I met Robert Clapp through a friend around 2006 when I began meeting him at a local gym for weight training sessions. Over time we became friends and his personal philosophy greatly influenced me. He’s written many essays on numerous subjects, from politics, to religion, to steroid use. The following essay is about religion. I hope you enjoy it!
(Homo sapiens’ Achilles Heel)
“Theism’s myth declares that he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge – he acquired a mind and became a rational being. It was the knowledge of good and evil- be became a moral being. He was sentenced to earn his bread by his labor- became a productive being. He was sentenced to experience desire- he acquired the capacity of sexual enjoyment. The evils for which they damn him are reason, mortality, creativeness, joy- all of the cardinal virtues of existence.”
“The God of the Old Testament is the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it, a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, blood thirsty, ethnic cleanser, a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomanical, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
-Richard Dawkins, Oxford Professor of Genetics
“The greatest lie ever told is that of creation. It is worshiped on bended knee because Homo sapiens cannot face the greatest TRUTH ever told- evolution!”
Tribalism’s face crumbles from Rushmore’s walls;
Washington’s idols returned to dust;
Rome’s infallibility dying in hunched over whimper;
New Prometheans create the future;
Newton’s universe first paved the way;
The Garden fell to Darwin’s genius;
Smith’s Invisible Hand invents prosperity;
Deep Blue offers immortality.
In simple terms, common sense was Homo sapiens’ need for gods. However, religion more than any other human paradigm shows how evil and wrong common sense can be. It is seldom congruent to reality. Why, therefore, does mysticism and theism, in the view of the vast majority of Homo sapiens, overpower science? Simple, it is based on childish common sense over a million years. This comic book approach to life continues unabated today in spite of the fact that never does any of that “common sense” conform to scientific reality.
On the other hand, irrefutable laws of science are only believed by a very small percentage out of the billions of Homo sapiens on earth. In terms of cosmic time, it’s been but a blink of an eyelash since the first majority of Homo sapiens no longer believe that the earth is the center of everything. Also, within that blink, virtually all Homo sapiens believe in creationism over evolution. The really surreal part is that within that same virtuality resides virtually all of the world’s leaders and thinkers! I ask you to consider the following statistics: a recent survey showed that 21% of the nations’ biology teachers believe in creationism. A Gallup Poll showed that 50% of the United States takes the story of Noah in the bible literally. Thirty-two percent believe that Jesus will return to earth within the 21st Century. Seventy-eight percent believe that angels and devils operate within the world daily. Seventy-two percent believe in Satan. Forty-two percent of Americans believe that everything in the Bible is literally true. Here are some of those literal quotes from the Bible:
1. Deuteronomy 22:21, you should kill a woman who was not a virgin when she married, even if it be your daughter.
2. In Leviticus 20:9, if your child hits you or swears at you, you are to put that child to death.
3. In Leviticus 2:13, it states, “If a man lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death.”
4. In Chapter 1:27, 32, Paul tells us that homosexuals shall be put to death.
5. Exodus, a father is allowed to sell his children into slavery.
6. Best for last: Jesus said, “Think not that I have come to send peace on earth. I come not to send peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and the daughter against her mother.”
The question, then, immediately rises: What reason or evidence can I offer to such Pavlovian puppets and cognitive zombies that could ever convince them that not only is evolution true and natural selection is immutable scientific truth, but also the only way for Homo sapiens to understand existence and consciousness!? After all, so-called “common sense” teaches these fools that human existence and consciousness is so complicated that the simplicity of evolution could never explain them. Such things can only be understood by mystical means of revelation and blind faith: prophets, bibles, popes, dogmas, miracles, ad nauseum.
I shall write this essay to its fullest conclusion, to the best of my intellectual capacity even though it might seem to be simply spitting into the wind. I shall present an airtight case for Darwinian evolution against the lunacy of theism in all its forms. However, I often think that the truth would be better served and received by the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid) of the short story that follows:
In the developments of homes and buildings throughout the Western World, lightning storms were one of nature’s “attacks” against man’s survival. Theists of all malignant stripes called them acts of God. One agnostic man did not accept such an explanation. Instead he offers a reason and invented the lightning rod. When he tried to market for profit, he was condemned for lack of faith and greed for attempting to profit from human tragedy. This killed his entrepreneurialism when trying to market them to those who just hoped God would miss. However, he found no such problem in selling them to a town’s brothel, where the devil’s work was done, not God’s. No faith or hope required – just nature’s drives and money. Very soon as the “faithful” began to notice that churches were being hit while brothels were not, lightning rods began to appear everywhere. This pragmatic change of heart and rapid appearance of lightning rods on town homes and churches stands as irrefutable evidence of the triumph of reason and science over religion and faith.
Historically, whenever theistic bullshit has confronted life and death situations, the pragmatism of the KISS principle solutions usually gets the nod over theism’s fairy tales! However, to think and conceptualize about human existence with that immutable and infallible evolved neo-cortex is virtually impossible for 99.9% of Homo sapiens. Any such examination by them is never undertaken without their first principle – authoritarianism! They simply cannot use or understand words outside their need for authority – celestial and terrestrial! Such theistic or statist authoritarianism is so omnipresent in their world that no history of human existence has ever been written that does not use it as prime, and, to this day, there is never any serious debate about that primacy.
