In the very same blog where I drew so much flak for discussing Feminism, I was reminded of an academic discipline that blows mere sexism out of the water; Theology.
Let me share a revelation I had about religion...
Religion works by telling people a very complicated lie, one that the liars themselves have not yet seen through, before sitting back and allowing them to develop into an adult who will probably never have the intelligence or self awareness to see through it.
You see folks; it's effortless to tell somebody that something is true, but it's nearing the pinnacle of human intellect for that same person to independently recognize the rational nature of the universe, independently develop a concept of falsifiability and comprehension of why irrational propositions do not require considering and, finally, to apply it to something which they may have based their entire life upon.
This idea makes two predictions; the more advanced a society and the smarter the population the higher the proportion of people occupying this part of the spectrum, and the dumber and less advanced the society the more religious people there will be. Does the world support this hypothesis?
Norway and America, folks. Norway and America.
For most of human history knowledge of falsifiability has eluded entire populations (sometimes for hundreds of years), so if you tell a human being in the modern world that a god exists the odds that they will independently discover all of the philosophy required to recognize that this are not so is very, very slim. This is why it is important to teach people the truth, so that they are gifted with a complete understanding of reality without it being dependent on them possessing a fantastic intellect. And it is, of course, easier to make these philosophical revelations if you do not start out on a model of reality which contradicts them.
Let's imagine now that one of these people who has grown up and never realizes that there is no god. To them their religious doctrine is true, and that's the starting point of all reasoning. In essence they leap-frog a single question; "is anything about my religion true?". The logical consequence of this avoidance of a core question is that their religious doctrine gets treated as correct and requiring an explanation and, as their deities and spirits will be forever absent, these explanations will grow infinitely more complex without any objective reality to reign them in and determine which one is "right".
I remember doing philosophy as an A-level, and we often got questions like "If god is good, why is there so much evil in the world?" and "If Jesus died for our sins, can people be evil?". It was religious philosophy.
Whilst dragging up the usual bullshit from Kant, Aquinas, Descartes and a troop of people who scarcely knew why they had to breathe, let alone the cosmology of the universe, I felt intensely dishonest because I knew there was a very simple answer that I was avoiding in order to achieve marks; "Before we discuss whether or not god is good, we would first have to establish whether or not god exists". To my credit, I invariably concluded "But all of this is conjecture; without any evidence that a god actually exists it is meaningless to discuss its attributes". I got 100% in all of my exams, which either means a born again atheist was marking my paper or that, according to my exam board, the conclusion that there is no god is absolutely foolproof.
But what I was doing was theology. I was reasoning about religion. And there is really only one difference between theology and philosophy; theology assumes that the religious entity it is discussing exists before starting its reasoning.
This leads to a precarious situation; if that initial assumption is wrong then all of theology, every single stinking bit of it, has been complete bullshit throughout all of history. It means not a single theological argument has ever been valid, and that their entire discipline is a fantasy based around describing the attributes of beings and entities that never existed in the first place.
Now, by necessity this is true; there are many religions all of which have their own theology. If scientology is right and its theology that Xenu blew up alien souls in volcanoes so they could make Tom Cruise act like a retard is correct, then all other theologies are invalid. If the Christian theology that a Jew died on a cross to cleanse mankind of sin, then all other doctrines are incorrect. If Islamic theology is correct then there's a god in the sky who really wanted the age of betrothel lowered to 7 and hates music, of all things.
Even if one of these gods did exist, the vast majority of theology would be completely untrue. Of course all of these gods are unfalsifiable, and that's where the necessary understanding of both falsifiability and human nature comes into play; if people are claiming something is true, but it's actually unobserved and, more damningly, unfalsifiable, then not only is it bullshit but the people talking about it don't have any comprehension of how to "know" anything on a philosophical level.
Do I need to state the obvious? Theology is absolute bullshit; it's equivalent to (and, in the past, has been identical to) discussing how heavy Thor's hammer is, and whether or not the Red Hulk should have been able to defeat him considering he possesses the Zeus Force and is arguably the strongest character in the entire Marvel multiverse. Certainly Thor has a much higher strength feat than the Rulk, as he shattered an entire planet. That's also a higher strength feat than the Christian God, who actually lost a wrestling match to Isaac, who was human, so presumably both the Rulk AND Thor are much higher than Yahweh on the cosmic power scale.
Of course the real casualty is that it raises the complexity of the religious lie. The more theology is allowed to modify and add to religion the more complex the lie becomes and the fewer people are capable of seeing through it. I am not sure that my intellect alone even explains my atheism; it was reading the Bible, which is incompatible with christian theology on account of the 2,000,000 innocent people killing, baby murdering, vindictive amateur wrestler known as "God" who keeps popping up to piss on everything I'd ever been taught about him.
(2,000,000 people is just the named death toll, where numbers are given. Also worthy of note is the fact that Satan kills 10 people in the Bible, and he's essentially the bad guy for giving mankind knowledge. Sometimes I wonder if that entire book was written to test the hypothesis that people will believe what you say, not what actually is. If you say the murderer is the good guy people will believe it. After all; to disbelieve it you'd need to independently develop a coherent ethical philosophy, and that's just plain difficult isn't it?)
And the worst thing is that, had I been smarter, I might have been able to justify why god seemed to have such a hardon for murdering babies and collecting rape victims for his followers. I certainly can now; "Whatever god does is good". Had I realized that I might not be blogging about the obvious non-existence of god; the complete lack of evidence could have easily eluded me, along with the reason why evidence is necessary at all, and I might be setting fire to an abortion clinic or telling a young child that AIDS is a plague sent by god to kill gay people.
Well, probably not, but this is the problem with theology; I was fortunate that the theology taught to me did not include the absolute morality of god, and that I mistakenly believed absolute morality to be the law of my country, which painted a God who wantonly murdered between spates of absolutely schizophrenic rambling and sexism as a bad guy, which instantly disproved him because I had been taught he was a loving, caring being. But there is theology that covers that, and if it had got to me I could easily have been persuaded to not look closer.
And you know the worst thing? The part that really bets to me? It's that a person with a Theology degree (and a PhD whilst we're at it) doesn't know how much harder my degree was. They have no idea of what absolute bunkum they've been involved in, which means they can't appreciate what a spaztastic mongbat they are.