I Believe

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.jesusandmoblasphemyday – Shaw

Can you count how many times you’ve heard someone express their opinion with “I believe that!”  or an “I don’t believe that!”? Unless you’re a hardcore atheist like myself, you might not have noticed how prevalent it is. Sadly, it is ubiquitous. I cannot count on my fingers and toes (even if I was the some Hindu goddess even) how many times this has been uttered in my presence. And if you are anything like me, you likely wince inwardly (or outwardly) or perhaps roll your eyes at the cliché.

And now we actually have a Blasphemy Day (thanks Sue – I hadn’t even known), where we can actually shout it from the rooftops if we so wish, when once upon a time, this would be grounds for execution (and in some countries, it still is).

As PZ Meyers points out, this is no big whoop, as every day is Blasphemy Day. But it does feel pretty good, does it not? I take every opportunity I can to undermine and blaspheme religion (void where prohibited, heheheheh) on the proviso that it’s in an appropriate setting or proper timing. Alas, my filters aren’t all that good, and I do upon occasion blurt out an instant response (I have a close friend who told me the other day, that I have the “ability to say exactly what I’m thinking” – much to my own detriment sometimes).

Belief is such a tricksy word. And the religionists play word games, word salad games, and try to infer/imply that somehow our confidence in evidence is equivalent to their superstitious wishes, when clearly it is not even on the same playing-field.

I agree with G.E. Berrios who states that “delusions are genuine beliefs and instead labels them as “empty speech acts”, where affected persons are motivated to express false or bizarre belief statements due to an underlying psychological disturbance. “

Because no doubt you’ve overheard conversations that were running out of steam, and someone inserts “but [insert deity here] has a plan for you!”, which in my not-so-humble-opinion are efforts to keep said discussions running (for whatever reason the speaker has). And a word like ‘God’ is fraught with meaning only because it’s a placeholder and an open receptacle for any definition (obviously not an operable one) that the speaker wishes it to have.

So join me in chiming in, on every Blasphemy Day (that’s 365 days a year), when you hear that empty phrase “I believe that!” (or the other one), step up and say:

“It doesn’t matter what you believe.”

Mind you, do that on a case-to-case basis; it might not be advisable to burst into a mosque or a revival tent and blurt that out.  Just sayin’.

Till the next post, then.

This entry was posted in And now for something completely different, Atheism, Blasphemy, Delusion, Education, Free speech, Politics, Psychology, Religion, Skepticism, Superstition. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to I Believe

  1. stardust says:

    I hear this phrase so often and it’s very prevalent on Facebook. I lost count of the number of times people write “if you believe in God, repost this!” I have a couple of times posted “Just because you believe something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true, especially when it’s not based on any evidence…only feelings”. They get so pissed off, because they don’t have an argument, or evidence to back up those beliefs. Another one that cracks me up is, “I feel it is true in my heart” or “God speaks to me in my thoughts”. There was one person who said ” well, you don’t know what is inside me and what is in my mind so therefore you can’t prove what I have experienced is not true.” That one is a hard one to debate because it’s like arguing with a schizophrenic who firmly believes someone is out to get him or her. I told one person one time, “If I believe you are a moron, does that mean it is true because I believe it?” He just looked at me stupified. LOL

  2. KA says:

    “If I believe you are a moron, does that mean it is true because I believe it?”

    That reminds me of an old tale about Socrates. He was engaged in a discussion w/a Sophist who was insisting that anything that was strongly believed, was literally true.
    “Then,” said Socrates, “I strongly believe you are an utter idiot.”
    “Then that is literally true, sir,” replied the Sophist.

  3. hbhatnagar says:

    I’m always torn between letting such phrases go and pinning them down for the paff that they are. At times, the people who utter them are so genuine and honest that it seems a travesty to break their cocoon. I am not talking about the smug ones here who I have no qualms about bringing down a notch, just the everyday pious people. Do you feel this sometimes or is it just me?

  4. Brooklyn Boy says:

    When someone (usually a religious person) asks me if I “believe” in evolution, I respond by saying that it doesn’t matter what anybody “believes”. The only thing that matters is the explanation that best fits all the facts and data. That usually ends the conversation pretty quickly.

  5. Brandy says:

    hbhatnagar, I have a hard time letting such inane comments go too but have quickly realized that if I started shooting everyone down then I would literally be arguing with every person I know constantly. People seem to always put what they “believe” over facts and are usually lauded for it. Aargh.

  6. tommykey says:

    @ hbhatnagar. I feel the same way when I see FB friends post such things. I have to resist the urge to comment, because like you, I’m reluctant to “break their cocoon.” I did unfriend one relative though who was posting Catholic messages multiple times a day. I mean really, how many pictures of the Virgin Mary does one need to show?

  7. “Everyone should believe in something. I believe I’ll have another drink.” – Anon.

  8. hbhatnagar says:

    Brandy and tommykey, I have come to the same conclusions. I look at most such comments with a smile and try to understand where they’re coming from but block the overly religious types who feel the need to thank god for every flower they see and for every hot cup of coffee they drink every morning. :)

  9. jonah says:

    Belief requires faith. Those who have faith do so because they seek the answers they wantand not the answers the universe is providing for them. If you were to testify in court as a witness and said ‘I believe that’s what happened” they wouldn’t see you as credible.

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