Well, I received a rather crazy letter in the mail today informing me that the writer of the letter was a Christian and that I was not. And that’s about the only coherent thing about the letter. The insane ramblings of this anonymous manifesto went on for three typo ridden pages of social hatred and confused theology. Since it was a pretty funny read I decided to post the contents of the letter here. The typos, horrendous overuse of quotation marks, and over all abashment of logic and the English language are the “author’s”, not mine 😄
To all “free thinkers” of the Southern Minnesota Atheist Society
Over the time of recorded history it seems as though humans have been obsessed with the concept of an “illusive” higher being or beings. When or from where did the idea of “deities” “Gods” emanate? Did early humans realize that they could not control the inexplainable occurrences of nature? Was it during some stage in the development of the human mind that our ancestors began to recognize that they could “imagine”? Did early man vary in his ability to “imagine”? If there was a variation did those with more “imaginative” brains (smarter? More intelligent?) sit around and imagine “beings” that could (would) ultimately serve as an effective control over the less than “imaginative” day laborers who were busy with the business of keeping the group or self alive? Did this control help or hinder the development of a group concept of survival? The developmental aspect of control is easy to observe. One needs only to watch a movie on infants interacting. It can be temporarily amusing to watch as these partially mobile humans commit acts of overt aggression as one physically takes a toy from the other. The amusement is short lived however when we must wonder whether or not the aggressive child is reacting to the covert messages from the various gene segments that might give rise to this behavior. Does the aggressor have more”controlling” genes? And what is going on with the genes of the non-aggressor? Does this second child possess “coping” genes? Do these same genes play a very important part in how an individual develops in society? Are our thoughts and lives programmed by this ancestral DNA? If so then we as humans are doomed to behave a certain way. Is there nothing we can do about it? Can we now use this as an excuse for “antisocial” behavior? Now instead of “the devil made me do it” (or is the devil a deity that does not exist?” we can blame it on our ever powerful DNA. There are words that our society has developed and those are “barbaric” and “civilized” It is here that I must interject some musings of Sarte when he suggested that the man called Jesus was an example of the highest level of “unbarbarism”. In other words the most civilized of human beings. For some of us the goal of becoming more “civilized” is a worthy one. But then that brings us to the dilemma of free choice. And when did this all happen? It is quite a burdensome human trait. Come on, we need some help here! Some guidance perhaps to help us “civilize” (or not) this very controlling DNA of ours. Are our actions “good” or “bad”? Good or bad for whom or what? Ourselves? Society? It is these choices that we are expected to make everyday that might cause us to rethink our “free thinking” or “imaginative” thoughts.
And then we come to the question about when “free thinking” evolved. Is free thinking unfettered imagination? If we are products of “divine” creation then what was the “Creator” aiming for when He endowed us with this bothersome aspect of humanity. It is quite a chore to be obliged to “think for oneself”. Therefore some of us might choose the seemingly safe and comfortable life of having our choices made for us.
Whether we believe in our advanced imaginations that we are the result of “divine creation” or the up-to-date version of ‘sequential metamorphosing’ of our DNA we are still faced with the dilemma of “really, how did I get here” “what am I doing here” and “for what reason am I here”. Basically “whats it all about and why”. Therefore many of us seek for a “meaningful” existence. Maybe even a civilized existence.
