The Story of Bob
Pstt, I've got a story for you. Once upon a time there was this guy named Bob who was omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He was the ultimate authority figure, and the most powerful being in the universe. In fact he created it. One day he decided to create this planet, put some people on it, and see what they would do with him as their idol. He created Mada and Vee, and decided to test them, to see if they were worthy of being his slaves, and willing to worship him in rapture forever. Of course this was little more than an intellectual exercise for Bob, for he was omniscient after all, knew everything they would do, so he already knew what the results would be. He thought, what the hell, lets see if I'm wrong, which was impossible of course, after all Bob was never wrong, but he loved conundrums anyway. It turned out that Bob also had an extraordinary sense of humor, and so he came up with some sayings and rules that he told Mada and Vee to follow religiously, or they would suffer dire consequences. Perhaps they would even end up on fire for eternity in Hades, which was run by his evil associate, Beelzebob the AntiTheist, if they failed to follow his sayings and rules to the letter. But just for his own amusement, Bob made his sayings and rules cryptic, open to many interpretations, and difficult to understand. What a fun guy that Bob was.
Anyway, after he created Mada and Vee, Bob brought them to this utopia on the planet and told them they would live there forever, if they followed the rules. One of the rules was never to eat of the vine of awareness and vice, but Bob made the fruit impossible to resist, and he had a snake-eyed representative of Beelzebob make them a sales pitch they couldn't refuse. After all, Bob already knew what their choice was going to be, being omniscient and all, but he liked to test his infallibility now and then anyway. Well Mada and Vee blew it, fell for the pitch and ate some of the forbidden fruit, became aware, and realized they were naked and very sexually attracted to each other. Bob, who was watching in the bushes, busted them and threw them out of utopia and into the desert, just like he already knew he would. He told them that now that they knew about sex, they would have to use it to reproduce, as they would only live for a few hundred years now, not forever. So Mada and Vee got busy, if you know what I mean, and within that time they were able to produce many children, who did the same, until there were millions of their offspring on the planet, none of whom were really related, of course. That would be incest after all.
Well after a while Bob got tired of all the vice these people were into, even though he already knew they would do that, you know, that omniscient thing of his. So he decided to eliminate the problem, and gas them all. He had Haon and his family, the last family without vice, build a huge wooden space ship and gather up the genome of each creature on the planet. Haon did as he was told, after all Bob was a very scary guy. Then they were told to fly into outer space, while Bob got rid of the riffraff, as well as their young, and all the animals, who like the riffraff's children, didn't have anything to do with the vice that Bob was so pissed off about. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time!
Anyway, Haon and family waited until the gas cleared up, and landed back on the planet, where they went about the job of repopulating it with their descendants and the animals. So the planet was repopulated with millions and millions of the offspring of Haon and his family, none of whom were really related of course, for that would still be incest.
After a while Bob got bored with the people and vanished to parts unknown, though he was said to drop in now and again to see what the people were up to. Some even said that he was still everywhere, in the air, land and water, you know that omnipresent thing, but this was hard to confirm. Although no one ever saw him in person again, if they ever did to begin with, there was no doubt his existence was true, because his followers said so, and who could ever doubt them? This vanishing act caused his first followers, the Who clan, to revere him even more. The Who clan let it be known to all the other infidels.org and heathen clans that they were the chosen ones of Bob, his favored race, something they remind us and their neighbors of to this day. The Who told everyone they were Bob's one true clan, as he had told them in his first holy book, the Borah, which was the only true book of Bob, of course. Unfortunately, they misplaced the original, but being clever, their leaders, the Babbi, reconstructed it from memory later on. The Who clan was the only clan to truly follow the teachings of Bob, especially the part that placed emphasis on the authoritarian control of the people under Bob, who exercises his control by clandestinely giving directions to the clan leadership, who relay it to the faithful, of course.
