‘Bout time I did more of this.
I’ve been listening to Jon Stewart’s “Earth: A Visitor’s Guide” the last few days…listened to it twice, actually, and beyond laughing, it has me thinking on how the larger con artists…better known as religious leaders…have basically hijacked our cultures.
Usual disclaimer goes first here…I’m no atheist. I practice something of a bastardization of Paganism and Wicca…I have read Tarot Cards for the last twenty years. I do believe, however, that the word “supernatural” simply means that science hasn’t figured it out YET. One day, science will…
Those religions claiming to know The Truth, however, stopped looking long ago. Take the pope, for example, who seems to make a once per decade apology to some ancient scientist the Catholic Church wronged…and yet that church has millions of apologists (aka The Flock) who seem to over look some pretty major flaws in what Catholicism preaches. I was brought up Catholic…an altar boy, even…thus those who wish to suggest I don’t know anything about Catholicism can holster that useless dismissal here.
So…flaws…let’s discuss flaws. I don’t care what denomination you might be, but if you believe in a sentient god or gods…one question. If your god(s) love you and gave you logic…why does he/do they ask you to shut that logic off when it comes to this one subject?
One thing all big religious types preach is blind faith…about how we are to just believe…and tithe…without questioning. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that though tithing is always said second…it is the true goal of those leaders. To get paid. The moolah…bring it on!
I think George Carlin said this bit best…
In the Bullshit Department, a businessman can’t hold a candle to a clergyman. ‘Cause I gotta tell you the truth, folks. When it comes to bullshit…big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champions of false promises and exaggerated claims: Religion. No contest. Not contest. Religion. Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told.
Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man — living in the sky — who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time!
But he loves you.
He loves you and he NEEDS MONEY! He always needs money. He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise…somehow just can’t handle money. Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes and they always need a little more.
Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!
– George Carlin, Bullshit
The greatest bullshit story ever told…I love that mock right there. The moment a clergy-person asks for money…well, they are just proving that, like the rest of us, they have something to sell. They are selling you an idea that they cannot prove in any form.
- Take the Bible…whether New or Old Testament, geography is a wonderful thing that is sometimes used as proof…but, the fact that the authors knew where Bethlehem was proves nothing other than the name worked. Depending upon whom you talk to, some take these stories as gospel truth…while other apologists will claim that it is just symbolism. Considering the history behind who edited the Bible is questionable in itself…this book gets ruled out for me on that level.
- The Book of Mormon…written by a convicted conman…well, this book couldn’t even get geography right and yet so many believe the stories in it. *scratches head*
- The Qur’an…and I like Jon Stewart’s take on this as it points out how the book sees itself as irrefutable…how the Qur’an claims perfection in its Qur’an-iness…and yet the scientific errors alone (and there are fundamentalists who claim that the Qur’an created the science that now refutes it) make one rather large hole.
I could give other examples, but these three strike me as the best known on this continent. I can say, with a clear conscious that no superior being left us any books to read. Based on these three examples, if s/he/it did…then it is a selfish, egotistical, megalomaniac, controlling bastard.
Another question…if the god(s) you believe in made us in their divine image…does this not frighten you?
- Child molesters
- Serial killers
- Banking CEOs
This means that all three of these four frightening people listed above are in the divine image of your deity. Let’s take this a step further…I know the names of more serial killers than I do of people like Mother Theresa…some might say this is the media’s fault for sensationalism of the under belly. Normally, I’d agree, but the gap is so wide that I suspect there are more on that under belly than there are the other direction.
Besides, we all have this little inner voice we here…again, if we were created, this was given to us in the deity’s image…instinct. If a deity has instincts, does that not suggest that the “all-knowing” aspect gets thrown out the window? Suddenly we have a supreme being who has choices with an unknown outcome…decisions to be made on a best guess scenario.
Kirk: Mr. Spock, have you accounted for the variable mass of whales and water in your time re-entry program?
Spock: Mr. Scott cannot give me exact figures, Admiral, so… I will make a guess.
Kirk: A guess? You, Spock? That’s extraordinary.
Spock: [to Dr. McCoy] I don’t think he understands.
McCoy: No, Spock. He means that he feels safer about your guesses than most other people’s facts.
Spock: Then you’re saying,
Spock: It is a compliment?
McCoy: It is.
Spock: Ah. Then, I will try to make the best guess I can.
– Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Another problem on this front…if a supreme being gave us instincts…a loving being that, allegedly, only wants the best for us…why would we then be preached at to ignore those instincts? Ok, ignoring the instinct to kill your neighbor for letting his dog shit on your lawn aside…our instinct is to learn…our instinct is to go forth and multiply…and yet big religions preach against both of these. Learning is wonderful, so long as you don’t question the faith…that is frowned upon…and with the *ahem* peaceful Muslim religion, we know what happens when things are frowned upon.
So, let us answer that age-old question…with this life, this existence, what is next?
I’ve no fucking idea. Anyone telling you that they know is, in my humble opinion, wanting you to tithe. This may be the one area that science will never be able to bridge…but I, for one, hope they never stop trying.