Thursday, November 13, 2008


Since my readership has nearly doubled (up from 8 per day) in recent weeks I feel I should explain what Dougintology is.

Dougintology is what I call my own personal religion. It's not so much what I believe, but what I would believe if I did believe.

It seems clear to me that none of the current religions are correct.

Suppose for a moment that what I was told in Sunday School when I was really young is correct and that God himself wrote the Bible. You can take that as a grandfatherly figure hand delivering a stack of paper written in his own handwriting or just dictating it to a few dozen individuals. However you think he did it we're starting at a true and correct version once upon a time.

Since then the book has been translated and those translations translated several times over with each iteration getting twisted by a little or a lot to fit the religious perspective of the translator. Some religious leaders have cut passages and even whole books that didn't fit what they wanted taught. The whole New Testament was assembled by political leaders who were trying to end the feud between the Christian and Pagan populations of Constantinople.

At this point even the Pope admits that much of the Bible isn't true. It's allegory.

And how is your religion determined? By proper education into the various options and contemplation of the nature of creation, the afterlife, and the soul? No. It's part of your culture. If it weren't, the various religions wouldn't clump by geography as it does now. People choose their religion only about as much as they choose what language they want to speak.

This isn't to say that the popular religious texts are without value. You must simply pick and choose what parts have value and what parts don't. Just like any other book.

When the Bible talks about a camel passing through the eye of a needle the word that was translated as "camel" properly translates as "camel hair rope". A minor difference but a clear example of how things can go wrong in translation.

Dante's "Divine Comedy" is a fairly accurate telling of the Catholic views of the afterlife in his day. In recent years, however, the Vatican eliminated the last official beliefs in any part of it when they eliminated Limbo. Was the afterlife that Dante wrote about a departure from God's original word that has been corrected or is the church cutting out parts they don't like?

Lilith used to be listed as Adam's first wife. In Hebrew and Muslim variants of the Old Testament she still is.

I pull from several different texts, religious and non, when establishing what I think would make for a good religion. Parts that encourage slavery, rape, incest, and the like get cut. Parts that condemn eating shrimp or wearing poly-cotton blends I ignore. Parts that talk about unicorns and genies I laugh at. I build my own allegories where I see interesting parallels. I establish my own holidays.

As we move into the holiday season you'll see several posts much less serious than this one talking about some of my holidays and seasonal beliefs. You'll probably like them a lot more than this post.

1 comment:

GreenCanary said...

You better believe in Christmas, buster, because I want presents! PRESENTS! And you're getting a big-ass Christmas tree, too. So there.