It is at this point that all of us “free thinkers” must find our own path. It seems as though some of us might seek a guidance system to help us understand “what its all about”. Maybe some of us a need to ave a meaningful, understandable existence. There are available to us philosophies that are as variable and unpredictable as our constantly changing DNA. Who knows which philosophy is best?. What can we depend on to be the “truth”? Absolutely nothing that is “testable” or “provable”. And so we choose the philosophy that best fits our needs. It apparently neither right or wrong for that person. And it is with the advent of “imaginative” philosophies we reach the time in human history that these ideas were written down to be shared by all. Varied and “fickle” philosophies became very controlling and very useful for the “controller”. It is very easy to peruse the writings of the “Homeric Age” et. al. And recognize the abundance of “imaginary” dieties that controlled the thoughts and actions of the “common” man. Once again it seems evident to me that the more “imaginative brains” sat around eating bon bons while the not so smart y did all the hard physical work. This physical work was necessary to keep the “smart” ones in bon bons. Wow that is a bit similar to our “free” country today where the “not so smart” work hard to keep the “ereforesmart” guys in luxury. So the concept of “imagination” of “free thinking” became a very lucrative endeavor. If the establishment of “deities” was not necessary to the developing human society it certainly became an integral part of it. Perhaps the greatest puzzle to me is how the diverse and spatially distant societies came up with similar practices. Native Americans, Mayans and Polynesians to mention just a few. It is almost impossible for me to understand the controlling reward gained from human sacrifice in either ancient or modern cultures. And here I refer again to the concept of “free choice”. In our society for one to decide to sacrifice a human being to the American “god” of “convenience” (for that is the controlling deity in this case) rather than acknowledging the value of the contribution to the foundation of an enduring society is both short sighted and quite ignorant about the historical fate of ancient civilizations. I am not discussing right or wrong but simply blind stupidity. Other cultures in the world do not seem to serve the “god” of convenience and proceed to populate their group apparently without regard to social inconvenience.
It is at this point I must go on to discuss what I understand to be the basic idea of atheism. It seems to be a strong belief that here are no gods, spirits, angels, or devils. In other words no visible, testable controllers. WOW, what freedom that must be. So I allow myself a flight of fantasy and imagine having a really bad day. No one did homage to my grandiose, self centered, intelligent, beautiful, terrific self. I am feeling “down”. But happily for me my philosophical elitism provides for me a solution. Since there is no guilt, no remorse or fear in any hereafter, I can kill myself. So whats the big deal? Some efficient plant or worm will soon make use of my molecules. Now back to reality. That scenario doesn’t work for me and the despondency of poor “Hamlet” comes to mind. He simply says he would rather “bear these ills we have than fly to those we know not of, thus conscience does make cowards of us all”. I am a coward. I could not kill myself because of my “illusive controller”. Deep within my psyche I have some messages. Messages that remind me of my obligations to my fellow man. One obligation prevents me from performing the singularily most selfish act I can think of-suicide. Does being an atheist allow you to be devoid of these obligations? How refreshing not to have to be nice or kind of thoughtful but instead feel the right to be cruel and sadistic. How relaxing not to be afraid of anything, no stress. You guys must know constant calmness. No ulcers, no hypertension, no heart disease etc.etc. So then I say to the atheist, enjoy your implicit freedom from controlling, imagined and illusive “deities” but be aware of the gods that are not imagined or illusive and are horribly controlling. These gods are abundant in our American culture and we all pay homage to them with a profound dedication that wold make even the most “God fearing” Christian look weak. What are these gods you ask. Before I discuss them it might e helpful if we recognize the feeling of being close to a god. I would suggest that there is a definite euphoria as we leave the realm of the mundane to be elevated to dwell on the level where gods abide. “Man I feel so turned on” etc.
What are these American “gods” I referred to? One I have already mentioned, the god of convenience. Do homage to this deity by ridding yourself of anything inconvenient-a stupid friend, a boss, a wife, a husband, a job, an uncool car, a baby or anything else that is boring to your lofty self. “It feels good to be rid of…….”.
The god of “fashion”.It is here that the so-called free thinking, free choice people ignore the reality of finance and pay homage(and I do mean pay) “I bought this and it made me feel so special”. Just ignore the cost.
The god of “Sex”. I mean really can you get any closer to a “godly” level than when you have an orgasm? Trouble is it doesn’t last very long and so the sex god (like other gods) demands constant homage. Then we have the god of “food”, the god of “booze”, the god of “drugs” the god of “physicality” the god of ultimate control “guns”, the god of “self”(psychopathic personality) etc.
And so my atheistic scholars you are not about to serve an illusive, imagined deity but are indeed very bonded to the demands of real predictable “gods”. Perhaps these gods will help you to know “who you really are”. My problem with these gods is that they are always changing and it is really costly to me in mind, body and pocket book to aways be popular and “cool”. Therefore I do not serve them even though my personal space is always invaded by their advertising “sermons”. At least a member of an organized religion it is a once a week sermon if I so choose to attend.