Neither academia nor media even mention it let alone question its assumptions. It holds preeminence when discussing all human behavior. It is faithfully and blindly assumed to be hard-wired into Homo sapiens’ brain. Autocracy, monarchy, democracy, theocracy, etc., are all archetypical expressions of this assumption. All of them are coerced or forced through rules, laws, demands, etc.
Failure to obey and imprisonment or death is assured. Consequently, this statist or theistic beast has a tradition, structure, even an inner logic that leaves no individual human being free- neither ruler nor the ruled. The monster feeds and no one can control it.
Remember, all such mystical and tribalistic (religion and government) evolved out of prehistoric necessity for physical survival. Unavoidably, it created a need to believe in some absolute authority that can be begged or prayed to that would protect them from the forces of nature. Of course, it doesn’t “work” anymore. Science continues to expose its errors and destroy its beliefs. Yet, such errors have very long half-lives. In fact, what is called history is a chronology of a very small number of rational, logical, and thinking individuals revolting against such ignorance, and frequently giving their lives!
The best synopsis of this phenomenon is found in the words of Rose Wilder Lane,
They take it for granted that some authority controls individuals. They replace the priest by a king, the king by an oligarchy, the oligarchs by a despot, the despot by an aristocracy, the aristocracy by a majority, the majority by a tyrant, the tyrant by a parliament, the parliament by a dictator, the dictator by a –there’s been 6,000 years of it in every language.
All these kinds have been tried, too, in every possible combination; the priest and the king, the king who is the priest, the king who is God, the king and a senate, the king and the senate and a majority, the senate and a tyrant, the tyrant and the aristocrats, a king and a parliament- Try to think of a combination; somewhere it has been tried.
She could have added a plethora of divine authorities, which actually started it all. The historical foundation for all these Platonic authorities is Homo sapiens’ ignorance about its origins. The great majority still bows to ancient mysticisms that support a finite and static universe, a fanatic allegiance to some theistic claim to omnipotence and omniscience. It has no objective or empirical existence, no concrete identity. Its identity is an abstraction in the form of icons: holy books, statues, commandments, saints, prayers- their power is from the threat of eternal damnation and the threat of hell. The entire paradigm is anti-reality, anti-reason, anti-science, anti-life. It’s the malignant forerunner to the state: the secular paradigm of collective terror that replaced theism for first place. Its authority comes from a collective of certain human beings rather than divinities.
Of course, while it is self-evident to the rational mind how demented the theistic mind is, it must be remembered that theism (a.k.a. mysticism, church, religion) is a prehistoric philosophy that is Homo sapiens’ first cognitive attempt to explain the world and to understand Homo sapiens’ awareness of existence and mortality. Surely, without their awareness of death, this raw philosophy would never have formed. Ayn Rand makes this clear.
It’s a primitive form of science that first attempts to explain the universe. A coherent frame of reference for this first knowledge. Hence, its myths, while distorted, are dramatized allegories based on some “element” of truth.
Therefore, this prehistoric philosophy and science allowed theism to preempt the earliest formation of language. Its proclamations, rules, definitions, tenets, etc., came first. Its dictionary would be huge while the fledgling dictionary of logic, reason, and science would be small. While no longer larger, the Bible is still the first book of knowledge. It holds power and action by blind faith and bloody force. Something science can never do. Robert Heinlein puts it succinctly:
I have said that faith and force are corollaries, and will always lead to the rule of brutality, and that is the state to which (they) reduce mankind… reason verses mysticism- life or death, freedom or slavery, progress or stagnation.
A recent history of such madness (just to present one of many) theism declared the Native Americans to be heathens. All the sects of Christianity agreed. Therefore, within one century after the discovery of America, 50 million non-Christian natives were killed by Catholic and Christian soldiers, explorers, missionaries!!
On the next page are just a few of the many evils that (And there are thousands- for example, priests with their slimy hands down children’s pants.) the church of an all-good, all-powerful God offers apology through an old man who claims a 1-800 number to that God!
Some instances in which Pope John Paul II admitted errors or apologized for actions of the Roman Catholic Church:
1992: Declared the church was wrong to condemn astronomer Galileo for maintaining that Earth is not the center of the universe.
1992: Visiting Senegal, begged forgiveness for Christians who were involved in the slave trade.
1995: Issued document saying church is “truly sorry” for discrimination or mistreatment of women.
1995: During trip to Czech Republic, asked forgiveness for violence by Catholics against Protestants during 16th Century Counterreformation.
1998: In document on Holocaust, expressed remorse for cowardice of some Christians during Nazi persecution of Jews.
1999: Denounced persecution of Jan Hus, 15th Century religious reformer and precursor of Protestantism who was burned at stake.
