I have been watching the episode of Star Trek: Voyager “Distant Origin.” It’s pretty good stuff. Sure, the metaphor of the episode to modern religion is a little on the nose, but it is still solid stuff. And the concept is unique enough. But as I watched it, I got to the scene where Chakotay is having to stand up for the truth alongside the alien who took him captive. He talks about how the aliens are having their beliefs challenged, all of their doctrines challenged, and how the truth frightens them. It got me to thinking about religion here on this world. Since this is the only world we’re on right now, because humanity is fucking retarded. We should have wrangled an asteroid by now, but no. Our species is nothing but wasted potential. But I digress.
Throughout history, Christianity has been terrified of the growth of human knowledge. For the longest time, we had Christians claiming that the Geocentric model of the universe is absolute truth, and to say otherwise is heresy and must be met with death. They claimed that those who spoke otherwise were spitting in the face of doctrine and the belief in the divinity of Christ. The reality is that it was people spitting in the face of the doctrine that controlled the world and that if people started to believe things were different than the church told them, that their power would be gone.
Maybe they were at least right about that much. The church did everything in its power to combat the growth of knowledge and the proliferation of truth among people. Countless enlightened people were put to death. Giordano Bruno was a man who loved God so much that he believed the universe was infinite because of an infinite God. The church didn’t care. All they wanted was power. All they wanted was for the public to not question what they told them. Faith has been afraid of knowledge for a very long time.
When Darwin first posed the basis for the Theory of Evolution, he didn’t know what we know now. I cannot tell you how many creationists say things like “if Darwin could see what we know now, he’d say it was time to go back to the drawing board.” Well yeah, Megan Fox, and he’d be wrong. See, so many of these people think that science is beholden only to what Darwin posed. That’s not the truth at all. In reality, science is ever-evolving. Our understanding of modern biology has led to changes in how science sees evolution that Darwin did not. Here’s a link, check it out for yourself. Creationists tend to believe that science only sees reality as a spectrum of what Darwin thought. In truth, we see it as a constantly evolving, changing force.
Religion is a stagnant thing. It has to be. The books that it’s based off of are thousands of years old. It was written by primitive people who have no understanding of science. Like how they believed that you can make spotted or striped goats by having them mate in front of spotted or striped trees (Genesis 30:39). Or how God kept rain from falling by putting it in the “firmament” in the sky (Genesis 1:7). Or how bats and birds are the same thing in God’s eyes (Leviticus 11:13). The startling reality is that the Bible is scientifically illiterate. No surprise. The people who wrote it are primitive tribesman who wrote it on papyrus. The original language of the Bible is a dead language – ancient Hebrew. Modern Hebrew is nothing like it.
Faith cannot evolve with time. What ends up happening is that those who practice it have to make the times match up with their understanding of reality. But that’s not the point of this. The point is that people are so afraid of the reality that the Bible is wrong, because if it’s wrong, then their understanding of the universe is wrong. And then they have to question things. Like “why did my (insert name of relative here) get cancer.” Or “why did my father rape me?” Or any other of a laundry list of hard questions that there is no easy answer to. That scares people. Because then, reality as you understand it doesn’t make sense anymore.
Humanity, as I’ve observed, likes easy, simple to digest answers. It’s better to believe comforting lies than hard truths. It’s human nature. We’re still animals, despite what human arrogance would have you think. Because we all heard that line in A Matter of Faith where the creationist kid asks the dude “is your mother a monkey?” and the pro-evolution guy gets all angry and has no answer. I have an answer to that – we all are. We are a species of primate. The most evolved, to date. We’re still animals. Sentience has given us a sense of entitlement to believe that we are totally separate from nature. That just isn’t true.
So why is Christianity so afraid of the truth? Because the truth sucks, while the lie is comforting. In the lie, you have an all-powerful father-figure who loves you and looks after you. He thinks that you’re just tops, and your life has greater meaning other than eating, sleeping, fucking, reproducing, and then dying. You don’t have to find meaning on your own. That’s hard. It’s better to have easy answers that you don’t have to think too hard about. It’s why my family buys into it. It’s why so many so viciously defend it. It’s why you can go through old religion posts on this site and see some very ugly comments, all because it’s easier to believe in that than accept the truth.
Until next time, a quote,
“Better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie.” – Russian Proverb