I desire, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument; also that the women should dress themselves modestly and decently in suitable clothing, not with their hair braided, or with gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, but with good works, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God. Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty
1 Timothy chapter 2
Several things have bothered me lately and I thought I would take the time to lay them out in writing. I will approach them in order of increasing philosophic intensity.
The first thing that has bothered me greatly is the way in which some people say the word coupon. I was at a Running Room the other night and heard the pronunciation “cuepon” more times than my patience would allow for. How people get from the “cou,” like chicken coup, to “cue,” like the letter Q, is beyond me. I listened to one particular woman say this a few times and after she went for her run I vented to the employee on staff. Moments later a man returned who rather liked his running shoes. He said to me “I’ll have to come back and buy a pair when I get my cuepon.”
The next thing that bothers me is something that I have been saying lately. When leaving an account I often say “We’ll see you later” instead of simply saying “I’ll see you later.” Who the fuck are the other people I’m referring too? I have noticed that this is a common practice among men who wear dress clothes. Perhaps it is the discomfort of leather shoes that messes with our minds. I’m saying it now. No one likes wearing dress shoes. Can we just all agree that they are stupid and wear whatever is most comfortable? I find it so strange that it can be universally agreed upon that when doing business we should all be uncomfortable because someone decided these shoes are formal. Don’t even get me started on how stupid ties are. Imagine the first guy to bust one of those out. Why is wrapping a piece of cloth around your neck formal but wrapping a piece of cloth around your head is too gansta?
The third thing that bothers me to the point of distraction is the thought that suggestion kills free will. Allow me to illustrate. Say you are trying to decide between two types of gum. One is fairly generic and you just saw a sexy commercial promoting the other. You, being a free spirit, anti-establishment sort of person, instinctively think to go against the grain and chose the less commercial brand. However, you then wonder “Am I just picking this one in order to do the opposite of what I’m told?” It then seems like you are just as much a victim of advertising as the awkward teenagers who think that chewing Stride gum will get them girls. An infinite regress akin to the never-ending mirrors in a barbershop thus ensues. No matter what choice you make it is ultimately not a free one.
And finally, I heard the most disgusting statement the other night. I was at Ironwood listening to the open mic musicians. Several of my friends were playing and I needed a couple of drinks. I sat at the bar for a while but when the place started to clear I started table hoping. I spoke with this one guy David for quite some time. He has played a lot of venues around town and was giving me tips about the ones to avoid and the ones to go for. He is a very skilled guitar player and we hit it off…at first. I’ll come back to David. I listened to several more acts play and then at around 1am I found myself talking to a girl named Selena. She intrigued me as I heard her ranting about never wanting to buy a house or have kids or be tied down in any way. All she wanted was to be a musician. I interjected and suggested that she watch out for jealous assistants (a joke only funny if you know the Spanish pop star…but even then it’s not that funny). Anyway, I asked her about where she usually plays around town. Her main venue was her Unitarian church. But then she kept saying how it confused her. Over and over again she talked about how player there confused her. I pried her further and before I knew it we were having one of those late night, philosophical bar talks. It was amiable enough until David started interjecting with his bullshit Creationist viewpoints. I forget sometimes just how religious Alberta is. It is literally like Texas Jr. in many respects – which is not great for someone who is a Libertarian, somewhat Earthy, and an Atheist. Anyway, the table now consisted of four: Selena, David, Myself, and my friend Joanna (mother of one…which will become important in a second). Joanna is a self-proclaimed agnostic, though she does believe in God. That being said she is very much anti-religion.
I have gotten to the point where I no longer see the point in discussion arguments for the existence of God. There simply is not a single logical argument that holds any water. Either the premises are flawed or the conclusion does not naturally follow the premises (Ex. The cosmological argument or the teleological argument). When you stand up out of the armchair things become even worse for the theist. There is no archeological evidence to support any of the important events in the Bible. In fact, the earliest established Biblical figure is King David. For more on this check out Nova’s The Bible’s Buried Secrets. It is actually really neat to see how the Old Testament came about. Likewise, there is no historical evidence to support miraculous claims in the Bible. For example, when Jesus is crucified the Earth goes dark for several hours, massive earthquakes shake the landscape and zombie Saints rise up out of their graves and march into the city. One would think that other people may have written about such things. And finally, science, while it cannot disprove God, seems to suggest a universe with no God in every field. So the point is I’m just not interested in arguing for the existence of God anymore, but rather discussing the repercussions of a belief in God; namely morality.
David was talking about how we were created in God’s image. I asked him about people born with birth defects, like an extra mouth or a body completely covered in hair, or the mentally challenged. Were they created in God’s image too? He just looked at me blankly and said “Yes.” Nothing more. I then asked him about S.I.D.S (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), knowing that this would be important to Joanna. I told him about my brother’s friend’s baby. He was a perfectly healthy, six week old baby but he died in his sleep for some unknown reason. I asked why God would allow this to happen. What he said next pierced me so deep that I’ve never felt so uncomfortable in my whole life. He shrugged slightly and said “It’s the curse of Eden.” Instantly I slid my chair out and said “K. Good night” and stormed out the bar and back to my house as quickly as I could. As I was walking out I could hear Joanna lay into him.
I was actually proud of myself for just politely exiting the conversation. Not because I was worried about hurting David’s feelings or anything but because he wasn’t entitled to anything else. It takes a certain amount of respect to say “Fuck you” to someone. When you openly disagree with someone or tell them off you are acknowledging that their opinions are important to you and that you care enough about them to try and enlighten them. After a statement like that I lost all respect for him that I had gained earlier in the evening.
Allow me to explain what the above statement actually means, for those not familiar with the main tenant of Christianity. Eve tempted Adam with the fruit of knowledge. When they ate the fruit they lost their innocence and disobeyed God in the process. This was the Original Sin. Now, since God punishes unruliness to the 3rd and 4th generation every human born automatically inherits the sin of his or her ancestors. In fact, it has been argued that at the moment of conception the zygote is a sinner and must be saved. In the Old Testament the Jews atoned for their sins by sacrificing animals. They would somehow transfer their sins onto the animal and then slaughter it because in Yahweh’s fucked up system only blood can atone for sin (plus, the odour is pleasing to him). In the New Testament God sends his son (himself) to be the ultimate sacrifice and atone for all the sin of humanity (hence the title “Lamb of God”). I guess the effect wore off because somehow this 6-week old infant was a dirty sinner and had to die. The idea that one should be held accountable for the sins of another is, I would say, necessarily immoral. I don’t know which is worse; a God that would randomly kill infants because some guy ate an apple or a person who is not only okay with this, but loves this God unconditionally.
I have graduated beyond arguing for the existence of God. I just don’t care anymore. I am debating graduating beyond acknowledging religion in any capacity. Though it would be nice to never have to deal with any of this anymore I also feel like I would simply be running away from a very serious problem. Maybe I should just move to Japan. It is completely secular and has the lowest incidence of rape. Ya!
Oh, and sushi.