The Antitheist’s Dictionary

This book is a highly irreverent attempt to define religious words from an antitheist’s viewpoint. It is intended to be humorous, thought provoking and offensive.

If you are of strong religious faith and get upset by anyone ridiculing your deeply held beliefs then I would not bother to read any further. It will only upset you. The title should have alerted you to the content already though.

If you are religious but would like to see what an antitheist thinks about religion then feel free.

Here is an extract. I think you’ll get the picture. I hope you’ll enjoy it:

Antitheist’s Dictionary

 by

Opher

Introduction

 

Fortunately I am extremely open-minded and tolerant. This book would be terrible if I was the least bit opinionated.

I want to build a better world, in balance with nature, with equality, peace and freedom. I want a population under control and room for nature. I want purpose, challenges and fulfilment. That seems reasonable to me. We have the intelligence to create a fair world free of racism, sexism and injustice. It’s not beyond our wit.

It seems to me that the first stage is to jettison the superstitious, religious nonsense that has stultified progress for millennia. We are grown up now. We should leave the fairy tales back in the nursery. They fuck us up.

I am tired of being restricted, threatened and dictated to by religious nutcases peddling mediaeval garbage. It is evil.

Over the course of history religion has preyed on people’s gullibility and vulnerability to set up tyrannical dictatorships where those in charge are elevated in status, wealth and power.

I did not write this book out of viciousness, merely out of anger and despair. I do not wish harm on anyone. I did not write this to create disharmony but rather to shed light on the darkness of religious belief so that we may see it for what it is.

I would like to see religion replaced with individual freedom and a celebration of life and the universe. I salute a future based on science, logic and liberty.

When we’ve got rid of all the bollocks religion represents we can turn our attention to sorting out some political situations that will solve the world’s problems instead of creating them.

May we all shine and be honoured.

Amen.

 

Abbot

 

An abbot is a father who isn’t a father. He’s the head of a monastery in charge of a bunch of celibate monks. So there’s little chance of him being a father at all.

They spend their days organising silences, talks with fictitious supernatural beings, sitting around and getting into bad habits.

Despite tales of debauchery with nuns they are not supposed to think about their todger at all let alone touch it. They have to go to bed wearing boxing gloves.

The Abbot may also organise the brewing of lethal beers and wines. These are in no way to be used for pleasure or intoxication. I’m not really quite sure why they do it.

 

Abbey

 

An abbey is the buildings where the monks or nuns live. They are very draughty but that might be because Henry the Eighth had the idea of nicking all their immense wealth and pulling them down. Not a bad idea really. Those ruins look quite nice and still attract in a lot of tourism. Henry was obviously very forward thinking.

 

Abraham

 

The great Patriarch of the whole Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. So the guy’s got a lot to answer for. Without him we might have made a hell of a lot of progress.

Abraham championed the monotheistic tradition (if you don’t count the Christian god as three). This was unusual for the times. There was a lot of pantheism and multiple gods. I don’t know which is better.

Abraham was described as having lived to 175 years of age and was another of those people (all men) to whom the super pixie spoke in a vision. Seemingly he was given his new name and told all about the future troubles that were coming. He had loads of kids and we know how trying kids can be at times but that does not justify him dragging Isaac up a mountain and scaring the wits out of him as he built an altar and prepared to slaughter him with his great sharp knife. Fortunately the fairy was only kidding and testing Abraham out.

How much of these secret visions can we take? If the Pixie has something to say to us why doesn’t he just come out and say it? Why sneak about in caves, mountain tops and wildernesses speaking to guys in private?

There are other things that seem a bit odd: Abraham, like many of the great patriarchs, lived to a ripe old age. Sarah, his wife, supposedly had kids when she was close to a hundred.

Don’t you think it’s a little strange that the fairy was sorting all this out back then but doesn’t do it now?

Oh well.

 

Acolyte

 

These are the weak people who are not strong enough to stand on their own. An acolyte is someone who lights the candles or runs the services – an active follower of a religion.

 

Adam & Eve

 

According to the mythology that is religion Adam was the first man. He was made by the great supernatural, all knowing, eternal fairy, out of dust.

Eve was an after-thought and was made out of Adam’s rib.

They were plonked in a perfect garden and told not to eat the fruit of knowledge.

Eve was tricked by a serpent into eating the fruit and got Adam to eat it. They lost their innocence and were kicked out of the garden by god.

So what can we learn from this?

