What is Blasphemy?
What is Blasphemy?
In a strictly religious sense, blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God, to religious or holy persons or things, or toward something considered sacred or inviolable.
In reality, however, it seems blasphemy is actually in the eye of the beholder:
- Christianity - deny the existence of the Holy Spirit. This is an unforgivable sin ( Mark 3:29). It's also a challenge!
- Islam - there are so many ways!
- Judaism - curse the name of god, or blaspheme the ineffable name. Leviticus 24:16
Compare this to Rational People, who believe nothing is sacred, everything is open to criticism, including anything I post on this site. ALL IDEAS, no matter their source, history, or purpose, are open to criticism.
Every religion that considers blasphemy an offense has its own "rules and regulations" about it, but generally speaking, blasphemy is:
- An offense against a deity, not a human being, or
- The desecration or destruction of an idea, or item, that is considered sacred, or
- The contempt of, or lack of reverence for, religious persons or objects.
In other words, blasphemy is nothing more than insulting someone or something. Therefore, the only conclusion that can be drawn is this:
"Blasphemy is a victimless crime."
Right now (July, 2015), blasphemy is not against any federal law in the United States of America.
Thanks to the First Amendment, it is unconstitutional to charge an individual with a crime for insulting a deity or desecrating a religious object. At the state and local level, any leftover laws from colonial times are ignored completely. No one goes to jail or on trial for offending deities. Offenses against individual human beings (clergymembers, the pope, etc.) are not blasphemy. Laws governing slander, libel, and defamation are applicable, not blasphemy laws.
So, it can be safely concluded that:
- Blasphemy against gods and dead prophets is okay, because gods are imaginary.
- Blasphemy against religious artifacts is okay, because books and inanimate objects can't suffer.
Why I Created this Site
Some people were fortunate enough to be born into a family and raised in an environment that was free of any religious influence. I can't imagine how great that must be. I was raised as a Roman Catholic, completing all the necessary milestones, including Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, and Holy Matrimony. This means I was raised to see myself as sinful, bad, and constantly falling short of god's expectations.
I raised my daughter, and started to raise my son, in that same belief system. I've started to reverse this mistake by introducing them both to a life of skeptical inquiry, and a life unencumbered by the unsubstantiated belief in, or submission to, any supernatural creator (a change not always welcomed by my still-believing wife).
I don't recommend being a blasphemer as a political statement, or as an act of defiance against any "system." This site, and the experiments found herein, aren't meant to start a fight. i think the true beauty of blasphemy is that it is the one way to prove to yourself that god is imaginary, and once you realize this, you can begin to think with an unchained mind. Blasphemy truly leads to a life of freedom; free from dogma, free from fear, and free from guilt.
This site serves as both a record of my efforts, and as a resource for others who wish to set themselves free from unnecessary dogmas and flawed belief systems. I've created it to gather my thoughts and share them, mostly to amuse myself, and hopefully amuse others, who have yet to discover any evidence for the existence of any deity.
Here are some things I've learned over the years:
- The problem of theodicy and evil has not been fully explained or resolved by any faith system.
- The existence of god or gods has not been proven.
- The authority of religious institutions only applies to those who choose to subject and submit themselves to those institutions. In other words, your religious beliefs mean nothing to me.
- Faith is not a virtue, it is a delusion.
- Saying these things can be dangerous. In some parts of the world, it can get you killed.
It can be safely concluded:
- Blasphemy against gods and prophets is okay, because god is imaginary. and prophets are, well, dead.
- Blasphemy against religious artifacts is okay, because books and inanimate objects can't feel pain or suffer, and have no thoughts of their own.
So, what's the problem?
People. More specifically, people who think:
- They have been appointed or authorized to act on an imaginary god's behalf
- Their religious beliefs take precedent over secular human rights, such as freedom of thought, religion, expression, and speech
- They are justified in punishing living human beings for offenses against dead or imaginary people or gods
In some parts of Europe, you can go to jail for disparaging deities. In Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Middle East, you can be fined, jailed, or executed!
This is ridiculous to a non-believer. It makes about as much sense to me as punishing someone for burning a TV Guide, or a newspaper. Words on paper are just that; words on paper. Nothing more. Ideas are ideas, and must be open to criticism. This is necessary for human advancement. It is necessary for peace to prevail. Ideas don't deserve respect. They deserve to be questioned, tested, and set aside once they're no longer useful.
But, Why Rebel against God?
I think a lot of suffering can be eliminated by dropping belief in a deity. I'm not talking about actual physical and emotional suffering that is just a part of everyday life. I'm talking about the self-imposed and self-generated suffering that comes from the confusion created by trying to understand a deity's intentions. Things happen in this world, often without any reason (weather, chaos, etc.). When it causes pain and confusion, people look for reasons and causes. When they choose to see it as god's plan, questions that can never be answered arise. This leads only to more pain and confusion, not closure. This is a bad way to try to understand our reality.
Imagine reading police reports with entries like these:
- Sources say Bill knew the murder was going to take place, and did nothing to stop John from doing so.
- According to testimony, Bill supplied John with the murder weapon, the victim's schedule, and information on the victim's whereabouts. Afterward, Bill helped John convince himself that he had done nothing wrong, and helped him elude authorities."
- He never contacted law enforcement, even though he had plenty of time to do so. Afterward, Bill remained silent during questioning about John, offering no assistance, and willfully impeding the investigation by hiding key evidence.
What kind of person does Bill sound like to you? Good? Moral? Conscientious? Powerful? Just?
Or does he sound like a fool, incapable of making sound and moral decisions?
Now replace the name "Bill" with the word, "god." If there is a god, then:
- god knows about each and every victim of a violent crime, accident, or disaster, before it happens. Yet, he does nothing. he does nothing to report criminals to law enforcement or warning victims beforehand.
- god is in a position to stop criminals (inspiration, intervention, physical deterrence), but does nothing.
- god knows all the facts of a crime, but does nothing to ensure those facts are learned by law enforcement after the fact, or victims before the fact.
This means god is guilty of the following charges:
- Accessory to Murder
- Aiding and Abetting
- Obstruction of Justice
If murder, robbery, rape, extortion, and assault are illegal, then god is the most prolific criminal in history.
These are not specious claims. These are not straw-man arguments. These are charges and standards of conduct that human beings are held to.
If god truly is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving, why doesn't god intervene in a meaningful way? Why does god choose to abandon creation, and allow us to destroy one another?
Life is easier to understand and accept without adding a god that takes a personal interest in our lives to the mix.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?
Epicurus never claimed there were no gods, he instead claimed any god or gods weren't interested in human affairs.
I will only add that the idea of a personal, loving god with a plan for your life makes no sense whatsoever. This site is dedicated in part to dispelling that faulty mythology, especially contemporary religious traditions which now have no place in modern society. It's time to leave these primitive schools of thought in the past, embrace reason and rationality, and progress toward true peace on earth.