The Who clan also were said to have created one of the critical components of what has become known in some circles as "The Bob Clan Scam;" "the fear of death, going to Utopia or Hades," sub-scam. In this scam, the Babbi use the fear of death to tell the clan members that they won't really die, they will go to Utopia and live forever if they follow the teachings of Bob, as relayed through the Babbi, of course. If they didn't do this, then they were to spend eternity in Hades, on fire and dancing with Beelzebob. This sucked in a lot of the gullible who naturally didn't want to die, what with the uncertainty of what came after death and all. They would also like to avoid Hades, what with all the talk about being on fire for the rest of eternity and the Beelzebob stuff. It was a beautiful addition to the Bob clan scam, and continues to suck them in to this day. It works so well that some of the religious storytellers started to believe it themselves, and still do. I mean they don't want to die either. Anyway, the Who clan grew in prominence and became the primary lenders of money, a position of wealth, power and influence they held for a long time, until Bob's son, Chris, came on the scene that is.
Now the birth of Chris is shrouded in mystery, as he was born of a virgin bride, who was the wife of another man, who never had sex with Bob, but had his son under immaculate conditions anyway. Normally this would be called adultery and perhaps even rape, but as it was Bob's doing, it was called a miracle. Well Chris grew up and started another clan called the Chris clan, which rejected the false teachings of the Who clan, because they didn't see Chris for what he was, the true son of Bob, of course. Also, they wouldn't lend him any money, he had a bad credit history. Being a part-time carpenter was spotty work at best, and Chris knew he needed more gainful employment, so he started his own clan. That Chris was no dummy, he knew from studying the Who clan where the money, power and influence were to be found. The Chris clan continually let it be known that Chris was not only the son of Bob, he was the leader of the one true clan of Bob's, and the Who clan was really just a scam to hoodwink the people out of the usual: money, power and influence. Soon Chris was raising hell with the Who clan moneylenders, and they went to the governor and asked him to nail Chris for his behavior, as he was bad for business. The governor went along with their request because Chris and his twelve clan-members were becoming a major pain in the ass. So the governor decided to make an example of Chris, and nailed him upon a great cross, to show his followers that he wasn't really the son of Bob, but just another scam artist trying to hoodwink the people out of the usual: money, power and influence. Well, Chris hung around on that cross for days and days, before he finally died. His body was pulled down and sealed in a tomb, but he escaped, the legend goes, with the help of the holy ghoul. Soon Bob, his son Chris and the holy ghoul were said to be living in Utopia, and they had become one. I know, I don't get that one either, but it must be true, because the Chris clan says it is. But anyway, Chris would be back any day now, just you wait and see his followers have said, for the last two thousand years. After all he made the ultimate sacrifice for them, right? And who could ever doubt any of it, for his followers swore it was true, there were millions of them, and they would never unknowingly propagate a lie, would they? So the Chris clan continued the Who clan's fear of death scam with some minor modifications. It was becoming a major reason to believe in Bob, what with the uncertainty of death and what came after that and all. In the meantime the Chris clan decided to celebrate the death of Chris in its ritual called the EuChris, by eating bread and drinking wine and calling it the body and blood of Chris, which is after all, nothing more than a ritual resembling cannibalism. Those Chris clans sure have some fun rituals, don't they?
Chris' followers, led by the Priests, wrote all his teachings down in their holy book, called the Babbl, and as anyone who has ever read it can testify to, it was the one true book of Bob, of course. The Chris clan was the only clan to truly follow the teachings of Bob, especially the part that placed emphasis on the authoritarian control of the people under Bob, who exercises his control by clandestinely giving directions to the clan leadership, who relay it to the faithful, of course. They announced to the world that they were the only true clan of Bob, and the other clans were bogus, designed to hoodwink the people out of the usual: money, power and influence. That Chris, he had one hell of a PR team, and soon the Chris clan became the biggest clan in the area, and is still growing to this day.
