Recently, a friend of mine inquired about the religious, or anti-religious tone of my myspace profile page. I hadn't realized it would come off that I was bashing religion. Make no mistake. I am indeed bashing religion, however I didn't pay much attention to it. Anyway, she wanted an explanation. So, I'll say it here all at once, in case anyone else gives a flying fuck.
I was raised Catholic. I didn't think I was a bad person, but apparently I was going to hell anyway. Something about being born into sin or something like that. I went along with it all, going to church, Catholic high school, all the while feeling out the world, experiencing life as a young person, but I was never quite satisfied with the explanations given me by the religious mentors in my life at that point. One particular thing really stands out. As a Catholic, there are Sacraments, of which marriage is one. Well, confirmation is another one. Basically, you confirm in front of the church, your family, etc, that you renounce Satan, and re-affirm your baptism. Well, during my confirmation, no one ever really asked me if I renounced Satan, and accepted Jesus Christ as the son of god. I had a list of things to say in response to those questions that the priests and nuns gave me. Things that were probably hundreds of years old. I was young, but I still thought it was weird, actually I thought it was bullshit. I didn't buy it. I knew there was more to it all than what the priests and teachers were telling me. So I started to back away from religion, and the church and question everything I was told to believe.
Then college came and I got to know science. Without going into it, it's really hard to reconcile both evolution, and the judeo-christian mythology. Intelligent design you say? Give me a break. It's just another way for people to back track and include the horribly outdated bible into a current understanding of the world. One example is the retro-fitted argument of creation wherein they say: 'well, a day to god could be millions of years to us, so in that context fossils and dinosaurs make sense . Well, there's not much in the bible that actually explains anything, so I chose to study science and it made more sense to me than anything I ever read in the bible. And, I have read the bible cover to cover. I found it impossible to believe in a god who would create us flawed, and born into sin and require us to do something as vain as worship him. And if I was, and am still wrong, then it's on him anyway. He made me like this.
But back to science. I approach it with the same skepticism I approach anything else in life. But science has done one thing religion never did. And that was be consistent in it's search for answers, and for the truth. The scientific method. Controlled circumstances. Repeated results. Not that science is infallible, it's far from that, but one thing that separates science from religion, is science's ability to change. To admit they had it wrong, rework the theories and try to figure it out. The bible has remained unchanged for hundreds of years, and it's pages are filled with things from thousands of years ago. It's not a bad book, it's a decent collection of historical documents. But not, as some believe, the word of god. It's woefully contradictory for one. The old testament god was a vengeful, vain, brutal, racist, merciless murderer. Read it.
However, thousands of years ago, it was a very good, and effective way of controlling people. Example; many people probably died from eating spoiled meat. Trichinosis in pork lets say. So, to get people to stop doing it without actually understanding it, what better way than to tell them they would suffer and burn in hell eternally if they broke god's law? Maybe a public stoning to help the point sink in? What's ironic here, is that the reasonable explanation for such action lies in science. Life. Propagation of genes, the benefit of the tribe, the good of the family. Same thing. But it all comes from that instinct to breed, and send your genes into the next generation. So, these crazy rules became the word of god, so it could never, ever, even today, be disputed. How do you argue against an invisible voice?
Then the new testament rolls along, and now god is this merciful, benevolent being. So much unlike the guy we met earlier. And we have Jesus. Who I'm fairly sure actually existed. Son of god? Not likely. Why Jesus, and not Mohammed, or Buddha, or Oyasama, or David Koresh? Maybe Jim Jones? I realize it's whatever you want to believe, so go for it. I don't hate religion, per se, or religious people. Religion can be a good force in this world. But it so rarely is. Is an abortion bomber really so different than a Muslim terrorist? Not really. Maybe braver/crazier for choosing to die along with his beliefs as opposed to just kill for them like the abortion bomber. But a deluded piece of shit, none the less. However, if Christianity told tales of 72 virgins waiting in heaven, it might be different. Consider this: The vast majority of suicide bombers are single men. Muslim men can have many wives. Just because they all can, doesn't mean they all do. Remember, the women can only have one husband. Do the math. 50 guys. 50 girls. 1 guy can have 2 or 3 or 4 wives.....Many poor Muslim men have no wife at all, hence, most suicide bombers are single men. Add the prospect of 72 virgins, and a car bomb starts sounding like a good idea. Their life sucks. But I'm off on a tangent.
All we need to do is look at all the killing that has gone on in the name of god. Countless millions. It's ridiculous. Nuclear weapons? I think religion is the most dangerous thing man has ever constructed. You can't kill ideas. I'll be sure to double check with Hitler, Stalin, and the people who killed Jesus during my time in hell, but I'm pretty sure you can't kill ideas. In my opinion, just as humanity evolved, or should I say moved on, from worshiping the sun and moon, to many gods, and then, finally to one god, it seems a natural progression for me to become atheistic. Prove to me I'm wrong. One shred of proof. Not personal testimony of ghosts, or people being resuscitated and seeing lights and tunnels (brains do weird shit), or images of the holy mother on your toast that one morning. Thats where religion fails. Prove it to me. Please. Wait for the rapture you say? OK, and once all the freaks are gone, I'll be standing in St. Patricks cathedral, in a pentagram outlined in goat blood, having butt sex with pope John Paul's corpse while listening to Iron Maiden, the whole time washing down hunks of pork with milk. breast milk. Because, lets face it, if the rapture thing actually happens I'm fucked anyway.
It's late. I'm tired. I hope this clears things up Phebe. If I offended anyone, well you should have stopped reading a long time ago. I'm not sorry. This is what I believe. You have your zombie lord, and I have nothing. Maybe that helps explain the cynicism. So 'no', I don't believe in god. Thank you. I'll be here all week.