Sunday, June 20, 2010

Religion Has All The Answers

How did the universe come into existence? Is our universe all that exists, all that has ever existed, and all that will ever exist? Does our universe exist on a substrate of Ultimate Reality that also hosts many other universes? Is our universe the result of a confluence of uncaused causes within the Primordial Realm of Uncaused Nothingness? Is our universe one of the many dimensional manifestations of a body of Absolute Truths? Is our universe merely the current state of affairs in an ever-changing infinite sequence of prior causes?

We don't know, and we probably can't know until we find a way of discovering things beyond our universe, if there is any such thing as a realm beyond our universe.

But our religion has the answer. God is the Uncreated Creator of everything. God is tacitly presumed to possess some sort of conscious decision-making intelligence. But there are at least four credibility gaps with this answer.

First, an Uncreated Creator has to be uncreated, but our theology offers no decent plausibility argument to explain how the Primordial Realm of the Uncreated could even host the existence of God, let alone consist entirely of nothing but God.

Second, a creator must have creative powers, but our theology fails to suggest any attributes for God that would clearly imply creative powers. We simply declare God to be omnipotent, a logically meaningless term that sounds more like a cop-out than a real attribute.

Third, our theology offers no credible motive for why God would want to bother with creating any universe, let alone our particular universe.

Fourth, no reliable and repeatable observations have ever been presented to support the theistic view, and logical arguments in support of it are massively flaw-ridden.

So, with all these difficulties, why do we insist on believing in God? I think it must be because we've been systematically educated from birth to be too stupid to imagine any of the far more plausible alternatives.

But we've hardly started! On top of this already implausible belief, our Christian religion claims that God suffers from some sort of chronic three-way identity crisis called a Holy Trinity. At this point, we've wandered another order of magnitude into implausibility.

One of the alter-egos of this Holy Trinity identity crisis is supposedly a man named Jesus who went strolling round and about Merry Olde Palestine doing wonderful deeds, teaching profound truths, and gathering quite a following of admirers. At one point he caused the local authorities to become emotionally disturbed, which probobly wasn't too hard considering the politics of the era, so they executed him, but then he magically got alive again and zoomed off to heaven.

Then, every bit of the vast quantity of writings written about him during his lifetime in his own native language completely vanished without a trace, in spite of the enormous efforts of many people to preserve them. Historians have never been able to explain the total evaporation of such a vast body of literature.

But wait! There's more! About fifteen or twenty years later, some people who lived a long ways away from Palestine, didn't know much about the place, and didn't even speak the same language, suddenly started knowing all about Jesus, with no credible audit trail as to how they found it out. Not only that, but what they knew about Jesus bore an astonishing similarity to several man-god myths that had been part of Indo-European mythology since at least the 23-rd century BC, and the teachings they attributed to Jesus bore an astonishing resemblance to twisted misunderstandings of scattershot fragments of Greek philosophy.

At this point, I'd be willing to entertain the conjecture that perhaps there was no such historical person as Jesus, but that he was simply made up by primitive stone-age Indo-European tribespeople who had recently come under Roman rule and into contact with Greek civilization. Now, at this time the entire Roman empire was merrily festooned with rumors of the many misdeeds of the hopelessly incompetent Pontius Pilate who had recently been removed from the procuratorship of Judea under highly scandalous conditions. Perhaps these tribespeople figured that Pontius Pilate would be a credible earthly authority to have crucified their mythical man-god, so they embellished their existing myth accordingly.

I can think of at least four glaringly obvious pointers to a completely non-Jewish and totally Indo-European origin for Christianity.

First, we call our man-god hero by the title Christ, which comes from a Greek word and has cognate forms in all Indo-European languages, and doesn't sound very Jewish.

Second, we haven't picked up any Jewish holidays. Our two most important holidays, Christmas and Easter, are so thoroughly Indo-European that we've even retained the Indo-European names for them, making no attempt to conceal their completely non-Jewish origins.

Thirdly, the earliest known Christian writings that we're fairly confident they were written within the Christian community itself and not by outsiders, are the Epistles of Saint Paul. All of them were, as far as can be known, originally written in Greek, and all except Romans were addressed to people in Greek-speaking communities ina fringe area of the Roman Empire where Roman rule had recently put several primitive stone-age Indo-European tribes into close contact with Greek civilization. None of Saint Paul's epistles were written to any place with a significant Jewish population.

Fourthly, when the early Christians decided they needed some Jewish literature to establish credibility for their pretense of Jewish origins, they used the Septuagint as the basis for the original Old Testament. The Septuagint was a scholarly compilation of Greek translations of Jewish traditional literature but was never accepted by any Jews as canonically sacred. If there had been any Jewish Christians in early Christianity, don't you think they would have caught that little boo-boo?

So what more evidence do you need that all of Christianity is total hogwash? Hey, read the New Testament and try to guess how much of it was written by anybody with a Jewish background, or had ever even met any Jews in their lives. To me, it looks mostly like a combination of primitive Indo-European mythology and stone-age misunderstandings of bits and pieces of Greek philosophy with a twisted parody of Judaism hastily grafted on as an afterthought.

Sorry, but I don't think religion has any of the answers to anything.