“If a believer demands that I, as a non believer, observe his taboos in the public domain, he is not asking for my respect, but for my submission.” – Flemming Rose
You know what makes me laugh? When religious people talk about their biblical gobbledygook as if it were somehow real, and then look me straight in the eye and expect me to give their fairy tales the same credence that I reserve for facts. They actually believe that presenting bronze-aged myths as a valid argument against the collective of human scientific intelligence is scientifically acceptable. I find that hilarious.
Take Creationism. Please. The comparison of something as inane, childish and immature as Creationism actually being compared as a viable alternative to Evolution is indicative of a mind that has tumbled far, far down into the rabbit hole of ignorance. Somewhere during the process of intellectual development there was a disconnect in the believer’s ability to discern fantasy from reality and the outlandish, scientifically impossible, physically unrealistic, historically erroneous, intellectually retarded drabble that is contained within the pages of the bible became not only viable, but a more accurate representation of the truth than, well, the actual truth.
Allow Me To Apologize…
Creationism, as with most of the dogma and doctrine of Christianity, contains nothing deserving of equal footing with reality. It is a complete, total and unequivocal myth. It didn’t happen. The possibility of the creation story being even remotely true is not even worth considering. It is, for lack of a better word, bullshit. Not “maybe” bullshit, but just bullshit. It is just not true.
But still, many of the religious go to great lengths to convince as many unsuspecting victims as they can that the earth is six thousand years old, that all life was created in six literal twenty-four hour days, that death and decay came as a result of Adam & Eve’s fall, and that geology must be interpreted in terms of Noah’s Flood.
They want everyone to believe that a relatively unknown and usually confused Hebrew storm god created the Earth and the entire universe in all its majesty just for us little ol’ humans to use and abuse. That we descended not from a common ancestral ape, but from a dirt man who was “married” to a rib-woman that was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.
The method they use to do this is known in religious circles as “Apologetics.” The religious like to think apologetics is based on research, but even your average high-school student understands what real research is, and apologetics is not it. It’s advanced circular logic that starts out with a result and works backward through the bible, using it as a dictionary in an attempt to justify an ass-backward claim that is based on an ancient superstition which still survives due to the stubborn and blind acceptance of severely outdated and disproved information.
Basically, the field of apologetics is an entire discipline built around the concept of getting people to believe the biggest bullshit stories to ever come across the pike. And the harder they try to make sense out of their beliefs, the more ridiculous they sound, because something that is thoroughly explainable by science, such as Evolution, cannot even be considered by the apologist – even if it makes perfect sense. They desperately grasp at the most ridiculous explanations for aspects of our existence because they must sate their cognitive dissonance without compromising their beliefs.
See No Evil, Hear No Evil…
The religious would rather believe the most outlandish, childish and utterly impossible dogma over the simple, testable and provable, empirical data offered up by our brightest scientific minds as long as means that they can include god and their Scriptures as part of their stories. Going through life with one hand covering your eyes, the other one over your ears while blurting out “la la la I can’t hear you,” is no way to go through life, but yet this is what they are essentially doing as they continue their quest to validate the idiocy of their beliefs. The rapid rate of scientific discovery is only paced by the increases in the already overburdened collective juvenile imagination known as systematic theology. The more science discovers, the more the religious have to fight against irrelevance, and thus, the more outlandish their stories become.
No matter how hard even the most dedicated theologian may try, the extraordinary beliefs held by the religious cannot be validated, and the very existence of their gods, angels, demons, miracles, etc., cannot be proven. Christianity has even failed to prove the historicity of its central character, Jesus Christ, nor the existence of his ragtag band of followers that we know as “Apostles.” It’s not like they haven’t had enough time. Yet, they have the audacity to try to school the intellectual and academic world in matters of history, science, cosmology, biology, archaeology, etc., etc.? Really? Seriously? Pretty ballsy if you ask me.
Teaching Calculus To A Toaster…
So, it is not a big secret that I don’t debate Creationists. Of course, this leads many of them to think I cannot hold my own or that I am somehow afraid of losing. But if you’ve been reading me for any length of time you realize this is not the case. Do you want to know why I don’t debate Creationists? I’ll tell you. It’s for the same reason I don’t debate a seven-year-old about a fat old man who lives at the North Pole, hangs out with crafty elves and flies around in a huge sleigh that is powered by magic reindeer and is equipped with a device that can freeze time. For the same reason I don’t debate a six-year-old about a fluffy rabbit that delivers intricately painted eggs by virtue of some sort of cosmic inner global positioning system. For the same reason I don’t debate a five-year-old about a magical being who appears in their bedroom in the middle of the night and buys their teeth for a quarter. For the same reason I don’t try to cast magic spells on a bag of charcoal in hopes that it will turn to gold. Get my drift?
It is almost scandalous that the creation myth survives in this day and age. Even more preposterous is its acceptance as irrefutable fact by those in positions of authority on school boards. That it is believed by sitting United States Senators and Congressmen. That it is believed by all the current GOP Presidential candidates. That there is a very real and concerted effort to have creationism replace real science in our public schools. It saddens me that there are so many people who really believe in creationism, as well as all the other batshittery that is packed into the bible that has no place on the same dais as scientific or historical fact.
