Rohypnol of the masses

2010-09-08 14:35

I guess now would be the perfect time to talk smack about religion. Muslims must be too feeble with hunger after starving themselves for a month to get all fatwa on my ass, Christians have never been much of a threat since they burnt their last witch and now Steven Hawking, a man with few options but to sit and think a lot, has declared that there is no god.

Well, pfft. I could have told you that.

But it’s always welcome when yet another smarty-pants adds their name to the ever-growing list of out-and-proud atheists, not because it makes me feel smug and self-righteous (although it does), but because, being the eternal optimist that I am, I live in hope that religious people will start to wonder why in burning hell their parents taught them all this god crap in the first place.

Surely at least some of them must have noticed by now that although religion may be high in numbers, it’s nearly flat-lining in brain activity. If there’s any truth to the saying that people get the leaders they deserve, the faithful are being positively punished for their stupidity.

On Team Kafir we have Albert Einstein, Richard Dawkins and the contents of Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, among many thousands of scientists who’ve spent millions of hours scrutinising everything from the tiniest sub-subatomic string thingies to the mind-boggling expanse of the universe (and beyond, if you want to get into the intricacies of multiverse and M-theory).

And on Team Faithful? Well, there’s that farmer guy who tells us we’ll find all the answers we’ll ever need by being more like a potato. Yes, a potato. You won’t need any of that highfalutin' book learning when you’ve discovered your inner spud.

Yes, he sounds like a veritable brainiac. And as it turns out – spoiler alert! – potatoes are sexist homophobes. Who woulda thunk it?

OK, maybe I’m being a bit unfair to pick on Angus Buchan (again), but I’m not exactly spoilt for choice when looking for religious leaders with a grip on reality. Who would you recommend? Ray McCauley? Pope Benedict XVI? Or perhaps I overlooked a Grand Ayatollah who shouldn’t be forced into a straitjacket and carted off to the funny farm before he hurts himself with an uncorked fork?

Throw a potato at academia and you’ll probably injure an atheist – but evidence for the existence of, say, a cosmologist who claims to be just killing time before the Rapture kicks in, is sorely lacking. Yes, there are a few religious intellectuals, but these are exceptions which prove the rule – the rule being that religious people either wilfully ignore evidence contradictory to the knowledge blockage that is their faith, or are – for the most part – functional imbeciles.

But that’s saying more about humanity than it is about religion. Spiritual faith is little more than a hula-hoopian flash in our cultural history timeline, marking the dawn of our sentience as a species, and will probably be long gone before we are.

Sure, atheism was once synonymous with revolutionary thought (the word ‘heretic’ is derived from the Greek hairetikós, meaning the ability to choose for oneself), but it has since grown to also include painfully trendy, pseudo-intellectual assholes (looks up at the ceiling, whistling).

At this rate, it’s just a matter of time before atheism, like religion that came before it, also becomes a pullulating pandemic of idiocy – perhaps even of Buchanian proportions.

After all, we’re just monkeys with medical aid. And although we atheists are presently holding all the clever cards, our inevitable growth will undoubtedly prove for once and for all that we humans don’t need religion to be stupid.

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