At least he’s not an atheist.


My mother is a Roman Catholic. She was born in a South American country and Latin American countries have strong religious convictions and deep connections with the Pope in Rome. I was brought up in England and was a choirboy in my local Roman Catholic church.

If you didnt know, the official religion of the UK is the ‘Church of England’, a protestant break-away from Rome, which started up when our most famous King, Henry VIII (he of 6 wives) wanted a divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon, to marry the beautiful Anne Boleyn. In the end it was a matter of convenience for Henry, and Martin Luther’s protestant movement gained another kingdom in Europe.

The truth is however, that despite the “official religion” being Church of England, the true religion of the UK is apathy. Attendances in UK churches have all fallen, and when approached, most people deny god exists except in a very personal individual spiritualist way. It doesnt make them less moral, or less kind to each other, or less considerate, it just makes them less “religious”.

I am however more inclined to Atheism. To me the whole religion thing seems implausible and uncomfortable. For a start, if we were to compare it to a scientific definition, we would have to provide reasonable theory, backed by verifiable facts and experiments. A scientific theory demands rules to be put into place. If one of these rules are broken then the theory breaks down, and you come up with a new one. A scientific theory moves and sways according to the verifiable facts we discover and repeat under scientific conditions. Some more zealous types would say that is one of sciences downfalls. How can you say that science will answer all your questions when it gets things wrong all the time. How long ago was it when science told us the world is flat! Well, we figured it out crazy person, and okay, it was wrong, but the theory changed. Hows about you changing your ideas on stoning your wife if she isnt a virgin, cos my fiance doesnt like the sound of that too much. I know, I know… that was written in a time when Men were Men, Women were worthless, and Sheep were nervous, well… to be honest sheep have always been nervous, but life is better now we have created lube.

Religion is a faith, a belief that certain acts happened, that certain prophesies will come true etc. etc. How do you repeat Jesus’ miracles under scientific conditions… well in a hospital perhaps, but we are not exactly using the same method as he is claimed to have done. It’s not like doctors can inject people with the spirit of god. If a scientific theory is proved wrong, you just move onto the next one, when have you ever heard of a religion packing in because they got it wrong.

Intelligent Design is a classic example. It basically says “How could you create something so complex as the gills on a mushroom without some grand creator or grand scheme.” or to try and put it another way… If you find a sculpture, you can assume someone created it, but if you find a rock, you cant assume that someone created it. Something complex must be designed. And since we’re complex, and the world is complex, and the universe is complex… you get it? Yes I agree, it all sounds like tripe, but this is what they want to put in school curriculums across the states as a counter argument to Darwin’s theory of Evolution. The fact that there is no evidence whatsoever doesnt seem to bother them. The fact that the rest of the world thinks theyre nutters, and should any one of these kids leave the states to work abroad, and come out with this stuff they will be considered a laughing stock doesnt seem to bother them. Not a lot bothers them to be honest. Well, their newly democratically elected president chatting to the children across the country about responsibility, and staying off of drugs bothers them, but this garbage is perfectly fine.

Well, Mr Creationist and your intelligent Design buddies… there are many many examples of failed evolution, such as the Dodo, which was totally fine and never bothered to learn how to fly because with no land based natural predators, it had no reason to learn. That was until we came along and fried them all with chips and some ketchup. oops.

Thats a simple one, but there are literally thousands of examples of evolution, and only the blindest and most obtuse of zealots would deny that in our lifetimes alone there are countless examples of creatures changing their behaviour because of environmental factors, some of those changes even going so far as to metabolic changes within a few generations. On two Samoan Islands a parasite has been killing off the male members of the Blue Moon Butterfly. By the year 2001, the population of males was down to just 1%, within one year the butterflies had developed an immunity to the parasite and are now making a signficant comeback, up to 40% of the population are now males.

Stud Muffin

Stud Muffin

This happens with just one butterfly, a freak if you will, a butterfly genetically different to others finds itself with an advantage, like a child born with a bigger nose to allow more oxygen to the brain, or with incredibly attractive eyes to attract the best suitors. The butterfly finds it has immunity to the parasite, and when it reproduces, it passes on its defect to its offspring, all of which in turn pass it on until the whole species is parasite free. Meanwhile the butterflies without the immunity die off. This happened across 10 generations or just under one year.