  1. This is a classic creation myth. Every culture has one. You can imagine them sitting round camp-fires telling their stories. Primitive people were extremely ignorant but just as intelligent as us. They tried to come up with plausible stories that fitted in with their limited understanding. Story telling was an art. It didn’t have to make sense.
  2. This myth does not make any sense. It is a creation myth that had its roots in pre-Jewish culture.
  3. The god described, who was meant to know everything and know what was to come, seems to have been remarkably amiss. Why put the tree there in the first place? Why punish Adam and Eve when he knew what was going to happen? It’s the usual muddled nonsense.
  4. The basis of misogyny is laid down here. Eve has a very subsidiary role. She was made out of Adam’s rib. That’s hardly equality. She is also blamed for man’s fall from grace; she tricked Adam into eating the fruit and thus all women are to be forever blamed. That sounds fair doesn’t it?

 

It is quite incredible how far-reaching a stupid, primitive creation myths can be. The misogyny of those primitive pre-Abrahamic cultures resounds down the ages. It contributes to the whole disgusting business of female genital mutilation and whole cultures putting their women in sacks and treating them like dogs.

 

After-life

 

It’s the same as before life. Somehow the universe got on without me for 13.77 billion years, give or take a minute or so. I’m sure that it will manage without me for a few billion more.

It will be a great shame not to be able to open my eyes on to all this awesome beauty.

Best appreciate it while we can. It only lasts a short while and then it’s gone.

Nothing gold can last!

So, I will not be meeting up with my dead friends and relatives. I will not be coming back as an earwig. I will not have beautiful handmaidens dropping grapes in my mouth by the side of nice cool fountains. I will not be singing in any ethereal choirs.

My brain will cease firing electricity down neurones. My consciousness will dissolve. I will be unaware as the bacteria and worms dissolve my flesh. I won’t care at all.

There will be no tunnels of light.

I will no longer be aware of anything. Nothing will exist for me. The universe will slowly run down due to natural entropy.

No amount of wishful thinking will make it any different. We’d best grow up and get on with it.

 

Age of Enlightenment/Age of Reason

 

This is simply the most important thing that has ever happened. It began as a philosophical movement in the mid eighteenth century, gathered pace and has changed the whole cultural landscape of the Western World for the better.

The premise for the Age of Reason/Enlightenment was to challenge ideas based on tradition or religion and move to a system based on reason and scientific method. This inevitably took religion out of controlling people and introduced the present secular states.

As soon as this happened we experienced rapid progress. In contrast those cultures still ruled by religious superstition continued to stagnate.

I do not make the case that everything is hunky-dory. That is far from the case. In many ways the Age of Enlightenment heralded all sorts of moral and social problems that we are still battling to address today. It has unleashed a chaotic state. This needs addressing. Religion gave people structure and purpose even if that was madness and stupidity. Freedom from religion has left many people directionless and aimless with only hedonism to fall back on. I’ve nothing against hedonism but ultimately it is vacuous. What is necessary is for the State to provide purpose and impetus before the fanatics of religion rise up to fill that hole.

Politicians have so far not been particularly inspiring in this direction. They better get their act together. The alternative of religious oppression is dire.

 

Agnostic

 

An agnostic is someone who has realised that the whole concept of God and religion is utter bollocks but is still psychologically unable to completely overthrow their childhood, and cultural, indoctrination. They still hope against hope that, despite all common sense, there just might be a god.

They are wishful thinkers who want to hedge their bests.

They have got over the fact that Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy and Pixies do not really exist. They have, despite a residual liking of Tolkein, also accepted that Goblins, Hobbits, Orcs and Dragons are fanciful creations of human imagination.

They none the less are a little open to ghost stories and a yearning for a possible purpose to their life and the comfort of an after-life.

They’re a bit weak and sad really.

 

Alchemy

 

This is the search for the Philosopher’s stone that can turn base metal into gold and the hunt for the elixir of life that will give you everlasting life.

I’m not sure I’d appreciate everlasting life. Just imagine sitting on the planet when the sun expands into a red giant and envelops us. That might not be too pleasant. I doubt you’d live through even if you had the elixir.

I’m not sure I’d want to be there billions of years in the future when the universe is running down to darkness with just hydrogen and heat dissipated to next to nothing. That’d be boring.

Now we know about atoms I’m sure at some time we’ll be able to manipulate them to create different elements. It won’t be alchemy. It will be science.

But then science came out of alchemy.

It is another fanciful dream. It even beguiled as good a mind as Newton’s. Just goes to show how gullible we are.

I wouldn’t mind living fit and healthy for a few hundred years. That’d give me time to fit everything in. But that’s it. I think I would have had enough. Science will solve that if the religious nutters don’t wipe us out first.

As for alchemy, well – it is just another red herring in the litany of wishful thinking.

