by Sam King
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Many years ago, when humans first became capable of speech, someone probably blurted out, “Hey, where you goin’ with my woman?”
I didn’t say they were proficient at it.
OK. Fast forward. Eventually there came a time when someone asked, “Where do we come from?”
To which the reply was probably, “Gee, I don’t know. Where you goin’ with my woman”
This question probably stuck in the back of the second man’s mind and nagged him incessantly (not unlike his woman did no doubt) until and after the moment he was clubbing his neighbor’s significant other over the head pondering aloud, “Where do we come from?”
As you might well imagine, in a relatively short time (compared to the incomprehensible age of the universe) the whole community was shaking their collective head murmuring, “Where did we come from, and what happened to all the women?”
Well this society just happened to have a leader. As is the case with most leaders, this fellow seemed very much in like with himself. Yes, he thought he was a swell guy. He also professed himself to be the wisest in all the land. (This is why folks liked him so much and decided to make him leader. Not because he was the only one who could make fire.)
And so, in an attempt to buy himself some time so as not to look unwise, he told the people, “The answer to your question is very complicated. That means you will not “get it”. I will need three days in order to organize my thoughts so that I might be able to relate to your simple minds. In three days you will have my answer. He then retreated to his quarters.
The people anxiously awaited the return of their wise leader outside of his quarters. To pass the time, they offered their own musings as to where they may have come from. They did not realize the leader’s cave had great acoustics and he could hear their every whisper.
“Maybe we crawled up from the ground like the may apple.” one man offered.
“Or we fell from the sky like the rain.” said another.
“Or we crawled from the marsh like the frog.”
And on it went uninterrupted for three days as the leader listened. Now he was beginning to become worried. “So many different theories,” he thought. “ If I choose one of my people’s, I will surely not look any wiser than him.” And so he decided, “ I will tell them we were created by the hands of an immortal being from far away in the sky. This way they will not be able to refute me. And I will tell them that he will only speak to the wise. This way they will have less cause to doubt me, for they will only be able to speak to him through me. And I shall retain my status and power.”
And so he returned to his people on the third day and told them this. They were in awe. Each man was so relieved to hear that his neighbor was not correct in his assumption that he thought not of questioning the leader. They ate, drank and were merry and engaged in all sorts of acts that today would seem unholy. And faintly in the background you may have heard the leader say to himself, “And they wonder why they can’t keep track of their women. I’ve got to put a stop to this.”
And so began organized religion.
Where do we come from? I don’t know. Where do we go? Your guess is as good as mine. I regard theists and atheists in the same manner. A person who is willing to uphold something that cannot be proven is the same sort of person who might believe that lying is sometimes justifiable. If you can’t be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with? As for organized theist religion I sometimes find myself puzzled whether the religion serves god or god serves the religion.
May the world find peace.