Well this state of affairs went on for a while, and one of the other local clans, The Rabs, started getting pissed off that Bob hadn't gotten in touch with them and made them an offer they couldn't refuse. Bob heard their cries, and sent them a messenger, Moumma, who was said to have gotten the word of his being chosen to be Bob's new prophet directly from one of his angels, Gabriela, after eating some of that fine kash the locals made in the mountains outside of town. Well Moumma was a fiery guy, and he had a strong libido, so he took the teachings he received from Gabriela and had his disciples, the Mullets, write them down in the great book called the Kran. Now the Kran was the one true book of Bob, of course, unlike those other two fake holy books, the Borah and the Babbl. And in this book it was revealed that Moumma could have as many wives as he wanted, because he could do no wrong, at least as far as Bob was concerned. So Moumma had himself a bunch of wives, some still children themselves. What a stud he was! Anyway, he went about converting the local clans to the Moumma clan, as he called his new clan, which was the one true clan of Bob's, of course. Moumma pointed out that the other two clans that claimed to be the true clans of Bob, the Who and Chris clans, were bogus and nothing more than scams designed to hoodwink the people out of the usual: money, power and influence, and they were really controlled by Beelzebob and his infidels anyway. The Moumma clan was the only clan to truly follow the teachings of Bob, especially the part that placed emphasis on the authoritarian control of the people under Bob, who exercises his control by clandestinely giving directions to the clan leadership, who relay it to the faithful, of course. And Moumma came up with the brilliant new version of the Who clan's fear of death scam, "the do what we tell you to, and you're going to Utopia and there will be seventy two virgins waiting to serve your, uh needs," addendum. This was an inspired addition, not only did it work to add many faithful to the Moumma clan, it was real handy in getting them to kill themselves in very large numbers in the name of Bob, and for anything else the Mullets told them to do. I mean if you had seventy-two virgins just sitting around in Utopia waiting for you, wouldn't you be in a hurry to get there? And blowing yourself up in the company of your enemies, the other fake Bob clan followers and anyone else that got in your way, was probably the fastest way to get to those seventy-two virgins impatiently waiting for you.
Moumma was a nice guy, so he always gave those he converted a choice, they could convert to the Moumma clan, and start worshiping Bob and that big pile of black rocks in Meeka, or they could be hacked to pieces. Nothing like having a couple of really good choices to help you focus your mind on making the correct decision, right? Well, given the logic of those two choices, the new converts immediately saw the wisdom of the teachings of Moumma and converted in large numbers, and are still converting to this day. His clan was soon the biggest one in the area, and is still growing today. And the Moumma clan continues to have a big impact on the scene, as 9/11 showed us all.
Anyway Bob's legend continued to grow, and before long there were hundreds, then thousands of different Bob clans, all descended from the Who clan, the Chris clan and the Moumma clan, and all of whom claimed exclusively to be Bob's only true followers, of course. Except for the Who clan, who felt you had to be born into their clan, each clan taught its members that they had to have as many children and converts as possible in order dominate the area they lived in, and to send as many true followers of Bob's to Utopia as possible, under their individual clan sponsorship. It was also vital to indoctrinate the children as early as possible in the belief in Bob and the clan teachings; to ignore this reality was to risk the children becoming intellectually aware and turn into infidels, or even worse join another clan later on in life, both a fate worse than death as far as the clan members were concerned. As for the fact that most of these people would grow up in grinding poverty, well that wasn't important, they could always blame the poverty caused by the overpopulation their clan dogma created on their enemies. What was important was the need to produce as many people as possible, for the glory of Bob, and the power of the clan. It was well known that the clan who gets the most members into Utopia wins; after all, and that's what's important, not how hard life on this planet would be with all those people competing for the same scarce resources. As for the other Bob clans, they were evil after all, and there was nothing like having a strong incentive to rationalize the killing of many millions of people who didn't think just like you, and were doomed to dance with Beelzebob in the end anyway. So they were just doing them a favor and sending them their final reward a little early, right? And if you had to send many millions of your own followers to Utopia in the process, well they were going to a better place after all, weren't they? And all you were doing again was sending them to their final reward a little early, right? Don't you just love the logic of that argument? It's still big with the Moumma clan to this day and it's coming back into vogue with the Chris and Who clans as well.
