“WET PAINT” Signs and Other Useful, Relevant Opportunities for Expressions of DOUBT.
A friend made a Facebook post that started with:
I’m trying exceptionally hard to be understanding of people who claim to be Christian but use their religion as an excuse to treat other people like utter shit.
It’s a good post — patient and compassionate — trying to understand the un-understandable. OR, at the very least, that which has never been worth understanding beyond the point of doing-away with it.
My response was in keeping with my opinions, and is as follows:
Disclosure: I’m an atheist and a fairly strident one. That aside, taking life and ethics advice from millennia-dead goat-herders who’d have shit their pants then lost their minds upon seeing a helium balloon of the type at a child’s birthday party . . . that seems ill-advised to me, to put it diplomatically.
Considering that most of humanity would likely test the truth of a “WET PAINT” sign on a bench in the park — even if they don’t necessarily want to sit on it — the lack of deliberation and discrimination they take with their, ahem, “immortal souls,” would be hilarious, if it didn’t result in so many miserable lives and premature deaths. If people applied “prove it” to the more fantastical of their positive claims, we’d all be better-off and I wouldn’t have to fight not to laugh in so many people’s face in debates about religion and the supernatural.
It is SUCH an uphill battle. . . .
EDIT: By which I mean: Religion is for those who want and need to rent out their brain and to be “faithful” to fairytales and magical parents. To those who don’t like things like evidence and reasoning. To those who find existence scary and bleak without a parent figure rewarding and condemning every speck of dust and beam of light that ever was.
Trying to understand why that’s so and then meeting it halfway and offering it concessions (i.e., “non-overlapping magisteria,” is BULLSHIT).
It’s like hand-washing a very dirty pig. In the end, you wind up dirty, the pig barely gets any cleaner, and you’re BOTH pissed off and frustrated. And, anyway, asking “Why?” over one instance of religious cognitive dissonance is like asking why that consistent bully punched that ONE KID OVER THERE, when there’s a whole crowd of kids nursing bruises and bloody noses from that same bully.
Addressing the symptoms, not the larger problem.
Blind belief is for overcoming and reasoning into oblivion — for getting past and leaving to history, not for encouraging or giving leeway. It’s a mind-worm and relic of humanity’s toddler-hood.
Or, to sum-up:
ORRRRRRRR, as Dennis, the Constitutional Peasant, learns:
. . . You don’t vote for kings
King Arthur: I am your king.
Woman: Well, I didn’t vote for you.
King Arthur: You don’t vote for kings.
Woman: Well how’d you become king then?
[Angelic music plays… ]
King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king.
Dennis: [interrupting] Listen, strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
First picture: “Monty Python And The Holy Grail She Tirned Me Into ANewt GIF.”
Second picture: “SAT. FEB 18: MONTY PYTHON MOVIE NIGHT!”
Third picture: “Sir Not Appearing In This Meme.”