2000: Asked forgiveness for sins of Catholics through the ages, including wrongs inflicted on Jews, women and minorities.
2000: In stop at Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, said Catholic Church is “deeply saddened by the hatred, acts of persecution and displays of anti-Semitism directed against the Jews by Christians at any time and in any place.”
2001: On visit to Greece, issued sweeping apology for wrongs committed by Roman Catholics against Orthodox Christians.
2001: Apologized for missionary abuses against indigenous peoples of South Pacific.
Theism has been the number one cause of millions and millions of deaths in the last 15 years alone, and it continues unabated to this very day – Among Hindus and Muslims, Muslims and Muslims, Christians and Muslims, Christians and Christians! The vast majority of human beings alive today, are willing to die for some spook in the sky, and even more are willing to murder for that same spook. All they need, all they have is “faith” and that is all they need to justify homicide, infanticide, genocide, torture and ad nauseum!
Consider the following words from Sam Harris:
And yet, it is merely an accidence of history that it is considered normal in our society to believe that the Creator of the universe can hear your thoughts, while, it is demonstrative of mental illness to believe that he is communicating with you by having the rain tap in Morse code on your bedroom window. And so, while religious people are not generally mad, their core beliefs absolutely are.
In fact, it is difficult to imagine a set of beliefs more suggestive of mental illness than those that lie at the heart of many of our religious traditions. Consider one of the cornerstones of the Catholic faith:
That the Body and the Blood, together with the soul and the divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ is truly, really, and substantially present in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, and there is a change of the whole substance of the bread into the Body and of the whole substance of the wine into Blood.
Consider the following sources of information:
1. The anchorman on the evening news says that a large fire is burning in the state of Colorado. One hundred thousand acres have burned, and the fire is still completely uncontained.
2. Biologists say that DNA is the molecular basis for sexual reproduction. Each of us resembles our parents because we inherit a complement of their DNA. Each of us has arms and legs because our DNA coded for the proteins that produced them during our early development.
3. The Pope says that Jesus was born of a virgin and resurrected bodily after death. He is the son of God, who created the universe in six days. If you believe this, you will go to heaven after death; if you don’t, you will go to hell, where you will suffer for eternity.
No rational human being would accept the first two without proof, but those same people wouldn’t hesitate to accept number three simply based on faith and the Bible told them so!
From childhood, the vast majority of humankind have been brainwashed to immutably accept that all important beliefs are not subject to reason or science. The dogmatic acceptance of faith as omniscient is its strength. You are never required to defend for justify it. Again, consider this semanticide as presented by Sam Harries:
Tell a Christian that his wife is cheating on him, or that frozen yogurt can make a man invisible, and he will vehemently demand evidence and proof. Tell him that the book he keeps by his bed was written by an invisible deity who will punish him with fire for eternity if he fails to accept every incredible claim about the universe, and he requires no evidence whatsoever.
Remember, every religion, past and present, has written such a book and frequently, they conflict with each other. Therefore, with virtually no hesitation, they willingly slaughter each other backed by their infallible faith.
Below is a cartoon humorously presenting how logic, reason, and science works in the “brain” of a theist, atheists simply give NO credit to theism.
Agnosticism is an oxymoron, an impossible contradiction in terms. In other words – bullshit! Atheism is an irreducible absolute. It is a negative that requires nothing more than its utterance. No proof required! An Atheist is not required to “prove” a damn thing about that negative. There are no positive assertions. Why some people who consider themselves “educated” demand otherwise is only understandable through their cowardice and their fear.
Richard Dawkins (they come no more brilliant) puts it this way:
I have found it an amusing strategy, when asked whether I am an atheist, to point out that the questioner is also an atheist when considering Zeus, Apollo, Amon Ra, Mithras, Baal, Thor, Woton, the Golden Calf, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I just go one god further.
I would only add that until Homo sapiens defeat their primordial consciousness and fear of their mortality, there will always be one more god added ad infinitum.
I close with one final declaration: the concept of “good” and “evil” evolved with Darwinian evolution and natural selection within the cerebral cortex of individual human beings. Therefore, until mortality is defeated by Darwinian evolution, individual Homo sapiens will do good and evil. Consequently, the penultimate perversion that people do good instead of evil is because of fear of God, or for God’s approval, or to avoid his punishment is the infallible definition of cowardice! In fact, acts of pure evil are infinitely more done by theism than atheism, theism’s only challenge to this title is statism, but even its genesis is found in theism. Evil done by gods and governments make evil done by atheists seem nothing more than name-calling!
Richard Dawkins sums it up best:
Do you mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God’s approval and reward, or to avoid disapproval and punishment? That’s not morality, that’s just sucking up…if on the other hand, you
admit that you would continue to be a good person even when not under divine surveillance, you have fatally undermined your claim that God is necessary for us to be good.
If you need a brick bat to the back of the head to see the truth – try this: Read the “ethics” of the Old Testament then read the “ethics” of humanism, the etheics of more atheists and anarchists. If that doesn’t do it then you’re either a psychopath, a sadist, or both!