Sunday, August 3, 2008

Religion and Punishment

I saw this excellent show on punishment this weekend and it sparked a couple things. I may end up spreading this out into more than one post just to keep the length down.

One of the things that strikes me is that when the Romans used to kill people for sport it was the xtians who stopped them. Apparently they didn't approve of cruelty and killing... unless it was for virtuous reasons like religion. Funny isn't it? How bad do you have to be when the xtians are the voice of mercy and reason? So they were able to bring about chance in the Roman Empire but only to bring about even worse tortures and cruelty when it suited their own purpose.

And that brings me to the Inquisition. I, like others, thought that the Inquisition was somewhat of a mass torturing that clouded all of Europe. Of course, that's wrong. As it turns out since the fall of the Roman Empire there really wasn't a new set of laws solidified yet so everyone was pretty much on their own for all but the big stuff. The Roman church started a purification where they wanted everyone to be catholic and they started this massive campaign to convert everyone. They were fairly merciful about it and only really used violence when they needed to. It was Spain and Spain alone who asked to be able to run their own Inquisition to which Rome agreed thinking that they would run it as they had. They were wrong. Spain went off on their own and started the Spanish Inquisition which was the horrifying tale we've all come to know. But from what I gather, it was only in Spain. These trials were there mainly to get someone to confess to heresy. There was no way out. You either get tortured and ultimatly die, or you get tortured and confess in which case depending on the circumstances they may only torture you a little bit more and then let you live.

And of course the big question I always had was why would anyone allow themselves to be tortured until they died? Why not just stop it early on and save yourself the agony? The answer to that is simple and was unknown to me until today. The inquisitors made it very clear that if their confession was a lie then they'd live forever in hell and burn for all eternity. So there's real motivation to try to hold out. But again, the system wasn't designed to get to the truth. It was designed to torture you at any cost. There was just no way you could win. You either lie to save yourself the pain and burn in hell, or you hold out and ultimately end up dying a savage death. And these guys were creative as hell. Some of the devices they had would make any adult have nightmares. To me one of the most freightening was the pear. It was a thing they put in your mouth and they expanded it slowly. As it expanded it opened your mouth until it was opening so wide it began to break. The hinges were destroyed and the jaw itself was broken beyond repair. The victim could never close his mouth again. I don't remember if they said why, but this was all centered around making sure the victims didn't bleed. For some reason that was a stipulation.

However, the biggest example of xtian idiocy was obviously during the witch trials. Again, the witch trials weren't meant to find the truth. They were meant to be able to torture women with no hope of being found innocent. One of the fucking insane tests was they would weigh a woman against a bible. And if she was heavier than a bible she was obviously a witch. Seriously? Isn't that fucking ignorant even for you dumb fucks? There's not even a baby that's just been born that doesn't outweigh a bible. It's fucking ridiculous even for them. That's like saying ok, we'll hold her head under water for 30secs and if she has to take a breath when we pull it out, then she's a witch. Or... we'll shoot her in the face with this rifle. If she bleeds and dies, we'll know we made a mistake. They actually had one similar to that with water ya know.

Another witch test they had was looking for moles. If she had a mole they didn't like they'd proclaim her a witch. And of course, the famous bleed test. They poked her with a needle and if she didn't bleed, she was a witch. Unfortunately, sometimes it took hundreds of pokes to find a spot that didn't bleed because the spot could be anywhere. And some used retractable needles so they could proclaim her a witch when she didn't bleed because it never pierced her skin. Yeah, that's really fair. So what you're telling me is that you're not actually concerned with looking for witches and ridding your town of evil. You're really just looking for an excuse to torture and murder women. And all of this was done in the guise of religion.

And I say again... now that they're not allowed to KILL people who don't believe what they do, they're having to actually justify themselves and their religion. They did get one thing right. There will be a day of reckoning. Only it'll be a day of reckoning with science when they finally have to admit that god was made-up to keep control over the masses.

That is, if this country doesn't turn into a theocracy first.

1 comment:

Muffin said...

I'm sure one day everyone will realize that their god is made up.. Just like all the other gods they dismiss, but I don't count on it happening in my lifetime. Plenty of xians don't like scientists because they think scientists are all in this big conspiracy to disprove god for whatever reason. They don't realize that just because a scientist finds actual evidence of a natural phenomena that was once attributed to god, it doesn't mean they discovered that evidence only to push god out of the picture.