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Cosmic Jewish Zombie
Entry 1268, on 2011-02-16 at 14:05:11 (Rating 5, Religion)
Today, through some convoluted process, I came across a discussion forum which debated religious beliefs in facetious, yet somehow meaningful, terms. It listed short, humorous, but essentially accurate (well, sort of) descriptions for some common religions and for atheism. Some times this sort of material can "cut to the chase" and really reveal the strengths and weaknesses of a belief system where a more complete discussion can obscure the essential simplicity with a lot of meaningless details. OK, so without further preamble, here are some of the definitions...
Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.
That single sentence does sum up a lot of the essential beliefs of Christianity. Sure, there are differences in interpretation expressed by different Christian sects but they don't change the essence of the story. And how does it make Christian beliefs look? Pretty damn stupid, don't you agree?
Many Christians will try to get around the silly myths by claiming they are metaphorical. But these stories only became metaphors when the possibility of them being true was removed by modern science and historical research. In the past (and often even today) people thought they were literally true. Maybe the story of Christ is also a metaphor. Maybe he never existed? Does that change what Christianity is all about?
And the silliest (and most pernicious) aspect of all is the guilt invoked by the story of original sin. Think about it: an omnipotent, omniscient, good god created a man and woman, and a tree, and a snake. Well, if he didn't make the snake he made the devil who made the snake. Or did he? Christian mythology is rather unclear on this point. But even if he didn't make the devil surely he could control him (since he's omnipotent).
Anyway, the situation was created by God and allowed to happen (even though he knew it would happen before it even started because he's omniscient) and since then all humans have been tortured because of it. Huh? Then he sent his own son (or was it himself in a different form) who he had to allow to be tortured an killed to save everyone. From what? A situation God himself created? It seems an odd way to fix the problem.
The whole thing is just silly beyond reasonable doubt and anyone who believes it literally is either crazy, deluded, or incredibly ignorant. But I would say anyone who believes it even metaphorically is hardly much better. It's an obvious and very cynical attempt (and a very successful one) at controlling the minds of the followers of the church. If all Christians looked at that single sentence maybe they would see the light (and I mean the real light, not the fake one their church wants them to see).
So what about Islam? Oh, that's much worse: the belief that a magic man in the sky told an ancient pedophile the secret to how to avoid the magic man in the sky torturing you forever after you die. The secret is to grovel 5 times a day and telepathically tell the magic man in the sky that you love him and that he's great. Also, women aren't really people.
Again the crazy belief that god creates odd ways for people to circumvent the situation that he himself created in the first place. The big difference is that Mohammed isn't as nice as Jesus (as well as being a pedophile he's also more violent). So Islam should be rejected by any sensible person as well. It's also a deeply superstitious, psychologically damaging, and (I've got to say it) just plain silly belief system!
And if the original description wasn't silly enough here's an addition to it: the pedophile rides a magical part dragon, part person type creature abajillion miles in order to climb a magical ladder in the middle of some random night in order to meet a bunch of undead zombie wizards that are hanging out on different levels of clouds, each one a more self important servant of the magical man in the sky.
I'm not going to let Judaism off lightly either: The magic man in the sky really loves one particular ethnic group and doesn't much care about the others. If you're part of the special group follow the rules (except the ones we don't anymore) and he won't smack you around too much. If you aren't part of the special group who cares about you? Oh, and women aren't really people. Plus there's this extra detail: chop the tip off your penis and your son's penis in return for being the magic sky-man's favorite ethnic group.
Inclusiveness is usually an important part of successful religions. If a religion doesn't claim that its followers have some special privilege then it wouldn't be able to trap people into believing it. And the magic man in the sky sure is a weird one. Even if he did exist who would possibly want to follow his weird and wacky directives. What a joker!
Those three religions are closely related. What about a different one entirely? Here's the description for Hinduism: The magic man in the sky reveals himself as lots of different magic men and women. He put you into your current position because you deserve it based on how good you were in your past life. Don't waste time feeling sorry for people worse off than you because they deserve it. Social mobility is sinful. One additional thing: women aren't really people.
Interestingly again we get back to the idea of a god who refuses to accept responsibility and transfers his guilt onto humans. Plus there's the repeated theme of misogyny which clearly shows these ideas were invented by powerful men for their own benefit.
But I'm being unfair here. What about the facetious description of atheism? Here it is: The belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason whatsoever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs.
Put that way it does sound a bit silly but notice that, even accepting that humorous definition, there's no attempt at claiming exclusivity. There's no attempt at creating guilt, or at saying one group, gender, or anything else is greater than any other. There's nothing made up for no good reason. And there's no sky man whose existence just pushes the problem of origins back one step.
So atheism, even when presented in that way, is far more honest and reasonable than any other belief (although I do emphasise that atheism is basically a lack of belief). All it really says is that many of the most fundamental processes aren't fully understood. Isn't that better than making up a story (involving zombies, a magical man in the sky, or a mystic pedophile) which is obviously untrue and refusing to reject it and look for a better one? I think so.
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