The whining Baby

18 06 2010

I was discussing stuff and I suddenly got a new insight I want to share.
I have always thought that monotheism is an evolutionary step after polytheism (and before people evolve further to atheism): Humans through the aeons develop their notion of a ”Divine Something” in steps. But I had a new insight which I now need to write down.
In a pantheon of Gods there is a division of jobs, every God has his/her own job. In monotheism one God does it all.
In a Pantheon there is also some sort of punishment for those who do evil deeds, and in the Ancient Egyptian underworld you get eaten by a monster Ammut, ànd thrown into a lake of fire. (This btw is where the Christians and later Mohammed got their inspiration of their invention of Hell.)
So far so good.
But a monotheistic God, (Egypt was there first as well, with the Aton) has more fish (or sinners) to fry. While the emphasis in polytheist punishment is in response to the evil deeds you’ve done, the monotheistic Gods have invented a lot of additional reasons to fry the ”sinners”:

If you do not worship Me you will burn in a lake of fire!
If you change your mind about My Religion you will burn in a lake of fire!
If you have sex with somebody I don’t like you to have sex with you will burn in a lake of fire!
If you do not follow all My little rules you will burn in a lake of fire!
If you do not kill all people who do not believe in Me you will burn in a lake of fire!

The monotheistic God seems to have an irrational obsession with Women. And an even greater maniacal fixation with Women and Sex!

If you are a woman and wear make-up you will burn in a lake of fire!
If you are a woman and you do not hide your God-given hair beneath a piece of fabric you will burn in hell!
If you are a woman and you don’t cover your face with a piece of fabric you will burn in a lake of fire!
If you are a woman and you talk to men you will burn in a lake of fire!
If you are a woman and you do not obey your lord and master (any man who has ownership) you will burn in hell!
If you are a woman and you do not let your husband have sex with you whenever he likes you will burn in a lake of fire!
If you are a woman and you get raped by a man you will burn in a lake of fire!
If you made the mistake of being born a woman you will burn in a lake of fire!

A monotheistic God is no improvement at all!
The more punishments God makes up and meets out the more He seems to  be like a whining, spoilt, selfish baby.
Can an omnipotent God really be acting like a whining spoilt baby who needs to create a whole universe because He needs to be worshipped? Can an omnipotent God really be that selfish? Wouldn’t such an entity be in balance with Himself without having to create a species who worships him all day? And why create beings who are not programmed to do so by default? Is God a crappy programmer? Can an omnipotent God really be suffering from a pathological fixation on sex and What Women Wear? Can an eternal omnipotent God have a sexual gender like the animals He created?
I don’t think so.

All this is all the proof I need to know that organised religions are invented. They are constructed, and given the emphasis on controlling and punishing those pesky women, I’d say it’s also pretty clear which gender has had the most to do with making it up and inventing ”the rules”.

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14 responses

19 06 2010
Room for one more? « Clouddragon

[…] Room for one more? 19 06 2010 This post is related to the former post. […]

20 06 2010
Achelois

“I have always thought that monotheism is an evolutionary step after polytheism (and before people evolve further to atheism)”

I used to think like that as well. But I think atheism is as old as theism. In fact, in the beginning there was only atheism when humans were too primitive to conceptualize a Creator.They just existed; there was no complex thought about *why* they existed. Then there was the concept of a God, a single God who created all other lesser gods for His/Her help. The gender of this god depended on which creation myth people subscribed. So I think polytheism evolved from a loose and vague concept of monotheism. Essentially all polytheists believe(d) in only one higher god. Philosophical atheism is even older than Christianity.

Plus, I don’t think that atheism is the opposite of theism. Theism is the belief in a god or gods. Atheism can’t disprove God and doesn’t believe in belief 🙂 In the end there is a component of this universe that is a mystery to atheists and theists both. Both try to make sense of things. Both try to offer solutions and theories but in the end both fail to give a concrete solution to the mystery. Theories, whether theistic or atheistic are just that, theories.

