Wasps

I originally posted this today on my personal blog, Fancy Hollywood Frogs, but as it pertains to atheism (in the sense that wasps are evident of a cruel or nonexistent god) I thought I would share it here too.

I hate wasps.

I’m not talking about WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants), though they sure annoy the hell out of me too, but wasps – the spindly, black-and-yellow, six-legged, winged harbingers of misery and impending doom.

Yeah, one of those.

Wasps serve no purpose whatsoever other than to scare the ever-loving shit out of me. They are aggressive, hideous, and haunt the worst of my nightmares. Oh, and they come with a weapon. Not that anybody needs to be educated on what wasps are, but they will sting you. Not only will they sting you, they’ll hunt you down for miles just so they can sting you. And you know what else? Unlike bees, which lose their stingers (and die) after stinging someone or something, a wasp will just keep stinging. With no regard whatsoever to your overall happiness, a single wasp will release up to six pints of venom into your body through its stings.

Wasps do not care about your well-being. They will happily kill a man and then fly home to their colonies of buzzing death and brag to all their friends. Wasps are known for their ability to kill entire crowds of people without so much as blinking one of those horrid, black eyes. For the record, looking into a wasp’s eyes is like peering into the depths of Hell itself.

There is nothing on this world (or, I would wager, on any other world) worse than a wasp. They are evil, conniving, and full of pent-up teenage angst. Except instead of wearing dark eyeshadow and cutting themselves, wasps will cut you. Because some of them carry knives. Wasps are worse than Hitler.

Here in Texas we have what are conveniently called “red wasps.” These are like normal wasps, except their bodies are red and their wings are as black as their hearts (picture below). According to a website called “What’s That Bug?” red wasps are known for their non-aggressiveness. Oh wait, except they are aggressive, according to the editor’s note at the bottom of the page linked above:

April 11, 2011. We have gotten so many comments of first hand accounts of aggressive Red Wasps that we feel compelled to withdraw our statement that the Red Wasps pose no threat.

The editor then goes on to say, basically, that there must be some new species or subspecies of red wasps that are pissed off, all the time. What’s worse is they won’t tell us what we did to make them so angry.

Death on six legs.

I had an encounter with a red wasp yesterday. There I was, minding my own business, when I caught a flash of red out of the corner of my eye. I spun around to see what it was, but nothing was there. Suspicious, I took my next few steps very carefully. Suddenly, from about ten yards away I spotted something flying at me fast. I ducked to one side and saw the unprovoked, pissed off kamikaze wasp soar by my head. With barely enough time to readjust my footing, the wasp pulled a perfect 180ยบ and came at me again. I ducked the other way and managed to evade the hate-copter a second time.

Now when I turned to face it, the thing was already preparing to strike at me a third time. It was hovering in the air at eye-level, about two yards away. Hovering. It was just watching me. This insect was judging me, trying to determine whether it could take me in hand-to-hand combat. It was soon clear that ultimately the wasp decided it did not fear me and wanted nothing more than to taste my blood. It came at me again and I swatted at it with an open palm but missed. I spun to face it just in time. It was now right. in. front. of. me.

My enemy and I danced for a while; the wasp swerving this way and that, growing angrier by the second while I flailed my arms about in a panic, wondering nothing but whether this would be the day I died. With a stroke of luck, my open hand made contact with the wasp and it fell to the ground. One slap, I knew, would not be enough. Wasps are like zombies: they will keep coming after you until you put a bullet into their brain. Even if I had managed to find shelter while it was still incapacitated, the wasp would have eventually found me. Maybe not right away – maybe even six years from now – but the important thing to know is that a wasp will never forget you, and it will never find solace until it has killed you.

So I stepped on it. I crushed my foe under my shoe, but when I removed my foot with a sigh of relief it was still moving. I think it even managed to flip itself over onto its feet after having landed on its back – I’m not sure, though. My next act was not a conscious decision I made, but an animalistic impulse. I drove my heel into its pathetic, wounded body and dragged it across the pavement until it had been properly shredded.

My only regret is that I did not then gather its body parts and craft myself a necklace out of them, to serve as a warning to any other would-be attackers.

Wasps are proof that either god does not exist, or he hates us.

Is god evil?

Christians have a tendency to use their god’s name in vain or, as Ricky Gervais reworded it, “in vanity,” without even realizing it. What it means to not use god’s name in vain is to not attribute his power or blessing to the fulfillment of your personal desires. In other words, thanking god for helping you win that Grammy award or helping your team win the Super Bowl is using his name in vain. To clarify, one need only ask why god didn’t also let the other nominees win the Grammy, or why didn’t god let both teams win the Super Bowl? As much as I’d like to imagine god is a Green Bay fan, I imagine that if he existed and were as all-powerful as the writers of his memoirs said he is, then he’s got some more important things to do.

More important things such as sheltering the homeless, feeding the starving, rescuing the cast of Gilligan’s Island, and making sure hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and earthquakes never strike populated areas.

So god’s got his hands full. While Michael Phelps is busy earning his sixth gold medal, god is too busy making sure people never suffer or die, ever. Because that’s within his power. And he is loving.

Okay, so maybe god doesn’t end all suffering. My question is why? If he can, why doesn’t he? Is god evil?

What is evil? Evil, in our natural and earthly realm, can generally be accepted as acts of malice without any concern for consequences. The unjustified killing of another person whilst seeing absolutely nothing wrong with your actions, for example, could be considered evil. I could go into what does or does not justify the taking of a human life, but that could take a while and I’m trying to keep this relatively short. Let’s just try and agree, then, that torturing and murdering millions of people is evil or, at least, really really bad. Or at the very very least, not good. Okay, so the Holocaust was not good. We’re starting to see eye to eye now. We could also probably agree that the people still alive today who had nothing to do with the Holocaust but think it was completely justified (or deny it ever happened at all) are not good people. I would go so far as to say that person is a bit lacking in the morality department.

So what if somebody has the capability to snap his fingers (hyperbolically) and end all the suffering in the world immediately, but chooses to do nothing despite his powers? One could then blame the continued existence of suffering on that somebody (or in this case, on that god). That somebody is knowingly allowing children to suffer from starvation on a daily basis, all the while having the power to make it stop. Does a child deserve to suffer from starvation? Absolutely not; no sane person would ever say a child (or anybody, for that matter, but I’m using children specifically because people don’t seem to be as emotional about adults suffering) deserves to suffer, for any reason. Choosing to ignore or even prolong suffering is not simply apathy – it is evil.

A good god is not apathetic to suffering, and an apathetic god is not worthy of being worshiped. Is god good? If so, why is there pain and suffering? If not, why do so many people look up to him?