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Thursday, 8 May 2008

Talking G*d

I is a atheist. Not agnostic, not "I'm not really religious but I believe that there must be some sort of higher power", not I've seen a ghost, no really", atheist, a-the-ist. Don't even believe in believing in things or nuttin. Trouble I have though, is trying to get my head around the idea of why anyone, in this day and age, does. I mean come on. Have you read their so-called holy books? I mean come on. are you having a laugh? Like the old Torah/Old Testament. There are so many ridiculous, and I mean ridiculous, holes in the story of Noah that it feels impolite just to mention it.

With the coming of the 'new' testament things start getting ridiculous, where our so-called immortal, timeless God suddenly has a complete change of heart going from "an eye for an eye" to "turn the other cheek" eh? I mean you would think God would know what it is that he wants. It is as if God was created by the men writing about him rather than the other way around. Why, also, so (very) much focus on Jesus' parentage? The book if St. Matthew starts, straight off, into a mini-genealogy of the man Jesus, son of David (who was the) son of Abraham. In fact he goes to all of the trouble of listing every single descendant of Abraham until Jesus, just to prove that he is one of his progeny. Funny thing is he then tells us, in practically the next breath, that "before they came together, she was found with child of the holy ghost" (yeah riiiight) so he's not Joseph's son then? eh? And who marries someone without, you know, fulfilling their obligations? As an extra twist, without consummation, a marriage isn't, technically, valid anyway, so JESUS WAS A BASTARD!

The Qur'an, for inkstands, has at the start of the different books (I think that's is where they are) certain words that are, and get this, "one of the miracles of the Qur'an and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings" I mean, please, that hokey shit might have worked in the seventh century (and what kinda miracle is this anyway?). But today? He's making it up! for crying out loud. It is positively daft. Not to mention all the hokum about angels not entering your house if there's a dog in it and things called "jinns" losing your socks.

I can easily understand why people believed in this in the past. Life was hard, or so I've heard, and people didn't have the technological delights we live with today so consequently knew much less about the world around them. The information contained within your average children's library would have blown their minds, the night sky looked pretty bloody amazing before the advent of street lighting and it was always fairly easy to believe the Earth was flat until the advent of Google Earth.

These factors, when taken together, leave us to have sympathy for the religious sensitives of our forebears. But what is those of today's excuse? How can you really combine the knowledge of we all have of Evolution and Australia with the stories of Genesis and Noah and still end up with a coherent belief structure? How can they honestly believe this nonsense?

But, just so you don't all (2 of ya) think I'm some kinda pedantic atheist I would like to take this opportunity to put forward a rather more solidly-based critique of the religious impulse (the monotheistic abrahametic one anyway). See, I reckon that these religions are immoral in (and of) themselves. They basically ask credence for a somewhat tenuous notion of reality and then threaten eternal torture if you so much as raise a doubt . Just what kind of a loving god does that? and, more importantly, just how can said gods followers presume to have so much as a whiff of any moral high ground?

However, lest we should turn the sort of rabid, condemnatory death-lover some of feel that religion turns us into we would do wll to remember that religion is, like halitosis or genital warts, a disease. Religion can quite (i think quite fairly) be discribed as a "self replicating mind virus" (special thanks to rational responders for that one) and so it is only fair that instead of hatred or anger we look upon thise afflicted with something more approaching pity... least until they find a cure that is.

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