Great Jesus & Mo cartoon again.
The best bit, and the most crucial bit that applies to all religious books is number 1:
1. This is true
This is the one and only necessary assumption in any religion to make it worthy of the name. It must declare its own truth. Of course (snigger :) (more smugness to come) we all know this is pure bollocks don’t we.
I get regular visits from Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are really nice people (at least to ones who visit me are). I think they like me and return often for the following reasons:
(a) I don’t slam the door in their faces;
(b) they haven’t converted me yet, so I suspect, like a lottery rollover, my cache goes up with each rejection;
(c) the religious are masochists (why else invent sin and then admit to bing up to the neck in it).
Anyway, I keep two things handy for when they call.
The first is a copy of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. They always quote from it incorrectly and it’s an easy book to show them they’ve been misled. They do go through some other topics, such as DNA, irreducible complexity, but I usually wing it once we get past Darwin, because it would take too long to go through any book to convince them (“Let’s start with basic chemistry…”). I know, it’s wrong of me, but I argue from authority of knowing just a bit more about this stuff than they do. As much as I can make points against Behe’s arguments generally, if they brought him along as a guest doorstepper I might be screwed on the biology, because I’m not a biologist.
But I digress, again. The second, and most important thing I keep nearby is a piece of paper, oh and a pen – so that’s three things I keep near by, but you know what I mean.
And on that piece of paper I write words to this effect:
This paper contains the word of God as revealed to Ron Murphy. If you’re here while he’s writing this you too must bear witness to this miracle. Now, as your God I command you to ignore the Bible, Koran, gold tablets and any other bollocks you may have come across telling absolute crap about me. I can swear by the way. I am God after all. Though the atheists got it wrong, they got it wrong for the right reasons – they don’t believe any old crap in a document claiming to be the revealed truth. What sort of fucking argument is that?! Anyway, on this occasion it happens to be the truth. However, I’ll forgive you not believing it if you throw it in the bin. On one condition: you throw your crappy book in the bin too and start thinking for yourself.
No, I don’t really write all that, I just feel as though I want to. A sentence or two is usually enough to make the point.
But, miracle of miracles, their faith survives even this cutting blow. What the fuck can I do?
This for me says everything about religious imaginative invention. It encapsulates millenia of theology as Little Girl rationalises uncertainties and contradictions in what pops into her head.
And her punch line:
It’s true! I know because I do!
And Little Girl here provides us with the best accommodationism I’ve ever come across: Genesis plus Evolution! It’s true!
And this is what you get when It’s true! is put into practice. Enjoy!