The other day I was browsing Facebook and Instagram and came across a meme or whatever you call it stating the “Ten Things We Know About Gods.” I thought it was striking and very true. It would make a great video and blog subject. The video came out pretty well. We’ll see how this blog turns out.
I may not be a full-blown scholar about religion and stuff like that but I’ve learned a few things over the years. There are books written about each of these points already. I’m only giving my spin on them. I’ll leave the heavy stuff to the professionals. Also, my education in religions beyond christianity is extremely limited so my focus is on the christian god, though the Ten Things relate to all gods.
Think One: Humans Invented Gods and Religion
I am not quite old enough to have been around when religion was dreamed up but I have conducted a great amount of research and uncovered plenty of historical evidence. For example, Christianity was basically established by the Romans in 3 AD with the arrival of Constantine. All that came before was not the Christianity that exploded on the world after Constantine took over.
It’s an interesting, and tragic story. Not only did they create and define Christianity but they ruthlessly and brutally suppressed any sect that might oppose it. Genocide and mass murder was the order of the day. Who knows what an interesting world this would be if people such as the Gnostics and others had not been eradicated.
Religion as a whole is an outgrowth of superstition and ignorance. Man “created” religion to provide answers for things he could not find answers for. Some religions were created by charismatic people who came up with some idea and propagated it until it became widely accepted. Others were outright creations of a government entity. All use the same gullibility of humans to grow and survive.
Either way, religion is an invention of mankind. It’s extremely clear. There are many religions and sects and cults. All of them reflect the culture within which they came. In each of them there’s an authoritative leader or council defining “truth” as they see it and keeping the sheep in line.
Think Two: There Is Zero Evidence That Any God Exists
One of my favorite movies is a somewhat unknown film called “In Country,” made in 1989. It’s a great story about a daughter coming to grips with her father lost in Vietnam. It was the first movie Bruce Willis made in the US. My favorite part is when the eccentric Vietnam Vet Willis played, Emmet Smith, climbs up into a a tree during a thunderstorm and screams, “Show Me Your Face!”
How many millions of people have done the same as as Emmet? How many got an answer? Some people beg, some cajole, some plead, and some shout for god to show himself. In spite of absurd “Jesus toast” and assorted “revelations” from some sunrise or strange event, no god has ever in any way whispered, shouted, or anything in between said, “hey, I’m here!”
Thing Three: No Religion Has Ever Shown To Be True
This goes along with Thing Two. There must be a god or goddess or gods or whatever at the top for most religions to have validity. Sit in a robe for six weeks, climb a mountain, fall face down at an altar, you will not only find god missing but you will find no satisfaction in your belief. Look up to the sky or close your eyes and pray. “What is Truth?” I can tell you what the answer will be.
Thing Four: Gods And Religions Evolve Over Time
This should be obvious. Historic and archaeological records show the evolution of beliefs. Islam and Christianity came from Judaism. Ancient people worshiped the sun, the moon, nature, all kinds of weird stuff. Eventually they lost fear of those and moved god from the natural realm into the supernatural realm. Christianity began as Catholicism and branched into Protestantism and exploded into dozens, then hundreds, then thousands of sects.
Thing Five: Childhood Indoctrination Can Make People Certain That Absurdities Are Truths
No shit. Really. Consider these lyrics from a song in the movie South Pacific:
You’ve got to be taught“Carefully Taught” South pacific 1958
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
The lyrics specifically address prejudice but they apply equally to religious belief. All babies are born atheist, has neither “concept” nor “belief” in god until parents tell them; and force their own beliefs upon them.
Religion is the most accepted and promoted form of child abuse on the planet. If children were not forced into belief systems religion would evaporate in one generation. Religion, “faith,” has to be pounded into little heads. Methodologies are different but the results are the same.
As a child I was indoctrinated into the Baptist religion. Sure, it’s christianity but a particular sect of christianity with its own set of beliefs, doctrines, views and traditions. I was taught there really was a flood, a real Noah, a real Sampson and Goliath, etc.. Everything I was taught was bullshit but I believed it far, far too long because it was “drummed in my dear little ear.”
Thing Six: God Beliefs Come From Families
Of course they do. There are grand and ecclesiastical leaders, ministers, popes and assorted other charlatans promoting their lies. Religion itself, however, would not exist if people following it and under the thumb of those deceivers did not shove their feculence down their kids’ throats.
Isn’t it interesting that children somehow always follow the religion their parents follow. Muslims become Muslims, Christians become Christians, Hindus become Hindus. At least until they’re old enough to think for themselves. Far, far too often they follow the same religion may years into their adult life and often the entirety of it.
Thing Seven: In Every Rigorous Text Prayer Fails To Deliver
The word “rigorous” must be there because religious people routinely make assumptions. If they get a bonus, god gave it to them. If they face calamity, god is punishing them. It’s a mind game created by those posers at the top and propagated downwards through the ranks as a soothing salve on doubting souls.
After the Chase
Some guy named Chase Thompson wrote a blog answering the ever-present question people have as to “why doesn’t god answer prayer?” (The website this blog is on is only half finished, like Chase Thompson’s thinking.) The blog is in response to one man’s choice to leave his religion because of unanswered prayers, Dr. Bart Ehrman. Thompson says, “Dr. Ehrman has been called the Professor Moriarty (enemy of Sherlock Holmes) of Bible scholars because he is an avowed agnostic, well on his way to atheism.”
