Who is more contemptible than he who scorns knowledge of himself?

— John of Salisbury, 1159

  • Are you pretending not to know that when push comes to shove you really are afraid to die?
  • Are you pretending not to know that dead is dead, that there's no Heaven and no Hell, no magical Paradise waiting for you in the sky, no neat and tidy ending where all life's mysteries will be answered or solved, that what you see is what you get?
  • Are you pretending not to know that hidden deep inside, in the center of your gut, at the core of your being, you suspect that religion—all religion—is really just a bunch of irrational, superstitious, made-up nonsense?
  • Are you pretending not to know that you're fooling yourself, that you're really full of doubt and uncertainty, distrust and suspicion, and so you whistle a brave tune while hurrying past the graveyard?
  • Are you pretending not to know that the more doubts you have concerning your religious beliefs the more you rigorously cling to them, defend them, blindly believe them, while denying what is patently obvious, logical, and scientifically sound?
  • Are you pretending not to know that you're a whole lot smarter than the religious beliefs you so stubbornly defend?
  • Are you pretending not to know that you can only point to God by pointing to words in a book?
  • Are you pretending not to know that you're ability to love and forgive your own children is more unconditional and 'godlike' than the Judeo-Christian God's ability to love and forgive you since you don't threaten them with eternal punishment and torment?
  • Are you pretending not to know that Jesus supposedly died for all your sins except the sin that could actually send you to Hell, the sin of doubt and not believing in him?
  • Are you pretending not to know that your desire to go to Heaven knowing others will be burning in Hell is a sure sign of a "me first" self-interest, an immoral ethic based on spiritual selfishness and immaturity?
  • Are you pretending not to know that according to your belief system most people you know, including parents, siblings, children, and friends will be punished for all eternity in Hell while you kick up your heels and party in Heaven? Praise the Lord!
  • Are you pretending not to know that if God's Love is Unconditional there should never have been any need of Salvation, a Savior, Hell, or threats of Eternal Damnation?
  • Are you pretending not to know that nothing fails like prayer?
  • Are you pretending not to know there are no miracles? Faith healings? Prophecies? Supernatural events?
  • Are you pretending not to know that you trust science and medicine for your healing 'cures' while professing a belief in religious magic and faith and miracles?
  • Are you pretending not to know that the stories of a Six-Day Creation, Adam and Eve, Angels, talking serpents, the 'Fall of Man', Noah's Flood, the Devil, etc., make no sense whatsover in light of the way you know the "real world" works?
  • Are you pretending not to know that the so-called 'Word of God' is filled with contradictions, inconsistences, absurdities, fatal flaws, incoherencies, questionable guidelines, immoral behavior, and copy-and-paste errors?
  • Are you pretending not to know that the very concept of 'Eternal Life' is childish, hopeful, yet ultimately horrific?
  • Are you pretending not to know that acts of faith are motivated by nothing more than fear, wishful-thinking, ignorance, intellectual laziness, and abject denial?
  • Are you pretending not to know how little you actually do know about the religious beliefs you dogmatically profess?
  • Are you pretending not to know you know next to nothing about science, the scientific method, Occam's Razor, falsifiability, philosophy, incredulity toward metanarratives, postmodernism, language and linguistics, the laws of physics, entropy, evolution, geology, archaeology, anthropology, psychology, cognition, belief systems, worldviews, theology, mythology, ancient history, the Bible, and comparative religion?
  • Are you pretending not to know your confusion with hypothesis and theory, falsifiable and falsified, punctuated equilibrium and allopatric speciation, cognition and the mind?
  • Are you pretending not to know that your personality, the you inside that makes you you, is not the result of some disembodied soul but the biochemical impulses of your physical brain?
  • Are you pretending not to know that your physical body does not magically house some supernatural entity that will be released when you die?
  • Are you pretending not to know that your lack of a higher education really does mean you've missed out on the necessary tools to think critically, research analytically, learn knowingly, honestly, truthfully, and with forceful deliberation?
  • Are you pretending not to know that the thousands of hours you've saved by not going to college in no way compares to the fifty-odd hours you've spent in religious study classes?
  • Are you pretending not to know that you're nearly blind with denial?
  • Are you pretending not to know that the bulk of your so-called spirituality is nothing more than play-acting, dress-up, pretense, and wishful thinking?
  • Are you pretending not to know that it is a whole lot more difficult to open and read a thousand books for the sake of 'discovering the truth' than to open and read one book for the sake of 'belief'?
  • Are you pretending not to know that you've never actually read the Bible but only a few small pieces taken out of context?
  • Are you pretending not to know that most of what you do know about the Bible was spoon-fed to you by people who are also pretending not to know, who were also spoon-fed, and so on, and so on?
  • Are you pretending not to know that what the Bible says in English is a whole lot different than what it actually says in Hebrew and Greek?
  • Are you pretending not to know that large portions of the Bible were wholly appropriated, borrowed, and reworked from earlier Sumerian, Babylonian, Canaanite, Egyptian, Persian, and Greco-Roman myths?
  • Are you pretending not to know that the Doctrine of the Trinity was a man-made invention later recognized as dogma by popular vote?
  • Are you pretending not to know that what you see is what you get?
  • Are you pretending not to know that this is all you get?
  • Are you pretending not to know that this is it? This. Here and now. This is it!
  • Are you pretending not to know that 'Truth' and 'God' are words that must rely on the descriptions of other words because neither can be pointed to outside the artifice of language, verbal rhetoric, and textual definition?
  • Are you pretending not to know that silence really is golden?
  • Are you pretending not to know that you are the product of your geophysical environment and motivated by parental biases, prejudices, and indoctrination, social enculturation, an unquestioned nationalism and religious tradition?
  • Are you pretending not to know that your view of God is just too damn small, too narrow, too petty, and in the end all-too-human?
  • Are you pretending not to know that in your heart-of-hearts you really do know 'what's what' only you're too crazy afraid to find the courage to admit it?
  • Are you pretending not to know that 'truth' is not something that's out there, over there, in there?
  • Are you pretending not to know that despite all your religious beliefs you really don't know one thing at all about God?
  • Are you pretending not to know that you really have no rational reason for believing the things you do?
  • Are you pretending not to know that the theology underlying your religious beliefs really makes no sense once you take the time to examine it and study it honestly and rationally and question it and continue to question it through each specific claim?

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Last Updated: May 5, 2007