I think what is happening though is that while once monotheists claimed intellectual superiority, it is now the atheists who make similar claims. Yet, they haven’t answered all questions through science. For instance I was reading just yesterday that the Big Bang theory violates two of the three Laws of Thermodynamics, and the Law of Cause and Effect. I understand that science is evolutionary in itself and what we know today we didn’t in the past and what will know tomorrow will be something new, but I don’t think we will still have all the answers. Thus to me, atheism and theism are both mystical. There comes a point where all religionists and atheists have to shrug their shoulders (although I also accept that religions have many myths to make sense of things and myths can’t be reality in most cases).

The essential difference between theists and atheists that I have noticed is that a theist is often completely certain that there is a God while an atheist (even as militant as Dawkins) will say “there is probably no god.” That makes atheists even more mystical to me than theists 😀 LOL

I feel that the ext step in the evolution of human thought about spirituality is Pantheism. That is just a feeling and certainly not a belief 😀

20 06 2010
MoQ

@Achelois,

I think you had a few bad assumption in your argument.

– Atheists never claim that they know all the answers.There is no intellectual superiority about that position. We do not have to have all the answers. What we have discovered so far with the addition that we have the drive to continue researching should be good enough.
– On the contrary religions claim they have the answer. For every mystery out there there is a required answer and they have it and it is a superior being. Not accepting such proposition without any evidence to support it should not be viewed as having a sense of intellectual superiority.
– Religions also advance many ideas that have been proven wrong. Example the giant flood, outdated set of laws and values, etc. These ideas can stop progression and in some cases can be actually destructive. We cannot dismiss these issues by simply saying both sides are equally wrong, because that is not the case.
– There is nothing mystical about saying there is no certainly. 100 percent certainty is only valid in the field of mathematics (since it is man made language and we control the definitions).
– Science does not deal with absolute certainty.This actually makes science stronger.Theories can change with new discoveries, but that does not mean all our discoveries are wrong. Think about the alternative. If science acted like religion and truth becomes set in stone. No changes can happen even in face of new evidence. This is where I think there is a major difference between religion and Science. Religions still act as if things written in the bronze age are still valid today even with mounting evidence to the contrary.

20 06 2010
Achelois

MoQ, Thank you for your comment to me 🙂

I get the feeling that you thought I was attacking atheism and atheists with my “bad assumptions” 🙂 I wasn’t doing that. I wasn’t assuming anything. I was only writing about how I feel and what I think. I haven’t reached the level of theorizing or even hypothesizing about what I think about Theism and Atheism and my comment wasn’t authoritative at all.

– “Atheists never claim that they know all the answers” – And I never said otherwise. I only referred to atheists not being able to answer all questions either as related to intellectual superiority. Maybe you don’t claim that you are intellectually superior but most other atheists I know do that all the time, especially those who once believed in God and now don’t. Maybe they carry a chip on their shoulders or it is preconditioning when they were religious (because religious people do that all the time too against atheists/agnostics!).

– “On the contrary religions claim they have the answer” – yes, and that is exactly what I said as well (“a theist is often completely certain that there is a God”).

– “Religions also advance many ideas that have been proven wrong” – I wouldn’t disagree.

– “There is nothing mystical about saying there is no certainly” – I think you are assuming that mysticism is only related to religions? I think it is a beautiful word; has even a more beautiful meaning. It symbolizes greatness and complexity. It doesn’t have to be seen a negative word! In fact, I was actually complimenting atheism by using that word!

– “Science does not deal with absolute certainty” – I never claimed otherwise; in fact, I mentioned that science evolves as well.

I have often noticed that atheists claim that religious people can’t handle dialogues, claiming that they are opinionated, edgy, quick to quip, which may be true but frankly my experience with atheists hasn’t been very good either. I find atheists are very quick to judge, use judgmental language when they communicate and generally their discussion has to be more of an argument. Not everyone who comments on a post about atheism is out there to attack, push their ideologies or make bad assumptions about atheism 🙂

20 06 2010
MoQ

@Achelois ,

Actually, I have seen you describe atheists many times here as having superior attitude, a chip on their shoulder, arrogant, etc. I was not quick to quiver in my opinion. I let that pass a few times. Hence, please understand that you have been judgmental and I did not respond to it until this time.

I never thought you are pushing your ideology on anyone. I just did not think you were even handed in your comment.

