left biblioblography: OF TOOTH AND CLAW, PINCER AND MANDIBLE, CRUELTY ABOUNDS IN THE NATURAL WORLD

Sunday, August 06, 2006

OF TOOTH AND CLAW, PINCER AND MANDIBLE, CRUELTY ABOUNDS IN THE NATURAL WORLD


Let’s begin today’s sermon with a quote:”Man, in his ignorance, supposed that all phenomena were produced by some intelligent powers, and with direct reference to him.” – Ingersoll.

We look upon this rare earth as our own: and the religious would have us believe it a gift to our species, given by invisible hands, bequeathed to us by some oblique designer, or perhaps as punishment for some obscure metaphorical transgression.

We shall go down the path least trodden here: rather than focus on the query of the sum of evil in the world, rather, we shall look at the world itself, and briefly touch on the poisonous Pandora’s box flung wide open.


For a parent who allegedly loves us, there are land mines and brutal traps on every level, from miniscule to macrocosmic.

There are tiny organisms that cause disease, that eat our flesh and attack our innards, that wreak havoc upon all the senses, that numb the body and swallow the mind whole. Most of which make no distinction of age, gender, race, or any other boundary.

And up the rung, we have tiny creatures that nest inside us. There are worms that can writhe within us. Up the rung of the evolutionary ladder, we have eight-legged beasties that are inimical to us. There are those insects whose sting or bite is death. We are neither safe on land nor in the water, whether vertebrate or invertebrate. There are the legless, cold-blooded critters, whether alligator or lizard who would attack, and feed upon us. There are warm-blooded mammals who could do us harm. There are lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) that under the proper circumstance would make a meal of us.

Even our closest relatives has been known to snack on our infants.

When the stomach grows empty, the ribs protrude; we have all heard tales, of those of us who feed upon our own. From the Issedones to the Androphagi, from Sawney Bean to the Donner Party.

Even their divine tome states such: (Leviticus 26:27-35 NLT) "If after this you still refuse to listen and still remain hostile toward me, then I will give full vent to my hostility. I will punish you seven times over for your sins. You will eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters. I will destroy your pagan shrines and cut down your incense altars. I will leave your corpses piled up beside your lifeless idols, and I will despise you.”

And I inquire of the reader, this: what truly loving parent places broken glass and razors before the infant? Forces the toddler through barbed wire and leave the tender flesh exposed to rending tooth and bloody claw? That lays the bear trap at hair-trigger, and places camoflaged tarp upon punji sticks, and warns not the victim?

That this world we live in is a harsh obstacle course, laden with venomed fang and crimson talon upon the turning of a corner, or the clearing of the brush, is readily transparent to even the most obtuse of observers.

As such, only a distant, or disconnected parent would expose their children to such horrors, only a sociopathic sire would lay razor wire in such a plethora of intricately jagged jigsaw puzzles, patterned to break the sinew, mind, or muscle of those less fortunate. A world in which the strong survive, and the weak eaten?

If this demented designer were to present itself to me, as derelict deity and author of abominations, as my sire, I would declare myself an orphan.

We have become the dominant life form for the following reasons:
  1. That the female of our species can bear offspring in any season; conceive on any day of any month, save for three of them.

  2. Opposable thumbs.

  3. Prolificacy.

Any other rationale is metaphysical rubbish.

And now, I end with this quote, from Ingersoll:

“We are laying the foundations of the grand temple of the future not the temple of all the gods, but of all the people -- wherein, with appropriate rites, will be celebrated the religion of Humanity. We are doing what little we can to hasten the coming of the day when society shall cease producing millionaires and mendicants -- gorged indolence and famished industry -- truth in rags, and superstition robed and crowned. We are looking for the time when the useful shall be the honorable; and when Reason, throned upon the world's brain, shall be the King of Kings, and God of Gods.” – GODS, 1872

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7 comments:

karen said...

Yes, we share this fine planet with the other species. We were not made to reign over it or them, but due to our selfishness, we declare it as ours.

How fitting that a tiny microbe or worm or spider can bring down the mighty man.

Of course the theist will say that all the curses you mention only came about after the fall. As you so aptly point out though, what good parent places razors and broken glas in the path of an unknowing infant?

Creator God, loving parent? Hogwash.

Krystalline Apostate said...

karen:
I'm of the mind (& this is pet theory only), that if another species (say raccoons, for instance) had developed the capacity to give birth out of season, it might well be us rooting thru their trash.
How fitting that a tiny microbe or worm or spider can bring down the mighty man.
But...but if the bible doesn't say so, it can't be so! ;)
As you so aptly point out though, what good parent places razors and broken glas in the path of an unknowing infant?
A psychopathic 1, perhaps? The Gnostic concept of the Demiurge comes to mind.
Creator God, loving parent? Hogwash.
A cold, uncaring universe, more like.
Better to improve our lot, and our fellowman's (and woman's!), than to invest in such folderol.

GooseHenry said...

RA

You seem to be mixing&matching worldviews here.

1) Either you believe that nature is all there is and everything that has ever been. Then your values shoudl be based on that, ie. everything is natural.

2) If you introduce evil you are making a moral judgement which needs a norm.

In one of your previous posts you said you don't have a problem with "everything is just energy&matter".

Or did you stub your toe on a moral law recently?;)

Krystalline Apostate said...

Goose:
You seem to be mixing&matching worldviews here.
It's observational critique, is all.
1) Either you believe that nature is all there is and everything that has ever been. Then your values shoudl be based on that, ie. everything is natural.
I think you're the 1 mixing & matching here.
I certainly don't worship nature. In fact, I'm not personifying it whatsoever.
2) If you introduce evil you are making a moral judgement which needs a norm.
Moi? Not so. I think you're projecting your POV onto mine.
In one of your previous posts you said you don't have a problem with "everything is just energy&matter".
What I do have a problem w/, is that folks seem to think all intrinsic value stems from our existence.
We're an introverted lot, that's to be sure: self-involved to the Nth degree.

Mesoforte said...

Goose-

You forgot anti-matter. Hasten to define 'god' please.

karen said...

Goose
Are we reading the same post? I thought RA's point was that the dangers of the natural world are just that. There's nothing evil about them.
It is the religious who introduce the concept of evil.

Krystalline Apostate said...

karen:
I thought RA's point was that the dangers of the natural world are just that.
You know how it is. There's multiple layers of subtext for the religious.
But you're right.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
I wonder if Goose smokes Cubans. ;)