Vishnu Were Here
If you really want to behold a spectacle of religious delusion, crankiness, whining, goading, baiting, sophomoric name-calling, and all-around cyber-bullying (in which I shamefully partake to promote the site when the mood strikes me), hop on over to the Yahoo Answers Religion & Spirituality forum. I set up a profile and posted a few questions to stoke a few fires, and I smeared my feces on so many answers that I’ve lost count.
The Fundamentalist Christian mind functions at a very primitive level, so it’s easy (and fun!) to get frothy Fundies to self-incriminate. (Self-incrimination occurs when Christians use atheistic arguments to negate or diminish the beliefs of rival religions.) The easiest way to do this is to set them up to admit that other major world religions (we’re talking BILLIONS of adherents here) have unchanging, unwavering, false beliefs. And as we all know, fixed false beliefs are by definition founded in delusion. And so I decided to target the polytheistic beliefs of Hindus.
Nothing personal to the fine people of the Hindu faith. If you can get past the stink of curry and cumin, they’re kind, courteous, soft-spoken, benign people. And they’re more than happy to read you a scripted answer from a tech support manual while Muslims prefer to decapitate infidels, subjugate women, and fly planes into buildings. But be that as it may, Hindu beliefs are still whacked-out bronze-age mythology. And every Christian knows it.
FACT: Christians can sugar-coat and obfuscate to their heart’s content, but they believe that Hindu beliefs are completely false in every sense and are therefore founded in delusion. They refrain from using such strong negative words for the slippery slope it presents, but that’s exactly what they believe. And before you kick and scream at the word, know that “delusional” neither means nor implies psychosis, schizophrenia, or even general stupidity. All it defines in everyday language is a fixed belief that is false, fanciful, or derived from deception.
One last time. Per the Christian worldview, Hinduism is a fixed belief that is false and fanciful and derived from deception (per indoctrination and teachings), and that makes it founded in delusion.
I posted my question with a prediction: Christians would either ignore the question so as not to self-incriminate, or they would obfuscate with name calling, personal attacks, or trying to change the topic or the question itself.
Here’s my posting:
I find it interesting that you can’t post a “For Christians” question (from an atheist) without 100 Christians frantically clicking the reply button – until you ask a question that might have those same people labeling others who believe in different gods as delusional. It’s sort of like expecting the rapist murderer to refer to the car thief as a criminal. It’s too self-incriminating. People who believe in god just might be delusional? Ooooh. They don’t want to go there.
So we’re gonna try this again because we can’t find one intellectually honest Christian who can answer a simple yes or no question with a yes or no.
First, we all know what delusional means. It’s “a fixed false belief” and not inherently mean or insulting. Ever watch an American Idol audition episode? You and I both sit on our couches labeling so many of these people as delusional. They can’t sing a lick yet rip into the judges for not seeing their apparent talent. Don’t harp on the word as an excuse to obfuscate. You know what it means and it’s a fair word to use. If it bothers you so much then choose another. Fine. But under your breath you’re muttering, “Man, these people are fucking delusional.” And we both know it.
Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion, right behind Christianity and Islam. There are approximately ONE BILLION practicing Hindus on this planet. This represents nearly ONE SEVENTH OF HUMANITY. And we’re not talking about disenfranchised Hindus, people who were born into the religion but don’t really believe it. These are actual self-declared practicing Hindus.
Hinduism is a polytheistic religion having many gods (330 million, yes, it’s true). According to Hindu doctrine, Brahma created the world. If you look at the world population, nearly one out of every seven people believes this to be true. And they all reject the notion that Jesus was the son of (any) god.
Okay, I’m gonna help you guys out with a warm-up question:
Some guy named Lenny is sitting on a park bench, eyes closed, softly talking to his god. He tells you that he does not believe that Jesus was the son of god. He says that his god, the one TRUE god, is an invisible pink unicorn named Wicki-Wicki, and that it was HE who created the world. Lenny tells you that his bible claims this to be an undeniable, irrefutable, patently obvious fact. Is Lenny delusional? No obfuscating please. Yes or no?
Christians know the answer is yes.
Now the one that counts:
Some guy named Raj is sitting on a park bench, eyes closed, softly talking to his god. He tells you that he does not believe that Jesus was the son of god. He says that his god, the one TRUE god, is a deity named Brahma, and that it was HE who created the world. Raj tells you that his bible claims this to be an undeniable, irrefutable, patently obvious fact. Is Raj delusional? No obfuscating please. Yes or no?
Christians know the answer is yes…but they can’t bring themselves to admit it to an atheist.
Next we’ll ask the same question of Muslims and Mormons and all other world religions. And when we’re done we will have demonstrated (per the Christian worldview) that it is possible for BILLIONS of people to be thoroughly delusional about their chosen religious beliefs – quite possibly leaving the minority to be right. Imagine that.
Remember, there are only 2.1 billion Christians in this world. The vast majority of people on this planet (the other 4.9 billion) believe in something other than Jesus. That’s right. The VAST majority of the world population does NOT believe that Jesus was the son of god. (Remember that the next time some Christian tries to play the numbers game.)
So back to my question…
Well, I made a prediction and it proved itself true. Given the overwhelming general response to any question labeled “For Christians” (try it sometime and see for yourself), it came as no surprise that this question was largely ignored. And all of the responses consisted of personal attacks, name-calling, and obfuscations to change the topic. Not one single responder answered with a yes or a no – not even to the first question about the clearly delusional fellow named Lenny.
I see no need to list all of the responses, but these two (below) typify your average Christian reply to a simple yes or no question where one response makes them look dishonest and the other makes them sound like atheists.
Let them lie to themselves if it will help them sleep well at night, but we all know why they conveniently remained silent on the subject. (Sssshhh. We really don’t want to go there.)
Some might argue that Raj is not delusional because he made a “reasonable” choice to believe, to which I respectfully disagree.
First, who gets to decide what “reasonable” is? Who gets to paint the lines? Christians? Jews? Hindus?
Look, anyone who believes in any god wants to paint that line but only because of the self-incriminating slippery slope they have to navigate when calling someone else’s god-belief false. But here’s the thing, and there’s no getting around it. Whether you believe in any god or not, if you think someone’s god is false then it’s not a “reasonable” choice for anyone per your worldview. And if you’re inclined to argue that it’s a reasonable choice per their worldview, consider this…
Any intellectually honest person (theist or atheist) knows that the Heaven’s Gate cult wackos were delusional in their belief that suicide would transport them to an alien spaceship traveling behind the Hale-Bopp comet. No sane person would consider their belief reasonable under any circumstance or worldview. They were just plain fucking nuts. So then who gets to decide that Raj’s choice to believe that Brahma created the world isn’t just plain fucking nuts?
The answer is surprisingly simple: I get to paint the lines. They’re all unreasonable choices.
It’s so not easy being me.