Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Frying up God

Stephen Fry recently had an interview where he was asked what he would say to God should Fry die and end up at the pearly gates.  The first thing Fry said is "I'd say, bone cancer in children?  What's that about?" and then went on to talk about how God is evil and bad and just the worst.  He lambasted God as homophobic, mysoginistic, racist, and awful in nearly every way.  The interviewer seemed quite taken aback by the rant and the public, particularly the church going types, have been in a bit of an uproar.  My reaction was more along the lines of "Yeah, obviously.  This isn't new...."

Let us say from the outset that this is about the God of the Bible.  If your version of God is some kind of benevolent creator that sits outside the universe and just started things off 14 billion years ago that is all fine and well but that God isn't turning back gay people at the pearly gates.  Nor, one would assume, would such a creature have anything to do with pearly gates and the associated heaven and hell dichotomy at all.  No, we are talking here about the God that tossed tens of thousands of Jews into holes in the earth to punish them for not doing what he said, who casually watched Job's family be murdered to win a bet, who thought that giving Job a new family made it all cool, and who mind controlled the Pharaoh to keep the Jews in Egypt so God would have an excuse to massacre Egyptians for fun.

There aren't enough bad words in all the languages we have for such a being.

But seriously how is this a surprise?  Atheists are just all about not believing in God.  We have been all about the idea that the God we are so often asked to believe in is wrong, evil, and unacceptable as long as atheism has been a thing.  This goes back roughly forever, probably to the first time somebody tried to convert people to a religion with the "Join me or be tortured to death" line.  If your plan is to torture as much of the world to death as you can I don't think much of the supposedly divine being behind that.

Atheism isn't just about truth.  It isn't all about provable facts, though facts are important.  It is also about a moral code that not only isn't drawn from religious texts, but also deems those texts to be morally repugnant.  If that is God, even if he does exist, then fuck that guy.

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