THE IDIOCY OF FAITH
Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe. - Voltaire
If you desire freedom, you must perform the mental work necessary to understand reality for yourself. There is no other way. I cannot offer you occult knowledge of the ultimate secrets of the universe, nor can anyone else. Those who pretend to possess such knowledge are either dupes or charlatans. The acceptance of their lies will only serve to pollute and enslave your mind.
The path to mental liberation is one of casting off chains, freeing your mind of limiting and pernicious beliefs. Many of these harmful ideas were innocently absorbed through contact with other deceived individuals. Others were intentionally programmed into you by church, state, and family through calculated indoctrination. The good news is that, regardless of age, education or social position, you possess the ability to free your mind of lies, dogma and limiting concepts, if you dare to use it.
The primary enemy of clear thinking and mental freedom is faith. The acceptance of an idea on faith equates to the surrender of that portion of your brain which separates honesty from lies, understanding from deception, truth from fantasy. In order to effectively use your mind to decipher reality, you must abandon all faith-based notions and ideals.
Faith, for the purpose of this discussion, is the notion you should believe in the truth of any assertion, religion, or alleged historical event, despite having no rational basis for that belief. I am not speaking of faith in your own self or abilities. Rational faith in yourself is good and necessary, and bears no resemblance to the type of “faith” peddled by charlatans.
Christians are fond of claiming that “faith is the evidence of things unseen.” But what if I have faith in the Koran instead of the King James translation of the New Testament? Does my faith then evidence the existence of Mohamed as a great prophet? If so, are all the loyal Christians now infidels, as they have rejected God’s greatest prophet? There are myriad competing belief systems and religions vying for your faith. The common factor shared by all is the desire to control your mind through dogma and irrational belief.
As a child, my faith was perfect, my belief infinite. I was thoroughly indoctrinated in the ways of God. I believed, without equivocation, that I too could walk on water and perform other miracles, as Jesus promised in the Holy Gospel. But my perfect faith was not rewarded. To my infantile disbelief, each of my attempts to walk on water, turn water to wine, etc., were met with dismal failure. Have your attempts fared any better? My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Pascal famously wagered that faith in God is a rational bet, based upon the presumption that only two possibilities exist: 1) God exists, and would eternally reward him for a life of belief, or 2) God does not exist, and he would have lost little or nothing by having wrongly believed. This wager appears reasonable on its face to many people, as the promised payoff is so much greater than the apparent risk. Of course, many of these same people also believe that playing the lottery and double-zero roulette are reasonable wagers.
The first problem with Pascal’s Wager is the inherent false dichotomy. Pascal presumes that there are only two possible choices: the Christian God of the Bible exists, and will reward him for faith gambled on a promised payoff, or his vision of God does not exist. What if a God exists, but hates people who have faith in Jesus? What if a God exists, but prefers nonbelievers to those whose belief was bribed by promise of reward in an after-life? What if the concept of Christianity was merely a ruse to separate the weak-minded (who fall for such stunts as Pascal’s Wager) from the mentally strong, who refuse to succumb to threats of damnation and promises of eternal bliss? What if the acceptance of dogma robs our one and only life of the mental freedom that makes being alive worthwhile in the first place?
Once you have accepted an idea on faith, and refuse to question it, you are enslaved by that idea (and its proponents). A free and rational mind understands its own limitations, and accepts that its current opinions and level of understanding have much room for improvement. As new concepts are learned and new levels of understanding achieved, outdated and fallacious beliefs are discarded. The fact that we do not currently understand everything is not justification for accepting nonsense beliefs on faith. On the contrary, our need to constantly revise and update our understanding of reality underscores the necessity of flushing faith-based dogmatic beliefs into the sewer, where they belong.
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