Sent to The Star, Johannesburg, Mon 18/10/2010 23:30
Elise D van der Pijl (Star Letters, October 10 2010) does not believe that the followers of what she calls "God's Word" over the centuries have been mislead by myth. Arlene Chaperon (also October 10) is offended and maintains the Bible is the Word of God.
Indeed, over much of recorded history, mankind has believed in gods. Not just one god. Hundreds. With divergent points of view. Which, if any, was right?
If you are a Christian and believe that Christ is "the light, the Truth, and the way" and that no man comes to the Father but through him, you aren't allowed to believe with the Muslims that there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet. Your three gods are also inconsistent with the Jewish belief that "the Lord our God, the Lord is One".
Yes, there is a slight-of-hand by which Christians claim a three-is-one god, to appear monotheistic, but I have yet to find one who will lend me three hundred Rand and accept repayment with one hundred since three equals one.
If you are a Christian, a majority of the world's population thinks you are wrong. A Muslim? The majority of the world disagrees with your beliefs. Likewise for Hindus, Jews, Pastafarians*, name any superstition you like.
How come you had the luck to find (usually to be born into) the one true religion, and everyone else is headed for damnation?
Why is it that no religion's followers are blessed more than those of any other? How come your reward comes only after death, unverifiable by any objective means?
It is more likely that all religions are false; political creations used to manipulate the gullible.
Van der Pijl and Chaperon have personal relationships with their god. People of religions around the world commune in many ways with their diverse gods. This can involve altered states of consciousness of all sorts. Trances, self-hypnosis, mass hysteria, etc. seem very convincing to the participants. They show what the human physiology is capable of. And how powerful self-delusion and wishful thinking can be. They do not prove that there is a god.
Reality check: If gods, capable of creating the universe, exist and want contact with us, why do they not manifest in physical form? Why not have residential and postal addresses, telephones, e-mail, and Facebook pages? Where are their superhuman ambassadors to the UN and the nations? Surely this would settle the controversy?
No. If superior beings exist, as yet undetected by science, they do not seem concerned about our welfare nor care whether we worship them or not. Stop living in fear of myths, and start living a life of freedom!
* Pastafarians = The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Not to be confused with Rastafarians.