 

Aleister Crowley

Aleister Crowley was an occultist who also went under the names of Frater Perdurabo and The Great Beast 666. He was the founding father of Thelemite philosophy and at one time was described by the Press as ‘The wickedest man in the world’.

Aleister was born in 1875 and rebelled against the current stodgy religious thinking. He was a showman who did a lot of stuff to shock the bourgeoisie but came to see himself as a prophet who was ushering in the new Aeon of Horus. Perhaps it was his drug taking that put them off him? He was a libertine and his motto was ‘Do what thou wilt’. He would have been happier living in the 1960s.

He was largely seen as a promoter of witchcraft and the study of the black arts. Obviously not everyone gets it right. We are all the product of our time and place.

Allah

 

Allah is the Islamic name for the made-up supernatural being they call god. The name Allah predates Islam. It goes back to the pagan supernatural deities that the Arabs had before the dawn of Islam. Back then Allah was one of many. Allah was the most important creator deity but he had many co-deities and he had sons and daughters. All these were deleted by Islam.

Seemingly there are 99 names of god but Allah was the favourite.

Although in the Abrahamic tradition Allah is not the same as the god represented in either the old or New Testament. He has many similarities and many differences. This is basically because he has come out of the pagan Arab tradition and has a number of attributes picked up on the way.

 

Alms

 

The concept of alms is present in many religions including Christianity and Islam. It is an act of virtue to give to those who are in need.

I would much rather give alms that give arms.

 

Altars

 

It is quite sobering to think that all those altars that you see in all those churches stem from the altars that were used for sacrifices. Humans and animals of all types were dragged on to these altars to have their throats ritually cut or hearts ripped out of their chests. Sometimes blood was drunk, sometimes the beating heart was held up, and sometimes the sacrifices were burnt so that the smoke wafted up to the heavens – to where the gods lived.

Those barbaric times lived on into biblical times. Goats and sheep were regularly slaughtered. Abraham was close to sacrificing his own son Isaac.

Human nature is extremely cruel. The religions we create reflect this.

 

Ambrosia

 

This is alchemy in action. Ambrosia is the food and drink of the gods in Olympus. Seemingly it was brought to them by doves and it gave them immortality.

I wonder how the doves knew where to go to get it?

Quite quaint isn’t it? There were all these people worshipping gods that they imagined living in houses (Olympus is a sort of house), eating and drinking merrily, having adventures and making liaisons for the most exciting sex lives possible.

Where are they all now? Abandoned? Forgotten? Banished to mythology. I bet the ambrosia is piling up somewhere.

There are a lot of doves in my back garden – I’ll have a word. You never know.

 

 

So be it. Let us rid ourselves of this god shit. It’s the product of indoctrination. We don’t need it.

Amen

 

Amish

 

The Amish typify the claustrophobic stultification that religion brings. We all get fed up with 20th century culture. There is a lot that is not too pleasant. We could make a long list. That does not mean that we have to freeze our culture in a time-warp in the way religion tries to do. It has had a disastrous effect on Islam and the Amish are only able to live the way they do because of the resources they have.

The Amish culture is a strict branch of Christian thought. For some reason they think the pixie wants them to reject all modern technology and dress as they did a few hundred years ago. They can still use horses and carts but not anything from later technology.

There is something very attractive about living simply off the land. There is something extremely worrying about people creating a set of rules that keep people locked up in a prison of dogma. One wonders where the Amish fit.

Overpopulation is the greatest danger to the world. If everyone tried to live like the Amish nature would be utterly destroyed and we would still not be able to feed a fraction of the present 7 billion. We rely on modern day farming and transport to feed the world.

 

Amulet

 

An amulet is an object that protects the wearer from harm because of its magic protective powers.

My fireguards are all made of chocolate and they work brilliantly.

 

Ancestor worship

 

The worship of ancestors is found throughout the world. Many cultures believe that their ancestors live after death and require things, like food, for their continuing life.

Many Iron Age communities buried their warriors with weapons, food and a variety of implements.

In Egypt they mummified important people and provided them with all sorts of wealth and utensils that might help them in their after-life.

Some cultures believed that their ancestors could intercede with god on their behalf.

All round the world ancestors are venerated and even worshipped. Many believe that if they are not worshipped and placated they will come back as ghosts and haunt you. This is very prevalent in China.

Despite all this, and much as I would like to be venerated and worshipped after my death, there is no basis to any of this. We die. There are extremely sad losses. Once you die you cease to exist. All that remains is a lifeless corpse and the memories and impact of your actions that resound through the world like the ripples in a pond. We live on in the memories.

