I recently clumsily came across some old existentialist literature I had composed (during rather ‘green’ moments in my career as a writer). Some of the needless convolution and pretension may have eroded with maturity and a litany of humbling experiences but what has survived is a provocative insight (I feel at least). So enjoy the read…if you can get past the overly complex and sometimes confusing sentence structure.
The extraordinary story of humankind can be told by examining the influence of the idea of god. From the way in which millions of people are governed to private dining practices performed in one’s home, therein lies the tacit and subtle trace of god. God is the expedient by which we use to explain and explore our existence. God is the impetus for subsequent crucial questions of how we came to be and why we are here, which have propelled our collective inspection of life. All these things which may appear as insubstantial specifications actually tell us a lot in terms of how we mediate the idea of god, and just how pervasive and powerful the concept is in its entirety. The focus here is not the compendium of things which are describable and relative to this idea of god, but what contributes to them and what seems to be the fundamental operation of its characterization. The most important step for this is where we derive all our insights both for and against the existence of god. There is a growing dubiety pertaining to god’s existence that has allowed us to develop a systemic method of analysis. We know how to search for consistency in the paradigm. Most important to this process is the understanding that the imperfections in the history of a being which is regarded as without error will cause the entire narrative to become false.
I believe our basic biological impulse to protect ourselves to be the cardinal element behind the advent of god, and that which drives its conceptual necessity in tandem with our human vanity. Thusly, we engineered ourselves this powerful watchman, with a peculiar coincidental interest in the two most important questions: what our purpose is and how we came to be. It is by understanding the connection from our contemporary life, to the larger meaning of minor details, to our own biology; that we can determine the inconsistencies in principles, history, characterization, theories and science, which together prove the old paradigm of god is undeniably false.
As a child I was “raised in the church”. I remember being involuntarily and abruptly woken by my parents every saturday morning, who would bathe and groom and feed and clothe me in preparation for my grandparents, who would collect me and my brother for the long day of ‘worship’. ‘Worship’ was a word my grandfather would typically use to coalesce the laborious and numerous activities that would be conducted over, what seemed to be, an incalculable period of time. Church seemed more like crucifixion for a five-year old diagnosed with attention deficit disorder than a place of salvation. I often wondered about this idea of salvation as a child: if god was supposed to be so nice, as my fellow church goers and authorities would explain through passages in the bible, then why would he allow church to be so painfully boring? This would later serve as the catalyst for my examination of the inherent contradiction of hell and heaven. Even though these words are the lexicon of Christianity this concept of an incentive based system is present among a copious amount of religions. Ancient Greeks believed in the Underworld and Elysium, Buddhists believe in a reward-like reincarnation cycle, and Muslims accept the notion of paradise and hell which serve as illustrations of this prism. The paradigm struck me as oddly paradoxical. If there was a god or essence that understood our inherent and superfluous flaws, thereby also acknowledging that biology would sometimes act as a huge and unavoidable deficit, then how could this entity hold us completely responsible for our actions, for it created us with these flaws. More importantly, how could a being which described itself or alluded to its own benevolence, understand this relationship and still cruelly punish its creations? Another part of this equation is the recognition that this being understands life in an ineffable way, but cannot understand the concept of the reward, which it bestows, as ignoring the variability of life. I myself do not wish for eternal life, but that is the only thing god has to offer as a benefit for leading an obedient and virtuous life upon our death. Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson, a reputable astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium, once stated that if science has taught us anything it was the move from universal(s) principles to the variability of life. It seemed nonsensical and improbable that an intrinsically flawed creation possessed the ability to grasp the vast implications of this concept, but that the notion was not apparent to the creator.
In 2008 I visited a reptile Zoo in Vaughan cleverly named Reptilia. The sight of the business name always made me laugh because the only time I saw a word in such a tense was in regards to mental conditions, more specifically paraphilias, those odd sexual eccentricities some people partake in. I wondered if the owners realized the implication of their word choice in combining the two concepts; that being scaly cold-blooded creatures and aberrant erotic proclivities. Nonetheless, I was captivated by the mystery around this group of animals which was the impetus for my purchase of a single non-venomous constrictor a week later. What I found most satisfying about this creature was its process of eating, and somehow never being taught this process, it acted as many other creatures I had observed through documentaries and movies, this of course was due to its biology. It would aggressively and unemotionally attack and consume the live mice I would put into its artificial environment. I knew that dropping these mice into its environment meant certain death, yet something profound happened over time. I noticed that my interest was mitigated and eventually replaced with disgust, commiseration, and guilt. I could no longer act as the facilitator of death for these mice even though in doing so I denied an animal, which I nurtured and established a relationship, the necessary sustenance for its livelihood. I could not justify the death of one being for the survival of another. I also could not punish either one of these creatures. I would not starve my snake and I would not participate in the process that would lead to the demise of the mouse. I understood from my experience that if I could comprehend the correlation between myself and these two creatures and feel immoral and malicious, the qualities which were essentially antithetical to virtue; then god, a being which was generally portrayed as virtuous, could not understand this and act in contradiction to its own character. This underlying behaviour is apparent in the duality of heaven and hell.
