The Wilder West: Beyond Belief…by Dave Wilder
It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble; it’s what we know that ain’t so.
– Will Rogers
Let’s all try a little thought experiment. The next time you hear your favorite politician refer to God during public discourse, substitute the word Zeus and see if he or she doesn’t sound barking mad. For example: “I am driven with a mission from Zeus. Zeus would tell me, ‘George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan’. And I did. And then Zeus would tell me ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq’. And I did.” – George H. W. Bush.See what I mean? Thor and Odin work well too. Pick your obsolete deity.
I’m sure that most of my fellow Zephyr readers would agree that the world is going to hell in a hand-basket. The question is why? I contend that it is because we’ve got too many people on this planet that simply believe things that ain’t so. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, yet we live in a world where people get a pass for believing in the most outlandish, Iron Age fictions simply because their particular holy book tells them that they are true. Since people’s actions are dictated by what they believe, we run into a real problem when one group’s un-provable Ultimate Truths run up against the un-provable Ultimate Truths of another group. Such clashes throughout history have killed more people than just about anything else.
My liberal friends insist that people should be free to believe whatever they want. Really? What if my neighbor believes that my continued existence is the only thing standing between him and 70 virgins waiting in paradise? Or, what if he believes that the Second Coming is at hand and there is no point in protecting our little planet since his god will soon call all the righteous up to heaven? What if he runs for President and enough people believe the same untrue things to get him elected? Does his freedom to believe the nonsensical trump my child’s right to a future?
No. Believing untrue things is dangerous and I think it is high time that we humans call it for what it is: Dangerous bullshit used to control people. Our faculty for reason is the only real advantage that evolution has bestowed upon us and the reasonable must stop giving equal time and equal weight to the divine revelations of the religiously unhinged. After all, what is the difference between religion and madness? Simple. Madness is belief in irrational things by a lone individual; the religious do it in groups.
What the world truly needs are more evangelists for reason. Have you heard the Good News? He is fiction.
Dave Wilder’s art can be seen at:
and at the
Laughing Raven Gallery 417 Hull Ave. Jerome, Arizona
and on facebook:
“David Wilder Arts”
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