When faith concocts a reality that is separate from reason, why is that not considered lunacy?
Craziness is a departure from normal behavior. It is behavior that roams a couple of standard deviations from the mean. Most would consider it normal to see facts as facts, to recognize false patterns and to discern right from wrong. But faith asks us to deny such thinking.
Mathematicians can overlay probability statistics on events, like what is the probability that a guy can live more than two minutes in the belly of a whale or that I’ll get a bunch of virgins in heaven if I blow some heathen enemy to bits along with myself. God thinks in mere human terms and wears a beard? Or that an apple full of enlightenment woke man to his essential nakedness?
Faith denies common sense. It denies mathematics.
If these tales are to be taken as allegory, how do I discern truth? Do I listen to the pastor or preacher or imam or rabbi or priest and take his very humanly word for it? After all, these are the guys with the strength of character to bong the choir boys, burn heathens at the stake or otherwise tread God’s earthly planet in an earthy way once they slip away from God’s mighty pulpit.
The church is confined by doctrine written centuries ago when celibacy was considered Godly and birth control devices did not exist. Celibacy was an example to the masses of the Greatest Birth Control Device of All Time, denial.
Now, the flood of babies is slamming humanity against the wall of limited resources, and the church cries out, “Don’t stop! It is good.” Never mind the lack of food and suffering, the millions of unwanted children, the coat-hanger abortions, all the tears of Mankind. God is good.
Alas, no matter how you cut it, right and wrong are circumstantial, defined by whomever you cede your mind to. In one faith, it is correct to stone women, in another it is not. In one faith, it is correct to condemn those who would wear a condom or drink coffee, in another, no problem.
When the foundation of right and wrong is slippery, people concoct a made-up set of rules for their behavior. Tie the rigid rules to stubborn blindness and unrestrained emotions and we end up with the chaos now seen around the globe. Inflexibility in the name of faith. Intolerance. Anger. Guns and bombs and a gross failure to simply talk to one another. Rather than dealing forthrightly and intelligently with real problems . . . like people having nothing to eat, or global warming, or disappearing resources . . . we fall on our knees and pray to some imaginary almighty Dude for help.
Faith enflames our basest inclinations; it does not calm them.
What a sorry bunch of schmucks we are, failing to take responsibility for the havoc that we wreak upon the planet. Failing to rein in our emotions.
I believe God exists. But He would be a Schmuck, too, if He granted us robust brainpower then sent us to Hell for using it to think rationally.
I have more confidence in Him than man’s churches do.
To me, life is about discipline and honesty and hard work and accepting responsibility for outcomes. It is not about stumbling along on some faith-based cloud wishing and hoping, blaming Satan or the neighbor, or begging from God or the neighbor. It is not to deny responsibility, thereby making ourselves small; it is to live large by accepting responsibility.