Was Thugee any worse than other religions?

April 2024 Forums Events and announcements Was Thugee any worse than other religions?

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  • #84891
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Interesting blog on this by a member of the World Socialist Party of the US:

    http://www.stephenshenfield.net/themes/religion/174-was-thuggee-any-worse-than-other-religions

    Read on, to find the answer

    #120253
    KAZ
    Participant

    My understanding, contrary to SS's article, is that, in an Indian context, the Thuggee were ordinary road bandits, a product of the decay of the Mughal Empire. Their elevation to 'religious status'  was part of a propaganda effort of the British to justify their reign of terror ('civilising mission') by dissing the 'backward' and 'uncivilised' 'natives'. The religious content was probably no more than the "good luck" associated with a black cat crossing your path (to take a familiar English cultural reference). You can read about this in Mike Dash's accessible and informative Thug. Religion (hindu, moslem ,christian or alleged thuggee) does not cause murder, real material circumstances do.

    #120254
    Dave B
    Participant

    I think ‘original’ or perhaps ‘spontaneous’ religions emerge as 'justifications' for what its adherents ‘want’ to do. Why they want to do one thing or another might come later, as it should, in the analysis. In psychoanalysis as well as in psychology [there are in fact subtle nuanced differences] it is called, as a technical term, ‘rationalisation’ it basically means that you select they way you think about things, from a shopping list of ideas, that fits in conveniently with your wants, desires or even material necessities. An example might be people who like driving around in big cars preferring to think that all this global warming stuff is a load of fanny and a conspiracy of lying self serving scientists etc etc. Because otherwise it is a criticism of their decadent consumerism; to put my eco warrior bicycling spin on it.    It is in fact just finding a good excuse or ‘other reason’ than the real one for what you want to do. For it to occur generally the real reason you want to do something has to be socially unacceptable or ‘not normal’ eg ‘immoral’, otherwise you wouldn’t need an ‘excuse’ or to create an alternative reason. Thus WMD for invading Iraq and bombing Syria for democracy etc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationalization_(psychology) The idea has been kicking around for a long time and is replete in good fictional literature eg from Jane Austen to George Elliot. There has been some interesting hard science done on it recently with brain scan stuff and there was some stuff on it on Radio 4 a few weeks ago.   A rationalisation that is conscious is just a lie of course; people often are reluctant to admit to themselves that they are lying. Even though you can rationalise lying. Doing it because that’s what God wants and he is on your side is always a good one. And for a long time that was the prevailing or preferred system of rationalising attitudes and ideology. Which is why details of religious ideologies can be interesting reflections of historical political and economic material conditions etc and why I am really interested in it.  It is not God that made man in his own image, it was men that made God(s) as an image of their own state of mind, value systems, wants desires and needs etc. It was the subject matter of Fuerbachs ‘Essence of Christianity’; the Essence being what it probably was originally. A religion of the oppressed ‘working class’ where God hated the rich and their lackeys in the organised religion of the day. Who else would believe in something like that apart from the poor labouring class? Actually originally in early Christianity, and the gospel stuff, God wasn’t formally omnipotent. Luke 4;5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”   There are several other examples; and that was obvious to a critic of Christianity circa 170AD eg Celsus, if it isn’t obvious to moderns like ourselves. This what Celsus said for example whilst casting derogatory rational aspersions as to the likelihood of an omnipotent God appearing as someone like JC ; “Jesus had come from a village in Judea, and was the son of a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her own hands[.. I think it was said weaving cloth somewhere else in the same document..] His mother had been turned out of doors by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, on being convicted of adultery [with a soldier named Panthéra (i.32)]. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god.” Re ‘Egyptian magic’ Celsum, being a relative materialist for his time was referring to Darren Brown type stuff of which ‘he’ and the Christian Origen were quite familiar with.  The theological idea that God had left the ‘good’ to hang out to dry and put the world in charge of Satan and his helpers probably emerged in the so called “Jewish Apocalyptic theology” that meshed in neatly with the idea that God and Jesus were working class communists; and Satanic ‘capitalism’. As the Roman empire and their ideological systems, that were an anathema to Jewish culture, became more obviously materially successful, something had to give. And thus Satan was theologically promoted from a mischievous imp to a mover and shaker.   The central point is that it is the belief system of the, in that case, the imperially oppressed. It persisted in Europe until the cathars; no prizes for guessing what happened to them. The good Godwas the God of the New Testamentand the creator of the spiritual realm, contrasted with the evil Old TestamentGod—the creator of the physical world whom many Cathars, and particularly their persecutors, identified as Satan. All visible matter, including the human body, was created by this evil god; it was therefore tainted with sin. This was the antithesis to the monotheistic Catholic Church, whose fundamental principle was that there was only one God, who created all things visible and invisible.[9]Cathars thought human spiritswere the genderless spirits of angelstrapped within the physical creation of the evil god……..  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catharism

    #120255
    KAZ
    Participant

    Mr B! Why you no post more? This very useful stuff, well researched. Most posters no good gobshites.

    #120256
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    I've got to say, I think there are two answers to this question, the individual answer and the global. On a global level thugee, if it actually was a religion, was probably responsible for the deaths of 10s of thousands of people. In that sense it probably compares very favourably with the many millions of deaths associated with most of the other major religions. On a personal level, as one brought up as a Catholic. I would much prefer a childhood filled with feelings of guilt, being slapped by nuns and being watched as an altar boy whilst getting changed, by a creepy priest, to being strangled and robbed by the roadside in India.We could turn this into a jolly parlour game. Following "was thugee any worse than other religion",, how about "is syphalis more painful than gonorrhoea",  "which limb would you prefer to have amputated' or "Tory or Labour at the next election". No doubt some spotty faced twat at Channel 5, with red specs and a pony tail, is trying to recruit stand up "comedians" to appear on a "hilarious" panel show, based on this idea as we speak.

    #120257
    KAZ
    Participant

    This sitewww.historybits.com/thugs-thuggees.htmgives a death toll of two million, which is way up in the old "how many did they kill" stakes (it's poor quality so that figure is pretty dubious). More realistically, Mike Dash gives a mere 50,000.TK is quite right. Comparisons are odious. In fact they are a puerile capitalist rhetorical device to stop questioning of their norms?

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