I think in the back of every atheist’s mind is the comforting thought that, even if they got it wrong and Heaven and Hell do exist, God will give them credit for integrity. I mean, not believing in God is the expression of the very free will God granted, isn’t it? And, if we are to believe anything that the Church says at all, why not the bit that says God is love.
Or is that kind of like hedging your bets? As if we can rely on God to forgive us because he’s merciful.
But what if he’s not? What if he is actually an extremely angry and punitive Father and he really art in Heaven?
And there is definite evidence of God’s magnanimity in the Old Testament. For example, one day King Saul offers David, Beloved of God, his daughter’s hand in marriage on the condition that he kill 100 Philistines and return with their foreskins as proof. David, an early over-achiever, returns with 200 foreskins, which works out to be a really bad day for the court foreskin-counter.
Now, according to the word of God, those Philistines really came in for a hammering and many and varied are the ways in which they meet their sticky ends. Or, in this case, many are the ways in which their ends became sticky.
And I don’t think atheists should go to their own just reward with the faint hope that Jesus will stick up for them. Even he lost it sometimes, as is evidenced by his somewhat violent behaviour towards the sellers in the temple. What will he make of some left wing, smart arse intellectual who spent his life claiming he had no father?
It all sounds a bit risky to me. Perhaps, as the foreskin-free Philistines found, no matter which we you cut it, not believing in God is even more dangerous than smoking. Verily.
22 responses to “200 Philistine Foreskins”
The problem with Christianity sometimes really is that if it does work exactly as They say it does, would you actually want to believe in or worship that?
Hi Solnushka – I think all religion is dubious and potentially dangerous. If God is mad at atheists he certainly wouldn’t be that enthralled by some of the stuff done in his/her name by (mostly) men in churches/synagogues/shrines/mosques.
Yeah. Not enough foreskin collecting in this day and age.
Actually, it’s God I have a problem with, myself. I quite like organised religion. As long as there are enough strong minded women around to keep the men in thrall and setting up tables for the jumblesale rather than mowing down the heretics of course.
Baloney. That’s not in the back of this atheist’s mind. If the genocidal monster that Christians worship were actually real, then I have absolutely no illusions whatsoever that I would be fully subject to its sadistic vengeance.
Happily, the notion of the Christian god, indeed of any sort of god, is a complete fiction, invented to provide divine permission for all of the excesses of fully human sadism and exploitation.
as an ordained minister in two religions concurrently (Universal Life Church and Church of the Subgenius) i agree that religion as a whole is dangerous, but wish to add the fact that the danger is what makes it so “Bob”-damned fun.
Yet I also agree with the athiests that the problem is not some big probably-crazy Cosmic Mind in which we are but fractions of braincells, but the kooks that worship it and the crazy, often violent things they do in the name of their god. Philip K Dick, the modern Mad Gnostic whose “VALIS” is the new Book of Revelations, had a wonderful rant along that same “if God exists, he’s crazy” line.
I also agree with Nietzsche that if some genocidal space-monster didn’t exist, we would have to invent him, and, lo and behold, human cultures HAVE produced genocidal monsters, stronger, faster, we have the technology! Why settle for one mass-market genocidal monster when you can custom-tailor them to suit your needs?
Solnushka – reminds me of a newsletter item I read once: “A meeting will be held at St Annes to discuss the topic ‘Women’s Role in the Church.’ Ladies, please bring a plate.”
Barefoot Bum – If God really did make man in his own image then we’re in trouble, I think.
Dok – do you think there is a cloud somewhere with two angels talking? “Do you think God’s right, that people really might exist?” “Well, you know God – if humans didn’t exist, he’d have to invent them.”
Yes and no – I think the things humans call “angels” are just a bit lower on the astral food chain, somewhere higher than humans but lower than gods, and they know we exist, but we exist to them the way… say… potatoes exist to us (as foodstuffs), so the discussion would be more or less a debate over whether humans could really think and feel as angels understand those terms.
I think it’s sorta hard in my culture, anyway, to fully comprehend what hell is.
Most pain, discomfort, etc is temporary. In movies you’ll often see the uber-cool action hero saying something along the lines of “Then I guess I’ll see you in Hell!”
Well, you know, if Hell were comparable to a really bad hangover, I could understand being all blase about it, but an eternity of pain, fear and anguish?
That’s not funny.
what’s not funny about some big-chinned, swaggering, stereotypical uber-cool action hero getting sent to Hell to spend the rest of eternity with the very villains he thwarted?
they never show that part in the movies. I think they should. it would make them funnier.
I read somewhere that if you count up all the people that ‘God’ killed according to the Bible, the total comes to nearly 3,000,000.
What with Samson and his ‘jawbone of an ass’, poor old Goliath and the 200 poor buggers who got ‘snipped’ etc. …. Who would have wanted to a be a bloody Philistine ? 🙂
I like the idea that God will give you bonus points for having the balls to deny his existence.
That’s kind of like the scene in the movie where the guy tells his boss off and the boss seems like he might get mad at first, but, no…. he gives the brassy employee a promotion! That’s the kind of moxie we’re looking for!
I’ve heard there are also Divine Bonus Points for starting your own cult, particularly personality cults. If you’ve got a sales-pitch that will poach His customers, you’re hired! It’s just wrong to leave talent like that in the minor leagues where the competition could snatch it up at any minute.
Ron L. Hubbard started his own cult, and look how good it’s doing.
(Dianetics- which became Scientiology)
LRon got a lot of bonus points for that. He gets to go to Low Budget Space Opera Heaven, where all the starships, however well-appointed, are held up by visible strings and all the green-skinned aliens’ bodypaint keeps rubbing off.
Ivan Stang, of the Church of the SubGenius, will eventually join him, and there they will fight for the souls of all earthly UFO-cult-kooks.
You paint a vivid picture, Mr. M.D.
The court foreskin counter ,Was it Mr Martin?. I remember seeing many a boy crying outside his office in junior school,and I was told , they were there to see him about court foreskins!
I just call em like I see em.
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This is the most delightful thing I have read in a long time. Thank you
Hawkins & The Big Bang Theory
Hawkins and his wife were having an argument about who made the world:
WIFE: Who made the world?
HAWKINS: Bbbbbbig Bbbbbang!
WIFE: I’ll give you Bbbbbig Bbbbbang and thumped him around the place.
WIFE: Who made the world?
Wife starts thumping him around the place.
HAWKINS: Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!
WIFE: That’s better!
I’m an atheist and no, thats not in the back of my mind. We have no doubt that god doesn’t exist, that’s why we’re not agnostic. There is no God and no magical socialist after death to stick up for me. Personally, I find this article a little too preachy for one I found after google searching “old testament foreskin quest.”