I’m in the process of chipping away the myths encrusting the concept of authority so as to reveal its incoherent core — meaning its essential irrationality. This is just a small chip along the way.
Try substituting “the Lord” with “the Authoritarian” in Bible texts. Suddenly, the Bible will make a lot more sense to you, and you might not like it.
Here’s an example:
An incredible amount of work and propaganda, for thousands of years, has gone into creating positive associations with “Lord” in the minds of believers of Abrahamic religions. In fact, there is little difference between a lord and a successful authoritarian. (Just cuz you’re an authoritarian doesn’t mean you succeeded in becoming a lord — most never accede.)
Christians and to some extent Muslims emphasize the Lord as loving or caring. Jews tend to stress the Lord first as an authority and object of veneration, and only then possibly as a benefactor and lover of mankind. However, the question of benevolence is not the main issue, because there is a fundamental problem with even a benevolent dictatorship: It’s a dictatorship. Most would resist calling the Lord a “dictator” but they’d be hard pressed to explain the difference. Benevolent or not, under a dictatorship/lordship people are dominated, filling roles as dependents and vassals, as if they were helpless or obnoxious or rebellious children belonging to the the dictator/lord, hardly more than slaves with rights of temporary refusal — temporary because, after too much refusal, judgment eventually catches up to them. Even Paul the apostle was fond of characterizing himself in just this way: the “bondslave of Jesus Christ.”
No one who cares about other human beings wants to see them stuck as perpetual invalids, doting and ingratiating themselves to a Superior Being and his (rarely her) minions, whether earthly or heavenly ones. This is why in practice both governments and religions are anti-love, anti-person, and anti-divine. They presume a stance against the people, against trusting the people, and therefore against loving the people. (Presumed because they take the stance from the outset, prior to any actions by people that would justify taking the stance at all.) John the apostle called this posture and attitude “the spirit of the antichrist”.
I’m sure that some will object that religion specifically aims to lift people out of their invalidity and teach them to be independent and competent. Bullshit.
Ignore for a moment those who play the roles of Guru, Master, Father, His Holiness, His Eminence, etc., along with those who aspire to those titles and roles. They have vested interests in appearing to be something far better and more worthy than they actually are. Of the rest, to your personal knowledge, (not from hearsay like the stories preachers so love to propagandize,) how many people actually experience the promises of their religions? How many become enlightened? How many are truly holy and happy? How many are considered saints and warrant the label? How many demonstrate the quality of life and love idealized by their faiths — not just a few aspects here and there once in awhile, but actually living the kind of lives they were promised as a rule? 1%? 0.1%? Less? Even if it were 5% or 10%, that’s a dismal efficacy rate. And how many go year after year living as contingent beings in dependency on the Authoritarian and his minions? Virtually all (hypocrites excluded). For that matter, the faithful can’t even conceive of living apart from subordination to the Lord and his authoritarian representatives without becoming apostates or infidels or kofers. They aren’t aware of an alternative.
When I’ve asked believers those questions, in an effort to defend the reality of the virtuous fruits of their faiths, they invariably recite behavior and actions by their faithful which aren’t much different from those that any decent human being would typically exemplify. This boils down to the the argument, “But our faithful do good deeds!” Of course they do. Wherever humans are there will as a rule be some goodness, regardless of faith or lack of it, atheists included. Good deeds alone do not prove virtue, let alone divinely powerful life. On the other hand, as we’ve seen over and over when the curtains eventually get ripped back to expose the secrets of supposedly pious authoritarians, merely claiming virtue does not prove good deeds, either.
The success of the faithful in every religion hinges on affirming, supporting, and promoting their religion’s authoritarian program authorized by its supreme Authoritarian(s) through his/their minions. These religions do not in fact intend to empower people to become competent and independent, because then the authoritarians would be out of jobs and have no access to fleeceable and butcherable flocks. Conflicts between various religions are little different than the party politics of nations — incestuous battles for dominance between siblings devoted to the real faith their family revolves around, the true one world religion: authoritarianism.