This philosophy did cause some problems, what with the scarce resources and all, like food, land, shelter, etc. But that was no problem really, for all true believers would end up in Bob's Utopia, and in the meantime they could just take what they needed from the other Bob clans, who weren't the true believers of Bob's anyway, and deserved what they got. Well, this behavior by the various Bob's clans created conflict as you can imagine, and soon Bob's clans fell into warring with each other, killing millions and millions of each other's followers in the name of Bob over the next two thousand years. The belief in Bob also spawned hordes of lone nuts and small clans called cults, that propagated death and evil, as well as indulging in "the usual," all in the name of Bob, of course. And although all the killing of the various Bob clan-members, in the name of Bob, by the other Bob clan-members looked a little surreal, it wasn't, for Bob wanted it that way; after all he was omnipotent and omnipresent, so he could do anything he wanted, and be everywhere at once, right? And so he could be on each and every side of every conflict if that's what he wanted to do. For all his clans swore he was on their side, not the other side, and who could doubt them? Moreover, if Bob wanted to be on all sides of every conflict at the same time, who could say no to him? Not me, that's for sure. Besides, Bob works in mysterious ways, right?
Now there were also some people called unbelievers or infidels, who thought the story of Bob was, well, a fairy tale, had nothing to do with reality, and was in fact instrumental in the spread of evil. They pointed out the problem of the seemingly endless Bob clan warfare, and the destruction it brought humanity, past and present, as proof that the Bob clans were involved in evil doings. This was blasphemy, the Bob clans said; Bob was an all-powerful being of pure good, and the problem of evil was caused by the other bogus Bob clans, the infidels and Beelzebob--not them. The unbelievers just laughed and pointed out the obvious: the problem of evil in the world, as framed by that ancient Greek guy, the philosopher Epicurus. Now Epicurus stated the problem of the existence of evil succinctly, and it bedevils the Bob clans to this day. He said either Bob can prevent evil and chooses not to, which makes him not very good, or Bob tries to prevent evil and can't, which makes him less than omnipotent. (From Encarta, resource of that demi-Bob, Bill.) This enraged the Bob clans to no end, and after a while they claimed to have an answer to the dilemma of the existence of evil, it was called "the free will argument." Though no one really knew where it came from, they were sure that it was the will of Bob, of course. Some credited its discovery to St. Augustine, who perhaps may have had a revelation from Bob on it. But he was also into predestination, so that was hard to square with the free will thing. Others credited it to the monk Pelagius, who wasn't going to take the rap for the sins of Mada and Vee. Its origin was murky at best. The argument reportedly said that Bob must have given humanity free will, and it was this exercise of free will by humanity that allowed evil to exist, and took Bob off the hook. Of course this argument opened the door to that little episode where Bob gassed everyone but Haon and his family a while back, as he did it all by himself, right? This was the first-ever recorded instance of genocide, and it was committed against the entire human race, save Haon and his family. What kind of loving being would do such a thing to his own creations? The Bob clans called it justifiable homicide, but what did the babies, children and animals do to deserve to be gassed to death? Well, they have no answer for that, other than you must not question the will of Bob, of course. Besides, they said, changing the subject, Bob wasn't the cause of evil, his associate Beelzebob was. This, it was pointed out by the unbelievers, made the claim of Bob's being omnipotent and omniscient hard to believe. I mean if he's omnipotent, how could he not be able to control everything, including Beelzebob? If he's the head guy, he has to take the heat for the things that go wrong that he can control, but refuses to, right? After all, isn't that what good morality calls for? And as Bob is omnipotent, he has the responsibility to use his power wisely, doesn't he? With ultimate power comes ultimate responsibility, but Bob never delivers on this last point the unbelievers said. And there was one other little problem according to some of the unbelievers, the "free will argument" collides head on with the, "everything is predestined by Bob argument." But his clan members would say that just because he can end evil, it doesn't mean he has to; he's Bob, and he can do whatever he wants, and whatever he wants is good and perfect because he is omnipotent and omniscient, and just, and he has everything planed out perfectly, except evil of course, that's humanity's and Beelzebob's fault not his, and you can't understand his decisions because you're not him, so quit trying to understand him, shut up and just do what he says, as relayed through us. After all only fools wouldn't see the truth of what the Bob clans said, so what ever it was that they said, whenever they said it, it was always the truth, so help them Bob, understand?
