Saturday, August 21, 2010

Eff the ineffable

Religions must stress "Faith", and or referred as "Faiths" because there is no evidence for any of it.

The 21st century is cursed with the coming hegemony of the scientific method; we now pry into the sausage-making of the Faiths and amongst the blobs of fatty meats we find a slippery greasy paper trail in the holy documentation, which was assembled back when there was not much facility for independent fact-checking.

There is one prominent faith around today whose claims could quite easily be fact-checked into oblivion if that's all it took, Mormonism and their Book of Mormon with its astounding tales of vast pre-Columbian kingdoms where everybody had pseudo-Semitic names, and Old Testament technology like iron and wheat which never ever has shown up in any archeological dig anywhere in the Americas. The mother of all battles supposedly took place in Upstate New York.

Today all controversy is at home on the internet, and there is enough material and discussion and dissection available by simple search to see how the sausage called Christianity was stuffed.
The first bad news for our childhood memories of sunday school is that Jesus (which is by the way 'sausage' is pronounced backwards) is probably about as real as the Angel Moroni, a literary character composed by the author of the Gospel of Mark, the other canonical gospels being merely franchise reboots.

But even worse it's possible the character of Jesus is based on much-maligned Simon Magus, just sexed up to act more like the holy men of the Old Testament, but spouting comforting Cynic bromides instead of insane damnations like Isaiah and Elijah; and the Epistles of Paul were first written by Simon Magus but the names were changed to protect the innocent, and the Acts of the Apostles written to provide a back-story for the Paul character by the same Luke who cleaned up the poor Greek of Mark and Matthew. The Gospel of Mark was written close enough to reality, unlike most 'Gnostic' style stories, to be plausible, and the public ate it up. Once it was believed to be literal and not an allegory (which may have been the original intention of the author!) it became great, greater than its origin, because like the Book of Mormon, it gave people tremendous control over their mental world, they invested themselves in a partnership with God, and what a friend to have, no problem facing death when God has you covered with eternal paradise.

The martyrs of the early Christian church could face death, really nasty death, because they believed allegories were real. There weren't many Gnostics fighting lions, because in the Gnostic fairyland everything groovy is ineffable and there are no facts known well enough to think about dying for.

So do not sneer when the curtain is pulled back and there are no facts, please reflect with respect that an author can change history.