Discovering The Truth
Doug has now sorted out the practicalities of Cave Life, and he turns his thoughts toward religion.
Doug does some exploring of “The Eastern Religions.”
I had spent a lot of time with books on philosophy and Eastern religions. The Eastern religions told me to meditate, to look within, because there I would find God. But the more I looked within, the more dissatisfied I became, for I knew that on the inside I was a mess.
In response to the comments on an earlier post, I reread this chapter twice, and couldn’t find any other mentions of Eastern religions. Possibly they are in some other chapter I’ve either already done or haven’t got to yet.
I don’t know enough about Eastern religions to comment much. But don’t some of them worship gods outside themselves? Since I am uneducated on this topic, we will move on.
My mind had been biased against the Christian religion by my Jewish relatives who, of course, did not accept Jesus as the Messiah. I had been told that Christianity was the cause of all the wars of European history–the crusades, the massacres of the dark ages, and the wars in Ireland between Catholics and protestants.
I will ignore the anti semitism, I will ignore the anti semitism, I will– look, Doug’s Jewish relatives probably do have legitimate complaints about Christians and Christianity. After all, most of the New Testament paints them as the bad guys, not to mention the antisemitism that is still popular today in some places.
I have no idea about the historicity of any wars in Ireland. I do, however, absolutely agree that Christianity was responsible for at least some of the wars in Europe, particularly the crusades.
Doug tells us that he had been taught that Jesus teaches reincarnation, and I find that hard to believe but let that slide.
Anyway, Doug takes the bible from the rock shelf and wipes off the dust.
“Holy Bible, King James Version.” I wondered who King James’ “virgin” was, for even though I had finished the 9th grade, I was not a fluent reader, and I misread the word.
Bullshit. I could buy, with Doug’s spotty school record, that Doug isn’t great at reading King James English. What I can not buy is that Doug has never heard of the word version. Even if he can’t spell it, he should know that it fits way better in the context of this sentence.
If Doug had been a lot younger when this happened, I might believe him and have a good laugh.
The person who left the bible in the cave wrote a note:
Born again July 12, 1972. It is my prayer that whoever finds this bible will read it and find the peace and joy I found. Below that was my benefactor’s signature.
So, this was left in the cave on purpose, then. I was wondering. I wonder if Doug’s life would’ve turned out the same if someone had left, say, a Koran (Quran?) in that cave. Would Amazing Facts be a Muslim ministry?
Do Muslims even do ministry as we would recognize it?
Anyway, Doug starts reading, and we get more “hilarious” comments about Doug’s reading skills that make him sound more like a 5 year old. I mean, even if he can’t read well, he should know, from context, that the word “brethren” obviously doesn’t mean breathing.
Hang on, didn’t Doug attend church for a bit, back at the military academy? He should be familiar, then, with at least a few of the terms, as well as the fact that the “King James Version” is something that exists. Doug has attended at least one Catholic service. Don’t tell me they didn’t have a King James Bible. Contrary to what some people believe, there are Bibles in Catholic churches. In the pews, even, where someone can just pull them out and read them during the service.
Even though I struggled with the King James’ outdated language, the stories captivated me…I liked the story of Adam and Eve, and wished I could believe it, because it would help me feel better about myself…. It would mean I was a descendant of a son of God, not of some amoeba or monkey!
Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. This is not how Evolution works. This is not how evolution works, this is not how evolution works!
I’m going to put that aside for a second. We’ll come back to it. Let’s pretend that Doug has it straight, and that evolution teaches us that we did come from monkeys. Why would that make us, as humans, any less valuable than we would be if we were created by
some space alien God?
It doesn’t. Humans are valuable, period. Because we exist, that’s why. How we came to exist doesn’t matter. We do know, that’s what does. Wrap your brain around that, Caveman.
It’s interesting here to see Doug’s response to Creation, because it is the exact opposite of mine. Becoming an atheist had precisely the opposite effect on me that becoming a Christian had on Doug. Once I realized there was no god who had designed met his way, I felt so much better about myself. God didn’t create me to be practically midget sized to make me miserable. God didn’t create me with TS to teach me some kind of lesson. God didn’t create people with severe disabilities to be inspiration porn to those around them. Those things are all unfortunate, and they happened because of a mutation, not because some all powerful deity allowed it.
Really, I don’t quite understand the argument that people feel better about themselves knowing that God created them. Wouldn’t that just create a lot of anger issues?
As to Doug’s understanding of Evolution, I’m not as educated on the subject as I’d like to be, however, I do think I’ve read quite a bit more about it than Dougles.
We are not descended from monkeys. Drink, because I just agreed with Doug on something. Evolution doesn’t teach that we are descendants of monkeys. However, it does teach we do share a common ancestor with monkeys. Monkeys are more like… cousins. It’s like me and cousin M. Cousin M and I are related, but we share a common ancestor, our grandmother. Even though she is older (and smarter, and more sophisticated) I am not descended from her.
It seems like Doug had a faulty understanding of evolution to begin with. Pity no one sat down and made him sit through science class. Or any class, actually. Which could explain a lot of things, but nevermind.
