Monday, January 21, 2008

The Arrogance of the 'Saved' Part 2

Ray's post from earlier has been jangling around in my brain all day like a handful of nickels in a washing machine. Declaring something a miracle simply because you don't understand it is so arrogant that it's almost awe-inspiring, and it has stuck in my craw much more so than I would have imagined. Likewise the arrogance of those who fancy that the all-powerful creator of the universe is taking an interest in their day-to-day affairs, helping them find parking spaces, arranging lovely vistas, and, once supposes, causing cows to lactate solely for the benefit of the faithful. It must be fun to live in such a self-centered world.

Christianity in particular and the monotheistic religions in general play hosts to a strange dichotomy. First, believers are taught that they are lowly, sinful, useless creatures who couldn't sit the right way on a toilet seat, much less conduct their lives in this big scary world, without their deity to protect them. Meanwhile, they are simultaneously taught that the all-mighty, all-knowing creator of the universe is at their beckon call, ready to answer their prayers and bend to their will. Alternating delusions of worthlessness and abject grandeur constitute symptoms of schizophrenia.

Honestly, think about it for a few minutes. Here are folks who, for example, are content to call the process of lactation a miracle rather than look at the underlying science because their god tells them they have all the answers, yet they're also afraid to make decisions in their own life without begging the same god for answers about the most piddling stuff. (For example, check out this page of Christian dating tips, courtesy of P.Z. Myers' awesome blog. I never expected anyone to seriously ask if their erection was honoring god.)

I have to draw parallels between some subspecies of Christians these days and the weird UFO subcultures such as the Unarius Society that have sprung up over the years. Both are equally hilarious because of the bollocks they spout and the self-contradictory nature of many of their beliefs. I don't dwell on the UFO stuff quite as much because the UFO True Believers don't constitute a major a voting constituency, but sometimes it can be pretty instructive to compare the two.

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