Anyway, the unbelievers never relented, and said that the free will argument was all smoke and mirrors, and failed to get Bob off the hook for the existence of evil. The unbelievers continued to point out that the free will argument fails to deflect the blame for the existence of evil from Bob, for if he was omnipotent, he could end evil if he wanted to. His failure to act on evil led right back to the original argument, plus one: 1) either his failure to prevent evil is willful, and he isn't a nice, just, guy, or 2) he is unable to prevent it, so he is weak against evil or 3) he is a myth, and myths can't do anything about evil anyway. Furthermore the free will argument isn't in the clan's holy books, and can't be traced directly back to Bob saying it at all, so obviously the Bob clans made up the free will argument to cover the failure of Bob to prevent evil.
"Nonsense!" said the Bob's clans. They swore it was all true, and the only people who were confused about the free will argument were the ones that didn't follow the teachings of Bob religiously. For clearly they wouldn't listen to truth and reason, the truth and reason of the Bob clans that is. It was repeated over and over by the Bob clan's leaders, that in the holy books there were references that proved that Bob gave free will directly to us in a revelation or something, all you had to do was read the books and you would see the light. But of course this offering of proof got back to Bob's sense of humor remember? For he did make those sayings cryptic and open to many interpretations, and the fun never stops with his books, they all say whatever you want them to, you just have to dig deep enough to find what you need, and clan fundies were very good at that.
Bob's clans continued to portray unbelievers as pawns of the lord of darkness, Beelzebob, and Bob was said to have given his clans the OK to eliminate them. But no matter how many they eliminated, those pesky unbelievers managed to survive. And they just kept pointing out the obvious errors in the tale of Bob, and in the Borah, Babbl and Kran. The unbelievers pointed out how the population problem created by these clans trying to out breed each other in the race to dominate the world threatened to overwhelm the world's resources. They also pointed out that most of the followers of Bob would face grinding poverty because they had more children than the resources and jobs available could support. But being few in number, and having little access to the politicians or the media, the unbelievers were easily shouted down by the millions and millions of Bob's followers, who had strong political and media influence, and put the fear of Bob into the politicians and media moguls minds--and their wallets.
Some of the unbelievers started to gather together in clans of their own called Isms; named after Karl and Adolph Ism, and followed the example of some of Bob's clans, right down to worshiping Karl and Adolph, following that authoritarian philosophy, and killing all their rivals for power. Of course these killings included many members of Bob's clans, for the Ism clans allowed no rivals for power, just as many of Bob's clans didn't. As for the Bob clans, the Ism clans recognized that they were after the same thing, "the usual": money, power, and influence. Karl had one of the most memorable lines of the Ism clans. He said that the Bob clans were the opiate of the masses, but of course he served up a mirror image opiate for them himself. What delicious irony that was. But the Ism clans didn't have the PR men that the Bob's clans had, and they soon fell to the wayside, victims of their own excesses. But they managed to kill millions and millions of their rivals while they held power, just like the Bob clans did.
