anyone or threaten anyone. No laws against drug use, it is up to the individual.
Anybody can start a new company for production or other activities. Apart from your own private resources you can ask for extra resources from the democratic institutions, like the town hall, the national government, etc.. You can ask for help from other people to achieve more than you can alone. The company must be run democratically if more than one person is involved. And, of course, you cannot make any profit, there is no money system, but you can produce something you think is good for people.
The society is run democratically, and the common resources are ultimately managed by the democratic institutions, which can delegate the running of things to single persons or companies, as suitable in each case. Democracy can be combined with individual freedom as long as the democratic institutions have no right to tell anybody what to do. Democratic institutions at county, city, state and national levels can exist as before, but they cannot order people to do anything, they can only give out suggestions and recommendations. The legislative institutions can forbid people to do certain things, like threaten other people, kill people, drive on the wrong side of the road, steal from others, for example.
There are no laws about copyright and patents. Everything published is the property of all of us, it belongs to the human race. This means you are free to copy and distribute computer programs, music, movies, etc as you like. The authors have no need for compensation as they are guaranteed material equality as everybody else.
How-to implement this programEdit
Start a new party in your country with this program. When you have a majority you can implement it. We have democracy already in most countries in the world, so this can be done peacefully and legally. Violence or illegal struggle for this program is useless, we need the majority of the people behind this program before it can be implemented.
This religion is closely connected to my view of philosophy as the most important tool for the development of mankind. Here is my version of The definition of Philosophy.
This belief is intended to be a program for any and all countries, and ideally for the whole world, in the post-capitalist era. This program does not suffer from a lot of problems in the capitalist system, like problems with interest rates, inflation, wages, mortgages, insurance companies, etc..
Earlier web site For people wanting more background we can recommend an earlier web site about this program: http://hem.passagen.se/rj77/
Social and psychological programEdit
We have been born into an old system of social traditions where violence and strong convictions have hindered individual freedom and a life in a peaceful and nice world.
The age of enlightenment spread the new ideals of humanism (atheism, secularism) and most countries have accepted the new ideas about democracy, freedom of speech, unhindered development of science and technology. As a contrast we can remember Giordano Bruno burned at a stake for saying that the earth is moving around the sun a few hundred years before humanism, democracy, secularism and freedom of speech changed our world. Humanism showed up around the year 1500. The era of enlightenment is said to have happened during the 18th century. But it changed our world mainly on the surface, a lot of people still try to uphold and defend the old traditions. So the era of enlightenment has barely started.
To explain how the old traditions work and what negative consequences come with them is not easy, because people have very different levels of knowledge and insight into the secrets of informal social structures.
So the explanation necessarily has to take up a lot of points and few readers will understand all points. But we can explain the most obvious and most well known traditions and hope that the average reader understands the main points.
Humanism means that we should stop playing the social game of dominance, stop creating very mindstrong people. That old system meant that we were all living for God, and under the power of God. God is the state of mind which has inspired this old system of social traditions.
The old system meant that there were only two kinds of people, those who lived in God and those who did not. The socially dominant God-people had all the right in the world to punish and manipulate the non-members, so they could come to God too one day, or die.
The rule about the excluded third is today seen as a theoretical logic rule but it began as a social rule. You had to be a member of the sacred community, the bully gang, or not. A third option was not allowed.
A practical example of this rule is a school yard controlled by a bully gang. If a new person enters the school yard he has to be classified quickly and treated accordingly. If he is a strongminded and tough bully he is welcomed into the gang. If he is not he must be dominated and bullied. A third possibility is not allowed. The bullies usually do not see themselves as bullies or terrorists. They think they are the real people, the compassinate and loving people.
That led to a world full of pain and stress, and very strongly convinced minds. People took this religion thing very seriously, and they took the social traditions very seriously. This resulted in a very violent society. Scientists have investigated the correlation between religion and violence, and found a strong correlation. The most religious areas in the world are also the most violent areas, while the most secular areas are the least violent.
Humanism means that we must change our world, to live a social life based on individuals, humans, each with his/her personal mental and social setup and state of mind.
We can live with people for the moment, not manipulate them for a supposed salvation in the future. The big problem is all the people who think they are so intelligent and they know everything in social matters, they often mistreat people knowingly, because they think it is good for them. Example from Paulus: "The good I want to do, I do not do. The evil I do not want to do, I do." (closely related to "spare the rod and you will spoil the child")
To become such a God-like creature you must be very mistreated, so you become very strong later, filled of anger and determination, when and if you get to the salvation, the strong conviction you get from women who have been trained all their lives to become very strongminded. This system has raised the stress level of our world to a maximum and it has made normal social life impossible, as all social activity is directed towards creation. It is often the ideological basis for mistreatment of children, (don't spare the rod, you'll destroy the child) and bullying and violence in the society in general.
Intelligence often fools itself, especially when it is trusted. Inexperienced people believe in their own ability to think clearly and logically. A wise man knows that language and logic are just tools for persuading others. One must mistrust one's own intelligence very much, and especially when it is exalted, by love, drugs, anger, etc..
