Retrofitting, By Brian37 (AKA Brian James Rational Poet on FB/META and @Brianrrs37 on Twitter)

If not one, surely all
The words they argue
Echo in the same halls

They think they are unique
Separate and distinct
Matching every link

Of our science
Of our origins
Of our morality

My God says
My gods say
My wise man says

My Preacher says
My Imam says
My Rabbi says

My guru says
My Buddhist monk says
My swami says

I am good because
I am good because
My club always is

We invented this
We invented this
All of them insist

They were the first
Of course
That is how it works

A slap of the Hitch
Might tell you this
If intellectual honesty

Persists, “Name me
One good thing said
Or one good deed done,

That no other religion can do.”
Christopher thought it through
Where as most laypeople don’t do

Victor Stenger too
Read his books and see
Our morality

Is evolutionary, not mythology
Our acts of kindness, and empathy
And unfortunately our cruelty

Is not of a tune
A battle between
A super cognition

In the sky
Competing over him
Murder till we die

No Lucifer
Anymore than Lex Luther
Or Darth Vader

Not Dharma
Or Karma
Or Buddha

No Jesus,
Or Allah
Or Yahweh

Paved our highways
It has always, always

Been our species
Making it up
To avoid

Inconvenient reality.

(DISCLAIMER: This poem does not imply or endorse the oppression or physical harm of anyone or any group. It is also not a poem about hating out of ignorance or bigotry. It is strictly a poem about how humans are far more alike than they want to know in their arguments for uniqueness and originality and morality and matching science. Every religion has apologists who make these arguments.)

Now having said that. I say again, that human rights are always a given to me. I do value diversity. But I am under no obligation to silence myself when it comes to responding to bad use of logic. I owe all fellow humans the dignity of life and being free from physical harm. But if you say something absurd or flat out scientifically wrong, or especially something hateful and bigoted and base that on your religion, that is where my silence is far more likely not to stay such.

In summary, the poem is how I view that there is nothing original about any religion in the world and they all make the same arguments. It isn’t because humans are bad or evil, but because most humans defend that which they are familiar with, used to and local, mostly what society sold them. In that context it is hard for most people to see the overlap, and common themes of arguments they all make.

“A slap of the Hitch” is a take on what many people like to say about Christopher Hitchens when he slams an argument from a theist, we call it “Hitch Slap”. And he has made the argument which I quoted in the poem that basically went, “Name me one good thing said, that no other religion can say, and name me one good deed done that no other religion can do.” To this day I have never gotten a good answer. I suspect I never will.

And Victor Stenger, who is an Author of two of my favorite books, “God The Failed Hypothesis” and “The New Atheism”. In the latter book, “The New Atheism”, in one of his chapters he shows the overlap in moral arguments for each religion, thus trying to point the reader, and quite well I would say, to the argument that morality isn’t in a holy writing, or holy person, or holy book, but in our species, in our evolution.


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