Note: I read your blog at times and I do not even think I know your ideology. I do think you have good thoughts sometimes, but your ideology is not clear. I do get a feeling you have been at various stages of sorting things out. I hope you continue on that road without letting unwise acquaintances sway you a way from true discovery.

20 06 2010
Achelois

“Actually, I have seen you describe atheists many times here as having superior attitude, a chip on their shoulder, arrogant, etc.”

Yes, that is how I feel about the atheists I have communicated with online. And I have mentioned that only once on Aafke’s blog. I said in my previous comment as well that you may not be doing that but many other atheists do that. I was once very interested in knowing about the perspectives of atheists but if I posed an honest question I was seen as attacking their ideology which was not my intention. I had genuine queries. We can learn about religions from their holy books and other forms of scripture but how can you really learn about atheism other than corresponding with people? You may recall I even asked you a couple of questions here once to learn more about atheism and we had quite a civil discussion so I was surprised that you thought my comment today was biased.

“I just did not think you were even handed in your comment.”

I wasn’t even-handed in my comment? I said religions have myths. I said science was evolutionary. I wrote that philosophical atheism even predates Christianity. I wrote that monotheists have an intellectual superiority complex. Throughout I have been drawing similarities between religions and atheism. I even said that theists speak with certainty that they can’t prove. That is not even-handed coming from someone who believes in God? How many believers have you met who would say that to you? I protest! That is very unfair 😀

“I hope you continue on that road without letting unwise acquaintances sway you a way from true discovery.”

My ideology is not clear because I like to keep it that way for others. I don’t know whom you are referring to as an “unwise acquaintance” but if you have read my blog you must have read my blog tag as well. I don’t let anyone think in my place and I am hardly ever influenced by other people.

However, if you feel that I was out of line, I apologise for my comment. Perhaps I didn’t write clearly so it is my fault. I was in two minds about posting it initially and I should have followed my gut and not posted it. I used to comment on every post by Aafke but the only reason I don’t do that anymore (even though I read all of them) is because I love her too much and I don’t want to say something that has the potential of being misunderstood like my first comment. That can happen frequently since our beliefs are not similar. I genuinely wanted an honest discussion on the history of religious inquiry. Nevertheless, I genuinely apologise once again.

20 06 2010
MoQ

” I don’t know whom you are referring to as an “unwise acquaintance” but if you have read my blog you must have read my blog tag as well. ”

What I meant by that is anyone you referenced as having a chip on their shoulder. Sorry was not clear about that.

Regarding whether you should have posted, I did not take offense and I think we can have a good dialog because of your initial comment. However, I do think you had bad experiences in some discussions and have already formed an opinion about atheists. We are a mix of people that is diverse. Some new and often younger atheists may be militant about it and at times act like they are the holders of the truth. I find the same thing with some religious people. Religions even tell their followers that none believers are followers of Satan, will live in internal fire, misguided, etc. Can any ideology be more arrogant than that. However, you will not find me attach that title to believers with a wide brush. I do realize people are individuals and they all should be given the benefit of the doubt in any conversation unless shown otherwise.

Again I do not take offense at your comments. I just wanted to correct what I thought is a perception that was not warranted.

20 06 2010
MoQ

@Achelois,

Ok so I am starting a new comment that does not deal with negativism.

Regarding learning about Atheism. It does not have to be done only through conversations, there are plenty of authors and philosophers out there who have written good books from a point of view of atheists.

The God Illusion by Richard Dawkins is probably the most famous one.

One of my favorite writers is Sam Harris who has many books on different topics. Most notable is “The end of Faith”

There are of course many others like Christopher Hitchens, Jean Meslier, George Smith, David Mills, etc.

Additionally, If you read religious books with a critical point of view you already may experience what Atheist experience in identifying the issues with religions.

I hope we continue having open conversations.

20 06 2010
Achelois

Thank you MoQ for extending graciousness.

I have read Dawkins (an atheist in my husband’s extended family is his disciple!) and Harris both. I don’t know why but I prefer Harris over Dawkins although both are extremists in my opinion.

