Thursday, February 11, 2010

“You cannot attribute nonsense to god.”

This is a guest post by the ever fabulous and forever tormented by fish tanks Sparky, of a Spark of Wisdom.

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There is an old quote, or a variation on a quote saying that we cannot attribute nonsense to god. It’s used to debunk people trying to question various attributes of god, especially omnipotence - such as “can god create square circles.” And it is very true - there is, after all, no such thing as a circle or a square, just a shape that we perceive DESCRIBE as such, so while an omnipotent being may change the shape, we will describe the shape by means we are used to.

But that’s kind of irrelevant to the true potential of this quote, I feel. We cannot attribute nonsense to god - but how many of the followers of the Christian, Muslim (and, to a lesser extent, Jewish) god(s) do just this?

Think of the linguistic descriptors that are so often used to describe these gods:
Good. Perfect. Merciful. Benevolent. Loving.

Now consider some of the other descriptors we have: Jealous. Angry. Wrathful.

Consider some of the actions and stances large numbers of these gods’ followers espouse in the name of their god. They advocate discrimination - on race, gender and sexuality. Some of them even go so far to call for and actively participate in violence. Some commit murder, some kill themselves in the process of doing so. Some torture and oppress people and groups horrendously. Many certainly speak of their pet hatred in the most hateful of terms (personally I’ve been referred to as anything from a blight to a disease to a cancer to a daemon because of my sexuality). I have seen smugness and arrogance to disdain to utter contempt to outright hatred towards other faiths.

This hatred, this violence, this inhumanity to man is done in the name of and by followers of these deities - by people who believe that those first descriptors still apply.

Well, I say to them “you cannot attribute nonsense to god.” It is  NONSENSE to believe that a god is both perfect and jealous or merciful and wrathful. It is NONSENSE to believe a loving god would condemn people to an eternity of torture because of their sex life. It is NONSENSE to believe a benevolent being would want you to oppress or abuse people for ANY reason. It is NONSENSE to believe a compassionate god would want you to insult and attack people. It is NONSENSE to believe a perfect god would be so insecure as to advocate violence against those who do not follow him or who worship him in an incorrect fashion.

These extremist, hateful and damaging members of these (and other) religions need to stop and think. Use the brains they believe their god gave them and think. If their god is loving, merciful, compassionate and benevolent then maybe they should be too. Because at the moment they are covering him with nonsense, blanketing him with it and choking him in it that many of us on the outside cannot see him at all - just the vast sheet of hateful nonsense. I don’t believe in their god, but I do believe their faith deserves better than that.