Carlin has more to say about his theory of religion, but for now allow me to interject by examining the motives for religious deception. Why does religion deceive people? In addition to the acquisition of wealth, religion is very useful in controlling people. If you can get people to believe in outlandish and false claims, then you can have power over them. In particular, if you can get people to think there's an invisible man in the sky who can do awful things to them and that you speak for that invisible man, then obviously they better do what you say or incur the wrath of that invisible man.In the baloney department, nobody can hold a candle to a clergyman. When it comes to baloney--big-time, major league, buh-lone-nee, you have to stand in awe, in AWE, of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims...
No contest--no contest. Religion easily has the greatest baloney story ever told. Think about it: religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man in the sky who watches everything you do, and the invisible man has a list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these things he has a special place full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish where he will send you to suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever...
but he loves you!
He loves you and he needs money. He's all-powerful and all-knowing but somehow just can't handle money. Religion takes in billions of tax-free dollars, and they always need more.
Now--you talk about a good baloney story--Holy Moses!
You might object at this point and accuse Carlin and me of bias. Neither Carlin nor I believe that there are invisible people in the sky. Of course we then accuse religion of lying to people! But you need to understand that there were people who accused religion of deception long before we came along. Those people are known as "religion." That's right, the people who accuse religion of deception are primarily the religious--all religion aside from their own is a pack of lies.
A good example of this phenomenon is that of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition. Judaism got started when its self-appointed prophets claimed to speak for their own version of the invisible man in the sky. These "prophets" assured their superstitious people that they were the invisible man's chosen people. As such they were free to slaughter men, women, and children to acquire real-estate. Such slaughter was fully justified according to the prophets because the invisible man in the sky ordered it. After all, the invisible man created us, so he can kill whomever he wishes especially when they worship "false" gods.
Judaism's deception worked brilliantly, and some of its own people got in on the act. They decided to take it a step further and have the invisible man come down from the sky and take the form of a visible man. A visible man has the obvious advantage over an invisible man in that you can actually see him or at least see a depiction of him. When Judaism objected to the visible man, the new religion, Christianity, denounced Judaism for rejecting the invisible man come as a visible man. They said that Judaism forfeited its status as the invisible man's religion and now it was they, the Christians, who were the invisible man's chosen people.
Finally, six hundred years after Christianity's deception, another religion took notice of its resounding success and came up with its own deception and called it "Islam." Islam denied the status of the visible man being the invisible man and substituted its own figure as the greatest of all of the invisible man's prophets.
There's so much more to the story of religious deception which we can discuss later. But for now allow me to ask:
Is the religion-is-deception theory a viable explanation of religion?