There are a plethora of stories in the bible that are punctuated with hypocrisy and paradox. Inserted in the parables of Jericho and Soddom and Gomorrah are the epitomization of these qualities. In the story of Jericho, god employs “his children”, this being the archetypal statement of their relationship with humankind, as an apparatus to murder their other children. While the events of Sodom and Gomorrah and Jericho illustrate Gods decisiveness and murderous propensity, and their ability to get their own ‘hands dirty’, they also illuminate the apparent absurdity which I understood as an altruistic and incomprehensibly powerful entity being made impotent and sordid by his mere creations.
What I learned by mediating the idea of these three circumstances and concepts was that God was ignorant of biology, indifferent to human failing in comprehension, and occasionally and aggressively punitive. By disseminating its own righteousness a demonstration occurred, which betrayed the character of God, therefore rendering it fallible. If this inexorably significant facet of God did not make sense then the remainder of the paradigm could not be trusted or believed.
Theists advocate an existing amity between humankind and the universe, but this belief could not be further from the truth. Meteors are constantly wreaking havoc on other planets, suns are constantly exploding destroying entire galaxies, much like what will happen to our solar system eventually, and galaxies are constantly moving, set on beautifully destructive collision courses. The universe is a very dangerous place. Our own planet has been bombarded with cosmic rays and meteors, and the time life was impossible on earth is considerably longer than the time life has been present. Aside from the inconsistencies in the theory on the macro level, in the micro level these flaws are embarrassingly obvious. Relative to the idea that the universe has been meticulously made, is the more erroneous concept that we have also been fastidiously engineered. I can not understand how this can be. The only real miracle is that more humans survive and live long lives despite our physiological impairments. (Aside from cancer, the sporadic mistakes in cellular division that cause harmful runaway growth which kill millions a year, genetic mental and neurological impairments such as ALS and Dementia, are the obviously more pervasive and laughable basic anatomical problems). It is a popular joke amongst scientists that no God would put the ‘candy factory’ right next to the ‘garbage disposal’, this being a reference to our productive parts. The inherent flaws of our anatomy are numerous and sometimes fatal. It would be absonant with reason to acknowledge all the flaws within the science of ourselves and the universe, and still believe that there existed this perfect being.
Often religious adherents stipulate the connection between the things we do not understand and the presence of god. Most commonly we see this theory appear as, “You can not explain the tides or the reason for colour, therefore god created it”, but in general terms this translates to: If something cannot be clarified by human means then it was created by God and therefore God exists. This equational simplification is necessary to explicate the inherent problem within these doctrines. The problem being that those who believe in God see the existence of things around them that are without scientific or logical explanation as therefore being dependant on God and argue many things backwards out of ignorance. What should appear as blatantly erroneous is that arguing things from this theory has already been and will continue to be refuted as the belief in God has, which fuels many false speculations of the things around us from the shape of our planet, our concentric relationship in the universe, to the idea that god lay right beyond the clouds. Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson defined this relationship in a remarkably poetic and laconic fashion during an interview conducted by Time Magazine when he said that if that was the way that they (the religious) wanted to play it then “god was an ever receding pocket of scientific ignorance”. The voluminous existing information which indicates the pattern of human discovery with the mitigation of supernatural explanation further refutes the conceptualization of God; for if God is reduced to things that cannot be explained and we as humans consistently continue to erode the index of things unexplained, then this theory is inconsistent with reality and history and therefore impossible for consumption.
(The?) falsities behind the paradigm of God are copious and substantial. These errors are not as minor as the selection of prophets but important intrinsic contradictions and inconsistencies in the persona, science, conceptual nature, and the account of God. By analyzing the relationship between the small details in the framework of god and their effects on a larger level we can begin to unravel the obscurity which has compelled these supernatural and false beliefs in its existence. I believe it is said best in the statement that there is no god if that god can be explained by human standards.