People claim to believe stuff. They go to church, synagogue, mosque, or temple and indulge in ritual and doctrine as an expression of what they believe; but I’ve come to suspect that it’s possible confuse believing with just not questioning. Those old ideas taught by people who where in turn taught the same and the lessons have just been passed down through generations. Unchallenged, rather than perhaps truly believed.
That is the whole point of blasphemy; to challenge accepted belief means to be cast out by a society, to be criminalised and at the extremes, to be killed for the heinous crime of questioning, of not believing. Ours not to reason why. Why question anyway? The Bible or the Qa’ran or whatever other translation of some medieval or bronze-age text you’ve had drummed into you already has all the answers you need. Natural disaster? God’s plan. Cancer? Pray and you’ll either live or die, it’s God’s plan. Lose a war or win a war, it was God’s plan. House flooded because it was allowed to be built by an unscrupulous planner on a flood plane? God’s plan. Dinosaur bones dated to 65 million years old? Planted by God to test your faith, or created at the time of Noah’s Ark and the great flood, depending on which fanatic you’re talking to. All those stars up there? Put there by God because he moves in mysterious ways etc… it goes on. Everything is God’s plan; every incident of genocide, rape, starvation, torture, murder; from the slaughter of the Canaanites to the Jewish holocaust.
The overwhelming evidence that these hallowed texts are in fact nothing more than old fables, is in fact a conspiracy by Satan and his league of communist scientists to corrupt us into questioning. Eating from the tree of knowledge is the original sin which we are all apparently guilty of. Well frankly, I like a good apple. And that brings me to the paradox. If God created everything, he created Satan, he created the serpent, he created the tree of knowledge and he created the temptation. He created tasty apples.
So should we continue to go to church, synagogue, mosque, temple and merely pretend to believe for fear of being accused of being an unbeliever? Should we keep quiet and not question the ridiculous claims of religions? Well personally I’d consider that a dishonest thing to do, and dishonesty, we’re told, is a sin.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.