And it begins.
I can't pinpoint exactly how or when it happened, but very recently my atheism really started to take its true shape. Now it's grown and matured and--I use this word intending all the scientific implications it carries with it--EVOLVED. My atheism now stands upright, bi-pedaled, no longer lying dormant in my king-sized bed of thought, where all the magic of creation is supposed to take place. I'm really truly creating from this bed now, using the evolutionary gift of human rationality--something that religious people seem to want no part in--to think my own real thoughts.
There are those who say it's your right to believe whatever you want to believe; that it's not my place or anyone else's to disabuse you of your notions, no matter how fallacious (euphemistic for the word "stupid") these notions may be. We're supposed to treat beliefs, especially of the religious and spiritual kind, with a certain unspoken respect; it's clear that they're the eggshells of topical conversation we're supposed to tiptoe around. Well, I'll be frank right off the bat: this is absolute nonsense, complete and utter bullshit.
On a personal level I'm all for the truth. If I operated in life like two and two make three, I'd be grateful for the person with ovaries enough to show me otherwise. But that's not the argument I'll use here, since that's simply preference, and too many assholes walking this Earth can't wait to arm themselves with a different preference, namely "Ignorance is bliss," AKA "I'll take 'Being a dumbass on purpose' for $1,000, Alex."
The more readily acceptable argument is as follows, and we've all heard it before, for good reason: how many wars must be waged, how many people must be killed, in the name of God? When religion moves away from the harmless realm--an inevitability with such stupid and sensitive fucking people everywhere you go--that's when we got a real problem. What makes it worse is the inanity of the beliefs from a rationalist's point of view: people are being killed over and over and over and over for a thing that is clearly 100 percent bullshit. And many of these religious assholes aren't wishy-washy or Keatsian in their conceded uncertainty of what's true and what's not; no, it's just the opposite: God exists, god damn it! Heaven exists! The devil exists! If you don't repent for your sins you go to hell! If you were never baptized you go to hell! The 10 Commandments! Jesus died to save you! Noah's ark! Two animals of every kind on a boat! Prayer! (Apologies in advance to Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Satanists, etc. for this post's predominantly subverting Christianity. It's the only religion I'm familiar with to any respectable degree. But feel free to substitute your own religion's ridiculous ideas and beliefs wherever you see fit--I assure you it all works out the same.)
I think a great way to gauge just how advanced a society really is, is to evaluate how it treats the supernatural, meaning the fake, the made up, the superstitious, etc. So long as we're a species that bows its head, locks its hands together and whispers selfish desires to an invisible man in the sky, we're a primitive fucking people. There's no way around it. What amazes me about prayer is the religious person's inability to see the blatant, clear-shot idiocy of his/her rationale. If you pray for something and you get it, you say that God answers prayers. If you pray for something and don't get it, all the same, you've got a tailor-made retort ready at the fingertips: "God works in mysterious ways," or "It's part of His plan." Oh my fucking god. If I hear that type of shit spewed from some fanatic's mouth one more time I think my head's going to explode.
I think if I was in charge of birthing or spreading Christianity, that right there was the first Big Mistake: making humankind separate, and therefore inferior, to man-God, who is deemed as everything, but is treated like an entity the size of five or six beluga whales and dwells somewhere above the clouds, conveniently out of reach from human eyesight. Had we not started Christianity or any religion from this angle, life might look night-and-day from its present state. I won't go super in depth, but suffice it to say this: when you're coming from a place of inferiority, separateness, worthlessness with the constant need to prove yourself, you get the heap of bullshit and all that comes with it: hatred, jealousy, intolerance, vindictiveness, to name a few.
People will say, "Okay, I don't literally think God exists in the sky. He's everywhere." But how many times do you see an athlete on TV do something spectacular, only to look up and point with his/her forefinger to the sky? Why up but never down? If God is everything and everywhere, surely he takes up occupancy in just as much one direction as the other. It's obvious: religious people will say one thing, but borne of conditioning, brainwashing, societal pressure, habit, stupidity, etc. they will act completely independent and contradictory to their stated "beliefs." Sure they'll say that God is everywhere but when the appropriate moment comes, they won't be able to help but point upward when thanking "the man UPSTAIRS."
If there is a God who judges, who grants and denies wishes based on some celestial metric, my question is this: what the hell was he doing before human beings came into existence? Was he just kicking it on his cloud while the dinosaurs roamed, waiting patiently for them to die out? Or did he rule just as authoritatively, sending t-rexes to hell for eating brontosaurs, condemning pterodactyls for not resting on Sunday (before Sunday was even a real day)? How did the fan mail work? Did he read into the dinosaurs' mechanical brain patterns to excavate their prayers, then respond yes or no case by case?
These are stupid questions but only because the premise is stupid--that God cared one way or the other what dinosaurs got into on a daily basis. But we staunchly believe God cares what we do. So is the Man Upstairs for humans only? By religious definition, that can't be true; God governs the universe and everything in it, including animals and plants on planet Earth. Do you see the inherent problem with God now? He's conveniently stitched and crafted for homo sapiens. He rewards and punishes based on how we behave morally, but we're the only species to even own such a concept like morality. When an animal kills another animal, according to the 10 Commandments, that animal has just outright disobeyed God's moral code. So then what?
The answer, of course, is so then nothing. If an animal kills another animal, there are no supernatural consequences. But here's the twist: you may have forgotten, but human beings are homo sapiens. Homo sapien is a type of primate. Primate is a type of mammal. Mammal is a type of... you guessed it: animal. I'm talking about us! It is so fucking narcissistic to think you're above the animal classification. It's not "humans and then animals"; it's "humans are animals." If we kill, we are not doomed to suffer an eternity in everlasting fire. (Right there you're physicalizing what is supposed to be the spiritual realm, which is supposed to transcend the physical. Pearly gates, my ass.) If we kill, so then nothing. If you get caught by other humans then you'll suffer the consequences of your fellow human judicial systems, but that's it. No wrath. No hell. No nothing.
Plain and simple: religious people, stop being so fucking stupid, PLEASE. If God really does exist, it is in no way, shape or form anything like the God you've been reared from birth to conceptualize. Stop pointing to the sky, unless you're pointing out a plane or a cloud or the stars or something that is REAL. Stop bowing your head and asking for shit. Stop touching your forehead, your chest and shoulders in quick succession. And if you're a Jew or a Muslim or whatever, please stop being those things. Make a conscious choice that YOU really own, that YOU really are the source of, just for once.
In God's name we pray. Amen.