This always happens when I talk to history buffs who are so enamored with ancient peoples and their beliefs. I was chatting with a guy about Native Americans and their traditions, particularly pipe smoking and he kept talking about how they believed that smoke would take their wishes to the gods.
Now to be honest, the person that I was talking to is an atheist, he doesn’t give any credence whatsoever to Native American religious beliefs, or any religious beliefs at all, but when it comes to history, he’s willing to view these beliefs as quaint, cute and special. I can’t do that. In fact, I only look at these primitive religious beliefs and their absurdities as evidence of how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go.
Even my wife, who is a trained cultural anthropologist, doesn’t give special consideration to primitive religious beliefs. They might be interesting, they might reflect on the culture of ancient peoples but they’re just as ridiculous as the idiotic things that theists believe today.
I look at it as a form of absurd ancestor worship, where we want to think that the things our predecessors thought and believed had to be special because we came from it and our beliefs and thoughts sprang from it to a degree. I don’t look at primitive peoples living in caves and dying at 25 while they dance around a campfire to be anything to be proud of. All I can think is “wow, I’m glad we don’t do that anymore!”
Then again, I’ve never been enamored with history anyhow, I think it’s interesting to see where we came from, but I’m much more focused on where we’re going. I know people who live entirely in the past, their noses in a history book all the time, such that they’re likely to walk into traffic without a care in the world. I’m firmly focused on what comes tomorrow more than what came yesterday. All yesterday can teach us is how not to go backward, I just want to go forward, intelligently, rationally and critically.
Perhaps worst of all, in my opinion, are the atheists who refuse to be critical of primitive religions today, on the basis of their history and age. Atheists who can scream about how terrible Christianity is, but won’t say a thing bad about Native American religious traditions. Oh, it’s politically incorrect to speak ill of minorities, no matter how ridiculous what they do is. Why, someone might call you a racist, ignoring the fact that religion and race are two separate and distinct things, but the horrors! Nobody can dare suggest that you are anything but a proud liberal who can never insult anyone for any reason!
Not me. Fuck the various and sundry religions of the Native Americans. And the Eskimos. And the various indigenous peoples of Central and South America. And let’s not forget all of the witchcraft-believing fools in Africa and the voodoo-believing fucktards in the Caribbean. And the aboriginal peoples worldwide. And for anyone who still practices these ancient idiotic religions, fuck you twice-over. You all need to grow the hell up, just like the Christians and the Muslims and the Buddhists and the Jews. You get no special dispensation, no moratorium on criticism because your beliefs are old. Your beliefs are just as stupid as the idiots who are believing in imaginary sky pixies today.
Please, can we stop treating these absurd beliefs as somehow unassailable, just because they’re hundreds of years old?