Religion

As an extension of their freedom of speech and assembly, individuals shall be allowed the freedom of religion and religious expression. As hierarchically-organized religion has been shown to be non-essential for individuals and a dangerous tool in the hands of SDAPs, however, it shall be discouraged.

As discussed in the Pleistocene Thought Experiment, human religious Clinations evolved primarily as a warfare and political organizing tool (see Wade’s 2009 The Faith Instinct for a more complete explanation), a tool that SDAPs are particularly willing and able to use. In addition to this problem there are many other reasons why it is in the interest of The People to discourage organized religion. It’s a huge waste of resources, for one thing, with a core of able-bodied employees (monks, priests, clergy, etc.) that are essentially a parasitic load on civilization because they provide little actual benefit to The People (certainly any claims that their amateur social engineering is providing any stability or moral guidance to anyone are without merit, and they’re lucky if the most accurate description of them is that they are ineffective because they very often cause actual harm).

Religion also encourages compartmentalization, the tendency for individuals to decide that the rules in one context simply do not apply in others. This leads to all sorts of immoral and irrational behavior (e.g., aggression and violence, discrimination against outsiders, and gambling and other risk taking), to the detriment of both the individual and The People. It also encourages immoral and unethical behavior by providing a means of excusing or justifying it (e.g., “cheap grace” and tithing, which at its core is nothing more than an exchange of money for forgiveness or blessing).

The “be fruitful and multiply” edict that Mormons and Catholics use to encourage large families also falls into this category because it places the needs of those particular religions over the needs of the species and even the needs of the individuals affected (it’s also of course an extremely cynical ploy: If you can’t convert them, at least try to crowd them out!) Indeed, this philosophy alone may offset any positive effects these types of organizations may provide because they may be destabilizing society by increasing the frequency of eras of scarce resources. The risks here are profound, as Calhoun found in his experiments on overpopulation in rats in which he discovered the behavioral sink. While Calhoun’s experiments would be considered unethical to run now even on rats (let alone people), we for some reason allow organized religions to run this experiment on the entire planet. Worse, Calhoun at least ensured that all his rats were fed, a guarantee we humans can’t make. What is the equivalent of an ethics committee whose job it is to investigate this sort of thing and protect the safety and well-being of the subjects? Neurotypicals now need to step up and perform this duty.

Another great “benefit” claimed by organized religion is that the promise of a comfortable afterlife makes suffering in this life easier to bear. And by making suffering easier to bear, it increases social stability (i.e., functions as Marx’s “opiate of the masses” which discourages the underclasses from fomenting revolution). While these may indeed be actual benefits, it would seem to be far better to address the core issue, the need to reduce suffering by increasing living standards and the level of individual freedom and independence, rather than merely trying to cover up suffering with a smoke screen.

The primary means of discouraging religious belief will of course be education, since this is already by far the most effective tool at achieving this (i.e., there is a strong negative correlation between years of schooling and the practice of religion). Consumer protection laws will also be useful: Want to claim services you provide will ensure good fortune, the protection of God, or a comfortable place in the afterlife? You need to be able to prove it, just like any other business would.

Social cues that it is OK not to be religious will also greatly decrease publicly professed belief, a tendency that will accelerate as it affects the environment in which children are raised: Attendance of services is much higher among adults with children, and that attendance is highly correlated with the religious beliefs of their children. Religious expression dies out rapidly if the parents stop practicing and a child with two non-practicing parents has less than a 5% chance of becoming devoutly religious.

Note that this Matchspec only applies to hierarchically-organized religions: There is no inherent conflict between Matchism and individual spirituality or most folk religions. It is primarily the hierarchical organization of this behavior that poses a threat to The People because that allows Social Dominators and psychopaths to gain power and use that power to manipulate their followers. Indeed, Matchism is, at its core, actually compatible with individual religious belief and expression because religion is a Clination and that’s the raw material that Matchism is designed to work with. We might even envision a Matchist religion specially designed to match the needs of that minority that has particularly strong Clinations in this area. This would provide them the experience they crave without the risk to themselves or The People associated with hierarchically-organized religions.

