Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Arrogance of Believers

An item recently popped up on my FB newsfeed .. an item posted here:

It seems that the relatively young man pictured is prepared to say that "sports nuts" and "money lovers" (among a host of other types of "sinners") are going to be consigned to eternal damnation when judgment day arrives.  He's sublimely confident in his own moral superiority and has decided to try to help you get over your sinful ways and join him in his arrogance.  Is he wise?  Or is he merely a twerp?  I vote for twerp!!

If there's any single trait among believers that riles me up, it's this arrogant condescension - they're saved, and you're damned unless you buy into their beliefs.  They exchange their favorite bible verses on social media, congratulating each other for being on the winning side and, apparently, expecting non-believers to be so inspired as to join them, utterly convinced by their quotations from the late Bronze Age, as translated over many generations.  They have the gall to say, "We'll pray for you." even though it's easy to show that nothing fails like prayer.  Prayer is a way to do nothing (except perhaps offer a sort of placebo effect 'comfort') and yet convince yourself you're doing something effective.  Personally, I see the statement "I'll pray for you." to be insulting, condescending, and very aggravating.

Believers demand that everyone respect their beliefs, even when those beliefs have the identical logical and empirical support as do UFO abduction fanatics and flat Earth diehards.  Apparently, believers think we must quietly accept the putatively inferior role of not having a book written by barbarians thousands of years ago to inform our morality.  They seem quick to ignore (or may be mostly ignorant of) the bible's sanctioned misogyny, genocide, infanticide, bigotry, religious intolerance, and a host of other behaviors that today we would call immoral, to say nothing of the now-irrelevant dietary rules, contractions and logical dilemmas.  And of course, the koran (or whatever spelling is now in vogue) is even more immoral than the bible!  In comparison to islam, christianity is in some sort of mellow old age.  But its past will forever be soaked in blood, and it still embraces fundamentalists quite willing to kill and destroy in the name of christianity.  Oh yes, christians have their terrorists, too.

Is this a meaningful foundation from which to command the lofty heights of ultimate moral superiority?  I think not.  Befuddled by the god virus, believers have the temerity to ask non-believers what keeps them from descending into utter moral degradation!  The very question suggests strongly that the believers are admitting they need both the carrot of entry into eternal bliss and the stick of eternal damnation to keep them from going on immoral rampages.  Apparently, like a common criminal, they can only be moral if the omniscient policeman is ever on the watch, with his hellfires stoked and ready for transgressors.  They can't admit the notion of a valid secular morality, or their lofty position could be forfeit.

But wait - no matter what massive evils you may have engaged in during your life, if you buy into the bullshit of christian belief on your deathbed - bingo!  Instant entrance into all the fruits of eternal happiness!  Hallelujah!!  Any of your victims who may not believe as you do are consigned to the flames and torture forever.  Now there's an important lesson in believer morality!  Reminds me of the deathbed conversion of Darth Vader - apparently all the evil for which he was responsible was wiped off the slate when he killed the Emperor to save his own son!  He may have been pretty evil for a long time - still, that little bit of good in him triumphed at the end!  Now he can pal around in the ghostly Force-world as Anikan Skywalker with Obi-Wan and Yoda for all time.  All is forgiven!  Sound familiar?  That is your morality, believers!  Your arrogance and delusions of moral superiority have as much substance as the mythical Force in a Hollywood movie/morality play.  I'm supposed to respect that?  No way!!

If you can accept the notion that the myths (more often than not inherited from your parents' efforts to indoctrinate you) of your religion are a collection of absolute truths that put you as a believer in a position of ultimate moral superiority - well, you have the right to such beliefs.  But that doesn't make you right and your confidence in your beliefs doesn't give you any right to claim moral superiority.  You need to stop looking down your nose at those who don't swallow your bullshit, or have the gall to prefer a different brand of bullshit.  You're not morally superior as a direct or even indirect consequence of your beliefs and have no call to force your morality on everyone around you.  Your only justification for doing so comes only from within your religion (spreading the god virus), and is not yet sanctioned by the laws of this secular nation.  I don't care what morality guides you or how you choose to behave - unless your beliefs are used to justify doing harm to, or interfering with the lives of, other people.  I respect your rights as Americans but I do not respect your beliefs!

1 comment:

Matt Bunkers said...

I'm a so-called believer, but what you describe here doesn't fit me (thankfully).