It’s curious to me that religionists have reacted so harshly through the years to comic books, Dungeons and Dragons, Harry Potter and other magical fantasy – given that religion is magical thinking and primes the pump so to speak to allow people to believe in magic and any system of consolidating wealth and power does not like competition – but you’d think that religionists would steer clear of what is understood as magic fiction in order to avoid their own magical thinking being called into question.
After all, what’s the difference between talking animals in the bible and any fiction fantasy story? You’re suspending disbelief to accept the stories and premise of both books…
What’s the difference between Jesus turning water into wine and any D&D cleric’s spell to accomplish the same thing?
One of my favorite minor spells to use offensively was the any liquid to wine – my low level characters could stab their victim, shove a finger into the wound, cast the any liquid to wine and death magic is possible at the first level of casting. Naturally, at that juncture, most game masters would demand my character sheet and look over what other spells that they had approved and not considered their use as offensive rather than the presumed gimmicky character driven magic.
I played a dwarf with a drinking problem, he drank any and all liquids the party came across – he had a very high constitution, but ended up a 10 foot tall exceptionally charming dwarf after ingesting a wish potion. Naturally, this permanent change in his character was not often or really, ever at all helpful to the party. But I tend to only play characters until they’ve tapped out their entertainment value, I dislike obstructionist players as a rule.
I think that the inability to distinguish between degrees of fantasy and to see the humour of the juxtaposition is very telling about religionists. They simply have no sense of humour, nor sense of proportionality.
It’s all or nothing, black and white.
I think a hallmark of insanity is the inability to understand humour, because if delusional people could understand humour, they would understand how funny what they believe is and not hold it so dear and sacred.
Then they wouldn’t complain about being made fun of and they wouldn’t become so enraged and hostile and even violent when their delusions are challenged by statements of objective facts and objective reality. Or even other delusional realities or obvious outright fiction, such as the previous examples.
As illogical and quirky as insanity and delusional thinking may appear to outsiders, there is often an internal consistency, or at least a persistent consistency and refusal to deal with internal inconsistencies. Delusional people, after all, put great effort into explaining internal inconsistencies or apologizing for them by softening the edges, and in refuting facts and evidence that are contrary to their delusional belief. Lack of evidence is often cited as, if not evidence for, at least, nothing to diminish the claims, which must be given special consideration and often includes appeals to vague ancient authority.
Worst case, claim everything as proof and call it a done deal – everything that supports the claim is support and everything that doesn’t support the claim, still is proof because there’s not supposed to be any proof – it’s what you’re supposed to think.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting a different result, perhaps this explanation will convince the unbeliever who will then stop asserting irrelevant facts as if it’s not all part of the plan to appear as objective reality, thus, only a select in the know few, will know what’s really going on – and those who don’t know will be threatened by this special insider knowledge and try to silence us from spreading the word, stop us from being the hero who enlightens everyone.
Real martyrs never smile and never explain.
When the delusion is limited to a few people, it’s a form of insanity, but when large numbers share the delusion, it’s called religion.
Irony is high humour and requires being able to laugh at oneself – which believers cannot do – those who can, can generalize from there.