8/28/2018

And God Said

The gods don’t do a lot of talking, except to crazy people and other “prophets.” Nature, however, is pretty communicative; if you bother to listen. Early human religions were slightly more realistic than the clown shows we’re stuck with in modern life. Humans used to pray to the sun, the moon, the winds, rain, and good or bad weather. In other words, they begged nature not to kill them or their families. If you are going to be begging some greater entity for survival purposes, you probably ought to at least aim your questions and requests at something semi-real. Of course, even the most deluded theist or deist knows that nature does not give a damn about the existence of individual humans or even the entire species. We are just one lifeform, out of many, that has accidentally through evolution managed to turn into a marginally sustainable species. If we manage to kill ourselves off through stupidity or viciousness, nature will crank out another attempt at sentience (or not) in a few million years.

So, to an outside non-superstitious observer, what does all of the praying to various representational gods look like? It looks silly as hell, that’s what.

Re-imagine this, “Do not add a thing to what I command you nor subtract from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I am delivering to you. Then the Lord said to Moses that same day” with “Do not add a thing to what I command you nor subtract from it, so that you may keep the commandments of nature that I am delivering to you. Then nature said to Moses that same day.” Nature is never that wordy, so maybe that line will have to be left to the comedians.

How about this one re-written for sentience, “Then nature told me about some men from Anathoth who were threatening to kill me. They had threatened, “Stop prophesying in the name of nature or we will kill you!” That one is pretty much what Trump and the Trumpanzees are saying to the EPA, National Parks Department, and NASA. Maybe this biblical revisionism has a future? Even though humans probably don’t.

I sort of like this one, too: “The law of nature is perfectand preserves one’s life. The rules set down by nature are reliable and impart wisdom to the inexperienced.  Nature’s precepts are fair and make one joyful. Nature’s commands are pure and give insight for life.  The commands to fear nature are right and endure forever. The judgments given by nature are trustworthyand absolutely just. They are of greater value than gold,than even a great amount of pure gold;they bring greater delight than honey,than even the sweetest honey from a honeycomb. Yes, your servant finds moral guidance there; those who obey them receive a rich reward.” If a society made this substitution and practiced it, humanity might have half-a-shot at sustainablity. And I might have a dramatically higher opinion of my species.

We could add “the environment” to “nature” and really get some value from bibles. “But you who remained faithful to nature and the environment are still alive to this very day, every one of you. Look! I have taught you statutes and ordinances just as nature told me to do, so that you might carry them out in the land you are about to enter and possess. So be sure to do them, because this will testify of your wise understanding to the people who will learn of all these statutes and say, ‘Indeed, this great nation is a very wise people.’” Indeed, that would be a great nation full of very wise people, instead of being a brainless pack of morons driving headlong into oblivion.

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