I see two things happening with these atheists: they reject the existence of a god, and they are against religions. There are very few atheists who reject the existence of God but are not against religions, like Bruce Sheiman. Perhaps the gentler atheists don’t write much (online or otherwise)?

I think it all boils down to the kind of person one is; I understand povs that come from polite people even if they are disagreeing with me completely. I know I have had bad experiences with younger atheists but even Harris and Dawkins are both much older than me yet when they become (what to me seems like it) abusive I subconsciously stop listening. I do that with intolerant and abusive religious clerics too so it is not directed only towards atheists!

I know what you mean about theists thinking that non-believers are possessed by Satan. I see Satan as a metaphor. We each have a dark side to us which can be seen as symbolised by Satan. Thus, Satan or our negativity can overpower anyone, even the most religious people. The minute we become intolerant enough to abuse another human being we are taken over by our dark side/negativity/Satan whatever we wish to call it.

21 06 2010
MoQ

@Achelois,

I think you need to look at another prospective for how others think. I will try to give you mine. Sorry if this is long:

– Religion in the mind of atheists is just an ideology. Most of them tend to be ancient with all the disadvantages of ideologies developed at a time where we did not have much knowledge.
– Any religion as an ideology can be challenged and criticized and even rejected entirely. This is no different than criticizing and rejecting political ideologies, philosophical ideologies, etc.
– The Abrahamic religions, which are the usual target of criticism, seem to hold very aggressive stance against others. These aggressive ideas are not just a result of some small factions of followers. They are supported by the Texts, which are at the core of the religions. They are also supported by long history of wars and subjection of others that continue until current day. It is reasonable to expect that free thinkers will criticize these religions and even reject them strongly. What concept can be more worthy of our rejection than Texts that call for violence on others?
– Atheists writers that speak against religion are always providing evidence to support their claims. I never find the same in religious Texts at the instances where they reject others and even call for their killing. Note Atheist writers for the most part reject the religions, they never talk about eliminating the followers. Even with their violent content, I still read these books to understand how others think.
– Making a requirement to the process of having a dialog or try to understand other people’s position, because they reject these ideologies and speak against their violent nature, seems unreasonable in my opinion. However, I understand your opinion is what matters in what you accept. I just want you to understand my perspective.
– I think ideologies can be separated from individuals. I personally do not disrespect any person for their religion even though I may disrespect the religion as an ideology. This is no difference than disrespecting a political ideology such as communism, but still accept Cuban communist. I know some religious people do not understand this concept, because religions teach the idea that religion is a total belief system (i.e. the person and religion become 1). In my experience, I found that people do not let religion take over their entire thinking and I am very thankful for it (even though they will never admit to it 🙂 )
– You also may have not noticed that there is a huge set of religions that escape with almost no criticism. Good examples of these are Jainism, Taoism, Buddhism, Baha’i etc. What is common between these is they are peaceful at their core and although we do not agree with the Myths they contain, they should not receive harsh challenges because they do not harm humanity.
– I think you should reexamine your position of requiring respect for religion before accepting dialogue with others. I will debate and discuss with any person of religious adherence, even knowing that the books he/she believes in promote the concept that I will be living forever in hell fire. This is more personal than rejecting my ideology. Note my my ideology does not call for any hostilities against them. Many atheists do this every day. Please consider this in your evaluation. Who is more humble in this equation?

21 06 2010
Achelois

Thank you MoQ for offering your perspectives. They are indeed interesting and valid opinions in many ways.

I support religions but not like a naïve 9th grader. To me religions offer a beauty unmatched by anything that is not mystical. I like mysticism and I enjoy religions, their history and how they changed and took new shapes. We are all different and enjoy different things. I won’t compromise my individuality even if it doesn’t match modernity.

Religions make me marvel at human thought just as much as science does. But that doesn’t mean I support intolerance or unkindness. On the other hand, I think that even if we had no religion we would still be intolerant – maybe we wouldn’t be terrorists or suicide bombers but we would have other forms of intolerant behavior. Look at the IRA – they didn’t need religion to explode suicidal bombs. To me extremism whether it is in theism or atheism is wrong. And atheism doesn’t escape that criticism even from kinder atheists so I don’t see a way out.

