Until now, my posts about religion have been largely flippant and derisory because I don’t believe in the construct of religion and cannot take the belief in deities in this day and age seriously. It belongs in the past when we were a less literate educated species.
I do try to get my head around why people today with the vast amount of scientific knowledge readily available at their fingertips at the press of a few key strokes refuse to ask questions and educate themselves about the world around them - instead turning to the sentiments and views of uneducated and ignorant moegoes that lived 2000 years ago. A person living in the 1800s or early half of the 20th century could have been forgiven for being ignorant about many things because knowledge was hard to come by and we relied on old wives’ tales and hoary old men’s narratives of their lives and even travelling folk telling us about the world out there - but today, in this information age, there’s simply no excuse not to want to enquire, to question, to learn. Is it just blind stupidity, arrogance or stubbornness - or all three - to shut your mind off?
Many pieces have been posted on N24 from anti-theists that range from detailed scientific explanations of the origins of man and the universe down to explaining DNA to basic logical reasoning that convincingly dispels the existence of deities (one god in particular but a different version depending on which religion and cultural butter your bum fell into). All is good pertinent information that you would think might compel a somewhat curious normal intelligent person with a smidgeon of a critical mind to at least ruminate on the arguments being made. I cannot understand the burying of the head in the holy book sand mentality.
I mean, to question everything is to be human. We are curious creatures by nature, that’s how we’ve got to where we are. If we had not been curious, we would not have ventured out of the caves and looked beyond the next hill and the next hill and so forth.
It is surely not unreasonable to expect members of an intelligent species to expend a fraction of the effort they put into defending their beliefs (not even their own but infused into them by their elders and their culture) that derives solely from within a 2000-year-old rusty so-called holy book. Is it unreasonable to expect that people might perhaps entertain the notion, nay, consider the minutest possibility that the alternative arguments made may actually have merit? At minimum, any teachings, any belief system, any book, any writings must be questioned before acceptance.
Yet here we are, horns locked, believers clinging stubbornly to the versions of events in a book poorly drafted over a period of hundreds of years by various sources with different agendas, different cultures, different peoples, not wanting to know why the book of life they rely on so much reads like a hodge-podge of child-like scribbles, contradictions and tales of the fantastical.
Then it staggers one even more when they claim that it is the direct words of their god himself, as if their god dictated the book to the scribes of the day. No my poor dear deluded people; your god did not write the book, or any books. He couldn't have because he does not exist. God is man-made, like the thousands of other deities before him that have since been discarded, including once believed by your own ancestors. Your current version of god(s) is just the latest incarnation of man’s imagination. Your holy book contains half-truths, exaggerations, to outright pie-in-the-sky loopy fabrications and truthfully, belongs in the fiction section of libraries. Look at how the Church of Scientology got its beginnings and that's pretty much how Christianity and Islam et al got going.
Surely, as an intelligent coherent reasonable person, one would have questions about the book one relies so heavily for one's view of the now and hereafter? If you base your beliefs and live your lives according to the contents of a chancy book, which contains so much inaccuracy, wouldn't your curious mind want to be sure of the bona fides of its origins and authors? Spend the effort to know how the book came about first before you dive into its contents head first. The pool may not be as deep as you were led to believe.
And here's a thought: what if the folks of yore did not write their scribbles down because writing had not been invented and thus there could be no holy book(s) for you to rely on? Would you still think there was a god? Isn't it a convenient coincidence that the tales contained in your holy book date to approximately 5500-6000 years ago when writing was invented by the Sumerians? Where was your god before that (or since)?
What if no one had bothered to write anything down (which was actually the case in many instances)? A lot of the contents of your holy book are based on rumours and hearsay. These holy books are also based on the mental capacity of Bronze Age imbeciles (by today's standards) who heard something from somebody about someone that happened somewhere. Remember, communication was very limited in those days. People in general were born, died and lived within their villages so knowledge from outside would have had to be brought in. Have you seen how a story changes once it's been told 100 times?
Knowing that the message could have been garbled and based on third and fourth hand information, would that alone not give you a reasonable pause for thought? With all these factors and variables at play, would it not be conceivable that not everything was transcribed or relayed as it happened, if anything did happen at all? That perhaps a lot of imagination and made up story-telling was used to fill in the gaps? Were ancient people not prone to a little exaggeration?
With these doubts perfectly possible, with the origins and make up of the book you take your cue from to believe in your deity dubitable, is there nothing in your mind that says, "Hmm, hang on...?" No, nothing? Just plough forth in blind belief in the words of an iffy book?
Reading some of the replies following these religious discussions, it's obvious many believers haven't bothered to question even how their so-called holy books came about, how it was literally cobbled together from scraps of writings from illiterates to ignoramuses whose views of the world around them was based on how far they could see and walk.
People, the book you read and rely on is based completely on the thought processes of people who lived 2000 years ago, people who if you showed them a cigarette lighter today would think a miracle had occurred. Relying on the "wisdom" of people who lived 2000 years ago is akin to basing the iPhone on the information mankind possessed of electricity in the mid-1800s. We wouldn't do it, we would be mad to think it even possible - it can't work.
Yet, seemingly lucid people, assuming intelligent people, with the religious nuts thrown in, base their lives on the 'technology' of 2000 years ago! They have built their iPhones (lives) around the information perceived by people who knew what they knew 2000 years ago - and it wasn't much. I can't understand how one can do that.
If you consider how far we've come just in our understanding of the world in the last 100 years alone and our attitude towards it and each other, the reliance on the thought processes of people that we today would class as ignorant bigoted dullards is rather a scary thought, and foreign to those of us who've chosen to step back and say, whoa there fellers – talking snakes, talking burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and other absurd stuff?
It's why holy books are increasingly out of place and out of time.
You have to have the wherewithal to question everything. You cannot and must not accept that what you've been told by your parents or church or a person that lived 2000 years ago is true or fact. Open your minds to other possibilities.
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