God Talks To Me – Of Prophecy or Insanity

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It’s difficult to quantify much about religion, as much of it is explained with magic and ‘leaps of faith’ that are ingrained into the followers and can result in the line ‘God talks to me’. The fundamental adherence to religion is deeply personal for followers from a very young age, turning a religion into an entire personality that makes people very upset when they’re challenged on it. This personal nature of religious dogma, where prophets & profits come & go, makes discerning what is ‘true’ extremely difficult.

Who do the Voodoo?

Early Christians in the United States fucking loved to burn bitches at the stake. It was the closest they had to Sunday night football, if you think about it: the neighbors would get together for some cheers and jeers, everyone would have some beer, and the local religious nut provided the BBQ. The accusations were typically of dark magics conducted by the burnee (is that a thing?), where humans would do something that is considered to be ‘against God’, whatever that means.

But when you read through the religious doctrine of both Christianity and Islam, magic is conducted all over the place. Jesus himself starts resurrecting dead dudes, making him the classic necromancer from Dungeons & Dragons. The raised dead then went and carried out his bidding, making Jesus concerningly close to a lich. Once, a party ran out of alcohol and Jesus used some parlor tricks to turn water into wine so everyone could get a bit drunker.

If Jesus lived in Massachusetts around 1700, that dude would have lasted all of three hours. Like to see him try to resurrect himself, those dudes took zero bullshit back then.

This is primarily due to how modern popular religions, such as Christianity and Islam, defend multiple tenets of doctrine. It’s difficult to prove that which is completely invisible, and the defense of such ideas are equally impossible 😠. This makes a large demographic of the world (roughly 2/3) rather susceptible to ‘prophets’ that have God speaking to them in their head. This private monologue churns up a bunch of fun problems.

Russell’s Teapot

Russell’s teapot is a simple analogy – the burden of proof lies on those making unfalsifiable claims. Specifically, it’s a critique of religion by a philosopher known as Bertrand Russell. If he claimed that there was a teapot that was orbiting the sun between Earth and Mars, too small to be seen by a telescope, it’s implausible to believe it solely based on the idea that his assertion could not be proven wrong.

I like to modernize it. Within my closet lives an invisible unicorn named Edna. Every night before bed, I ask Edna for commands to do tomorrow, which Edna uses as a time to decree how I should rule the world. Edna will only talk to me, and she’s super-invisible (but she sees everything, too).

It sounds batshit crazy (because it is), and my assertions being unprovable doesn’t mean that they’re believable. Now, I can add a bunch of chants, mantras, songs, and other rituals to the whole song and dance, and turn it into a bonafide religion, but it still doesn’t prove a damn thing. Just because everyone does it doesn’t mean it’s right.

But we’re not discussing religion (any religion) as a whole – specifically, I want to focus on how community leaders of various faiths (known as pastors, preists, sheiks, coven leaders, and everything else) decide what they spread to congregations. Make no mistake, this is where the danger of religion can lay – the interpretation of ancient texts that can often shift communities from peaceful and caring, to aggressive and angry.

The single point of failure is precisely how difficult it is to talk to most deities – due to how human thought works, and the limitations of the human brain. This, in tandem with many being susceptible to the idea that deities talk to some more readily than others, or that various people selected as a prophet.

This is Blasphemy!

It’s difficult to talk about religion, and I don’t think that’s a wild thought to put out there. This is a piece that has been under construction for well over a month at this point, passed between my editor and myself with an eye towards maintaining an edge of critical thought without lambasting everyone. It’s difficult to do without immediately turning off everyone who would benefit immensely from the piece.

A Lopsided Standard

So my family lives in the South, which means that there is talk of Christianity everywhere. There’s no getting away from it – even a small drive will have us accosted by at least five various pieces of propaganda for Christianity. My daughter was in Kindergarten when various adults began telling her their thoughts on the creation of the universe which confused the ever-loving hell out of her.

