Andy’s October of Suckage: Day 7
I know I’ve played this tune before, but listen up, heathens: Daddy’s got something new for you to worship!
First some background, just in case you aren’t up to date on my drama:
I’ve recently been confronted with the uncomfortable fact of my own mortality and the realization that I might have 20-30 more years (tops) instead of the 40-50 I’d been planning for. As a friend pointed out this means I’m due for a mid-life crisis right about now.
I don’t fit in tiny little sports cars and my wife’s in her 20s so there’s no need to chase 20-something tail. That leaves me with “crisis of faith” or “binge drinking”, and as the son of an alcoholic son of an alcoholic the latter seems… ill-advised.
Crisis of faith it shall be!
Ahem! Ummmmmm. (cough) Aaaaaaaaah. Can you all hear me okay? Alright, here goes.
There is no God.
It’s weird to say that; almost like I’ve abandoned my childhood.
Still, it’s oddly freeing.
I’ve always been uncomfortable with the much-beloved (especially by the modern brand of fag-hating, GOP-worshiping, Ten-Commandments-should-be-stamped-everywhere, born-again evangelicals) idea of Santa God sitting up in cotton ball clouds handing out goodies to all the little homeschooled kids in modest prairie dress who pray extra super hard. It just bugged me, theologically speaking. Even so, I’ve gone through life with the semi-conscious belief that all good things are God’s Gift and all bad things are God’s Unknowable Plan.
When I stepped back and reevaluated myself, I realized that I haven’t seen a single thing that’s not more rationally explained by science and reason than by a supernatural being or process. Physics and biology get us from the Big Bang to the moment I type this just fine. You don’t need a spooky puppeteer, just math.
The wonder of my little boy’s birth is the outcome of millions of years of evolution shaping biological imperatives (me likey the sex!), thousands of years of human cultural development (existence of dedicated medical professionals), and hundreds of years of scientific advancements (steroids to help his lungs develop). It’s no less amazing just because I can understand and no less special when credit isn’t given to someone theoretical. My world is no less beautiful today than it was a year or a decade ago. I am no less ethical and no more of an asshole.
If there is nothing else, if we are all sacks of self-aware flesh, then real morality stems from these simple truths:
- There is only this life, only this justice, only this chance to do right and good.
- If we are all the same then nobody is superior to anyone else.
- There are no “chosen people”, no “righteous few” whose actions are blessed by a higher power, just all of us meat puppets trying not to suffer.
I’m heading into dangerous waters, though. Atheists are mistrusted and discriminated against. Glenn Beck and others are accusing atheists of destroying America. I may have joked about becoming a member of an oppressed minority, but truth be told that’s a lot of drama.
Skimming the research, it seems it’s the actual lack of belief in a higher power that engenders the negative reactions. Even if my God hates your god, we can at least understand that it is because my God loves peanut butter and your god has a severe nut allergy. If Bob has no belief in a deity then he exists outside our understanding. How does he resolve the great Nut Question if he doesn’t believe that my God OR your god exists?
To steal a quote from my friend, every group of people everywhere at every point in time has felt the need to create a deity. There’s just something about us that feels the need to have something bigger than us.
So now we’ve come all the way back to the beginning of this post. I’ve created a supreme being.
I call it Super Panda.
Super Panda has nothing to do with everyday life or the course of the universe.
Super Panda eats celestial bamboo in a place we can never observe and takes frequent naps that do not affect the outcome of anything.
Super Panda does not care if you do or do not worship it or anything else.
Super Panda does not listen to prayer, grant wishes, usher souls into the afterlife, cause rain to fall, or demand sacrifice.
Super Panda is not aware that you exist, and nothing you ever do will change that.
Super Panda may have pooped out the Big Bang, but probably not.
I know others have created parody religions before, but that is not what this is. Super Panda-ism is as different from parody religions as parody religions are from mainstream religion, but in the other direction. Parody religions point out the futility of faith by aping its trappings. Super Panda-ism accepts the futility of faith as a simple matter of fact and then gets on with life. It doesn’t matter what type of silly hat you wear or what color you believe your invisible unicorn to be. Both are equally meaningless to Super Panda.
So if you like saving time but don’t want to be one of those damn dirty non-believers, join me in the New Chirch of Super Panda. Services are held on the 15th of Never. There will be no request for money as there is no such thing as a “Chirch” so there will never be anything to build. There are no rules to follow; just be the same decent human beings you already should have been (that’s a personal request, not cannon).
There’s no need for the Ghost of Damnation Yet to Come if you just maintain the standard expectation that people should try not to be douchebags.