Other unbelievers, called freethinkers, rejected both the Bob's clans and the Ism clans as well. They said that the Ism clans were just mirror images of the Bob clans. They said that both the Bob clans and the Ism clans were so caught up in the authoritarian thing, and "the usual," that they were totally beyond redemption. The freethinkers said that all the Bob clans were nothing more than millions of people caught up in the oldest, longest running scam in the history of humanity, "The Bob Clan Scam," which was designed to hoodwink the people out of "the usual:" money, power, and influence. (You know, you just can't say that enough.) This really angered the believers of all the Bob clans, for there was no way they could all be the victims of a scam that old, there were too many people who believed in Bob, and they were too sophisticated to fall for something like that. They took umbrage at the notion that they were like some flock of sheep, being herded around and fleeced by some Bob clan scam-artists. Besides that large a number proved the truth of the Bob clan teachings, for that many people could never be wrong, right? No, they knew that they were following the one true path, they were all believers in the truth of their individual clan's teachings, and they belonged, each and every one, to the one true clan of Bob's, of course. They said the freethinkers were nothing more than ignorant dupes of the other Bob clans, being used for evil purposes by the other clans, and by Beelzebob. No, Bob was in charge of all that was good, and Beelzebob and his followers, the freethinkers, were in charge of all that was evil, of course. That being the case, all the Bob clans sought to eliminate the freethinkers, for they were the one true danger to them, they were not only evil, they were the ones who kept exposing the Bob clans for what they were, the longest-running scam in the history of humanity: the money, power and influence scam of the Bob clans. So great pressure was put on the freethinkers to go away, upright, or as history often showed us, otherwise. But those pesky freethinkers, they just kept coming back for more. Sometimes the freethinkers would say unusual things, like "the only being that will ever save us is the human being," which totally discounted the salvation that the Bob clans were trying to bring humanity, through becoming one with Bob, of course. Or they would point out that the money sucked up by the Bob clans could go a long way to eliminating poverty, once you got their death grip off of birth control, that is.
Now Bob's clans not only survived, they multiplied into thousands and thousands of clans, with billions of members, all of whom were the one true clan of Bob, of course. The only thing Bob's clans feared more than each other were the freethinkers, for they were growing more numerous, and they were still pointing out the absurdities in the story of Bob, and in the behavior of his clans. It was this continuously pointing out of the evil done by the Bob clans that was the most distasteful for them to handle. No matter how many times the various Bob clans tried to shift the focus from their behavior by pointing out that it wasn't them who did evil, they were pure and good, it was the other faux Bob clans and the freethinker slaves of Beelzebob who did it, the controversy just wouldn't go away. Sometimes the truth is a little sticky, and not easily washed away with soothing words.
The freethinkers would also point out that the morality that the Bob clans claimed came from Bob, was just the morality that had been collected and written into the holy books by humanity over the centuries. So the good morality in the holy books said to come from Bob was nothing more than the collected morality of many wise men, not Bob. In the end, it was obvious humanity was following its own good morality, and always had been. As for the rest of the writing in the holy books of Bob, well there are so many contradictions and so little time to expose them all, right?
Some freethinkers feel humanity has the greatest of all possible futures, but we haven't been able to completely solve the good vs. evil struggle that resides within each of us. They philosophize that the need is to see that the battle resides between our own light and dark sides, not some mystical outside force. Our path is not clear, for we will either evolve beyond what we are now and become a truly splendid species capable of wondrous achievements, or we will eliminate our future, and ourselves if our self-destructive traits are not brought under control. And the only control that will work is cooperative self-control, and a good plan for life that works. The Bob clans say they do this, but their record in the world concerning clan conflict, clan greed and economic salvation is very different from their rhetoric. And though they try to shift the blame for so much world poverty from their own birth control policies to the capitalist Ism clan's greed, the truth is still sticky, and it's still stuck on the Bob clans behavior and policies regarding birth and population control.