Proof that evolution is real, and works everyday. And also proof that butterflies can really get around when they want to.

Thats verifiable proof, compared to your ‘we found a 2000 year old book and it says the world was created in 7 days, so there’ its pretty convincing to me.

Now more reasoned debaters will say that Evolution is a mechanism that God uses to influence change. This is a sensible assumption. After all science can only take us to the big bang before it asks the question of “yeah okay, but how did that start?”. To me though, the jump from an “originator” to a higher omnipotent power than benevolently watches over us, cares for us, listens to our prayers, will take us away to a new and different and beautiful world when we die and gives his son to forgive our sins, even the ones we havent done yet, is too great a leap for me.  It’s like saying we know that gravity exists, so naturally, it must be the giant vacuum cleaner who teaches us by his example that we must remove dirt from our homes and keep our floors clean, because cleanliness in next to godliness and to have a clean home is truly an honour to the great Hoover in the sky. And whilst we’re at it, we should all exalt at the great sucky one for giving us moral guidelines on keeping our houses free of dirt, something we would never have figured out on our own.

It’s pretty much what the romans did, having a god for everything they didnt understand.

Some people say that you might as well believe in god because if it is true then at least youre in with the right bunch, but then you have to ask which god? If you believe in Jesus, then youre stuffed if Allah happened to be true. What if theyre all wrong. What if God is just playing a cosmic game of Sim City? It makes some sense, after all whenever I play Sim City, I inevitably get bored after a while and decide to set off a volcano, just for a laugh. The fact is that for all we know you might as well believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Now please be careful here, because I have met a few of these Pastafarians, and they’re a tough bunch… take the mickey at your own risk, but personally I dont wanna noodle with any of them. They got big Meatballs!

Spaghetti_MonsterThe Flying Spaghetti Monster was created by Bobby Henderson in 2005 as a rebuttal to the move to teach creationism and intelligent design as an alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution in Kansas. In his open letter to the school board he wrote…

“I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.”

Check out the open letter, Wikipedia’s facts, and the fabulous Venganza website which also reports any sightings of the great ones noodly appendages below.

http://www.venganza.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

http://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/

However, say the christians, there are no eye witness reports of the flying spaghetti monster curing the sick in Jerusalem over 2000 years ago. No, there arent. And it’s not like Jesus was only found in one book. In the Koran he turns up as an important guy, not the main dude mind you, but important nonetheless, so why shouldnt I believe in him, well the truth is that I do believe that Jesus existed.

Brains!

Brains!

I’m just not a believer that he was born of a virgin, that he healed the sick just by touching them, that he fed 5000 with a few loaves and some wine, that he didnt drink or eat for 40 days, that he was the son of god and most of all that he came back to life, walked around a bit, met a few of the old gang and didnt get shot in the head by americans!

I dont believe that the eye witnesses were unbiased and that their evidence would stand up in court today. I dont believe we would accept the claims made by his disciples, just as we dont believe some of the rubbish that comes out today. There was a football commentator not so long ago who found faith, and announced to the world that at the age of 45 he realised he was the Son of God come back to earth for the second time and we should all bow down and follow him… Yeah right! David Icke was his name, and spouting rubbish turned out to be his game.  Personally I think he was better off sticking with football, but either way he was certainly entertaining for a few weeks.

Then theres the question of authenticity. The bible does seem excessively sexist. Does God really want us to treat women so poorly. I just struggle to believe it. My fiance would flip her lid if I treated her the way the bible teaches. I would move from man to eunuch in minutes. It’s not very PC when it comes to racism either. Labelling people almost in every chapter. Just imagine for a second if you happened to be one of the pharisees, a land owner and local despot, but overall a nice guy who treated his staff good, well, didnt whip them for spilling the wine, who only taxed people who still had arms to break, and maybe once a month would have a pretty burning at the stake followed by a barbeque and punch for the gathering crowd, no point in wasting the meat … Oops, no chance sunshine, you’re going to hell. Bummer!

