Sunday, July 21, 2013

Writing Your Own Histories

"Great deeds are irrelevant if no one knows about them or remembers them."
 - Landon Kettlewell, from "Makers" by Cory Doctorow

This isn't just true for Great Deeds. This is also true for failures.

A great part of many people who are dedicated to their supreme deities base their belief on the "history" of "saints" gifted with the "power" of their "god" to do miraculous things. Heal the sick. Raise someone from the dead. Ascend into heaven. Communicate with the other side. Turn water into wine. Walk on water.

What's written in their holy texts is only successes. Never the failures, or should I say, the "practice runs." Every child knows that if they didn't do well at a game, it only counts as a practice run or a practice shot; it wasn't "for real."

If you've ever attended a televised psychic, sat in the audience, you've been forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Why? Because they know that it's hit or miss, and they don't want anyone talking about how often they missed. They're controlling who writes their history and what it says. If they really were as good as they claim, they wouldn't need that paperwork; they'd encourage you to share your experience openly.

The stories in religious books are no different, and far worse.

The "faithful" don't need non-disclosure agreements. They deny the existence of failures without any prompting at all. And the "faithful" who read the holy text take the words as fact and law, and believe all the more strongly for it. If their own attempts to do any of the "miracles" listed above don't work, either it's just another "practice run" or "it wasn't meant to be."

It's a vicious cycle, and it's not going to stop.