In praise of religious fantasies
What would life be like without the fantasies1 created in Hollywood, or Bollywood? After all, fantasies serve not only to distract from discomfort, indeed pain but also to guide to a better outcome.
A fantasy2 is a positive, thus happiness3 enabling data4 stream designed to squeeze out a negative, thus unhappiness enabling data stream, thereby returning an individual to the experience of comfort, pleasure and so on.5
For instance, a religious fantasy, like the cult of the (Greek:) Chrestos (i.e. Hebrew: Messiah), to wit Christianity,6 was designed as protective envelope of ideas7 and actions, thus of purpose, and thus of meaning, for those at the bottom of the pile eking out a short, squalid and onerous existence.8
The Christian survival (i.e. salvation) fiction, installed ruthlessly by fanatic and oftentimes murderous operatives, promised eventual winner, thus eternal happiness status, albeit in a fantasised ‘next life’.9
That promise10 had and still has beneficial effects (for some) and is therefore praiseworthy.11
© 2022 by Victor Langheld
1. Fantasies, i.e. waking dreams, can be designed to enable any, indeed multiple outcomes. They serve as personalised Guide & Control procedures that add virtual survival capacity.
2. A concept, i.e. an imaginary datum, concrete (e.g. a personal dream fully realised) or abstract (e.g. the notion of ‘the good’ or omniscience and so on).
3. Happiness (or any uplifting/energising emotion) serves as (self-generated) signal/feedback indicating a survival capacity increase.
4. All received (via contact/strike) primary data (i.e. percepts) are digital, i.e. once-off.
5. And when he or she reverts to full local functioning.
6. Idem Islam, Buddhism, Jainism and the vast variety of Hindu astika religions.
7. The most fundamental idea was to interpret the human as an (eternal) and meaningful end rather than as a very transient and thus absurd means. Giving human life supernatural meaning was an offer the many crushed by the brutal and absurd daily round could resist.
8. i.e. the vast majority who served the predators (i.e. slave owners) at the top of the pile as prey (i.e. slaves).
9. No evidence for a happy and eternal afterlife (for a particular human identity) has ever been produced.
10. i.e. a useful fiction as placebo.
11. The Charvaka, who observes herself as merely one application of the naturing process, cannot make such a promise and therefore loses out in the market place popularity stakes.