The view from down here

Bigger Sticks

October 13, 2008

When I was an active Libertarian I noticed a difference between the people I was meeting and talking to in the party and our political opponents.

Simply, our opponents were playing to win while we were trying to be wise and good.

Consider two men. The first is a calm and gentle speaker who aspires to help you achieve the best of your life and all who are touched by your life. The second will happily beat him to death with a stick and then turn his attention on anyone who dares notice because the speaker doesn't preach the right things.

Who will win the debate?

The mob always wins.

People lie and cheat, because lying and cheating work quite well. Shake downs, cons, crash and grab - all effective means for thugs and governments to get the job done.

If you can convince billions of people to bomb anyone with an opposing point of view, you're going to win. Until someone gets a bigger stick.

As an atheist and Libertarian I am always searching for what is right and what will work. Sadly, those are often opposed to each other. We like to pretend that good will triumph over evil, simply because it is good and evil is bad. It doesn't work that way.

A mob of gibbering goons gets the run of the town. That's how it works.

But, strangely enough, thuggery must still masquerade as good to be accepted. We want to think that politicians and church leaders are wise and good, and then we let them lie, cheat, and steal from us, and we thank them and give them more money.

Might does make right, and being actually right doesn't matter one bit.

Christians love to denounce evolution. Does it matter that they are utterly and absolutely wrong? Of course not. They're right by definition, because everyone they know nods and amens them when they talk. Their opinions are extensively peer reviewed, and it doesn't matter what they say, as long as it's what the mob wants to hear.

But the tide is turning - Finally!

Christians are in retreat. It is becoming more and more difficult for them to talk about sneaky snakes, global floods, living inside a great fish, and salvation through murder, because the sane among us are starting to risk the inevitable stoning to say, "Wait a minute there. What was that about a fish?"

Christians get away with their nonsense only because they think they have a big crowd of people behind them with stones locked and loaded toward the heretic who would dare challenge them.

It's time to pick up our own stick, the one card at the bottom of their house of cards that causes it all to tumble down, and that is simply this: Make them explain.

For centuries they have demanded that unbelievers step up and explain why they dare believe differently than everyone else. "How can you say that there is no God? Everyone know God is everywhere. Isn't that right everybody?" Then millions of sheelple shout "Yeah!" and go in search of bigger and sharper stones to throw.

But now they're on the defensive, and it is not always as easy to look over their shoulder and find a mob of people willing to accept their pat nonsense answers. It's time for people making extraordinary claims to back them up with extraordinary evidence.

You say there's a God. You prove it. You say there's evidence that Jesus lived? Go get it and show it to me. You believe in miracles? Do one now. You say the Bible is true? Bullshit. It's nothing but a book. If you want it to be more than that, find some evidence. History? I want corroboration. I want the Egyptian side of the exodus story.

You say religion is a force of good in society? People need it? No. Religion tears people down, feeds them fears, teaches them to be intolerant and superior, tells them that they're right and good to do that, and sells itself as the cure to the fears it created. That's not good, unless you're the puppet master.

Here's the kicker: There is deeper wisdom, deeper grace and goodness, but it's not going to be found by lying to people about genetic science, history, or by drinking the blood of a two thousand year old god.

Your heresy, your disbelief, is the big stick. Just ask questions and don't back down, because -- believe me -- they have no real answers, and most of the time they're fighting every day to not think about those nagging questions themselves.

Ultimately, people believe because they believe others believe, and they don't want to be the only ones with their pants down. So run naked. Don't soft-peddle it. People who believe in the literal truth of any holy book are criminally insane, and they need to account for inflicting that insanity on others. Make them aware that people can't live inside big fish, and that believing that is no different than believing that a giant lives at the top of Jack's big ol' bean stock.

It childish and stupid and its eating our brain.

The world is being brainwashed, and if you are one of the few people able to see a world out from under the thumb of one of the three major Abrahamic religions, you need to help undo the brainwashing that is destroying the greatness of this nation and contributing to the instability of the world.

Just ask. Make them explain exactly what they mean, and don't play their games. You have nothing to explain.

Your doubt is a big stick because it is a mirror of their own. Place it upon the fulcrum of their own uncertainties and push.

Copyright 2008 Daniel LaFavers