Religion and science can co-exist, but I think for that to happen we need to get rid of extremists. We need religious moderates and moderate atheists. A very rare combination! Science makes me marvel at God’s creation. I don’t and can’t trash science. Science tries to overcome earthly limitations and as a believer I think that was God’s plan all along.

Out of the 6 billion people on this earth, half follow the Abrahamic religions. The rest don’t. That is an equal ratio. Out of the half that follows the Abrahamic religions Jews and Christians may have intolerance in the Torah and OT but they don’t practice it as part of religion – a must holy war. From the 1.2 billion Muslims, how many are terrorists? We are talking about a very small percentage of intolerant people. I won’t deny that even that small percentage is deadly and has disturbed the peace of humanity forever. I will also not deny that they use scripture to justify their acts and that intolerance can be traced back to that source. But I don’t see that the solution is that we say religions should die out.

That won’t happen because religion is not a remnant of human evolution that would fall off like a withered tail. Society may become more secular but the human need to believe will remain. Religion can be as much a part of modern life as science if we have moderation on both sides. Aristotle once said that science and religion together make “the best and most complete form of goodness.”

I have neither demanded dialogue with atheists nor respect for religions. I know that would be useless and senseless as well. There are very, very few people who will say that religion and science are both necessary. Very few believers will say creation is a myth/metaphor/symbolic and that Big Bang did happen but that God was behind it. There will be fewer atheists who will say that science and religion are both necessary. I can’t look for such people and encourage dialogue. Small voices are hard to hear. I don’t demand respect for religions; I encourage respect for belief. Religious people believe in a God. To call that belief delusional is abusive and unhelpful.

I believe that we can never know what God is like. We try to make sense of Him, giving Him human emotions and even a gender. Criticism of that is still understandable. You can say “what god demands revenge and hatred? That is a human quality!” and I will agree, but if someone calls religious people primitive, stupid and delusional, and ignorant that is not only gross generalization it is also very disrespectful. Evolution does not always mean progression; in the case when we become intolerant like the primitive humans it is actually regression. Anyone who is intolerant and extremist has regressed whether they are theists or atheists.

It was nice reading about your perspectives. I definitely understand them; have never said I don’t. I may not agree all the time but I understand all the time 🙂

21 06 2010
Aafke-Art

Waw, what a good discussion!
I think that for real, fullblown arrogance you have to go the truly religious.I have never seen arrogance like the devout believer who knows better than all around them, who claim to know the will of God, the toughts of God and the future plans of God, as extrapolated from whatever holy book they follow.
Armed with this intimate knowledge of God’s thoughts they then go around admonishing less extreme people and trying to scare them with hellfire.

Given the nature of atheism this is impossible for an atheist, even if they were as zealot as can be.
To realise that there are things we can’t explain or predict, prohibits a sense of superiority, while claiming a bunch of bronze age theories are the answer to Life the Universe and, Everything! is feeding a sense of superiority as is clearly demonstrated every time one goes into debate with a devout believer over say, the ”fact” that all women who do not cover their face will go to hell.

Richard Dawkins for example is not arrogant, rather as a true scientist he has to admit that even if he doesn’t believe there is a God at all, from scientific thinking one cannot claim anything absolute. Hence he has to keep open the possibillity that there may be a God after all. But that does not in any way mean that he keeps the option open as we non-scientists would see it. From a non-scientist view he really doesn’t believe there is anything like a sky-daddy floating over our heads.

By the way, one can learn about what atheism actually means and how atheists reach their conclusions in many books, and, although not Holy, very well written books. It is by no means nessecary to only speak to a random collection of atheists. There are also some good websites.

The thought of Atheism as a mystical path is intruiging. I myself am quite spiritual, yet I cannot believe in a ”God the Father” Because it is so clearly made up. Neither can I believe the current major religions are the last ones invented. I am sure that if we could go 5000 years into the future we would see them replaced by other forms of religion and systems.

I also think a percentage of people is predisposed to ”religious fervour”, these will be the most extreme followers of a religion, and I think they are often prone to become real zealots if they switch religions.
And I think, that maybe, if such a person decides to become atheist, they go all ”religiously zealotty” over atheism.

