With the advent of the “digital age“, the ability to control and direct the thoughts, emotions, beliefs, fears and “realities” of a population has risen to heights never before seen in human history.
For those not familiar with Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce, here’s a link his Wikipedia biography. This genius of satire was a prolific writer, but The Devil’s Dictionary is considered to be one of his best works and has been called one of “The 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature”.
Although a link to the full text is included above, here are a few excerpts to whet your appetite, starting with Bierce’s own Preface.
I tried for years to program, or at least, have some influence on my dreams. I also tried sleep learning, which involved a small speaker stuffed in my pillow and a tape recorder that would begin playing what I’d recorded after I was experiencing the REM stage of sleep. Both failed to achieve their intended goals.
I’m not sure how old I was when I went snooping in my parents closet and found my presents from Santa were stored there, a week or so before Christmas. I’d been encouraged to look by a classmate who had made a small step towards truth and enlightenment himself, and was more than happy to share it with his “wittle baby fwends”.
I was living in St. Louis County, Missouri when I received my draft notice back in late 1966. In order to avoid going to Vietnam, I joined the Navy, having been assured by the recruiter that there were no Navy personnel in Vietnam. As this was exactly what I wanted to hear, presented by a well trained liar in a uniform, and encouraged by my WW2 Navy veteran father, I signed up.
As an atheist, I don’t take religion seriously. I’m somewhat amused by it’s adherents, but sometimes shocked and horrified as well. Let’s take a break from the sometimes disturbing topics covered in this blog and have a laugh at the folly of we humans.
Bigotry and fundamentalist beliefs can easily bury truth when they’re allowed to roam free in people’s minds. There’s no point in doing any personal research when you already know all the answers.
In our current world, there is far more than heated arguments about who’s god is real and which are false. In his epic satire “The Devil’s Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce included this concise definition of scripture.
“Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.”
Allah, YHWH and God have many commonalities, but Jesus as the resurrected ” Son of God” sets the Christian foundation at odds with Muslims and Jews on religious “Truth”. Much conflict, both theological and military, has been over whose God is the One and Only True God. Lost in the myriad of details each “true religion” has developed to define their God/Creator is a commonality that eclipses the details and is seldom discussed.