God For All That Ails You

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You may have read my tweet

“Religions should be compelled to prove humans have a ‘soul’ before getting a licence to preach.”

but I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone the reason for the statement and from where that notion sprang.

My Grandfather was a great fan of Westerns and, as my father died when I was eight, we, my granddad and I, watched many hours of the wild-west morality tales. In quite a few of them, it seems from my distant blurry memory, there were depicted shonky travelling salesmen, stopping in every town then pulling a lever or two on their wagon which caused its conversion into a stage and sales booth, selling the latest discovery in medicinal health products.
Those snake-oil salesmen and sideshow charlatan’s selling ultimate panaceas, quack elixirs & wonder tonics that could “heal every illness” or “cure any physical ailment known to humankind”, came under the scrutiny of government trading standards legislation decades, if not a century or more ago and there are now laws to prevent those unscrupulous fraudsters making false claims for their wares. And this ethos has permeated so thoroughly that we now test ‘all’ medicines for years to make sure they do ‘exactly’ what it says on the box.

Now, a long time ago, in an age of ignorance and fear, some very scared proto-human had a hunch that the human body has a lifeforce, that which we call ‘soul’ but, thus far, in the very long time since our first terrified ancestor made the claim, there has been no evidence whatever for this ancient hypothesis.
As almost all of the religious / spiritual beliefs trade on this wish, should they not also be compelled to prove it is more that mere fantasy before they are allowed to collect funds from and minister to those who have been hoodwinked into thinking it is a body part everyone owns?
Why do the “spiritual elixirs” peddled by the religious purveyors who claim their wares can even ‘cure death’ remain immune from regulation?

 

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