If this seems to be merely opportunistic or hypocritical, again see Wade 2009, which describes how all popular organized religions are the results of exactly this kind of social engineering. Matchism only proposes to do religion better than previous amateur social engineers. It would produce the “one true religion” by examining all religions and extracting the strongest and most common themes. Each existing religion could then be seen as a window onto the “greater truth”. Since they all conflict with each other it should be obvious that each of them has at least part of the structure of this “greater truth” wrong, perhaps explained as the result of an imperfect translation by various prophets during the development of these religions. By combining these insights a clearer picture, if not of the “greater truth” then at least of our religious Clinations, will emerge.

What would a Matchist religion look like? Based on the most common features in other religions, which give us clues as to what the innate needs and tendencies of humans are, it would probably focus primarily on an afterlife (ancestor worship, heaven, reincarnation, ghosts, etc.) with a secondary focus on multiple benevolent gods (as found in Hinduism, Chinese Folk Religion, and as expressed by the various saints and angels found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). This would also support coopting existing local festivals, another universal tactic used in all hierarchically organized religions, which would provide that the “feeling of belonging” the religiously-inclined minority of the population particularly need.

Food taboos would also seem to be a necessary component of a Matchist religion, since they are a component of nearly every other religion. The forsaken food(s) should be common enough to cause some inconvenience to individuals and so be a costly signal, but not so much as to cause them to contemplate changing religions. A likely target is meat: Most cultures already have taboos against eating carnivores and primates, and prohibitions against various herbivores (especially pork and beef) are common. Matchism might do them one better by prohibiting eating any mammals, while continuing to allow eating fish and birds.

A Matchist religion should be primarily an oral tradition. This provides benefits that religions based on written texts cannot offer, and prevents the most common of their failure modes:

  1. An oral tradition allows the tenets to evolve as needed. Written religious documents are always obsolete because they don’t take into account t+1 morality, requiring “divine revelation” to update them and leaving the documents full of obsolete and easily misunderstood and misused provisions.
  2. It encourages fragmentation into smaller sects that can then specialize on the preferences of the people in a particular Locality. This will inhibit the development of large hierarchical organizations.
  3. It also encourages evolution by allowing the best memes (deities, practices, festivals, etc.) that evolve in specific Localities to propagate because they won’t conflict with a written “bible”.
  4. Religion is by its nature a social phenomenon. An oral tradition would reinforce this by requiring that people attend services and festivals. There, they would learn the tenets of the faith and receive the benefits of socialization these types of events provide. This in turn will help reinforce their belief and encourage further participation.

A series of conversions guides must be produced that will show how each existing religion is compatible with Matchism. This will support a gradual transition from an existing religion, to the Matchism-compatible subset of that religion, to the introduction of compatible features from other religions, to a full Matchist religion. A Matchist religion must spread primarily by proselytizing and cooption rather than by conquest, harassment, accelerated reproduction, or government imposition (one or more of these techniques being used by every existing organized religion). Use of entheogenic drugs in specifically designed rituals could greatly accelerate the conversion process.

What a Matchist religion should not have is a strong set of written doctrines that promote intolerance and lend themselves to SDAP abuse, particularly with respect to science as a source of truth. The purpose of a Matchist religion is to provide minimal support for that minority of people (maybe 25%, and highly correlated with Authoritarianism) who need it without impacting the 25% who outright reject all organized religion and the 50% (mostly Neurotypical) who are more flexible in their sources of truth and inspiration. It would be analogous to making relatively weak and safe drugs like caffeine and nicotine easily available to meet the stimulation needs of The People without requiring them to break the law or risk taking amphetamines or other more dangerous drugs. It is necessary that a Matchist religion be attractive to Neurotypicals, however: Just as is the case with The System, the key to prevent SDAP-led radicalism is to have the majority of the voting population in a Matchist religion be Neurotypical.

Matchism itself offers social support for the decision to use a Matchist-derived system of morality instead of one produced by SDAP amateur social engineers. For example, Matchism should allow for white lies to be told about attendance at services (which fully half of those who claim to be religious do, despite the irony of breaking the moral code to make it seem like you are following it): These lies, like gossip, are going to happen regardless, so rather than make hypocrites out of everyone, Matchists must integrate this behavior into the design of the system.

Next: Gambling