There Is No [fill in the blank]
An Atheist Muses on the Arrogance and Absurdity of Unqualified Truth Claims.
If I were to say there is no Camulus, who would really care…? There aren’t enough dedicated Pagan Celts in the world to mount a significant shit-storm against my claim. If I were to say there is no Quetzalcoatl, again…who would really care…? The Aztec Empire has been dead and gone for centuries, and most of Mexico has gone christian to boot. If I were to say there is no Thor, who would really care except for a few deluded comic book nerds living in their parent’s basement and a bunch of dipshit ‘neo-pagan’ White-Supremacists-in-all-but-name who couldn’t think their way out of an open space…? No one who counts, that’s for damned sure.
However, say there is no Shiva…and suddenly there are a whole fuckload of Hindus who don’t like you. Say there is no Allah…suddenly you have a shit storm of Muslims raging to gut you like a chicken at an open-air Baghdad market. Say there is no Jehovah…Evangelicals wet their diapers and then go and cry crocodile tears to their armed, redneck friends about how they aren’t being treated fairly. This despite the fact that any adherent of any one of these pissed off peoples would gladly agree with me on my original three ‘not real god’ statements, and pay no heed whatsoever to requiring a qualifying statement or a body of sound evidence to demonstrate the veracity of the claims being made.
And this is the real problem with the ‘official’ religions of the world. They are on top of their respective games because they won the religion Round Robin. They either conned or coerced enough people over the course of centuries into following their ways, entrenching the beliefs and dogmas of their myth systems into the societies in which they were born. Muslims exploded out of the Middle East like a self-righteous religious rocket and spread all over the world, taking out or assimilating several major civilizations in the process. Hindus, despite being nearly a billion strong, have stayed mostly within the bounds of the Indian Subcontinent, what we now more accurately term South Asia, but they are STILL nearly a billion strong in number.
Those pesky christians, on the other hand…well they got lucky. To begin with, they originated as a fairly unoriginal sub-type of the Jewish faith. Slowly, over the centuries, they gained enough converts that they were a politically significant subgroup in the larger Roman Empire. Paul, who may or may not have been real, planted so many seeds all over the Roman world before they off’ed him, that no one in power saw them coming, at least according to one interpretation of Catholic dogma. It wasn’t until the time of Constantine the Great in the early 4th Century that the christian faith was legitimized on a political level. The rest might have been history from that point on, as they say, but again, these bastards got lucky.
A mere four centuries later, Islam exploded out of what we now call Saudi Arabia, and grabbed so much territory over the next few centuries that they were on Europe’s doorstep, one foot in the door, ready to blow the whole fucking thing apart for the sake of conquest and cultural supremacy. Then, in the 13th Century, the Mongol Empire wiped its ass with the Islamic Golden Age, stripped the major Eastern Muslim powers of their wealth, and put a firm end to any serious ideas the Muslim world had with regard to further military expansion. The Mongols themselves made a b-line for Eastern Europe and would have taken the lot had they not turned their military attention back toward China.
This gave christian Europe room to breath, learn and grow, such that when the Ottoman Turks bitch slapped what was left of the Roman Empire back to the Bronze Age in the 15th Century and cut off European access to overland trade along the Silk Road, the major powers in Europe had enough resources and ambition to compensate by exploring in the other direction. It’s no great coincidence that Columbus was making voyages into the unknown, across the Atlantic, less than 50 years after Mehmed II sacked Constantinople, putting an end to the pathetic remnants of the Byzantine Empire.
And there are more than a few scholars alive who will likely argue that had classical learning not been preserved so well by Muslim Academics over the previous centuries, while knowledge of it faltered in Europe, then Europe would never have been able to develop far enough to devise and build up a robust naval infrastructure capable of the feats Columbus and the like pursued, and would have been left up the cultural creek without a fucking canoe, let alone a paddle to steer it. Yeah…fair to say that the christian world got really lucky in the grand scheme of things…
Now, was my point here to badger you with factoids and rhetoric about how complicated is history…hell no. My point was, and is, to illustrate that people in positions of privilege tend to get drunk on their power and make erronious assumptions about the security of their positions, and the rights they have in the midst of the same. And this is where we come to the present argument about truth claims regarding the existence or non-existence of the prevailing deities worshiped by modern religionists, particularly those under the umbrella of christendom, though I will add a caveat here that a christian is not a christian is not a christian...not necessarily…
Catholic christians have a different set of beliefs from Coptic christians, who likewise have a different set of beliefs from Lutherans, who likewise have a different set of beliefs from those of Calvinists, and so on. Hell, there are literally tens of thousands of different christian sects in the U.S. alone, and only two of them rise to the level of significant in terms of demographics — Catholics and Southern Baptists. They all worship the same Bronze Age myth as their central deity, however, so for the purposes of this writing, they are all nominally christians…in the same way that a gentleman from Belfast and woman from Dublin are both Irish.
And what they all have in common is the (sometimes naive) arrogance to assert, WITHOUT EVIDENCE, that their god is real, that he actually exists, is active in the world, answers prays…all that horse shit you tend to hear about if you’re bored enough to turn on the television Sunday mornings…if you live in Fly-Over U.S.A. at any rate. If you come from an Evangelical background, you’ll likely also know about Psalm 14:1 (…The fool hath said in his heart, there is no god…) which those pesky fucks like to use to entrench themselves behind their ‘I can’t be wrong because an Atheist can’t be right’ castle moats filled with putrid swamp water.
The real fool, however, is the one who insists on adhering to Bronze Age myths as a ‘sound’ framework for modern understanding, and who has to be dragged, kicking and screaming like a bratty child, into the 21st Century before the two of you can have a reasonable conversation about the ‘true’ nature of reality. Asserting that your god is real, without affirmative qualification, make you the foolish one. Your religion being the dominant one in the modern world doesn’t make your god any more real than it did Athena for Athens when Greeks dominated Europe in the Bronze Age.
Now…we Atheists have a fun little saying of which you might have heard. It goes a bit like this — “Anything which can be asserted as fact, WITHOUT EVIDENCE, can be dismissed as false just as easily…WITHOUT EVIDENCE.” Sounds kind of cool, doesn’t it…? As long as I refrain from making a statement of fact with the expression “THERE IS NO GOD” and merely use it as a rebuttal to the the multitudes of unproven, undemonstrated claims made over the centuries that there is a christian god, then I get around all the arrogant hissy-fits Evangelicals here at home put up when confronted with it, and I get to slap aside all of their petty demands on their part that I PROVE a negative, as the rhetoricians of the world like to say, when it is IN FACT their obligation to affirmatively demonstrate the veracity of THEIR positive.
So now, let me bring this little essay to a close by saying that until and unless there is tangible evidence presented, which unequivocally, unambiguously and irrefutably demonstrates the existence of ANY-SINGLE-ONE of the thousands of mythical deities conjured by humanity in the hundreds of thousands of years since we mutated from a lower primate form, THERE IS NO GOD! Not in the Muslim sense, not in the Hindu sense, not in the Jewish sense, not in the Norse, Incan, Mayan, Aztec or Zulu sense…and certainly not in the christian sense. This is the 21st Century, not the Bronze Age, and intellectual consistency matters. Good Night.