 

Anoint

 

There are a number of things nearly all religions like doing: dressing up; waving stuff around; chanting; sermonising; writing books; and generally laying down the dogma. One of their favourites is pouring liquids over people’s heads. They love it.

They use oil, water, perfume, even butter!

It’s all part of the rich pageantry and ritual of religion.

 

Antitheist

 

An antitheist is a supremely intelligent person; someone who not only has realised that the whole mythology of God is nothing but a fairy-tale but also that the story of religion is really nothing but the story of power.

They have realised that controlling sociopaths have either used politics or religion as a means of controlling people and usually both. The result is usually tyranny. The outcome of this tyranny is invariably a whole set of intricate dress codes, religious paraphernalia, rituals and laws that needlessly restrict people’s freedoms and pleasures. At worst it promotes sectarian hatred, torture, genocide and war. People often end up persecuted, tortured or killed for their own personal beliefs, religious paraphernalia or mode of worship.

An antitheist is consequently opposed to all organised religion and sees religion as a form of insanity.

To be an antitheist you have to be a very strong character. You have to take responsibility for your own morality and make your own purpose for life. That’s quite an undertaking.

 

Aphrodite

 

At least she’s female for a change.

Now this one sounds quite possible. I like the sound of her birth. It sounds quite plausible to me. Seemingly Zeus, her father (though I can’t see why he’s called her father – you can’t have two fathers can you? Well I suppose with Gods and religion you can do what the hell you want) is involved. Cronos cut off Uranus’s genitals and threw them in the sea. Aphrodite rose from the foam. (I gather Uranus was not too enamoured at becoming a father. He wasn’t cut out for it).

You know people actually believed all this garbage. The gods really did live just like human beings in a big palace in the sky and when you died you went to Elyseum on the edge of the world – the Greeks thought that the world was flat!

Being basically evolved out of previous mother figure goddesses she was the goddess of beauty, love and fecundity.

She seemed to spend a lot of her time fucking around and getting involved with guys like Adonis.

 

Angels

 

I’m no angel. I’ve been told that by a number of people. Angels live in heaven which as everyone knows is up in the sky. They play lutes, sit on clouds and join together in big angelic choirs to sing to the fictitious fairy every Thursday.

Because heaven is in the sky, just out of reach of the main airline routes, they have to have wings. They carry messages around for this supernatural pixie as he hasn’t yet got round to figuring out his internet.

They are humanoid celestial beings who are benevolent. They can be invisible and sit on your shoulder whispering advice in your ear.

They originate from Zoroastrian times and probably before that.

Some of them are fish but I think that’s a different type of thing.

 

Apocalypse

 

This doesn’t sound too good and probably isn’t. It’s the end of days, the end of the world, the final battle when good triumphs over evil.

A bit of a let down really.

I always think that if you know the outcome it kind of spoils the match or film.

Despite that the apocalypse is another favourite of film makers.

I’m not quite sure what is meant to happen to the rest of the universe. Perhaps that gets destroyed as well?

Unfortunately back in those days, when they thought up the apocalypse, they didn’t know about the rest of the universe. They thought this planet was it. Not even that really. They didn’t know most of the world existed. It kind of limited their scope.

Nowadays four horsemen of the apocalypse riding off spreading war, pestilence, famine and death might have a bit of a job. The world is a bit bigger than the confines of the Holy Land. Space might require a star-cruiser or two.

Once again the imaginations of our distant forebears were severely hampered by a lack of understanding. Technology has changed the world beyond recognition.

Just think how impressive it would have been if the four horsemen were roaring around on strange mechanical beats called Harleys. I’d be much more impressed.

Surely any super-being worth his salt would have an idea of what he was organising for the future. He could have equipped them with laser blades and genetically modified viruses. Horses don’t cut it with me.

So no apocalypse. We’ll have to wait for the sun to explode and melt us  – much more likely.

 

Apollo

 

Apollo was the Bastard son of Zeus, father of all Gods (at least for some people).

Apollo was worshipped because he presided over the flocks and herds and the muses. So he was connected with feasting and music and poetry.

You don’t suppose this somehow represents the sort of culture that resided in Greece at that time do you?

You don’t suppose all these pixies we have created have come out of human imagination do you?

Don’t you find it a bit strange that they always have the accoutrements of their particular age. You never see a Greek God flitting about on a Harley Davison or living in a palace made of plastic? Even their clothes are always in keeping with the current trend. Yahweh in gowns, Apollo in tunics. Why not a jumpsuit? No, this guy lived up a mountain, herded sheep and played the flute. I’d have been more impressed if it had been the saxophone.

