In the beginning there was darkness, and the darkness frightened us. We huddled around our fires, looked off into the unknowable night and shuddered with dread at the terrifying cries of…who-knew-what… all around us. We understood nothing and had neither the knowledge or the tools to remedy that lack of understanding. Mankind, for all our faults and lacks however, is a creative animal and so the more enterprising (and dishonest) of this simple tribe laid out a pattern that would dog us for uncountable centuries. They went among their fellow animals and assured them that there was hope. This terrifying and unexplainable world was, they said, controlled and regulated by great and powerful beings. These beings were awesome in their power but not all that different from us ourselves, and, “Aren’t you lucky?” said these intrepid thinkers to their fellow-men “I’ve figured out how to commune with them! All you have to do is listen to me, I will tell you how to live, and even tell you what these forces demand in order to avoid their wrath and assure your prosperity. You’ll never have to be afraid again!” Such was the fear of the others that these declarations were met with frenzied joy and gratitude, an orgy of ecstatic surrender ensued that has lasted right up to today.
Humanity has grown to a point in our development where for the first time we truly have the ability to understand our world, ourselves and our place in the wider universe. The darkness has receded. The lights of exploration, study, and experimentation have brought forth a glorious dawn which could not have been dreamed of by centuries of scholar and philosophers who came before. Yet in many regards we remain the huddled frightened animal cowering in the cave.
We live in an age in which we have unlocked the wonders of DNA, witnessed the swirling perfection of far off galaxies, and discovered the breathtaking evidence of the interconnectivity of all lifeforms from the first primordial algae all the way up to modern mankind.
Yet, in spite of all of this there is still a large percentage of the world’s population who believe the ancient fairy tales devised to explain away the darkness. Still the hucksters draw their crowds promising cures and salvation if only you don’t ask too many questions or think too hard about it. You’re afraid to die? It’s ok, death is better than life because when you die you go to a place of perfect joy, but only if you do as you’re told. If you don’t do exactly as you’re told, or if you’re unlucky enough to live in a place that teaches the wrong things then you’re gonna burn forever. You have urges and feelings that are contrary to The Teachings? Yes, the Maker put those there to test you, be sure you handle them in the proscribed manner or you’ll be punished. That group of The Maker’s children has displeased Him, now go forth in His Holy name and kill every one of them you can find.
Ignorance, fear, shame, and atrocity are the sword and shield of religion. Weapons it wields exceptionally well after long millenia of practice. The time has come however to counter the misinformation, the suppression and the willful ignorance. The time has come to put aside the comforting fictions of superstition and look out into the world as it truly is. There is no magic, no cosmic judge just the majestic precision and beauty of an intricate system of growth and change, and endless system of trial and error that eventually saw us come to light. The shot we have now is the only one we get. Should we waste it on the stories we told ourselves in the night? Or should we embrace the light and take an honest look around?
This blog is dedicated to the principle that the time when mythology and superstition ruled us should be relegated to the past, that religion is harmful to the “soul” of the human animal, and contrary to the goals of human unity and progress.