The pernicious god-botherers are at it again. In the apparently never-ending quest by the religiously stupid to destroy our civilization, a new voice has appeared in the wilderness. Judging by this moron’s screed against curiosity (reported in the New York Times Opinion pages), one may safely assume Duke University qualifies as a wilderness.
According to Paul Griffiths, professor of Divinity at Duke University, curiosity is a vice. One is tempted to inquire as to how someone without curiosity was able to earn a PHD, but that would probably be unkind and unfair. It is profoundly unfair to make fun of the senile and incontinent dotards among us, or so I am assured by my supervisor at work and the empty suits spewing garbage disguised as journalism on television.
So let us leave aside questions about the Professor’s mental capacity and degree of hypocrisy and concentrate upon his message: curiosity is a mortal sin. A quick perusal of search engine results for “mortal sins” brought me to a website about Thomas Aquinas. Oddly enough, curiosity wasn’t mentioned, although the various “sins” listed in the linked page could probably be forced to fit.
Therein lies the problem with the god-deluded pinheads among us: They are willing- nay, eager- to warp and twist their own “sacred” texts in order to force others to stop doing something which which the religiously indignant disagree. They never cry out against their own failings. Rather than following the teachings of their founders, those afflicted with the religion virus are determined to root out the motes in our eyes while ignoring the twenty-story cathedrals constructed from the beams in their own.
Ignorance is not bliss. The ignorant religious individual may in fact be blissful, but their contentment comes at the price of being raging dickheads to everyone not willing or able to violently campaign against the recognition of the real world about them. Some of Professor Griffith’s fellow religionists claim religious discrimination when they are prevented from discriminating against those with other religions (“We must punish the heretics for their blasphemy!” “Sorry, bub. Can’t let you do that.” “Why are you oppressing me?”). Their blissful ignorance is a plague upon our technological civilization. The religious are content to say, “I do not understand this, therefore it must be the work of God.” Fair enough. If you don’t want to learn more about our universe, that’s your privilege.
Unfortunately, this is not good enough for the god-botherers. Since they are too intellectually lazy to actually think, they demand that no one else be permitted to think, either. Given the power to do so, far too many supposedly god-fearing men and women would happily return all of humanity to the golden age of religious barbarism from millennium ago. “How dare you say that the Earth revolves around the sun?” “Sorry, bub. The evidence we’ve gathered shows pretty clearly …” “Blasphemy! Evidence means nothing when in conflict with the word of God! Burn the heretic!” When these dolts are regularly (and properly) ridiculed and derided because their anachronistic and autocratic demands bear no relation to consensus reality, they all too often set about trying to force reality into the grim little mold of their paranoid and archaic fantasies. In doing so, the religiously deluded manage to cause a great deal of harm to the society in which they reside. Sometimes they cause harm by destroying public discourse with their shrill refusal to accept anything less than total subjugation of the laws of physics to their nonsensical whims. Sometimes they do harm by infecting the political process of their home countries. Worst of all, some resort to violent action to destroy anyone who denies their faith.
I propose we wall off a portion of the planet- some relatively small, dismal, and unpleasant land which nobody really wants. Set armed guards about the place, to prevent the inmates from escaping. Any True believer who so desires may choose to enter this Reservation at any time after reaching voting age to practice his or her religion to their hearts’ content, but they will never be permitted to leave. Crusades, pogroms, jihads, infanticide, whatever they want to do to one another in the Reservation will be no concern to anyone on the outside. The rest of the planet can continue learning and growing, while the deity-diddlers can either shut up and go along for the ride or go to the Reservation for life.
Note that no one would be forced into Coventry for their beliefs. Anyone who wants to believe in a god or gods without trying to foist their delusions upon their neighbors will be permitted to join the rest of the world as we develop a better understanding of the universe. Any religious ass-hats who insist on trying to force others to believe as they do will be given the choice of shutting their yaps or getting sent to the Reservation.
This is not discrimination. This is self-defense. The religious pinheads are actively trying to destroy our civilization in favor of their theocratic despotism, and they aren’t even trying to conceal this. One of the candidates in the last US Presidential election publicly said he wanted his holy book to be the supreme law of the land, for just one example. These people have made no secret of the fact that they want to force everyone in this country to believe as they do- in every repellent aspect, and are therefore committing treason. They are the enemies of freedom, and the enemies of anyone who wants to think freely. I, for one, refuse to submit to the supposed mercies of religious zealots. Anyone who wishes to believe in a deity is free to do so until they try to force their beliefs on me. At that point, the religious dickheads have made themselves my enemy, to be dealt with as wolves are.
Here’s a little light reading on how ridiculous the god-botherers can get:
I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said “Stop! don’t do it!” “Why shouldn’t I?” he said. I said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!” He said, “Like what?” I said, “Well…are you religious or atheist?” He said, “Religious.” I said, “Me too! Are you christian or buddhist?” He said, “Christian.” I said, “Me too! Are you catholic or protestant?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me too! Are you episcopalian or baptist?” He said, “Baptist!” I said,”Wow! Me too! Are you baptist church of god or baptist church of the lord?” He said, “Baptist church of god!” I said, “Me too! Are you original baptist church of god, or are you reformed baptist church of god?” He said,”Reformed Baptist church of god!” I said, “Me too! Are you reformed baptist church of god, reformation of 1879, or reformed baptist church of god, reformation of 1915?” He said, “Reformed baptist church of god, reformation of 1915!” I said, “Die, heretic scum“, and pushed him off.
To those words of wisdom from Emo Phillips I will add a few words on the subject from several more prominent personages:
The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history. –Robert Heinlein
At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols. -Aldous Huxley
When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. -Anais Nin
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. -Blaise Pascal
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality. -George Bernard Shaw
We must respect the other fellow’s religion,but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart. -H.L. Mencken
Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion– several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat, if his theology isn’t straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven. -Mark Twain
The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself. -Richard Francis Burton
All religions are the same: religion is basically guilt, with different holidays. -Cathy Ladman
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. -Seneca the Younger
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. -Stephen Roberts
It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics. -Robert Heinlein
As for me, I am a heretic. I am an infidel, a nonbeliever. I speak fluent blasphemy. But I make no attempt to force the rest of the world to believe as I do. This puts me in mortal danger from the followers of various deities.
Bring it on.
Current status: Enraged
Current music: Smaointe by Loreena McKennitt