Monday, June 28, 2010

Should religion be illegal- like 'drugs'?

Should religion be illegal- like 'drugs'?

Should religion be illegal? From a purely rational point of view, based upon actual harm done, criminalizing religion makes more sense than does criminalizing "drugs". Religion is more likely to be forced upon an unwilling person than "drugs" are, despite the "drug warrior" propaganda to the contrary. However, I do not advocate criminalizing either one. That would just be wrong. It is not within the authority of any person (or group of people) to decide what any other person does with his own body or mind as long as no innocents are being harmed by the actions. No matter how strongly you disagree or how reasonable your disagreements are.

Drugs and religions have a lot in common (and in some cases are literally one and the same). Both have the effect of making their users feel good- and both can make their users feel really bad, especially when abused or when an addiction occurs. Both are often belittled and demonized by people who do not use them, and who therefore do not understand the pleasures that their users feel. Perhaps there is something in the wiring of the human brain that makes a person more susceptible or more resistant to such effects. It wouldn't surprise me.

Any honest accounting would show that religions have hurt and/or killed more people than drugs have. Yet, neither one must inevitably cause harm. Only through misuse or obsession does the harm follow.

As long as you don't hold me down and force me to ingest a drug, or work to get your religious ideals enshrined in "law" in an attempt to force me to behave as though I agree with you, what you do to your own body and mind are none of my business. No matter how wonderful or self-destructive your behavior may be. You are the rightful owner of your own body and life, and ownership means you have the right to use, and even destroy, that which you own.

The Albuquerque Water cops are overworked. Poor little Jackboots. Yet, the real tragedy in the story is that they find their victims because of tips from "neighbors". No good person would ever report someone for using "too much water". As I have said before, if water is being wasted, it is a sign it is under priced. Market forces, including scarcity, should determine the "proper price" and eliminate waste. End the government monopoly on the Albuquerque water supply and watch the problem evaporate.