 

Aristotle

 

Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who lived around 400 years BC. He was a bit of a polymath and influenced the philosophy of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as well as shaping early science prior to Newton. Aristotle championed reasoning and logic.

It’s a wonder that he had anything to do with influencing religions. They are as far from reason and logic as you can get.

 

Ark

 

Seemingly there was this great flood. Flood mythology is pretty common in a lot of cultures, along with volcano wrath and famine and drought. The flood was probably a real event. There is some geological even where the sea broke through and created an inland ocean out of an area of low lying land. That may have happened. What did not happen was:

  1. It was the whole planet
  2. It was caused by rain for forty days and nights (I live in England – we’re used to that much rain)
  3. The Pixie done it

Noah had been given prior warning from the Pixie and gathered all species on the planet in two by two.

If we put aside all the farcical elements of this for one moment, like how long it would have taken Noah to get out to Australia to grab a roo or two, a couple of huntsmen spiders, the odd guana, and then head off to the Antarctic for a couple of penguins.  Then look at the accommodation and feeding. I mean Koalas are pretty picky about their eucalyptus and hippos get through a lot of veg. What did he feed the lions on? Did Noah take a lot more than two of some species so he could chuck the odd one to a hungry tiger? That boat would have to be pretty big, once you start packing it with rhinos and elephants you soon run out of room. There’s a lot of buffalo, deer, elk and wildebeest to accommodate. Then when they finally hit land after the floods have receded it doesn’t leave you with much of a genetic gene pool to work with. The deleterious recessive genes would soon start to manifest themselves. Starting from one pair of anything is not going to work. Starting from one pair of everything is totally not possible. I mean, what if just one of them was gay? What happens when the carnivores get hungry and eat one of the deer?

Perhaps he just forgot the dinosaurs? Who knows? I kind of wish he had left the spiders behind. They’re creepy.

Now I like fairy tales as well as the next man. This is a fun fairy tale. It is of course complete bullshit.

Even so, despite all the obvious stupidity, there are hundreds of thousands of educated Americans who believe this actually took place. They’ve had expeditions to ‘The Holy Land’ to look for boats up the top of mountains. One group even claims to have found it.

Their answer to all of the total impracticalities is that the pixie organised it and made it possible. So why the hell did he need Noah? Why didn’t he leave a few plateaus sticking up for the wildlife and erect a forcefield that keeps humans out? Seems a lot of silliness for no reason.

That is not just farcical; that is worrying.

I don’t even want to go into the reasoning behind the flood in the first place. But I will. Seemingly a lot of people had taken to drinking, fucking and wanking. They needed sorting out. One wonders whether the great pixie with all his wisdom and power couldn’t just have selected all the pissheads, fuckers and wankers and sorted them out. To flood the whole world seems a triffle harsh. It was a bit unfair on the babies. They hadn’t even started drinking, gambling fucking or even wanking. No reprieve. They were washed away with the others.

What a bastard.

 

Armageddon

 

Seemingly the great pixie is not quite all powerful. At some point in time he has to come back and there’s one almighty battle where he pits his armies of cherubs and angels against the massed ranks of demons, antichrist and the Devil.

That would make quite a spectacle. No wonder it’s popular with film makers.

I can see all those little cherubs sticking demons with little spears (not a nuclear warhead in sight). The absurdity is extremely amusing. The films should be comedies.

Despite the huge canvas of the untold reaches of outer space with its trillions of galaxies this final conflict takes place on a tiny planet called Earth. The outcome is final for all eternity.

Ho hum.

The whole concept sucks. I think it clearly demonstrates the limited thinking of the day. They did not know about galaxies and stuff back then. The Earth was the whole universe. God put on the show just for humanity.

I think we’ve moved on.

 

Ashram

 

An Ashram is a place where lots of misguided people spend there life in pointless spiritual pursuits. They do no harm and sometimes make some nice handicraft. It would be nice if a lot more people joined ashrams – it would make commuting easier.

 

Astral Plane

 

According to the ancient Greeks the stars were made of a different element. Souls had to pass through this astral plane after death on their way to the stars. The astral plane was inhabited by angels and shit like that.

I don’t know who first thought this rubbish up but it was later used and adapted by all sorts of other religions. You could leave your body and go off flying through the astral plane.

What a great idea. You so want some of this rubbish to be true. Never mind. We can dream.

 

Astrology

 

This is so important to the Hindus. Seemingly if you can work out the exact second you were born you can work out the positions of all the planets and stars and map out the whole of your life.

Unfortunately mine was disrupted when a meteorite burnt up overhead and threw all the calculations out. I’ve been wandering aimlessly ever since.