Does it not bother anyone else that St Paul, who never ever met Jesus, wrote nearly half of the New Testament, and edited the rest? Im not saying the word bias… Im Implying it. Actually now I’m saying it, but perhaps “Artistic Licence” is better. The Christian Zealots online tell me however that the will of God was acting through Paul when the Council of Nicaea met (yes, Dan Brown did get that bit right int he Da Vinci Code.) I told my fiance it was the will of god that we got freaky deaky with the chocolate body paint last night, but clearly she isnt as religious as me!

73Now, yesterday I went to a mall in Oklahoma. To my complete surprise I saw not one or two, but over ten t-shirts featuring peoples love and devotion to their god, their christian god. I say christian god because I have no idea how much blood would have been shed if one of them had a baseball cap saying “Wake up blessed! Sleep with a Muslim”, or if another had “Muslim Ninja” written on her shorts, or even “Muslims wanted! It’s a tough job, but the retirement plan is unbelievable!” written over his t-shirt.

mygod2One guy had a tattoo with jesus on the cross on his left arm. I dont really mind people exhibiting their beliefs. I do object to them telling me their devotion to something I consider as real as the tooth fairy, is more important than, say my devotion to watching the international football match, but that kind of comment gets said on an individual basis. I dont have swathes of christians protesting me every morning I turn on the soccer channel, just the odd one or two less reasonable ones getting in my face. Odd though, i’m sure there’s a whole bunch of stuff in the Bible about being non-judgemental, clearly you can take the judge out of the judgemental…

Most people leave me alone though, and rarely threaten me with a one-way ticket to hell

My real question though, is that if I were to wear a t-shirt that said “God Doesnt Exist” or “The devil doesnt scare me” or even… “Whilst youre at church I will be having sex!”, how many people would come up to me and complain. In the Jackass movie, some guy dressed as the devil practically got beat up for “being offensive”. Never mind that seeing t-shirt after t-shirt with religious propaganda might offend me. They all have “religious freedom to express themselves”, what about my religious freedom to not be approached randomly in the streets by rabid god-praising carol singers, or have my dinner interrupted by fervent door-to-door salesmen offering me magazines that will save my soul from eternal damnation. What about my freedom to have a little bit of help and support without being drafted into some pseudo-charitable superstition.

It occurs to me that whilst It is clearly not a great time to be a Muslim in america, it’s not a good time to be an Atheist anywhere. With no rights, no voice, no representatives, how can we bring some common sense to things. I dont want my world blown up by crazy religious nutters from any denomination. I dont care which team they support. I have had to watch the last 100 years my closest neighbour Ireland tear itself apart over a stupid pointless religious war, and they were on the same side.

I dont need that kind of stupidity affecting my world. Dont we have enough on our plate trying to cope with the effects of Corporate Control, Global Warming, International Drugs Cartels, People Trafficking, the Energy Crisis, Environmentalism, Faltering Economies, Over-extended Banking Institutions, Despotism, Racial and Sexual Prejudice, Serial Killers, Rapists, Pedophiles and Talk Show Hosts.

I ask, I beg, I plead… cant we all combine our great resources, skills, talents and abilities and do something really useful for society, like do something, anything about ‘Chavs’. Put them on an island and wait for 200 years before getting beaten at sport by them and then pretending we liked them all along and since we’ve messed everywhere else up can we please move there, please, please!

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~ by eggplantinspace on September 10, 2009.

6 Responses to “At least he’s not an atheist.”

  1. Whoa this is an informative post. You’ve must have done extensive research on this article. This is rather absorbing so I must show all my family.

  2. I don’t know If I said it already but …Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    A definite great read…

  3. eggplant, have I found you? I’ve told you I’m a techno-dummy, and when I try to find you, I never land in the same place twice. anyway, the amerikans pretend that their god is the mythical being up in the heavens, but that’s just the spin. the god of amerikans is MONEY.

    • Totally agree.
      Although just like all Gods, the God money hides behind strong values such as Freedom of speech (so long as you have the money to get your message out and fight the restraining orders), Freedom of Religion (so long as you’re christian) and Freedom from Oppression (provided you aren’t black, or hispanic, or chinese, or even european)

  4. I don’t know If I said it already but …Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    A definite great read….

  5. I don’t know If I said it already but …Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

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