These consistent digs at the community become exhausting to such a wild level, yet are almost translucent to those that believe. It becomes exhausting to have these messages placed in every public space, as it reminds many people that large communities are guided by a few members that translate what a deity is supposed to be saying. Which is 100% up to any type of translation that individual feels like.

I get it, ‘just ignore it.’ “Not that big of a deal.’ “How are those annoying?’

But the tune drastically shifts when you propose that we place Islamic propaganda everywhere in these communities. Or Satanism. Imagine massive communities that don’t think China has done anything wrong, spreading pro-China propaganda everywhere in the United States. It would eventually become exhausting to defend yourself from, explain to young family members, and speculate on the health of the community.

I think this makes it difficult to discuss openly, as people tend to shut down when beliefs are criticized. There comes a point, however, when that dodging of critique becomes a damning trait that invokes blind adherence to the arguable detriment of humanity. Religion governs a monumental culture on an international scale and deserves just as much of a critical look as politicians dressing up in their political flannel.

I believe that almost everyone is beautiful, with loads to offer humanity. I also believe that religion, while it can define large aspects of an individual, is not the entirety of that person. Analyzing doctrine that is well over a thousand years overdue of analysis shouldn’t necessarily invoke any anger. It should absolutely invite speculation into precisely what one believes, what those beliefs stem from, and the aggregation of all supporting (tangible) evidence for those beliefs.

If that is a difficult exercise for you, that should act as the metaphorical canary in the coal mine.

No, These are the Good Voices in My Head

It can be difficult to properly explain the internal monologues that we all have as humans. This inner voice determines what is wrong or right, what to do next, how hard to push as we’re struggling to defecate without passing out again. It’s called thinking, and it scares the shit out of some people more than others. Religious communities rely on people to have a direct conversation with whichever deity and then translate that proposed conversation for the betterment of the ‘flock’.

If you can convince others that ‘God talks to me’, then the results can be fun.

List of people who go to hell – people who have sex, dudes who do drugs, gays, feminists, scientists, people who share, those who read the scripture, and now fat people. This ‘religious influencer’ isn’t a one-off – there’s a whole following.

However, schizophrenia can bring about visual and auditory hallucinations, which can invite catastrophe for those more readily convinced. Let’s look briefly at the story of Abraham.

Now, Abraham (the Hebrew patriarch) was one of the few living dudes before God called for a mulligan with the ‘global flood’ 😠, and he heard a voice in his head telling him to go kill his only son. Abraham, being someone that readily listens to voices in his head (and then documents it all unerringly in a time where the very existence of the written word is difficult to defend), goes to get ready to kill his kid.

A Flood

I can’t even gather the strength necessary to refute this bizarre claim, that the entirety of the world flooded but one guy grabbed two of every animal from the entire globe. The mental gymnastics necessary to defend this tale makes my back hurt just thinking about it.

In Tennesee, a man claimed God had talked to him and told him to build the world’s largest treehouse. 97 feet tall, the treehouse took a Harold Burgess twelve years to build under God’s direction. God’s direction was poor – it was closed in 2012 by fire marshals after they noted poor weight distribution, uneven flooring, fall hazards, and a plethora of other issues.

It took 15 minutes to burn down entirely.

There’s not a visible God who comes down and smokes a bowl with Abraham, there isn’t any type of written decree for Abraham to follow, this dude just hears some shit in his head and goes to town. I don’t think I could get to the point of neurosis that I’m willing to kill my kid (although they test the fuck out of me more often than not), even if a tangible person materialized in front of me and encouraged me to do so.

The church typically refers to Abraham’s actions as one of unrelenting faith. When we place ourselves in this situation, it is extremely difficult to come up with anything besides Abraham being a fucking nut. Critical thought of this story isn’t necessarily encouraged, but it seems to normalize killing to appease the voices in one’s head.

Think it through – what would be necessary for someone to convince you to murder your own child? How would you differentiate between ‘God talks to me’ and hallucinations?

