Agnostic Mythology

This page contain:

Song list

Part One: Some Stuff

1. I Am Your Man (©1996 WIDERQUIST)
2.  The Home of the FAT Homeless (©1996 WIDERQUIST)
3.  I Don’wan’a’no (©1996 WIDERQUIST, FRAST, TURNER, COLUMBO, KONO, CELENTANO)
4.  Trains (©1980 DAVID FENTON, EMI Music Publishing Ltd)
5. Sweet Child o’Mine: A Dramatic Reading of the Poetry of Guns and Roses (©1986, etc.) (recorded with the Rosen-Gunn String Quartet)
6. The Submonotone Theme (Traditional)
Part Two: Agnostic Mythology
7. Agnostic Apology
8. Interlude 3 (©1992 WIDERQUIST, FRAST, WILLIAMS, YEE, ADEL)
9. The Agnostic Creation Myth (©1996 WIDERQUIST)
10. The Myth of Agnos I & II:  I The Agnostic Covenant (©1996 WIDERQUIST) II The Counter-Factual Agnostic Messiah (©1998 WIDERQUIST)
11.  The Agnostic Commandment (©1996 WIDERQUIST)
12. The Agnostic Psalms (The Song of Agnos) (©1997 WIDERQUIST)
13.  The Agnostic Meditation Mantra (©1997 WIDERQUIST) and The Agnostic Prayer (©1997 WIDERQUIST)
14.  Blind (An Agnostic Parable About An Accident on 3rd St.) (©1997 WIDERQUIST, FRAST, WILLIAMS, YEE, STEWART)
15.  The Agnostic Myth of the Afterlife (Words ©1996 WIDERQUIST) (Music “Interlude 3" ©1992 WIDERQUIST, FRAST, WILLIAMS, YEE, ADEL)
16. An Agnostic Moment of Silence (©1998 WIDERQUIST)
17. An Agnostic Dialogue About the Path to the Perfectplace
19. Why I Don’t Know if I’m an Agnostic By Michael Lewis (©1998 Lewis)


Credits

MUSICIANS
Karl Widerquist: bass, vocals, guitar, and celebrity impersonations
John Celentano: drums and percussion
Tom Williams: guitar
Scott MX Turner: guitar
Helen Yee: fiddle and fake cello
Christine Colombo: fiddle and vocals
Saria Young: Vocals
Debbie Steinberg: Vocals
Paul Frast: Vocals
Tate: Guitar, Keyboard, and fake strings
Yusef Adel: Drums and Percussion
Andy Crossland: Celebrity Impersonations

ACTORS
Faithguy: Tom Williams
Everydude: Karl Widerquist
Otherfaithguy & others: Christy Holloway
Alternafaithchick & others: Elizabeth Grubert
Panfaithguy: Andy Crossland
Antifaithguy: Mike Dervin
Yetanotherfaithguy & others: Paul Frast

LYRICS

Part One: Some Stuff

1. I AM YOUR MAN

    So he says to me
    I am
    I am
    I am
    Your man
    I am
    I am your man
Paying the price
Paying the price
Paying the price
For letting me do
What you wanted me to
    I am...
Paying the price...
For letting me be
What you wanted me to be
    I am...
Paying the price...
Isn’t this what you expected?
It’s time I collected
Everyone knows
I’m what you chose
What do you complain for?
You know what I came for?
Isn’t this what you expected?
It’s time I collected
So I say to him
Wake up Maggie I think I got somethin’ to say to you*
 

* Sampled from, Rod Stewart, “Maggie May”

2. HOME OF THE FAT HOMELESS

I heard this candidate
Say at the presidential debate
Say, “This is America, nobody’s gon’a starve” *
An’I’m thinkin’ what America’s he from?
Is this guy from Mars?
Has he never seen somebody sleeeping on a heat-grate?
Has he never seen somebody eating from a garbage can?
Then I see this guy sleepin’ on a heat-grate
And he’s got’a be a 300 pound man
An’I’m like, “Oh, so this is what...(he) means
(He) means
    We’re,” ** the home of the fat homeless
    “The land of the free” †
    Where if you’re willing to eat garbage
    This is the land of plenTee
Do do doda
Do do doda
Do do doda uda uda
Do do doda uda uda
We produce enough food to feed the nation
But, we won’t pay wages to feed the nation
You might die of malnutrician
Or sit through a sermon at the mission.
You might die of hepatitus
Or drugresistant teburculosis
But, have no fear of starvation
We throw away enough food to feed the nation
    We’re the Home of the Fat Homeless...
You might die of malnutrician
Or sit through a sermon at the mission.
You might die of hepatitus
Or drugresistant teburculosis
But, have no fear of starvation
We throw away enough food to feed the nation
If you’re desperate enough to eat that stuff
You might as well eat ‘till you’ve had enough
    The Home of the Fat Homeless
    “The home of the brave” ††
    The home of the work incentive
    The home of the poverty wage
In the land of the dollar bill ‡
    We’re the Home of the Fat Homeless...
(Optional fourth verse):
Homelessness could be construed as a threat
To keep the workers desperate.
The best work incentive is a desperate worker.
The hardest worker is a desperate worker.
The harder the worker works:
The lower the wages get.
The lower the wages get:
The harder the worker works.
The harder the worker works:
The richer the rest of us get
That’s why we’re the...