It is necessary in this treatise to address the history of each faction(recorded-actual or otherwise). The history of both reveals practices heavily laden with much “ungoodness”as each fashion attempted to reach their ideological goals. That is in the past but maybe knowing about these horrible deeds would help us make better choices in our interactions with humanity. Very likely not as human nature (DNA) is quite “headstrong” and there is a tendency for history to be repeated.
I now share with you my personal belief. Believe me when I say that I am a discerning follower of the teaching of Jesus the Christ. Part of our heritage is the involvement with the laws of the Jewish religion. Now I have no intention of pretending to be knowledgeable about the 600 plus laws they live by. I do know that there are some practices the early Isralites followed that according to my resanoning they could not have discovered by trial and error. How did they know not to eat pork at a time when pigs ate garbage and were filled with parasites that could infect humans? How did they know not to drink the blood that we know is filled with waste products? How did they know not to practice incest (yes, I know about Lot and his daughters) when it would eventually produce less than perfect offspring? The practice of circumcisn, a personal hygiene thing for them but I doubt if they had knowledge at that time to recognize that the foreskin could harbor “germs”. The Jews had definite ideas about “clean vs. unclean” and the world didn’t know about germs until the middle of the 1800’s. And if you are curious about the “Big Bang” just read the first verse of Genesis.
These things made me think that there was some “higher thinker”. A personal near death experience when I was only 12 helped me know I was not alone. For me it has been a good relationship. I like the feeling that there is an “all knowing” being and when I pray (I don’t know how to do the impressive lofty thing but instead) I kinda pray on the run like “I could use a little help here” “Thanks much I really appreciated that” “You are one cool dude to put that thought into my head” Yes I pray Our Lords prayer cause it seems to cover a lot. What I really find fantastic are the teachings of Jesus (as found in places like His sermon on the Mount) Those are really good guidances for me and how I want to live my life and treat my fellow man. My Jesus was no wimp, in addition to kindness and love He displayed anger and sadness. I am sad about how the Jews apparently felt e was such a threat to their controlling beliefs that they had to get rid of Him. I sure would have called in the troops and run them through, but He chose to be subjected to the words death possible. It teaches the Christian a lot and it s here that science explanation goes out the window. He didn’t die, but experienced a phenomenon that is hard to understand (like beam me up Scotty) and so I don’t try to analyze it with my limited “knowledge”. I just believe and that philosophy works for me cause I sure have not found any other to help me to understand this messy humanity
So this ends my message to you and your group of “free thinkers”. You all are unencumbered by the mental heaviness of organized religion, belief in something that might be “smarter” than you. This gives you all the freedom to treat your fellow beings however your primitive DNA dictates. Because after all for you and your scholars there is no heaven and there is no hell. You all can live your lives in complete abandon answerable neither to ourselves or one another and certainly not any “invisible” controller. It would seem you have nothing to lose, so enjoy!!!! CAUTION You might be in for a big surprise-who knows?
What did I tell you? Is that funny or what? Honestly, I would love to write back to my new pen pal, but unfortunately they forgot to sign it or put a return address on it. It’s almost as if they wanted to hide from their actions.
I really loved the bit about all atheists wanting to commit suicide. I was not aware I was so suicidal. Well, I’ve decided to keep myself around so this person has someone to write to. Be a friend, that’s what I always say.
I also love the “all of us “free thinkers” must find our own path” sentiment. But, apparently my “own path” needs to be just like theirs in order to keep me from from receiving annoying letters in the mail. I am glad that they included their personal beliefs in the letter though, so that I can start being more like them.
Overall, I sense a lot of anger and resentment in this letter; he seems to really hate Jews (“run them through”? too bad he wasn’t there to give Jesus some pointers), perhaps even more than atheists. Well, I for one, enjoy my life. And I really do hope that this person starts enjoying theirs. After all, once we have universal health care, they will be able to get the medication they so sorely need.