Stone age tribal traditionsEdit
Social rules suitable for the stone age, (the law of the jungle), are not compatible with a modern society, where we must live peacefully side by side. The manly power and aggression useful to gain respect from the other males and to impress on females in jungle life are causing serious problems with violence and mental problems in the modern society.
The social practices of the stone age needed an ideological support. Tribal traditions and traditional religions gave that support earlier. Today these practices are supported by rock music, movies, tv shows, cartoons like Superman, etc..
The old social traditions were based on the idea of an infallable intellect, the allknowing allseeing God state of mind. It makes people think they are geniuses, but it is just a state of mind, a lovely concussion.
That state of mind, when conserved, leads to the big mistake in judging our own mental capacity. The social world around us makes it necessary to have a strong mind, so it is fortified even more.
Building a mental fortress is not good, as it blocks free fantasy and is detrimental to both the person who carries his head with him and the people he beats up with his head. The old system was built upon the idea of a mental fortress, a love that lasts forever, a superior state of mind which is hardened by years of mental training, and fulfilled by a strong conviction, also known as love.
The belief in "truth" is a consequence of the old system, the belief in God as infallable and almighty.
Instead of trusting God and the God-system for a society we have to build a new world, based on the individual, with a mind which is very much prone to making mistakes, so we have to help each other, and do as good as we can in every situation.
The school system in USA teaches kids to "prove" this and that. And we often read americans saying "Prove it!" in a debate. The whole idea of absolute truth and proving things is coming from religion, and from the social traditions religion is based on.
The old system was based on a certain kind of logic, a logic people trusted so much that they did horrible things in the name of truth and intelligence. They still do, actually. In our daily life we often see people hurting other people on purpose, to "make them stronger", to "develop their personality", to make them ready to go into the God state of mind.
Humanism is to see each person for what he is, not what we could make out of him. To let people develop naturally instead of being forced into social situations and relations, and mental states of mind.
I am talking about practically the whole world, which is socially organized to "create" men, in the shape of God. The creation myths, explaining initiation rites in a symbolic manner, existed in most cultural traditions long before these modern religions were invented.
The religious system in the whole world is based upon a certain organization of the social life. This social structure and the rules for social behaviour are virtually the same all over the world. How we arrange marriages, for example. How men and women should be and behave.
It is that system we need to change, because it is built upon violence. But a lot of people think it is a good system, because it gave them a form of positive stress, a lovely concussion, also known as Love or the eternal bliss.
The creationist religion divides the world into heaven and hell (earth, water), and individuals are treated according to their membership or non-membership in heaven. In the social life of today people are judged and treated differently, based on how streetsmart they are, you are either a nerd of a really cool guy. The girls despise nerds and love the tough and cool guys.
So we are all pressed hard to become really cool and tough. The media amplifies this idea by producing movies and tv-programs about really tough guys, who kill and fight like we still lived in the stone age. That is the problem we have inherited from the creation-religions and the stone age tribal traditions which these religions are based on.
The whole world is on a very high stress level. To think clearly you must be extremely strong mentally, which defeats the purpose because that means you are extremely convinced about yourself, your ego, your intelligence.
Or you have to become a hermit or monk and live outside the society. That is why most really new ideas have been thought out outside the society, like when Buddha walked around in the countryside of India, when Moses walked up on a mountain to think clearly, when Jesus walked out into the desert land to think, etc..
In the society people need strong minds, but that has negative consequences, like fanaticism, alcoholism, violence, etc.. If you live isolated for some time your mind is cooling off and you get closer to your biologically natural state of mind.
The newer religions are modifications of the older traditions, to incorporate newer ideas, which often were directed against the social system to begin with, but the society twisted the story so it would fit into the old tribal traditions.
The old traditions are still alive and cause a lot of unnecessary violence and suffering. Bullying in schools and workplaces is one example. Drug use and violence in media, mental blockings and fanaticism are other consequences.
"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion." Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate.
Initiation rites, rites of passage and bullyingEdit
Initiation rites from all over the world can also be described as acts of creation. The creation of men out of boys, the creation of mindstrong women out of little girls, the creation of a dualistic social world, divided into heaven and hell, or bullies and their victims, masters and slaves, gods and mere mortals.
When the elders in a tribe talked to the tribe, sitting around the camp fire, they needed to use a symbolic language, so that those who were supposed to understand could understand and the others, children and uninitiated persons, did not understand what was said. This, of course lead to a lot of misunderstandings, which the world still suffers from. For example: Some religious extremists murder doctors who perform abortions because they do not understand that the bible talks about spiritual life, not biological life.
The transformation of boys to men was described in symbolic language in many creation myths. Taking soft clay from the ground, shaping it and burning it produced a ceramic figure hard as stone. That was a natural symbolism in the stone age for making a soft and natural boy into a tough and hard man. This is the symbolism used in many creation myths describing the creation of men. For example, the greek creation myth talks about how the gods took soft clay from the ground, shaped it after themselves and made it hard as stone. Then a female godess came and blew spiritual life into the created man. A creation myth from Nairobi is practically the same but the female godess poured blood into the created hard man to give him the spirit.