In the Modern Age

A unique problem is brought about by those willing to believe in ideas without concrete evidence: namely that there is an inclination to believe damn near anything. The barrier of proof has already been shattered by the adherence to that which can’t be proved. This brings about wild cults, branching from the cult-like behavior of primary religious organizations, such as Jim Jones, the Church of Latter-Day Saints, Unity Church, and everything in between.

These are people who claim ‘God has talked to them’ to guide them to a new religion, typically one that orbits around the idea of smashing pussy, controlling demographics, and of course, a good bit of profit 😠.

Spare a Coin?

It’s time to pass around the offering plate. My greatness works only on you being willing to offer 10% of your total take-home income to me, because our deity struggles to circumvent capitalism. You know, the all-powerful and all-seeing one of the universe, he needs you to scrape your bank account so I can afford cool shit to get more people to give me money to get more cool shit. It’s like an MLM for the soul.

I don’t give a shit if you’re poor – you better be giving me money too. There’s a parable on this that has absolutely nothing to do with the idea that congregations will tend to have far more poor people than rich ones. I can even offer some thoughts and prayers your way. Thanks in advance.

Many modern religions encourage people to reach out to God and ask him for guidance – the same one that slept through the entirety of the Holocaust (which directly affected the chosen people) on various mundane bullshit. As though the omnipotent force of the universe cares more about your constipation than he did of the murder of around 6 million Jews 1 😠. But sure, let’s broach a conversation about the dishwasher breaking again to a guy who hasn’t bothered with miracles since photo and video came out.

The Flexibility of Belief

When I wrote that, I instantly knew I’d have to source it, because people opt to not believe in the entirety of the Holocaust. It baffles me that people freely pick and choose that which they will, and will not, believe in. I don’t fully understand how it’s a choice.

Somewhere, people started writing new twists on history that adheres best to their dogmatic beliefs without hurting anyone’s feelings. Politicians have actually claimed the Jewish Space Lasers are causing problems, and many willingly accept those statements as facts. There’s no reasoning or structure behind it, just a willingness to believe anything that’s placed in front of them by an authority figure.

To that end, I have a foot-long cock that causes anyone (under 50, of course), who slurps it to become immune to all diseases, and extends the lifespan of all dick-suckers by five years. Can you really risk me being wrong?

Now, we can glean more information about God talking to people by looking at a fascinating website, www.godtalkstoyou.com. I’ll save you the click with a timely screenshot.

Screenshot taken from https://www.godtalkstoyou.com/what%20is%20a%20prophet.html, retrieved on June 16, 2021

So if you’re hearing voices in your head, that’s God giving you exclusive information (look at you go, snowflake!) that may or may not come true. He works in mysterious ways, and all. If you’re reading the website, apparently that implies that falsified predictions are just misunderstood voices in your head. Then the writer immediately talks about false prophets, which…are those not reading the website?

The biggest issue is that many religions believe that a deity talks to a person in the same internal monologue as humans have thought. This invites these thoughts to become manifest as more than the errant blip that they are, instead becoming a prophecy of sorts. Personally, if I tried to begin a religious movement from every errant thought that crept through my brain, I’d have started some very weird shit that would be awkward to discuss with the wife.

Think it through – if a deity talks to people through their internal monologue, what guarantees are offered that one isn’t walking into a scam? If people are supposed to rely on their own internal monologues to decipher between fact and fiction, does this instead promote a congregation of individuals who are easily persuaded?

Where Does This Lead?

This culminates into a fascinating storm; followers who are ready to believe the voices in the head of a self-labeled leader, with hopes of offering a better tomorrow. This can often not be the case – the number of cults that have popped up should be concerning to anyone, regardless of faith or creed. The hand-waving that is introduced when those dire words are uttered, ‘prove it’, results in an extremely gullible subset of the population eager to march to any tangible and popular beat.

You can trust me on this. The voice in my head says that God talks to me.

  1. Matt Brosnan (Imperial War Museum, 2018): “The Holocaust was the systematic murder of Europe’s Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Second World War.”

Image Credit: Noise by /u/Doodles_21_ via Reddit | User Profile

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