There is no equality between fact and fiction, and anyone who purports themselves to be an academic and still puts religious dogma up as an ante doesn’t deserve the right to be called anything other than an ignoramus. When the clergy with their “advanced degree” in Theology or Divinity (and maybe even a book out) begin to expound their sermons from their lofty pulpits, you can almost see all sense of reality draining away from the congregation and a semi-zombie glaze appear over their eyes. Sometimes you can even hear them chanting, “Why, yes, destroy my brain and render me intellectually inert for the rest of my life with your vast knowledge of all things God. Please. Hurry.”
That’s DOCTOR Reverend to you…
You might have noticed that my headline today includes a reference to “Dr. Al Stefanelli, PhD.” So, since we’ve just discussed the hijacking of human intelligence by religious dogma, let’s talk a little bit about post-graduate degrees in Theology or Divinity. They are a joke, and not even a funny one. They are meaningless in the real world. Putting a religious diploma up against a real college degree is like putting on equal footing a real birth certificate and the one that comes with a Cabbage Patch doll.
The PhD is also known as the “Doctorate,” and those holding this degree often refer to themselves as “Doctor.” A PhD represents the ultimate of learning, and the world of the PhD is filled with peer reviews and professional scrutiny. A holder of a PhD who makes unfounded or preposterous proclamations or acts irresponsibly in their research will generally be called out by other PhD’s. Failure to reel oneself in could cause a risk of the offending Doctor being chided completely out of relevance by their peers. Additionally, academia maintains a short list of fields of study that one can earn a PhD in. This is to avoid people getting PhD’s in Batshittery, which brings me to…
Paging Dr. Batshit…
With few exceptions, most of the “institutions of learning” that offer advanced degrees in Theology or Divinity are not even recognized by normal, accredited universities. They are largely laughing stocks of the academic world. But they have figured out how to make obscene amounts of money by gratifying the pompous egos of the arrogant clergy who bask in the glory given them by the deluded masses who believe that they are in the presence of an “expert” on all things god-related. Yes, the Doctor of Theology commands the respect of those under his holy tutelage, but the only problem is that the rest of the academic world, for the most part, couldn’t give a flying fuck through a rolling doughnut about these degrees.
Any diploma issued in the fields of Theology or Divinity isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, especially the PhD. Someone who holds a doctorate in Theology or Divinity won’t be given the time of day by a real academic. They are posers. Fakes. Academic frauds. The academic community won’t even give them the time of the day. In fact, the only people who will ever confront them about their “education” are other holders of these bogus doctorates, and then only about doctrinal differences. I find this humorous, because Christianity is already fractured into thousands of different denominations, sects and cults, and many of them have their own schools that offer their own bogus doctorates based on their particular brand of bullshit. This, of course, makes for a lot of arguing about which Doctor is right and which one is going to be roasting in hell because as long as you believe in god, according to someone else you will be going to hell. Doctorate or not.
Two Can Play This Game…
The only thing a doctorate in Theology or Divinity proves is that you’ve wasted an extreme amount of time learning about something that doesn’t exist by studying a book that is filled with inaccuracies, interpolations, errors and outright lies that was written by bronze-aged men who had no clue where thunder and lighting came from, thought the earth was flat and believed that holding a white and black striped stick in front of a pregnant sheep would result in a black and white kid. Believing a lie is one thing. Spending upward of twelve years studying that lie is just plain sad.
So, here’s my plan. Next time I am called to debate a Theologian who possesses a PhD in Theology or Divinity, I am going to insist that I get billed as Dr. Al Stefanelli. You see, I was given a PhD in Heresy by my friend Richard McCargar, the Dean over at Logidea University, which I proudly display in my study. I feel that my PhD holds more weight than a PhD in Theology or Divinity because I have decades of training as a heretic, and my thesis (in the form of my book) is 290 pages of pure, heretical polemic that has been peer-reviewed by other heretics and found to be worthy. I would expect the same respect and recognition that the holder of the PhD in Theology or Divinity commands, and if they wish me to address them as “Doctor,” then they will be expected to address me as such.
And In The End…
I am sure I will receive the usual dosage of cacophonous hate mail from the religious. They will whine about how I have no right to insult them or to diminish their own religious education or the religious education of their blessed and holy representatives of God, blah, blah, blah. This will inevitably be followed by claims that I cannot prove there is no God, or that said God did not create the universe just as it’s written in the bible. That juvenile response is expected, as for the most part, the stupidity of a request to prove a negative is just another piece of reality that eludes the religious.
What they fail to understand is how much of an insult it is to the collective of human intelligence to be expected to believe in their lore, myths and fairy tales. They cannot comprehend how insulting it is to the real members of academia who toiled through many, many years of education to earn their PhD’s, only to have their work mocked by an intellectual infant with a diploma from a glorified Sunday school that reads most ridiculously, “Doctor.”