Would Christians believe this?
One night, Muhammad, accompanied by the angel Gabriel, flew on the back of a winged, horse, named Buraq, where he met and prayed with Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Muhammad was then carried higher up in heaven by Gabriel, where he met God. God had wanted all the faithful Muslims to pray to Him 50 times a day but Muhammad asked Him to just make it 5 times. God agreed and Muhammad returned to earth on his winged horse.
Would they believe it? Of course not! But they would believe tales about angels, demons, a talking snake, a man who lived in a big fish, floods that cover the whole earth including small mountains, a field of bones that become alive and a supernatural being disguised as a bush on fire. Can anyone explain this?
I think it's called: "Nobody believes the other guy's indoctrination ... mostly 'cuz they got their own!"
I think I can explain it. Religionists are fucking idiots who believe in the supernatural. Thus they cannot think freely and rationally and are liable to come to a wrong conclusion. The religionist is therefore reasonably perceived as an inferior human being.
Yes, I can explain it. Believers are always atheist about the other guys religion. When you have that mindset it means that all 26 of you will make it to heaven.
I think it has something to do with the nature of complexity. In human existence we’ve slowly evolved from a simplistic hunter/gatherer society who’ve used religious metaphor as a means of quelling fears of the unknown, into the civil society we have now.
Early on societies grew and developed into increasingly more elaborate structures, and as such so to did religion. Eventually there came a point when humanity developed a split within it’s culture, this grew as we increasingly began to understand the nature of the universe, which eventually laid the founding blocks of scientific understanding. Consequently, as this "understanding" grew, increasingly more and more people were swept to the wayside so to speak, because they didn't have the gift of (or more likely, didn't like using) cognitive reasoning. In other words, whereas someone with the inclination for analytical thought processes could deduce a+b=c, someone without this ability would deduce a+b=God/Allah or stupid magic bunny.
Of course even idiots are subject to the nature of complexity, which is why religion slowly grew to become so heavily steeped in allegory and spiritual mumbo-jumbo. It gave the un-indoctrinated a sense of purpose and a feeling of belonging to something sophisticated. Religion did all the thinking and rationalizing for them, all they had to do was give their mind (and sometimes their body) to their local witch-doctor/priest or God. It gave the idiot an artificial sense of purpose.
Anyway, as time went on religions became more elaborate and took on a more empirical role in social development (probably because of public demand). Spiritual leaders realizing this decided to advance their own ideas of how one should live in the spiritual world with emphasis on controlling the masses. And as the old adage goes: throw enough shit and something is bound to stick, well religion is those left over sticky bits that the faithful know and love.
Still, I think Napoleon pretty much nailed it correctly, “Religionists are fucking idiots who believe in the supernatural”.
Religions are mindware. In prescientific times they may have been some of the best available tools to keep communities together, to focus on goodness, and to attempt to answer life's big questions. The author of "Why Won't God Heal Amputees" believes that without the imaginary being and immoral scriptures, strong "church communities" [which already exist in atheist "unchurches", and communities affiliated with such things as Humanistic Judaism and Ethical Culture] would still be a good thing:
What is a church? It is a community of people who agree to get together regularly, help one another and share in each other's company. A church also helps people to focus on the general concept of goodness once a week [...] When there is a disaster, either in the community or somewhere else in the world, the church members often will band together to help in some way.[...]
A thriving church community can be an amazing thing. But it is the people who make that happen, not any imaginary being. Once the imaginary being is gone, churches continue to exist as communities of people who enjoy each others' company, who help one another in times of need, and who focus on goodness and good deeds for the benefit of society as a whole. What's not to like about that?
"Understanding Religious Delusion" in the sister website godisimaginary.com points out how unbelievable various foundational religious myths are to anyone not brought up with them, on par with the Santa Claus story.
Let's imagine that I tell you the following story:
- There is a man who lives at the North Pole.
- He lives there with his wife and a bunch of elves.
- During the year, he and the elves build toys.
- Then, on Christmas Eve, he loads up a sack with all the toys.
[...] let's say that I am an adult, and I am your friend, and I reveal to you that I believe that this story is true. I believe it with all my heart. And I try to talk about it with you and convert you to believe it as I do.
[...] Since you are my friend, you might try to help me realize that my belief in Santa is a delusion. The way that you would try to do that is by asking me some questions. For example, you might say to me:
- "But how can the sleigh carry enough toys for everyone in the world?" I say to you that the sleigh is magical. It has the ability to do this intrinsically.
- "How does Santa get into houses and apartments that don't have chimneys?" I say that Santa can make chimneys appear, as shown to all of us in the movie The Santa Clause.
- "How does Santa get down the chimney if there's a fire in the fireplace?" I say that Santa has a special flame-resistant suit, and it cleans itself too.
Why didn't my answers satisfy you? [...] My answers are ridiculous. In order to answer your questions, I invented, completely out of thin air, a magical sleigh, a magical self-cleaning suit, magical chimneys, "timelessness" and magical invisibility. You don't believe my answers because you know that I am making this stuff up. The invalidating evidence is voluminous.
The foundational stories of Mormonism, Islam, and Christianity are examined the same way. In every case believers answer problems in the story with "irrefutable" magical fairytale details.
Somebody's got to go through all these mythologies and pull out the fun stuff for a children's book. Yes, we already have "myths from around the world" books that cover a lot of dead religions, but I see no reason why we shouldn't farm this fertile soil while we're at it.
"The Bible looks like it started out as a game of Mad Libs".
Michael, sadly, this message did not come through in my mail or on this site. I suspect I am missing a jewel!
I agree, Tim. I was brought up as a fundamentalist and not a Catholic, so there are always a few things we learn later. Recently I'm stumbling across some articles and I read that Mary, the mother of god, had no original sin. WTF! Wait a minute. According to the Buybull we all have original sin. That's why god wanted to kill us in the first place unless we accept his sacrifice of himself as Jesus in order to remove that sin which he gave us in the first place. If that wasn't confusing enough, we next have to believe that a "sinless man" could only come from a sinless woman. I guess that makes him kosher. Then, of course, when you pray you ask his mother to do something, knowing that she will ask him, and the son just cannot refuse the mother.
So much for Catholicism, but other illogical memes go into other branches of christiainity. Flipping through TV channels I run across a woman who was wondering what she was doing wrong? God was not answering her prayers. Most likely this idea is a "setup" for the believer so they will buy more books or send the televangelist more money, but I can answer the question. Lady, you aren't doing anything wrong except for believing in a sky daddy. God is imaginary!