You would not believe the lengths the Indians went to in order to observe and measure the stars so they got their intricate maps exactly right. At least it gave us a really good idea of the heavens when it came to doing some real science.

Even today there are millions of people who read their horoscopes and somehow believe that a twelfth of the world’s population are all going to meet a tall dark handsome stranger on the stroke of midnight.

No, I do not know how anyone came to believe that some distant planet, star or galaxy being in a certain segment of the sky was going to have any bearing on whether to stick or twist. I guess it’s all down to Skinnerian psychology.

 

Atheist

 

An atheist is a person on the road to sanity. They have realised that the whole concept of a personal God is complete bullshit. They have managed, through intelligence and rationality, to break free of their childhood indoctrination.

They still have to make the last step into realising that religion is a human manufacture evil.

 

Atman

 

Atman is the Hindu view of self or the essence of self which is interpreted as the soul. In Hinduism there is a journey towards the realisation that the true self, the Atman, is the same as the infinite truth outside all knowing, Brahman.

Ha, all these ideas have a nice ring to them. We love to believe them. It is a shame they are nothing more than meaningless musings. I have a self but I don’t have a soul.

 

Atonement

 

Seemingly we are all wicked. This has nothing to do with what we do. It is all because of Eve. She got us to eat that apple. Now we’ve been kicked out of Eden and are full of original sin.

What a pile of tosh. If someone is evil it is because of what they do not due to some fairy tale.

Anyway, all is not lost. Seemingly we can make good with the all-knowing non-existent fairy. We can atone for our sins and make everything right so that god loves us again. We can be at one again.

In Judaism they devote a whole day to atonement. You certainly can’t repent at leisure if you’re a Jew. On Yom Kippur you repent, make a sacrifice, confess and make retribution.

That all sounds psychologically very good for your mental health. It’s a bit like going to Catholic confession.

Aaah! The myriad of ploys that are devised by religion to hook the unwary?

 

Auguries

 

The Augur was a priest who studied birds. I had a friend who studied birds but his were a different kind.

Seemingly birds carried messages from the gods. You picked this up from the way they sang, flew and what types they are.

I’m watching the birds on my bird feeder and listening to them sitting around in the trees and on the roof singing. Birdsong is aggressive territorial behaviour. As far as I can tell, and I do not claim to have been trained as an augur, the gods are telling me to fuck off.

The auspices are not good

I’m not sure I’d want to determine whether we go to war or not based o the singing of the birds in my garden. But then I understand Hitler did similar stuff when deciding to invade Russia and Britain and look what a mess he made of it.

I’m glad we’ve got computers now.

 

Baal

 

Another of those ancient discarded gods from Asia Minor. Once worshipped by millions, now in the trash-bin of time.

It’s a shame about all those dedicated followers of Baal. They got the wrong fashion. According to the current religious mob this means that they are probably burning away nicely in the pits right now and will be doing for some considerable time to come.

The odd demon shoving in a trident to turn them over – ‘This side’s done’.

Their only hope is that the evangelists really get their act together. If they manage to turn on the whole planet to Jesus, and thus save everyone living here from those pits, they could turn their attention to the rest of the galaxy and save all those aliens from the fiery torture. Then they could harness technology to invade hell and rescue the Baalists, Islamists, Hindus, Zeusarians, Zoorastrians, Confuscians, Athiests, Antitheists, and all the countless other believers or non-believers who got it wrong.

I’ll convert. I’m not too dogmatic. A few hours in the pits and I’ll believe. Jesus can save me.

I’ll come quietly.

Anyway, Baal went the way of all the others, just like the Christians, Hindus, Jews, Islamists and Buddhists will in years to come. They’ll be replaced by a shiny new set of fabrications.

You never know I might start a new religion. There could be great statues of me in temples all over the universe.

Goodbye Baal, hello Opher.

 

Baptism

 

A rite of entry into the religion. You either were submerged in a river or had water poured on your head.

Very nice on hot days.

 

Beelzebub

 

A nice name for a boy child though not too popular these days.

Beelzebub was actually an old Sumerian god who went out of fashion. Christians hated all pagan gods – anything that wasn’t Christian was pagan – and resurrected the name to apply to the devil. Perhaps that was just a bit of a joke?

 

Beheadings

 

This is a nice cheap scary way to make your point and one favoured by a lot of religions. In England they used to stick the heads on city walls as a warning to others.

It is now a favourite of the Islamic extremists. They like putting it out on UTube.

 

Belief

 

An irrational bit of wishful thinking stemming from childhood and cultural indoctrination and tied to an inability to accept that there is no ultimate purpose to life and that the evolution of life and creation of the universe was accident.

