Monthly Archives: May 2015

Perfection and Other Fallacies

Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. ~ Exodus 34:14

Why would an omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient deity require, and even demand under a pain worse than death, complete and utter surrender and worship? It stands to reason that if one is perfect, one does not need anything. If God is to be believed as real and the most perfect thing in all conceivable and inconceivable existence, then why should he give a damn about anything we do? We’re to believe that God is love, but any deity that threatens me with Hell and his wrath, but then tells me he loves me is contradictory at best and bat shit crazy at worst.

Apologists argue that worship of God is for our benefit. In worshipping God, he blesses us with longer life spans, good harvests, good weather, etc. Am I the only one noticing that whenever natural phenomenon occurs, we attribute it to god(s)? Seriously, go out and pray for rain. If it rains, you can easily argue your prayer was answered. Couldn’t a more logical explanation be that it probably would’ve rained regardless if one prayed? We now have meteorology, which can help us predict weather and climate patterns. No need for a god anymore.

The point is uncertainty is not pleasurable for humanity—it’s the exact opposite. What I mean is we don’t do well with not knowing something. Ignorance of things we deem important creates within us a sort of cognitive and psychological discomfort. And what could be more important than the age-old question, why are we here and what is our purpose? So, in an effort to make sense of the world, we make shit up. Humanity is nothing if not imaginative. We are awesome storytellers, which is why I love being a writer so much. But when we cease to see the real world for what it actually is, and place fairy tales above reality, we get religion. It’s been anally raping us ever since.

And religion isn’t simply satisfied with it’s own sublimely ridiculous histories, oral traditions, rituals and scriptures. No, religion MUST spread itself and infect EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. I chose my words intentionally when I said infect because religion is poison. Let me be clear from the onset, spirituality (whatever that means) or that sense of wonder you get from looking at the mountains is WORLD’S REMOVED from a set of dogmatic and arbitrary rules and regulations which supposedly come from some god who had nothing better to do than create a universe with people in it and bark orders at them through drunkards, war mongers and illiterate caravaneers.

At best, religion brings brotherhood, family, security and a sense of community. At worst, it is racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-intellectual, anti-science, scientifically inaccurate, divisive, barbaric, completely stupid, culturally delusional and willfully ignorant. Religion abhors free thought. History is replete with examples of religious persecution against anyone who dared suggest an alternate viewpoint. The fact that virtually every religion has split into sects and denominations is evidence of its man-made nature.  The greatest sin in the Abrahamic faiths is to deny God. In Islam, shirk is the worse sin anyone can commit and if one dies in that state, there is no helping that person. It wouldn’t matter if this person developed a cure for AIDS and in doing so stumbled upon a new immunological method of extending the human lifespan. It wouldn’t matter if this person fed the poor and clothed the naked. If this person did not religiously and figurative fellate the ego of a disembodied, capricious sky bully, then that great aforementioned, hypothetical person gets a ticket to Hell. In Christianity, it’s denial of the Holy Spirit, the very one thing that’s the easiest to deny.

How reasonable.

But there is something more sinister going on at the core of these prohibitions. People who think for themselves and are educated, are less likely to be taken in by bullshit. Since verses in the bible such as Psalms 14:1, The fool says in his heart, there is no god, and Proverbs 3:5, Lean not on your own understanding, directly prohibit one from any form of free thought, (I’m sure someone reading this is fuming and yelling on how I’m taking the verses out of context. Believe me, when I was a believer, I used the same tired shtick) it is the perfect mechanism for ensuring complete obedience and it is the best way to silence dissenters then and now. Evil in its design and genius in its execution, books like the Bible and Quran (Surah-al-Baqara 2:23, And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant [Muhammad], then produce a Surah the like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than Allah, if you should be truthful.) silence dissent and ensure that their reign over the human mind (to the point that free thought is considered a thought crime) remains intact. This is pimping on a level so astronomical it defies logic.

 Religion feeds on gullibility and ignorance. It conditions the human spirit to find fault in its sublime and beautiful existence. Religion teaches us that we are broken without God. Didn’t God make us that way in the first place? Why does he demand submission when he can’t even be bothered with making himself known? The “proof” of God’s existence is literally indistinguishable from the universal laws of nature.

Why does a perfect deity preoccupy himself with whether or not the LGBT community should have the human right to marry and love whom they please, when there are terrorists literally killing people in his name? Why does a loving God condone and endorse slavery (Leviticus 25: 44-46)? Why did a loving deity prohibit murder and theft, but was mum on rape and slavery? Why does a so-called loving god demand sacrifice for the expiation of sins? Can no one see that animal sacrifice is directly lifted from Bronze Age primitive culture? Why do these gods mirror the mentality and culture of their people? The evidence that religion is man-made is all around us if we’d only look.

Why does a so-called loving God allow millions to go hungry everyday? These are questions we’ve asked ourselves since we conceived of a god and in every generation without fail, we haven’t been able to answer the question adequately, if at all.

I think it’s high time we put away the security blanket, stopped the wishful thinking and embraced reality. It really isn’t that bad.

Clear Skies pt II: Clearer Skies.

Sudden Clarity

Do you like the title? I like the title. What is up, people? Well, I felt like addressing another moment of clarity similar to my last post. This is the serendipitous moment when all of the universe’s forces congeal into a moment of clarity that is undeniable in both candor and impact. In truth, most of us never fully realize what it is we’re meant to do. While, philosophically, I maintain that we weren’t meant to do anything, I submit that at age 37, I have finally figured out what I want to do with my life and that is to keep learning. I want to be a scholar and I want to study humanity. I want to study myself. I want to learn about culture and ancient myth. I want to learn how humans have told stories throughout history and why. I want to study modern mediums such as comic books and video games as cultural artefacts and story telling devices. I want to pay close attention to historically marginalized cultures and myths, and I want comparatively analyze how each tells its own story. I want to analyze how folklore and myth (both modern and ancient) relate and interplay with each other and form cohesive moral lessons, forming the basis of a society. In short, I want to know why we tell stories and why stories tell us.

It is a gratifying and liberating experience when you know what you want to do; when that moment is forever etched into your memory as the moment you became aware. Everything else that preceded this moment feels like a blur, a series of automated decisions made entirely in response to environmental stimuli that yielded little to no impact on my happiness in the long term (notwithstanding a few major exceptions, of course. It’s not as though every decision in my life bore little to no consequence and there were various decisions in my youth that continue to yield happiness when I reminisce on them fondly). The point I’m making, or haphazardly attempting to make is that for the first time in a long time (ten plus years), I feel like I have a purpose and I feel happy to pursue it. Pursuing this and my dream of telling stories of my own feels natural and right, so I will dedicate the rest of my life to that pursuit.

I can inhale and exhale with a great sense that an enormity has been lifted from my shoulders–the enormity of indecision. Bear in mind, doubt and skepticism are great in preventing con-artists from taking advantage, but doubt in where one’s life is headed is a scary prospect. Since my mother’s passing three years ago and my father’s eight years ago, I’ve felt lost. What the hell do I do now? Where do I go from here? To whom shall I turn for help? By claiming some control over events which seemed to spiral out every which way, I feel a sense of accomplishment that weighs as heavily as the day I graduated from college after battling two very long, very grueling bouts with lymphoma. Whatever I must do, within reason, I will do to achieve this. I won’t obsess over how long the process takes, I will find joy in that process and continue on that journey, because the final destination for all of us is death; so I will remain a vagabond roaming the intellectual landscape, collecting as many gems and nuggets of wisdom as I can.

I am living for myself and it feels good.

RONIN STAND UP!