Surprise! The voice of god has told yet another person to do something horrific.
Viareggio – “a voice told me, tormented me, I had to do it.” With his face covered with blood and his hands tremble Aldo Bianchini, 44 years old, born in England but long resident in Viareggio with his mother, screaming like a banshee while at the Versilia Hospital emergency room doctors and nurses try to block the ‘ hemorrhage. Shortly before, in the church of St. Andrew, in the city center close to the town, the man tore both of his eyes with his bare hands apparently in front of elderly mother and a group of faithful who once tried to rescue him.
How come god never tells people to give all their money to a homeless guy and then they obey that without question?
Religious people will respond that this guy was clearly insane! God is obviously not talking to him! I would wonder what tipped them off. The voices in his head? That’s perfectly normal amongst believers. And how is it that other religious people know that the voice in their head is really god, but this guy is insane? Was it that the voice asked this guy to do something different? If you take the bible at its word, then god has certainly asked for worse things.
Yes, this man undoubtedly had some psychological issues. It is telling though how indistinguishable insanity is from faith.
The truth of the matter for anybody who thinks they see something supernatural or for anybody who hears a voice in their head is that the sane reaction is to first wonder if you need help. Richard Carrier captures this beautifully in A Fish Did Not Write This Essay. That believers hear the voice in their head and immediately assume god to the exclusion of other, more sane explanations, is a tremendous failing on their part. It places them in the same camp as the guy they have no qualms branding a lunatic. Ironically, it’s almost always their primary reason for believing.
And even if it is really god telling you to pull out your eyes, drown your children, give your money to a televangelist, fly a plane into a building, burn your daughter to regain your honor, or any other number of things that a little bit of human reason would render irretrievably stupid, you should probably tell god to fuck right off for being an ass.
Hell, even if it is really god telling you to suppress gay rights, tithe 10% of the money you earned, or not sleep in on Sunday to go sit in a pew and listen to someone vomit up what counted for wisdom before a few thousand years of advancement as a species, you should probably tell god to fuck right off for being an ass.