A Word on Being Extraordinary

The word “extraordinary” means “very unusual or remarkable”. Now, like lots of words, what does or does not qualify can be subjective. But generally speaking, it is understood there is a fairly high standard of rarity when calling something “extraordinary”. Likewise, if something is nearly the same as, or within a normal bell curve of a group, I think we can agree that is not something that should be called extraordinary. A man that is 5’11” is not extraordinary precisely because that height is well within the normal range of adult males in the modern world.

There are also times when it may be correct to call something extraordinary within a certain group or subset, but not necessarily at large. Bats are the only mammal that can fly, which makes them a rarity within that class, but there are thousands of species of birds and insects that do the deed quite well. And since flight evolved independently multiple times, animal flight is not, in itself, extraordinary, even if it is within the mammals. If we are talking about mammals and mammals alone, then flight IS pretty extraordinary. But within the animal kingdom as a whole, it is not.

And that’s pretty much it. That’s all you really need to know.

“Spartan Atheist, why would you write an article pointing out super obvious crap that we all know?”

Thanks, nobody in particular, I’m glad you asked. Because just like every other argument for religion, the “extraordinary” claims are anything but. Religious people seem to have some stupid notion that their religion stands alone on a pedistal above all others. They constantly tell me that no other god or religion does what theirs does. And of course, who can forget that humans were created in god’s image and all, and are therefore super extraordinary. But are they really?

To find out what is extraordinary, we need to look at what is normal. For example, the most common elements in the universe, making up over 99% of all matter, in order, are 1) Hydrogen, 2) Helium, 3) Oxygen, 4) Carbon, 5) Neon, and 6) Nitrogen. Helium and Neon are inert, which means they don’t form molecules with other atoms. So the order of molecule-forming elements are 1) Hydrogen, 2) Oxygen, 3) Carbon, and 4) Nitrogen. The makeup of the human body, over 99%, is the following elements and in this order: 1) Hydrogen, 2) Oxygen, 3) Carbon, and 4) Nitrogen. How “extraordinary” of us to be exact copies of the universe…. *sarcasm dripping heavily*

Do you know what is extraordinary? Titanium. Titanium accounts for only 0.63% of the elements in the universe. If the human body were made up of titanium- even a little bit!- that would be extraordinary. Humans are not extraordinary in composition.

And it gets worse, because hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen are the same makeup of all living things on earth. We are made of exactly the same thing as everything else alive. That is being “mundane”, not “extraordinary.” And really, this isn’t that hard. Silicon is the 8th most abundant element in the universe, and it is also very reactive element, like carbon. Humans could very easily be made of silicon instead of carbon, and then you would absolutely have a case that humans are extraordinary! But they are not. Humans are just like every other animal, and made of everything common in the universe.

Why is having a “personal relationship” with your god extraordinary? Every single pagan god ever related with humans, and in fact more so. In the pagan religions, gods were actually useful to humans, and humans could personally talk to the specific gods to gain their specific skills to help with problems. And even more mundane, they also seemingly never actually “saw” or “heard” or actually “interacted” with their gods, but merely had a feeling of what their god said. Wow. How….. ordinary.

Have you ever listened to religious people try and tell other religions or denominations why their religion is the right one? It’s just hilarious! It’s just a stupid-fest of saying totally pointless shit as if it is extraordinary. Like one Christian telling another that their denomination is wrong because “WORKS” gets you into heaven, not “FAITH.” Or some other equally pointless, mundane, untestable garbage item. Muslims point out that their story is real because Muhammed came back from heaven, and told them to pray 5 times a day. Christians scoff at the Muhammed story because he rode a winged horse (why that is the thing that makes the story unbelievable is beyond me), and that Christianity is real because god did it to save mankind. Or something. I actually don’t give a rat’s ass why because the story is fake, and because the reasons given vary as much as the weather. But the point is, none of this is extraordinary.

Yeah, a human flying without any flying device up to heaven would be pretty extraordinary. But basically every religion has done it. Even all the fake religions. If your religion is just cut-and-paste from other religions, it is not extraordinary. It’s plagarism.