People fall back on the idea that somehow belief does not have to be rational. They are told by their particular brand of tyranny that belief is beyond understanding. This is a ploy.

People love belief because is makes them feel good. They find it extremely comforting to believe a whole raft of utter stupidity:

  • There is a God who personally cares for them
  • There is a purpose to their life
  • There is an after-life that they go on to
  • Their existence is not a futile accident
  • There is a plan
  • If they do all the right rituals, say the right prayers, and follow the strict codes of behaviour they will be saved.
  • All people who believe a different set of stupidities are doomed to an ever-lasting Hell – only their set of rules is correct
  • God loves them
  • The plan is beyond their understanding
  • People who do not agree with them are obviously wrong and should be eradicated

 

The fact that there is not one shred of evidence for any of this bollocks is of no consequence to an indoctrinated believer. They always counter with a well-trod series of arguments:

  • Scientists do not have all the answers
  • One only has to look at the complexity of life to realise that it has been intelligently created and designed
  • One only has to look at the complex physical laws of the universe to realise that it could not have come about by chance, it has been created by a God
  • Infinity exists therefore time, space and God are ever-lasting

 

Of course this is merely unintelligent foolishness.

Human beings are extremely limited. Far from being built in God’s image we are a poorly constructed product of evolution. Our bodies are far from perfect. Our intelligence is extremely limited. The universe is infinite and probably beyond our understanding. It is quite probably that we will never understand it. The fact that we have understood as much as we have is a miracle.

As a biologist one only has to look at the human body to see its history of evolution. Far from being a miraculous product of God’s creation, in God’s image, it is an extremely flawed mish-mash that is the result of its journey through billions of years of arbitrary selection. If there was a God who was so flawed it would be laughable. If some all Supreme Being deliberately made human beings then he either has a great sense of humour, is inept or wilfully vicious. I could point out a whole series of poor design features that illustrate my point:

  • Why would we end up with a lack of separation of the oesophagus and trachea so that we are in danger of choking when we eat? Why only one trachea so that it can be easily blocked and we are suffocated? Good design or simply because the lungs evolved out of fish air-sacs attached to the gut?
  • Why have the brain out exposed in our head instead of protected within the body? A brain on top of such an imperfect neck so delicate that it can be easily snapped – good design or the imperfect result of evolutionary cephalisation?
  • Why have the reproductive tract closely intertwined with the excretory and egestory systems? (As somebody noted it is like having an open sewer running through the playground). The fact that the urethra and rectum are closely associated with the vagina, clitoris and penis is either the result of a perverse supreme being or the result of them having evolved from the common cloaca of a fish. I know what I believe!
  • I could go on and on…………

 

 

Believers have an inability to take responsibility for their own lives. They are weak people who require a prop to psychologically hold things together. They are unable to grasp the concept that we are nothing much more than bacterial scum on the surface of a small, insignificant planet in a minor planetary system in an inconsequential galaxy made up of trillions of stars (more numerous than grains of sand on all the beaches in the world) but being one of countless, often more magnificent and beautiful galaxies, that also number countless trillions. Yet they believe that some fictitious super-being somehow exists forever, has a purpose and for some obscure reason has chosen this backwater of biological scum to be the entire centre of his (it’s usually a him) plan. They somehow manage to reconcile this view of god as being acceptable.

The universe and life are obviously things to view with complete awe but even a cursory look at the concept of God shows its inept human conception. A supreme being who lives for ever, is unknowable and has some unfathomable plan that puts human beings at the centre of all his work – absurd! Nothing but the result of a huge, out of control, totally over-inflated ego!

 

I’m a believer. I know what I believe. I believe I don’t understand lots of things. I believe that I can never understand the complexities of an infinite universe with my tiny brain and limited intelligence. I believe that religious charlatans like Billy Graham, Jimmy Swaggart, Guru Maharaji, Mahareshi and the Borgias have made a great living out of peddling religious crap to the gullible.

I believe that God and religion is a human fabrication. I believe religion has stultified progress (one only has to look at the effect of the Christian church on European progress – it was not until after we got rid of religion from our political systems that science and technology was able to flourish. One only has to look at the Middle East, once the seat of civilisation, inventor of writing, maths and agriculture, frozen in a mediaeval poverty by Islam).

I believe religion is evil.

 

Bethlehem

 

Supposedly this was where both David and Jesus were born.

The town has hence had the attention of Jews, Christians and Muslims. They have fought over the town for hundreds of years and it is still the centre of great animosity and violence. It was alternately sacked by Crusaders and Muslims such as Saladin.

