31 March, 2007

Never talk about religion. I've said it before, and I really should stand by that assertion. It's very simple really. Nothing makes people more insane than talking about religion. Frothing at the mouth. Shooting each other. Generally not paying attention to other people's feelings. Really, good will toward man kind of stuff.

I'm not really surprised. As I recall from my European history class from, whoa, these many years ago, there was a great explosion in the number of new churches and cathedrals in Europe after the turn of the last millennium. People had gone completely gun-nut crazy leading up to the millennium. The end of the world was coming and like that. Then? Well, son-of-a-birth, the world didn't end. So, people got all excited and happy and whatnot, and they started trying to make heaven on earth. And, since that turned out to be really hard trying to make people get along and all, they tried for the next best thing. They stuck up all of these cathedrals and shit. Made them all nice and pretty. There you go. All them big old pretty cathedrals represented just a little slice of the celestial kingdom here on earth.

But, I digress. Basically, I figure something very similar is happening now. People got all wigged out about the end of the world. I mean, we had only been living with the specter of nuclear annihilation and shit for the past bunch of years. Well, that kind of petered out. I mean, it isn't gone, but the big superpower apocalypse and smackdown just didn't happen. This probably didn't help all the religion nut-jobs who had been getting all good and ready for that millennium. Oh, but wait, we did manage to turn up something good for the big changing of the clock. We got a good dose of millennium bug fever. Yeah, it was going to be the year 1900 again, and we were going to have that big end of the world conflagration and clambake that everybody had been hankering for. Except. Well, that was kind of a letdown, too.

But, we've still got all of these people, frothing and dying for the end. Generally not picking up after themselves. Digging things up. Cutting things down. Leaving a big mess. I mean, what was the point? World was going to end one way or the other when that scary old millennium rolled around, right? Except. Well, shit, it didn't.

But, we're still frothing. We're still licking our lips and dying to scream "I told you so." Let that old ragnarok rock and roll.

So, yeah, generally a thousand years ago we had everybody dying for the end of the world, and we just went through the same gosh-darn thing again only yesterday. Everybody, well, not everybody, but you get the idea. People dying for the end of the world. Get it over with already. Let the good times roll. And generally being rather on the unreasonably religious side.

Of course, these here days we've got everybody pointing at terrorists and extremest to help bring about that only somewhat behind the times apocalypse that we've all been dying for, but I'm not really planning on touching on that. I just generally wanted to point out how insane way too many people can be about religion and kind of throw out a random theory as to why that might be the case.

Nope, not going to talk about that.

Really, I've just been thinking about this "can't trust an atheist" thing. Well, not in any great detail. This is just one of those things where every so often I overhear people talking about why you can't trust those dirty, stinking, ungodly atheists, and it occurred to me that I hadn't updated my website in a little while, which always makes me nervous for some reason. So, I thought. Why not? I could type a word or two here. I mean, the whole thing is really rather kind of amusing.

Apparently, you cannot trust atheists because they are all basically immoral. I mean, sure, they don't go around lying, cheating or stealing any more than good old Christians, but they might. It's got something to do with not believing a sodding word of the Bible, which means they don't base their underlying moral fiber on God's will as expressed by the ten commandments as they were handed down to Moses. Or something like that. Doesn't matter that they were taught that killing was wrong by their parents. Doesn't mean squat that they were told not to lie, cheat or steal in school. They didn't go to church, or even if they did, they've abandoned church, which means they've abandoned that underlying moral goodness that you get straight from God's Bible.

So, at a fundamental level, atheists don't believe in all of that no killing, no stealing, no screwing your neighbor's cat firmness that underlies all modern laws and moral codes. They don't pay attention to that one about how "thou shall not kill," which means they just might, because they don't believe in any of that God stuff.

Now, I always find this all deeply disturbing and maybe just a little amusing whenever I hear somebody espousing this particular argument. And the thing I find disturbing. What bothers me. And amuses me just a little. Is that the argument is actually backwards.

See, the problem isn't that you cannot trust an atheist not to kill you. The problem is that you cannot trust a Christians. After all, it is those Christians who have fundamentally based their whole moral system on the underlying fact that somebody told them not to do it. Got nothing to do with understanding right and wrong. Somebody told them not to.

So, wait, that means you want to kill, doesn't it? If the only reason you are not screwing and killing is because somebody with a really big stick who wrote it in a book told you not to do it? That's kind of perverse. And kind of wrong.

Now, really, I can only speak for myself here, but the reason I don't go around killing people is because of something very selfish I figured out at a very young age. Somehow, it sank into my skull that when people do or say things to me that I don't like it hurts my feelings, and I'm pretty sure that I really wouldn't like it if somebody killed me. Well, it also sank in that other people have thoughts and feelings. I'm not drifting in a void of only my existence. I figure that everybody has thoughts and feelings and opinions and whatnot. I figure that other people don't like it when they are hurt, and I'm sure they don't like it when they are killed. Such a thing can really ruin one's day.

Now, I know that this is a very selfish and self-centered approach to the whole thing, and I suppose it's got some kind of name like enlightened self-interest or some such junk. But, it's true. People have feelings. People don't like it when things they don't like happen to them. People don't like it when they are lied to. They don't like it when they are hurt, and they certainly don't like getting killed.

So, right, I don't do those things, and it's got nothing to do with some stupid book.

It kind of worries me that there are people out there who would kill without a thought or care if that book said it was okay.

Oh, wait, they do. Find all kinds of loopholes and shit. Wow, that book with its underlying moral basis for all existence is really effective on the people who run around spouting it, isn't it?

Oh, well.

copyright © 2007 by keith d. jones – all rights reserved
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