Atheists just don’t believe there is a skydaddy. There is no proof for a skydaddy and lots of proof against.
the reason most atheists don’t like religions is because most religions have such a bad track record: incitement to hatred, violence, mass murder, mental blackmail, discrimination against women… etc.
How can an honest, moral person not object to all that?
Still, most atheists realise religions will not be going away; too many humans cannot live without some idea of a Skydaddy looking after them, and the fiction of heaven to alleviate their fear of death.

Another problem is, Atheists are not a group, or a movement, they do not have anything in common except they do not believe in ancient myths. That is the only thing. There is no ”atheist creed” no ”Atheist Holy Book”.
”Getting atheists into an organized group is like herding cats”
It is only very recently that some atheists have decided to try and come together as a political group to protect their right to be free from religion, and not have it shoved forcefully down their throats and their childrens’ throats by the religious groups. Or be discriminated against merely because they cannot believe in a God.

As far as ”respect for religion” goes, i do not think religions deserve respect by default. And I think any religion which in it’s sacred teachings teaches that women are inferior to men has allready lost all claim to respect and to be proclaiming anything truthfull. And that includes Buddhism.

For me only those religious people who are consistently moral and fair, and don’t discriminate despite their religion’s teachings deserve respect for their religion.
I think religions are a form of ideological Dogma. The concept of Ideological Dogma has always served the rulers very well, be it a religion or something like communism.
I bet one could even twist a dogma out of atheism, and have it misused by a ruling ”scholarly” elite.
So I think it’s important to always be aware and in contact with your own thoughts and innate morality and honesty, and never let ideology or dogma take over.

PS, Achelois, I think your individuality matches modernity very much!

21 06 2010
MoQ

@Achelois,

“I think that even if we had no religion we would still be intolerant – maybe we wouldn’t be terrorists or suicide bombers but we would have other forms of intolerant behavior.”

Agreed, We had many intolerant forms of ideologies like Stalinism, Nazim, etc.. I am not comparing any of those to specific religion. However, we did not have any issues with people rejecting them for their violent behavior. The issue is when people reject religions for their violence, we have these huge hurdles to get over.

Paragraph, “Out of the 6 billion people on this earth, half follow the Abrahamic religions. ”

I realize that the great majority of followers of the religions are not violent. I think this is despite their religion as I believe Humans have innate goodness. The Texts of these religions is full of violence and hate. Just consider the idea of how would an atheist be treated if he/she lived in an Arabic country. I do seperate religion as an ideology from the people and will continue to do that.

I think you may be talking spirituality in much of your description. I do not reject spirituality. I reject religion which has more that spirituality, it has dogma, institutions, hierarchy, etc. If you take these out then we are talking about individuality of thought, which I support. Additionally, I always said that religion can co-exist with many of the concepts of freedom, if three areas become free of religious influence: 1) Law, 2) Science 3) Politics. Abrahamic religions insist in defining these 3 areas. Some to a higher degree than others. Islam currently is the Champ, but I realize it replaced the Christianity (the previous champ).

Being fascinated by religious history is something I have in common, so that is not a point of disagreement.

“There will be fewer atheists who will say that science and religion are both necessary.”
Of course there are atheists that say that. I am one of them. I do not think they are necessary, if I started a world from scratch now. However, they are necessary, because of legacy and practicality. Religion can co-exist, but there are huge issues to deal with before complete peaceful co-existence can be achieved. I addressed some of that above.

“someone calls religious people primitive, stupid and delusional, and ignorant that is not only gross generalization it is also very disrespectful. ”
I think I covered the idea that religion is seperate from their followers. A person that follows a religion is not necessarily stupid. However there are some that are just like there are Atheists that are stupid. Stupidity is a universal disease it seems.

Now after reading what you wrote, your believes seem to be more in the spiritual side although you do not call it as such. You believe in analyzing things for yourself, you never mention dogma, you support individuality, etc. You actually have more in common with Atheists than what you think. The difference is you have a strong feeling there is an intelligent power behind it all.That is a fine concept and really hard to argue against, since it falls in the area of the unknown.

21 06 2010
Achelois

Thank you Aafke and MoQ for your comments. It was an interesting discussion!

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