Having subscribed to the Socialist Standard for a while and having read several letters about the party’s attitude to religion would you kindly confirm, or deny, if I am eligible for membership.
As a humanist I believe that mankind’s salvation comes about through his own efforts and not through a deity or a life hereafter. As a Buddhist I believe that everything comes about through cause and effect, which precludes a god or a life hereafter. I believe that the mind is not material and is not subject to the laws of physics. It does not die when the body dies nor does it continue as a soul.
As a Marxist I believe in “each according to his ability and each according to his need” which denies a system based on profits and suggest a system based on co-operation.
I feel that Mohammed, Buddha and Christ were socialists and that it is the followers of the religions they founded that have debased them. I do not think you should deny people who profess to follow a particular religion unless they deny the basic precept of socialism.
PAUL PETTIT, Maidens Green, Berkshire
Obviously we can’t deal with a membership application through the columns of the Socialist Standard. You’ll have to go along to a branch and take your chance. We can, however, already identify a couple of snags.
1. The mind is not the subject to the laws of physics any more than are society or hipster. But, as the mind is real, statements and claims about it are subject to the same rules for admitting and judging evidence as in any other field of scientific research. Your claim that the mind “does not die when the body dies” does not satisfy these standards as all the evidence leads to the conclusion that when the brain ceases to function then the mind ceases to exist.
2. You feel that Mohammed, Buddha and Christ stood for the common ownership and democratic control of the means of wealth production with production for directly for use and not for sale or profit? You can’t be serious. Buddha wouldn’t even have understood the idea (he’d be too busy contemplating his next re-incarnation). Christ (if he really existed) would have been some sort of Jehovah’s Witness preaching non-engagement with the real world while awaiting the coming of the Kingdom of God the day after tomorrow. Mohammed was a merchant and war lord who certainly had no interest in the abolition of private property, buying and selling and money —Editors.