Doug then reads about the flood, and finds that it fits in with his version of reality.
…. If water had covered the whole Earth, no wonder I found fossils at 7K feet when I lived in New Mexico. It also explained why the walls of my canyon were worn smooth hundreds of feet high. A catastrophic flood carrying tons of silt as it surged back and forth made more sense to me than anything my teachers told me at school.
Well, Doug, by your own admission, most of your teachers weren’t very good.
I’m not going to lie and tell you I know much about this. I’m just now getting to fossils in Dawkins’ The Greatest Show on Earth. However, I do know that localized flooding is a thing, and I wouldn’t necessarily take “signs of a possible flood in New Mexico” to mean “A flood that covered the entire earth.”
Doug finally gets around to reading the ten commandments. He notices the bible says to worship on the 7th day of the week rather than the first, and thinks the ten commandments are a perfect set of rules.
Doug gets bogged down in the same place everyone does who tries to read the bible cover to cover: Leviticus and numbers. He runs into a Jesus freak in town, who tells him to start reading the gospels.
Doug decides to go to the library to see if Jesus actually existed. As far as I understand, historians are divided on the issue.
I learned that not only was Jesus a historical figure, he was so important that all history is calculated from the date of his birth!
As far as I know, there is actually a lot of debate as to whether or not Jesus existed. As to the calendar, there could be a variety of explanations for that. In any case, Just because Jesus was a historical figure does not follow that he was the Messiah, or that he was not exaggerated by “clever writers.” In fact, most of the biblical gospel writers were writing about these things decades after they’d supposedly happened, and there’s debate about whether or not Matthew, Mark, Luke and John actually knew Jesus.*
Doug does get cookie points for making a trip to the library. No one who writes these books ever seems to bother.
I wonder what Doug thinks of all the contradictions in the gospels. Does he think they’re not important? Does he deny that they exist? Is it possible that, in his cave, he truly didn’t notice them? I mean, if I had nothing to do but read all day, and I only had one book, I would have analyzed it to death in a week. (Give Doug’s low reading level, I’ll be generous and say he gets, like, a month.)
During all of this, Doug says he felt a divine presence, telling him that what he was reading was truth.
I wonder about the science behind this “divine presence” thing. I’ve heard people mention it, and I’ve felt it at some points in my life, but certainly not all the time, no.
Doug gives us a brief summary of all 4 gospels, then sits there and tries to figure it all out. He goes through the Lunatic, Liar, Lord trilemma of CS Lewis, deciding on “Lord.”
So Doug prays a version of the sinners prayer, and gets saved. I am happy to report that this means we will now be spared the Doug runs away/gets dragged back, then runs away again story lines.
For those of you keeping track at home, that’s 11 chapters we took to get to this point. 11 chapters. There are 18 chapters in this book. That means we have 7 more chapters to talk about what Jesus has done in Doug’s life.
If Doug truly wanted to point people to Jesus, if Doug truly wanted us to learn from his mistakes, he would’ve cut out half the chapters about his pre-conversion life and lifestyle. Doug, or Tooker, just want to tell a good story, and they have.
So good, in fact, that many people wish they could have a testimony just like Doug Batchelor’s.
I should know. I used to be one of them.
A baptist preacher visits Doug in his cave, and tells him he needs to be baptized. Doug agrees, and gets baptized in the little lake outside his cave.
Later that day, I hiked into town to buy some beer to celebrate. Something inside said “No Doug. Christians don’t drink.”
I wonder where Doug gets this idea from? I mean, lots of Christians drink moderately. And anyway, Doug claims not to have been exposed to Christianity that much before this experience. How does Doug know if Christians do or do not drink?
This gives Writer!Doug a chance to drop the whole “wine is actually grape juice” argument Adventism has against drinking. (Drink!) Because people in Bible times totally had the technology to preserve unfermented grape juice!
And then there’s this lovely paragraph:
I had used many drugs in my life: LSD, hash, uppers, downers, THC, PCP, and cocaine, but none of these drugs was more addicting or dangerous than alcohol, and more than half the people in prisons, hospitals, and mental institutions are there because of alcohol.
No way in fuck is Alcohol more dangerous than Cocaine. I will give him THC (marijuana), because that is absolutely safer than alcohol. The rest of those drugs are absolutely worse than alcohol. Not everyone who drinks gets addicted to booze. I’m not sure one can say the same about cocaine, though I admit to having had no experience with the drug.
Anyway, Doug drinks a lot of beer and winds up in jail for “public misconduct.” So, regardless of the voices in his head, Doug drank after his baptism, anyway.
Doug tells us that, after his experience, instead of saying “fuck!” when he stubbed his toe, he’d say, “thank you Lord.”
I didn’t want to let the devil make me curse, and I knew that I couldn’t thank God and curse at the same time.
Because “God,” “God bless you,” “thank you, Lord,” etc, have never been used as curse phrases! God bless this book!
Doug now wants to find someone to badger for Christ, but can only think of Glen. Glen isn’t interested in spiritual things. Adult!Doug then tells us, to end the chapter, that Glen later rededicated his life to the Lord. So basically, Doug just spoiled the book for us.