International Blasphemy Day

I write about magic and monsters and demons and all that stuff. I love the fantasy, horror and sci fi genre and the ideas it plays with. I’m happy to admit that there’s an awful lot out there that we can’t understand and all kinds of things happening that defy rational explanation. I don’t mind if people believe in some kind of higher power, magic or guiding force in the universe. There’s no proof for it, but there’s no proof against it either. In my opinion the only intellectually defensible position on these issues is agnosticism – we simply don’t know for sure, so having any kind of absolute fixed belief is stubborness at least and willful ignorance at worst.

So with that in mind, any kind of organised religion pisses me off. To claim that you have all the answers, the ultimate truths and so on is just bollocks as far as I’m concerned. How does this relate to writing and words (am I going off on a tangent rant here?) No, watch me segue:

The Bible, the Koran and books like them (books, see!) are some of the most abused sets of words in the world, used for all kinds of things contrary to the things they claim to teach. And they’re clearly the work of men, revised, edited, translated and rewritten with agenda time and time again. To claim they are anything like the absolute word of any god is mental.

If those books give you succour and help you to organise yourself into a functioning, moral person, that’s fine. We certainly don’t need them to be morally upstanding, but whatever floats your boat. Claim that it’s the word of any god or try to convince me that people that don’t believe it are going to some kind of hell (that they don’t believe in, incidentally) and you go straight to my shitlist. As mythologies for exploring the human condition I have no problem with them. Why is the Koran considered a religion while the Prose Edda is considered a fantasy? Something to think about.

Anyway, with those thoughts in mind, today I’m celebrating International Blasphemy Day. You can read all about it here at my friend Michael’s blog. For my part, I want to share today’s Jesus & Mo cartoon. (Jesus & Mo is one of my favourite web-comics. Check it out here.)

2009-09-30

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8 thoughts on “International Blasphemy Day

  1. we simply don’t know for sure, so having any kind of absolute fixed belief is stubborness

    I don’t know anyone who says they know [say] unicorns don’t exist for sure. And when you say there’s neither proof for nor against it makes it sound like a 50-50 case. I think it’s a problem just with the wording that’s used — with unicorns I’d say it’s more like 99-1 so when someone says “unicorns don’t exist” they are more likely to be thinking it with some caveat (eg. it’s 99-1).

    Good old Russel’s cuppatea clears up this confusion:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot

  2. Michael – I agree completely. However, that’s not really the point of this posting, which is why I sort of brushed past it. It’s a debate that’s been had, is being had and will be had forever more. But even if we have 0.001% doubt (which we do, obviously) then we can’t say we have any absolute truths. That was my point here.

  3. True, it’s just that the average person stumbling on the post could well interpret what you said in the wrong way hence my kneejerk clarification.

    But not your regular readers of course!

  4. I always read your comments, Alan. πŸ™‚

    I’m agnostic, simply because I can’t prove that there isn’t a power out there. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs as long as they don’t try to force-feed them to me.

  5. Yeah, I agree that we don’t and can’t know everything. That said, when questioned I tell people I’m an atheist…not because I have a dogmatic belief that there is no god but like the teacup thing, I’m pretty sure there isn’t one. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

    Should I wear my devil’s horns today (Halloween headband) in honor of Blasphemy day? Hmmmm…I wonder. πŸ˜€

    Thank you for the comic link. I’d never hear of “Jesus & Mo” before. πŸ™‚

  6. ganymeder – I can understand that. It’s a bit of a mouthful to say something like “intellectually agnostic with heavy atheistic tendencies”. And welcome to Jesus & Mo. πŸ™‚

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