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You'll turn to God

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When religious people realise they're not going to draw you into their fantasy world they'll often say something like: "You wait, you'll turn to God when you're close to death." It has an air of desperation about it, that statement, as well as considerable menace. You can almost hear the "Jaws" music in the background. "You'll turn to God when you're close to death" really means "You will submit - " - not because you want to, but because you're afraid not to." Religion needs us to believe that death is something to be greatly feared without its protection, and the closer we get to it the greater the fear will become until it builds to a crescendo of terror right at the final moment, and then, you'd better believe it, you'll turn to God. Oh yes you will. So wouldn't it be easier to turn to God now and save yourself all that anguish? Actually, when you put it like that, it does sound like a tempting psychological refuge, but, I don't know what it is, but I just can't seem to get past the fact that God doesn't exist. But what if you're wrong? What if he does exist? You don't know. What if Hell exists? Wouldn't it be more prudent to take Pascal's wager and believe anyway, just in case? Not really, no. You see, Hell might well be very unpleasant, but the alternative to Hell is far too horrible to contemplate. The alternative is submission - real death. Death of the spirit, what religion feeds on and craves. Pascal only makes his wager in the first place because he has been intimidated into it by the threat of eternal damnation, which I already embrace as the lesser of two evils, so I have no need for Pascal or his wretched wager. Pascal says you might as well bet on God because you lose nothing and stand to gain everything, and it sounds attractive on the surface, but I reckon Pascal's bookie must have seen him coming, because the moment he places that wager he loses. He submits to religion, which is what religion wants him to do, and his motivation for doing so is pure naked fear. Pascal has found a clever-dick way of rationalising it by calling it a wager, but in truth there is no wager. There is only craven capitulation under crude threat of punishment. Pascal is a clever man, a famous mathematician, but he might as well be an idiot, because he lets religion use its only weapon successfully against him. He knuckles under to fear. He caves in. He turns to God. He submits. And he's in with everything, because it's an all-or-nothing game, so, as we say in England, he's done his bollocks, he's done his rent. He loses. The god of the desert is such a deeply unpleasant character I'd be ashamed and embarrassed to find myself turning to him, even after a few beers, for any reason other than to give him the finger, which is, by the way, what I do give anyone claiming to be his representative. He has no representatives. He doesn't exist. I can't prove it, of course, but I have faith. He's so obviously manmade, this god, it's embarrassing. You can tell from the human limitations. Vengeful, narrow-minded, petty, ego-bound, quick to take offence, incredibly stupid - he's got our fingerprints all over him. Look at the way he behaves the very first time we step out of line way back in Genesis. The entire race is permanently banished and a curse it put on all future generations. Even Gaddafi wouldn't go that far - would he? OK, maybe a bad example. But am I the only one who thinks that's a gross overreaction on God's part and a pretty obvious sign of insecurity? And if God is insecure he's not perfect, and if he's not perfect he's not God. So, even if he did exist, he'd be an imposter. God reacts as he does in the Genesis fantasy because it's the only way he can react. He has nothing else in his locker. And that's because he was created by primitive superstitious desert-dwelling savages with no conception of civilisation or reality as we understand it. If they found themselves in the modern world they would die of fright. Yet we still allow them to impose from the grave their laughably narrow and ignorant world view on the whole of human civilisation. We must be insane. The argument for religious faith would be an insult to an ape, let alone a human being. So why is religion popular? Because it's easy to explain to idiots. Magic always is. And, of course, to true believers, the third of the population, so it's reckoned, who have a need to believe, and who want to believe, and who have taken a solemn vow of gullibility. And these are the people who, when push comes to shove, will warn you with comically grim foreboding that you'll turn to God when you're close to death. But if I were making a wager I'd be inclined to bet that they'll turn to God when they're close to death and find nobody there, except maybe old Pascal, religion's favourite mug punter, endlessly tearing up a betting slip. And these are the people who keep warning me about the horrors of hell. Well, you know what they say, you get what you focus on. Enjoy. Peace.

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 20 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Views: 1,494
Posted by: patcondell on May 13, 2011

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