First of all I don't think the tendency to not kill each other as often is a matter of spiritual evolution, and I venture to say Christopher Hitchens would agree with me. Religion poisons everything, as the author repeats over and over, and some of us consider even the use of the term "spirituality" to be an injection of irrationality into the mix unnecessarily. Spirituality, in my opinion, is a completely meaningless term, provided that "spirits" don't exist, and this is where Hitchens is going with his thesis. There is no reason to believe spirits exist, spirituality matters, or that religion does anything other than poison humanity. Some of you will argue about the term spirituality as it has become rather cool to think of ourselves as spiritual even when not religious. I personally don't use the word because it embarrasses me to even remotely be associated with religion or religious beliefs."There is evidence that we are progressing spiritually"
is meaningless to me. Do you mean that there is evidence that our belief in imaginary things is causing an effect? Ok, I'll give you this. But I'd say the effect caused is far more dangerous, negative and deadly than helpful or positive. You and I both happen to live in countries where religion isn't regularly leading to the slaughter of innocents. But this is not the norm in the world and you should not forget it....because we don't now have public hangings/burnings where everyone goes along to watch.
Oh yes we do. Every single day with no exception. I could now present to you video after video after video proving that you're mistaken, but the videos I would provide would do serious psychological harm to you and that isn't my intention. There are web sites that show current up-to-date videos of what is happening in this world and I happen to be of the mindset that watching these videos knocks some sense into us and keeps us educated on what is happening in the world.
Literally every single day some poor bastard who believes in a different God than the crowd around him has a car tire placed around his neck, filled with gasoline and lit on fire, all the while men, women and children cheer and chant and praise their God. I'm not going to post these videos, but don't fool yourself and think we have moved away from public hangings, mutilations and burnings. They are VERY common and are happening every single day with no exception.
Kids have their arms sliced off with machetes in front of their crying parents. Little girls are raped in front of their mothers and then killed. Fathers are tied down to watch their wives and children brutally raped and murdered. I have watched videos from this very month where a group of young kids and teens beat a black man with sticks and bricks and then lit him on fire so he slowly burned to death as he rolled around screaming in pain. Yes, this month. And this is one of the brutal burnings that someone happened to record with their cell phone. How many happen each day where the people don't record their atrocious acts?
In Iran every single day some man or women is wrapped in cloth, buried in the ground up to their waist (men) or to their breasts (women) and then a crowd of men, women and even small children gather around in a circle and throw medium-sized rocks at their bodies and heads till the victims eventually stop squirming and screaming and moving. Oh, and they use medium-sized rocks because the Quran instructs them to not use too small of rocks, as they won't do enough damage, and not too large of rocks, because then they might be knocked unconscious and killed, therefore not experiencing the terror and pain of a slow death.
I am not saying this for shock value. But I think you are wrong about how you view the evolution of human "spirituality." These things I mention are not uncommon. They don't happen just in weird places in far away lands with sick and twisted people. I could show you videos of brutal killings, hangings and burnings from the United States, Russia and possibly the UK. People that believe in imaginary gods are scary as hell. Not all of these videos are of religious killings, but most are...maybe 90%.
Every day fathers drown their daughters for dishonoring the family in India and other Hindu and Muslim nations. Every day wives are beheaded in the street or in public stadiums for showing their faces, for not listening to their husbands or for infidelity.
Research Sharia Law and how the Taliban keeps the spiritually evolved people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan in line. If you're a Muslim and you decide to leave the faith you are held down with your hands tied behind your back while a hooded man slices your head off with a huge butcher knife. Rare incidents? I have seen dozens of such videos from 2008 and 2009 and these videos are the tip of the iceberg. The majority of honor killings and heretic killings are never recorded.
We are not spiritually evolved. Whatever that even means. Humans, when controlled by irrational beliefs, are disgusting creatures capable of atrocious acts of stupidity and evil. Don't doubt for a minute that every single BookTalk.org member would have their heads sliced off if dropped off in the streets of some villages in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. I shit you not. It happens all the time. There are at least 100 such videos on the web. People simply drove down the wrong street and their car is surrounded by people, they are pulled out and then beheaded. Why? Because they are infidels and the Quran instructs Muslims to show no mercy on the infidels. You would be killed too. No amount of pleaing would have any effect. I watched a video last week where a crying women was beheaded in front of her restrained husband.
The only reason why you believe we're spiritually evolved is because you're sheltered from these realities. And I understand why you're sheltered and why most people desire to be sheltered. Some of these videos have caused me nightmares for many nights in a row. But I watch them because I want my education to be complete so that I could never be labeled as ignorant of the real world. I want to know the truth about the Taliban and Al Queda so that when my nation desires to take some form of military action I can make an educated decision on whether or not to support the action. If enough people were to stop being afraid of seeing how brutal the real world is we would all join together and put an end to it.
This is simply false. We have public hangings/burnings daily throughout the world.
Who is "we?" Who attempts to reach consensus? Does the Taliban or Al Queda seek consensus? Or do they slaughter the opposition? Oh, you mean people in the civilized world, right? Well, if this is the case isn't it time for the civilized world to unite and wipe out the Taliban and Al Queda? You'll never agree with this choice of actions if you keep your head in the sand about what these evil people do to people on their shit list.
Complacency is dangerous. Sitting back and pretending that public hangings and burnings don't happen every day is an example of how religion poisons everything. These people are hanged and burned in the name of religion and we sit back and tolerate it by pretending it doesn't happen.