Nature is an excellent teacher to the obvious inadequacy of faith.
I read a book when I was a teenager called The Tracker, by Tom Brown. I still have a copy and my 7 year old daughter is a big fan of identifying tracks we find out on our hikes.
Anyway, I was living in the mountains working as a wrangler, guide, and packer for an outfit called High Country Packers and I read The Tracker. There’s a section about stalking deer, and if you’re patent and do it right, you can walk right up to them. So I gave it a try. There was a two point mule deer enjoying a salt-lick we had near camp to attract wildlife and I started after him. I guess it took an hour or so to walk up to him. He kept staring, dipping his head, and shifting his ears with a curious look on his face. Deer are reactive to movement, sound, and smell, so the trick is to be downwind, only moving when the deer isn’t looking—and be patient (and try not to laugh). I got to within ten feet and I gradually knelt down, took my little 110 out of my shirt pocket and took a whole roll of pictures. When I was done I moved a little hand wave and said “boo”. That deer bolted with an ass-over-tea-kettle stumble and off he went. Boom! I got back home when winter came and the film was missing. It’s a great story but I have no proof.
One difference between my story and religion; you can test the story for yourself and I am confident many if you could have similar results. Christianity has a story too, and if you test it you will see that it doesn’t add up in even one category or catch phrase.
I would like to find that film someday but no worries, I have honed the craft pretty well over the years. Unlike religion, it can be tested and demonstrated without excuse. Religions deferred method of responsibility is killing the planet. Nobody is coming to fix this, but unlike the deer, it won’t seem to go away with a hand wave and a boo. But like the deer, their colorblind to the obvious standing in front of them.
When I was a kid my neighbor and I got into dirt biking. I started out buying a minibike with money I had saved from a paper route. It was a 1970 honda 50 trail bike that I would like to have back about now. Later I got a TM100, and at 15 I got a CR 125. Screaming machine!
My neighbors dad Mr-T, is an old blues guitarist, friends with the late BB King, and I learned to play on his wine red Gibson ES330, the most beautiful guitar on planet earth. Anyway, when I rode my moto to his house he would call me Bonzippa. “Who’s Bonzippa” I asked. He explained who this character was, and it described something like this photo below.
This “Bonzippa” would ride wheelies and speed around the country like a mad man. Mr-T would always tell stories about crazy things this moto nut would do on his bike, and I would try to imitate it the best I could. Later, I told my kids about Bonzippa, and referred to them in the same adoring, storytelling manner until Bonzippa was as real to them as he was to me. -Enter the internet.
Turns out there are no google hits that I can find anywhere for Bonzippa. He didn’t exist. Mr-T made it up, and I passed it on, all the while telling my kids about the heroic riding of the great Bonzippa. It would be a great story, but nothing more. -Enter Religion
How far can story telling can go in my little world? Imagine if Mr-T had a pulpit and ten minutes of fame? Religion is expert and storytelling lies to induce positive feelings with fables. “Go te into the world, and preach my gospel”. Say whatever you want, just link it to Jesus and it will be so.
George Dantzig recalls his story “It happened because during my first year at Berkeley I arrived late one day at one of [Jerzy] Neyman’s classes. On the blackboard there were two (math) problems that I assumed had been assigned for homework. I copied them down. A few days later I apologized to Neyman for taking so long to do the homework — the problems seemed to be a little harder than usual. I asked him if he still wanted it. He told me to throw it on his desk. I did so reluctantly because his desk was covered with such a heap of papers that I feared my homework would be lost there forever. About six weeks later, one Sunday morning about eight o’clock, [my wife] Anne and I were awakened by someone banging on our front door. It was Neyman. He rushed in with papers in hand, all excited: “I’ve just written an introduction to one of your papers. Read it so I can send it out right away for publication.” For a minute I had no idea what he was talking about. To make a long story short, the problems on the blackboard that I had solved thinking they were homework were in fact two famous unsolved problems in statistics.
A year later, when I began to worry about a thesis topic, Neyman just shrugged and told me to wrap the two problems in a binder and he would accept them as my thesis.
Suppose Dantzig had been on time for class, and heard the news that the problems were unsolvable?
Christianity is an expert at pigeonholing it’s members that the problems can’t be solved. Waiting for the messiah to solve them, or being trained from birth that without god you are nothing. Prayer and hope are nothing but disabling crutches for the masses to restrict human potential by waiting. It needs to stop.
Years later George was told by a friend that he heard his story from the preacher at church. It was so embellished that it was hardly recognizable. Weird huh?
Here’s the whole story from Snopes
photo credit TheCommonAtheist “Sunset from my house” 2018