The blog is far too long and babbling to describe here in detail. I’m wasting time describing it at all. Nevertheless I think it makes a point better than I can regarding Thing Seven. Thompson goes on and on… and on… giving excuse, oops, reason after reason god doesn’t answer prayer or doesn’t do it in the way people want or expect it. He should have just skipped to point Fourteen:
Sometimes prayers are not answered in the way we want them to be answered because such an answer is simply not God’s Will.Deep Questions With Chase Thompson: An Apologetics Podcast on Important Bible Questions, why doesn’t god answer prayer
Duh. The old god just didn’t want to do it. Isn’t it telling that religious scholars are called apologists? Thompson’s blog is an excellent example of a “learned leader” apologizing for god. God could not simply convey the words, “no dice,” or “fuck you,” or “don’t be stupid” to a sad, lost praying person. No, god requires some nobody preacher to speak for him.
Sticking To It
At the risk of going on too long still, here’s my story. I’m stickin’ to it. I spent more than four decades as an adult up and down, back and forth, trying to figure out what god “wanted.” There’s no telling how many thousands of hours I spent in actual “on my knees” praying. But then like every christian will understand, the prayer of my heart sounded constantly in my head and floated towards the pearly gates. Even so, every fucking thing I did exploded in my face. Over and over I was betrayed by friends, churches, and my god. I failed and failed and failed. My great burden was not the world, like Bart Ehrman. No, it was my own screwed up life that eventually forced me to realize that I was being an idiot. Sad it took so long.
Gods do not answer prayers because there are no gods. Put prayer to the test, as in “rigorous test,” and see how right I am.
Thing Eight: Human Imagination Can Make Made-up Gods Seem Real
A bit clumsy in prose, Thing Eight does follow the other Things very well. Look at a beautiful sunrise. I think it’s great because it just looks great to me. Nature makes all those colors. My eyes interprets them. Science explains how it happens. I was taught to appreciate the scene. If I’d been taught that yellow and orange and red were horrible a sunrise would scare the shit out of me.
Christians and god-followers will dismiss the scientific reasons and programmed responses and go straight to fairy tales: Look what a beautiful sunrise god gave us. Wow. But god gave the sunrise to everyone, saint, sinner, pagan and preacher. It’s much less a gift and much more a factor of light, the sun, and the earth.
In church services people rise to emotional pitches from a pulpit and the emotional mood within the congregation. Words and music are geared towards creating an atmosphere where “god will work.” Actually, it’s creating an atmosphere where people will think god is at work. I have had many such experiences, even to the extreme end of it, during “holy ghost” services where people talk in tongues and prophesy and all kinds of lovely stuff. Some of those things are still baffling to me but none of them are proofs of some god nor some god’s activities.
Thing Nine: Humans Can Find Non-Existent Gods To Be Extremely Comforting
I’m gonna rest my soul in the bosom of Abraham! Well, maybe not. It’s a great old song that makes no sense. Neither do many other hymns and spiritual songs. Thing Eight and Thing Nine are left-hand / right-hand. Because people can associate natural phenomena, weird events, and even luck to “the hand of god” it certainly follows that god would be that “comfort in time of need.”
For me, “comfort” was always in short supply when I needed it most. When I was hurting, depressed, broken, and alone (usually because of a few or a lot of asshole christians), there was little comfort from heaven. I found my comfort in a bottle of booze a few times. Or I suffered. The “comfort of god” is bullshit. The only comfort religious people experience is the calming therapy of relaxation and releasing stress. A person can claim it’s an interaction with their god or simply the tree they are leaning against. It works either way. Humans create their own “comfort” if comfort is to be had.
Thing Ten: God Beliefs Come From Emotion, Not Reason
It’s an old left-brain / right-brain situation. Emotions can overpower reasoning. This is my own opinion but it is also proven in the facts, I think. The smartest person will do stupid things when they have the shit scared out of them. Emotions lead people to suicide and murder when rationality would prevent both. Religion, the belief in god or gods, falls entirely on the right-brain.
I am afraid. Not.
The overriding emotion that has changed thinking human beings, educated or not, into babbling sheep is fear. Fear, deep, unconscious, overbearing fear, is the glue that holds the whole house of cards together. For all the great talk of god’s love, of grace, of forgiveness, of freedom, nobody forgets the lesson of Noah. Not the one about Noah being saved but the other one about the entire rest of the population being murdered in a watery genocide by a god that insists he be obeyed. So much for freedom.
Murder Most Fowl
The murder of all those people, and hundreds of thousands of others always bothered me. They were killed because they were “unclean,” or “impure” or somehow pissed god off seems a bit over the top. But christians dismiss morality and agrees with god, that those folks had it coming. In the next breath they speak of themselves, that they, too, are sinners, just saved by grace. Duh. What’s the difference?
There are a myriad number of books that dwell upon the brief words of this list. Does she or doesn’t she? Is it real or is it Memorex? (Look that last comment up.) Apologists
apologize for um, explain these things like god wants them too. Rational thinking people show how stupid illogical such things are.
Are these Things actually proven? No, not by scientific standards. But anecdotal, experiential, circumstantial, analogical, and demonstrable proofs exist in abundance. Logic and science clearly shows these Truths are valid. They do more. They show how absurd belief in god or gods is.
In the gospels Jesus is quoted as saying something along the lines of “if you suppress my people even these rocks will cry out and say I am god.” Actually, the rocks cry out proving he’s full of shit. Nothing in science, nothing upon the earth, nothing observable from earth, nor any other logical or tangible thing indicate a god exists all. Religion suspends logic and common sense. It warps minds to approve murder, genocide, child abuse, hatred and all sorts of nasty things in the name of god.
Believe what you want. Indoctrinate and abuse your children. Cow-tow to religious leaders sucking away your money and teaching you crap to keep you in line. Call me names and say I’m a reprobate and evil. I do not care. As for me and myself, we will follow science and logic. There is no god.