I use the term “fool” loosely and only to bring to mind the lyrics of the song by that title:
But what a fool believes … he sees
No wise man has the power to reason away
What seems … to be
Is always better than nothing
Here’s the thing: sometimes, and often as a coping mechanism, a person can believe what’s easier to accept; not necessarily what is true. We can lie to ourselves (or choose not to see) the affair our partner is having, the drugs our child is doing, the poor decisions that we have made for ourselves, et al. When it comes to religion, people become sheep of unyielding, blind obedience. I especially question those that are scholarly (Mayim Bialik) or that are well-versed in the psychology of Man and how ideas impregnate and propagate; how history is edited and “facts” are created, yet continue to worship the elusive Supreme Being. We’ve all played the game of telephone and possibly believed that someone deliberately altered the story for it to have been so inaccurate by the time it reached the other end of the line. When it comes to studying for the sake of worship, once experience, science or common sense have debunked even 3 of the ideologies or “facts” this doctrine perpetuates, that should offer enough reasonable doubt to stop defending what one clearly does not understand. Allow me to enumerate some pretty basic precarious proclamations:
The Bible pretty much starts off shaming women for their menstrual cycle. I knew a female growing up, that was not [permitted] to go to church while menstruating, as she was considered impure. The Bible explains that the pain of childbirth and the menstrual cycle are a punishment for the misdeeds of Eve in the Garden of Eden. So women have to blame this this pseudo-ancestor for the horrors of childbirth and menstrual cramps and, provided that Eve has been dead for 6 millennia, there’s no chance of her repenting, so this is a cross women are to bear. Then, what happens when you go to school, take health and biology courses and learn the function of the menstrual cycle? What happens when you find out that dogs also have periods? What happens when you take into account that the Bible was written at a time more than a thousand years before for The Plague that took out 1/3 the population Europe–the Plague that was essentially ‘cured’ with hygiene? What then, do you do when you take into account that not up until the late 1800’s (in the United States) was public education available for girls. So many years after the Bible was written, edited and, until the past 50 or so years was interpreted exclusively by men, blind sheep pride themselves on being such avid, unwavering, faithful followers.
There is episode of Family Guy that addresses the ironic and somewhat comical and arbitrary rejection of advanced technology in the Amish community. The purpose is to not be seduced by the luxuries and temptations of the “outside world” that may lure them away from their Amish family, community and beliefs. This is ironic because the Amish do utilize some extent of technology, only it’s the technology that was available during the lifetime of it’s founder. This is to suggest that what was considered too luxurious, too distracting from worship was relative to the technologies available at that time. The question then is, if the religion was founded in Medieval times, would the Amish be allowed to ride bicycles? For the Amish, when it comes to such concepts as food storage, in many cases (depending on how orthodox one may be) one must decide whether to get an ice box (and regular ice deliveries), pitch-in for community storage (minimized use of electricity), get a gas-powered refrigerator or break down and use electricity. Living a simple life is commendable–they are a close-knit, private, self-sustained community. The problem is that should one decide that they seek more out of life (such as furthering their education), they risk being shunned. Again, a religion that teaches temperance and love of thy neighbor fails to teach tolerance and frowns upon educating oneself. The religion is not about the individual, but sustaining a community and passing on a heritage. Cool. As it so happens, it doesn’t appeal to most people.
The Bible says that God plucked a rib from Adam to create Eve. While the sentiment is sweet, a couple of biology and history courses should clear that right up. For, we find in nature that opposite genders are an attribute of species that practice sexual (as opposed to asexual) reproduction.
We are told that all was well and all were nude in the Garden of Eden, but as part of the punishment, they became aware of their nakedness and felt a new sense of shame. Well, when it boils right down to it, every culture treats nudity and sexuality differently. Throughout the world, most civilizations cover, if nothing else, their genitals. This has everything with preserving your ability to procreate. Every life form seeks to replicate itself. Men cover these parts so that they are not vulnerable to injury, an enemy (one could cripple their opponent by rendering them unable to reproduce), to keep their testicles warm and to even the playing ground when seeking a mate (as opposed to being chosen based on size alone). Women cover their genitals for practically the same reasons. Additionally women cover themselves to thwart advances, not for shame. The shame that we feel is something that we develop during adolescence. Toddlers do not have such shame. The shame stems from standards of beauty imposed by society that we may not live up to. The embarrassment of being seen naked is more of a feeling of vulnerability. When we are naked, it’s like letting the table see your hand. We are not ashamed to be naked when it is by our choice or to our benefit.
One of the most disturbing tendencies of theists is their assumption that they are morally superior. It might even be cause for alarm, that people rely on pious rhetoric as their moral foundation. Perhaps theists simply don’t realize that many of the most revered individuals throughout history have been nonbelievers and morally upstanding citizens all at once. Religious folk tend to spend more time trying to appear holier than they are or ever will be. These religious folk have great nerve to speak of love, all the while ridiculing the fornicators, the gays, the unwed mothers, the prostitutes, the foreigners, etc. The Ku Klux Klan are, typically, Southern, white, God-fearing Christians. KKK often doesn’t have to answer to local authorities because they ARE they local authorities. Notwithstanding that killing is illegal, it’s one of the Ten (pretty simple) Commandments. It goes to show that not even they believe the shit they preach: we are all God’s children. These people go out of their way to distance themselves from what they deem morally inferior, all the while shoving their own skeletons back into the closet. There are pastors screwing members of the congregation, priests raping or molesting boys, preachers that publicly denounce homosexuality up until the moment they’re caught bent over with their pants down. There are places in the world where a female pregnant out of wedlock is expected to kill herself, rather than bring shame on her family. Although that expectation is based in culture, as opposed to religion, the people that uphold these traditions are worshippers. On what moral ground does the father stand that lets his daughter kill herself for after impregnated out of wedlock, even if she was raped? Had it not been for disbelief and dissidence, civilization would be stuck in the Stone Ages.