The British left the Palestinians and Jews to fight it out after the Second World War and the results are still resounding round the whole region to this day.

Religion has a lot to answer for.

 

Bhagavad gita

 

The Gita is a seven hundred verse poem that is of a discussion between Krishna, Pandava and Arjuna about various philosophical and religious matters. It is part of the Hindu holy books. Set on a battlefield that represents the conflicts in life.

A brilliant poem, shame about the crap.

 

Bible

 

The bible is two books. The first is cobbled together out of primitive pre-jewish mythology and writings. It has many authors and features a particularly nasty fictitious fairy who loves sacrifices, war, vengeance and has quite a few little temper tantrums. Not a nice guy.

The second book, allied to the first to give it more importance – the first book having got very popular due to people’s general liking of blood and guts, gratuitous violence and general nastiness – is the general wanderings and procrastinations of a guy called Jesus. You might have heard of him. It features a nicer God who promotes love and peace. That can’t be bad. He has a grouchy side though and if you don’t believe in him, like calling him a fictitious fairy, he is likely to have you roasted forever. The guy’s no hippy. Though I suppose you could put him in the same category as the hippy sect leader, and gruesome murderer, Charlie Manson.

Fortunately I am safe from everlasting grilling as he is as fictitious as everything else connected to religion. Phew!!

The new testament (now two thousand years old!) was pasted together out of lots of bits written by loads of dudes after having been passed down orally for a few generations. Note: none of the Gospels were actually written by the guys themselves: James, John, Tom and the other disciples were illiterate.

Fortunately, according to the faithful, not a word was misplaced. They got it spot on. There were no Chinese Whispers here.

To make it doubly sure they all got together after a couple of hundred years, had a big symposium of all the top guys, supervised by Constantine, and decided what was in and what was out. The stuff that didn’t fit was called heretical and burnt.

Shame really – it was probably all the juicy stuff.

What was gathered together was then termed the absolute word of the great goblin in the sky.

 

Big Bang

 

Contrary to the idiotic view of US Evangelistic Christians the universe began with the Big Bang 13.798 billion years ago.

Because we only have tiny brains we have a great deal of trouble getting our heads round this. The Big Bang created all the matter and energy in the universe. It created time and the laws of Physics. The laws that pertained at the moment of the Big Bang can only be wondered at. Maybe one day our intelligence, imagination, experimentation, technology and computer power will enable us to understand it.

This was no religious experience. It was a physical event. There was no god involved.

We have great trouble understanding anything that does not have an ultimate purpose or reason. That is a product of the way our brains, and hence consciousness, have evolved. Because we cannot conceive that he universe or ourselves have no purpose, that our life will end and there will be nothing afterwards, we make things up. These things are stories called religion. We are more comfortable with the silly stories of religion than we are with the cold facts of the Big Bang and evolution.

None the less the evidence stacks up to show that the Big Bang occurred and there is no God lurking up there in the sky.

Perhaps it is time we faced up to it.

 

Big numbers

 

Big numbers are beyond our brains ability to compute. They are meaningless to us. When we consider facts such as the fact that the Big Bang took place 13.798 billion years ago we have no real concept of the vast amount of time this really means.

The fact that the Earth originated, from a coalescence of gas and dust circling the sun, somewhere around 4.5 billion years ago is equally meaningless to us. We cannot imagine that much time.

Likewise the fact that life started as simple unicellular organisms 3.8 billion years ago is beyond our ability to take in. This is why so many people have trouble comprehending the theory of evolution by natural selection. It does not seem possible to them because they cannot understand the reality of the time scales involved. That is not a surprise. Our brains did not evolve to deal with numbers that are this large. None of us can really grasp it. Even scientists who deal with astronomical distances and time cannot really grasp the meaning of these numbers. They are too big. It is not our fault.

 

Bigotry

 

I put bigotry in because it’s one of the main things that religious fanatics do well. They are brilliant at treating anyone with differing views to their own with derision, intolerance, contempt and unadulterated hatred. This is the cause of so much persecution and sectarian violence.

How many millions of innocent people have died because of religious bigotry?

Fortunately I do not hate the lot of them and want them all shot. I am not a bigot. I am just disgusted by them.

 

Billy Graham

 

Billy Graham is a very rich man.

Like Jimmy Swaggart, Guru Maharaji they made their fortunes out of peddling religious garbage to the masses. Their smart suits, penthouse suites and fleets of Rolls Royce’s are testament to the rewards the great pixie bestows upon them. Or is it just fraud?

 

Bishop

 

A bishop is a chess piece so named because of its power.

A bishop is a person who seeks power by pretending to pass on the words of a fictitious being.

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