Tuesday, June 3, 2008

God as a magic feather

"Doesn't it ever get you down that there's no god?"

Not really, no. See, God is like a magic feather.

The magic feather has got to be one of the cheesiest tropes to ever be used in fiction. A character is given some item and is told that it's magic. Further into the story, the item is somehow lost. Then it's revealed that the the item was never really magic, and the-magic-was-in-them-all-along. The most notable example is when Dumbo the elephant is given a magic feather that allows him to fly. Later, Dumbo realizes that he never actually needed the feather to fly, and the-magic-was-in-him-all-along. Awwwww.

Frankly, I don't really care for the magic feather trope. But the reason it's so cheesy is because it's overused and predictable, not because it's devoid of emotional content. If it ever happened in real life, it would be quite dramatic. That's one reason why deconversions can be dramatic. Somebody leads a good life, worshipping Christ, or Krishna, or whatever. Then he decides to consider it rationally, and find that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. At first he is devastated at the loss of something so precious. But over time, he realizes that all that was good in life was not of God's doing, since God never really existed in the first place.

So many things are credited to God, but we finally realize that it was our own doing, or nature's doing. Those people who successfully quit drugs or crime by surrendering to Jesus? They had the power all along! Those people who spent their lives trying to help the less fortunate? They didn't really need God for that. Our moral compass? It was never contingent upon God. The community spirit? If everyone would realize it, they wouldn't require the Holy Spirit.

The same goes for all the bad things that come out of religion. The prejudice, intolerance, ignorance, holy wars, suicide bombers... You can continue to do those without God too, if you really wanted to. That's because the magic was in you all along! Awwwww.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean. I can't prove whether God exists or not, but I am sure that he does not intervene in the affairs of men.