Many months back, I posted a honest question to any and all religious people to try and tell me why their religion stands out. Why have they, among thousands of religions and tens of thousands of denominations of various religions, decided that theirs is right? What makes it different and trustworthy? I have yet to hear a single instance of a cleric, professor, apologist, or anyone at all make a single claim about why their religion standing out from the rest that wasn’t just boring. To be honest, I don’t even get my hopes up anymore. If I assume they are going to say something pointless and uninteresting, I am never disappointed.

And therein lies the problem. Religion is pointless and uninteresting. But that’s not a very good sales pitch. So they sell their religion by saying pointless and uninteresting things as if they aren’t.

I’m not buying.

The Spartan Atheist

8 thoughts on “A Word on Being Extraordinary

  1. Extra-ordinary article! Even belief of any kind is not extraordinary. Nearly everyone holds beliefs as unique or special, but they are still beliefs, and mostly silly. One thing is certain; humans are gullible.
    I remember learning “the natural man is an enemy to god”. No it isn’t. The natural man is actually the believer. Nearly everyone holds beliefs without tangible evidence, yet the Christian gets a reward in heaven for doing what can hardly be helped. Nice way to lock in the masses for getting points for doing what is natural.
    Here’s a philosophical question for you—Why is all the belief necessary if anything is actually real? Perhaps beliefs are all that there is?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sweet, some philosophy!

      Belief is an extremely useful “shortcut” to thinking. Our brains believe all sorts of things that are real and by just accepting that belief, we don’t have to go through an entire thought process every time we act. Imagine how cumbersome it would be if we had to think through gravity and the evidence for gravity every time we set something down! We have a beliefs in the solidity of a sidewalk while walking, our beliefs that our place of employment will still exist tomorrow….. all beliefs that we don’t actually consider the evidence for, and thus saves an immense amount of time in getting things done.

      But those are all seemingly obvious facts about actual objects. But in the conceptual, we have beliefs about the best way to accomplish our job, beliefs about what our friends and family think of us and our relationships, and beliefs about how to manage our finances.

      Is it smart to evaluate these conceptual beliefs from time to time? Of course. But in the meantime, they serve as a shortcut to doing a full evaluation of our lives every day.

      So just like a computer program that can cut down on the size of a file by noting that many bits are just repeats, beliefs help us process large ideas quickly.

      Having said that, many people do a half-assed evaluation early in life and then stubbornly stick with their beliefs. These people are frequently wrong about things.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am a big proponent of extended periods of being completely alone, like three weeks or so, usually will deprogram the idiocy. But really who has time to ponder much in todays world, especially outside of what we’ve been trained to believe at every level. Even when we think we’re thinking for ourselves it’s just filtering in and out all the opinions of professionals and men of words. It takes time to see out of that cycle, but with weekly church attendance and Bible study it is impossible without some kind of special circumstance.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. One of the more insightful things I’ve ever heard anyone say, and it was Lawrence Krauss, was that the point of college should be to have one core belief destroyed. If you ever deeply believed in something as a young adult, and then realized you were wrong, you tend to think more about your beliefs.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I don’t think of my relationship with God as extraordinary- it’s a life lived open to him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, just like everyone in the fake religions.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. “Spartan Atheist, why would you write an article pointing out super obvious crap that we all know?”
    Hey, that “nobody in particular” sounds like me.
    Everything you write here is basically correct, but then I’m still left with that question, and a headache and barrel of constantly replenished bile. Religion is a “stupid-fest,” as you say, but it is not going away, it is constantly amplified by sites-without-consequences like WordPress, and, try as we might, we cannot live free of the viral contagion of this nonsense. Why do some of the more stalwart anti-theismists here keep smacking around the religious idiots that over-populate our culture? If you enjoy doing it, more power to you, but religious morons have a lot of power in the US, and that’s not a happy fact -it’s disgusting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Notabilia, that religious morons (redundant) have power is why I do this. Nobody is going to use a made-up story to make my children dumber.

      Liked by 2 people

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