Fortunately for the Bob clans, the freethinkers were relativity powerless still, compared to the wealth, power and influence of Bob's clans, who were very successful in the Bob clan scam, and continued to hold sway over the politicians and most of the media. Some things never seem to change, although one can only hope they evolve into a more enlightened state. You just have to keep holding that light on the problem, and people will see it eventually, the light that is.
In fairness, most of the Bob clan followers are good people who just got caught up in the Bob clan scam, and fell for the hype, and of course the fear of death, you don't have to die if you believe in Bob, propaganda. It is so soothing and enticing a line and it works on so many who fear death, and the uncertainty of what comes after it and all. Unfortunately, these good people do provide the vast pool of believers from which emerge the demagogues, the kooks and nuts and their followers, people who would destroy us all if we won't bow and submit to their will, in their misguided belief that they alone know the true meaning of life. But in the end, you are born, and you die. It's what you do in between that counts, so do the best you can, and try to leave the world a little better place on your way through. That's the true meaning of life for me.
Anyway some of Bob's clans are content today to just enjoy the money, power and influence they have, not to mention the many children they uh, minister to. They love to show their compassion for life by protecting the unborn, from the time their parents start thinking about having kids, right up to the point of birth. And they will kill as many people who support abortion and birth control as necessary, to protect the sanctity of life. Others of Bob's clans are more active and assertive in spreading his message of love and tolerance far and wide, and seek to convert everyone to their particular clan. So you better believe in Bob and them, or else you'll soon be on fire and dancing with Beelzebob.
Now of course these days some Bob clans leaders pay lip service to the idea that the big three clans get along just fine. Pay no attention to the historical record, or the current warfare, we're all good friends they say, really. Just below that surface banality of how friendly they are all to each other lays another reality, the burning belief that they are all individually the one true path to Bob, and the others follow false prophets and are on the path to oblivion. This will always provide the fuel and fanatics for the endless religious conflicts that will result in the apocalypse, of course. And how can we avoid this? That's easy, just give Bob a call and tell him how bad the situation is, and then enlist his help getting us all out of this mess. I'd call him, but his number is unlisted, and people who say they have talked to him usually end up in the nut house anyway. Nonetheless it's within Bob's hands alone that the salvation of humanity rests, say his clan members. Bob and/or his son are coming soon, some say, sometime between now and the end of eternity, or humanity, which ever comes first.
Of course the freethinkers say we have another choice, we can accept reality, recognize that all that exists is this universe, within which is this world, and all that is in it. In short they believe in metaphysical naturalism, and believe humanity needs to move away from superstition, and towards a more rational secular social organization, but who listens to them anyway.
The Ism clans are still around, but like an old tiger, they are toothless, or have been taken over by that other clan, the capitalist clan. The jury is still out on them.
So today we have many of Bob's clans briskly going about the task of trying to eliminate each other, so they can be the one true clan of Bob's that survives all the Bob clan conflicts. Hey, the pay is good, great job security, lots of perks, and the boss, Bob, is never around. Of course this creates a power vacuum and into this vacuum many who should not, seek to step. Power, it's so compelling and addictive, isn't it? So if you have that burning desire for power, this is the place to be.
The Bob clans could easily be persuaded to follow a more enlightened path, but only by Bob showing up in person and getting them all on the same page at the same time, of course. Until that happens, or the end of eternity gets here, we'll just have to hope the behavior of the Bob clans doesn't lead to the annihilation of humanity. For weapons of mass destruction are within reach of some of Bob's more radical clans now, and there are those in the Bob clans that would just as soon kill us all now anyway, to saves us all from the hell and damnation coming soon in the great apocalypse near you. And if they have to destroy all the rest of the people in the world to be the one true clan of Bob left standing, well, so be it, Bob willing.
What's the moral of the story?
What a difference two letters make.
Copyright 2002, David M. Payne. This electronic version copyright 2002, Internet Infidels, Inc.