* Bob Dole at the 1996 Presidential Debate
** Paul Simon, 1987 “Graceland” from Graceland.
† Frances Scott Key (c. 1812) “The Star Spangled Banner”
†† Frances Scott Key (c. 1812) “The Star Spangled Banner”
‡ Sampled from Paper Lace (1974) “The Night Chicago Died.”

3. I DON'WAN'A, NO

If you’ve got something to say then say it
If you don’t have something to say then don’t say it
That’s all I have to say.

Unless and untill...
Step in and stand clear
I can’t quite hear
Wait what was the question you ased me?
“You’re speaking Chinese”
You’re a symptom of my desease
I can tell you had something to tell me (well)
    I don’wan’a, no (I don’wan’a no) *
Unless and untill...
I guess I could
I’m not sure I should
I don’t think you’ve said what you’re saying
I really don’t no
I don’t think it shows
OK, you go, I’m staying (no)
    I don’wan’a, no (I don’wan’a no)
    I don’wan’a, no (I don’wan’a no)
Unless and untill...
So that’s it?
That doesn’t quite fit
I mean you called and all I did was pick up
After all we’ve seen
Why can’t you say what you mean
I mean I really think I could guess, but
    I don’wan’a, no (I don’wan’a no)
    I don’wan’a, no o o (I don’wan’a no)
    I don’wan’a, no (I don’wan’a no)
Unless and untill...
You tell me

* Paul Frast from Remember Alice? 1996 “I Don’wan’a, no” from This is an EP About...

4. TRAINS

And again I wait for you
My tired hands are turning blue.
I’m not sure if it’s night or day.
My body’s aching in the cold and rain,
But I can’t go home in case you’re on the next train.
So, here I stand I’m just waiting for you.
    Everybody I know has to face the trains
Playing games I turn around
I kick my heals I count the clowns
I whatch another lonely man
Oh, but there’s something in the air that says I’m in the right place
So, I gaze at the crowd I’m trying to find the right face
And there it is.  You said you’re sorry too.
    Everybody I know has to face the trains
    Everybody I know makes the same mistakes
Well, there’s a hole in the ground that seems to eat me up
I can’t say enough about the two of us.
My arms are breaking I can’t hold you enough
Oh, I can’t hold you enough.
I want to love you again
I want to love you again
I want to love you again
I want to love you again
I want to love you again
I want to love you again
I want to do it again
I wan’a, I wan’a, I wan’a
    Everybody I know has to face the trains
    Everybody I know makes the same mistakes
        Well, you took me to a glycerine party everynight
        I followed on your lead when you put out the light
        I couldn’t fight the feeling that it’s warmer than rain.
        I couldn’t fight the feeling that you can’t fight trains
Cause I know
Nobody tastes like you
Nobody looks like you
Nobody loves like you
I can’t go home
I wan’a do it again
I wan’a do it again
I wan’a do it again
I wan’a do it again
I wan’a do it again
I wan’a do it again
I wan’a do it again
I wan’a, I wan’a, I wan’a
 (Fiddle solo)
What did you say?
OK I said some things that I didn’t mean
Tell me why?
Cause I was hungry for your sweet 16
So you lied?
Oh, just to keep you here you’re so naive
I get so lost and lame
Like on a Bawl and chain
but, I wan’a do it again
I wan’a do it again...I wan’a, I wan’a, I wan’a
    Everybody I know has to face the trains
    Everybody I know makes the same mistakes
    Don’t let the
    Trains
    Get’ya

PART TWO: AGNOSTIC MYTHOLOGY

7. AGNOSTIC APOLOGY
    I’m not sure but I’ve been thinking about becoming an agnostic...To be free from faith in the unknown, to believe what is proven and to treat the rest as theory. Religious people believe in God or something like that; Atheists believe that God does not exist; Agnostics just don’t know. It’s hard to communicate that you don’t believe in God without implying that you believe God does not exist. Saying, “I don’t believe that” implies “I believe that is false.” You have to say something wordy like, “I neither believe nor disbelieve.”
    Agnosticism doesn’t necessarily apply only to religion. It’s dangerous to believe anything without question. People have faith in political ideologies and ways of life without conclusive evidence that they’re right. Why do people pretend to know what they don’t know? I don’t know. Agnosticism is not fence-sitting (although that may be an unfortunate side-effect). Agnosticism is the acceptance of the fact that sometimes the correct answer is, “I don’t know.” It’s knowing that to pretend to know what you don’t know, won’t get you any closer to knowing.
    Agnosticism’s not something you just decide to do, it’s something you strive for. I’m sure I have faith in all kinds of things that I’ve never even thought to question. Like for example, I believe that my landlord is the Devil. It’s obvious, but yet, maybe I should try to remain skeptical despite the evidence.
    Some agnostics believe that the truth is not only unknown, but unknowable. That is, they think no one can know. But, I don’t know. That sounds like faith in your inability to know. I try to be sympathetic to people of other beliefs, because—who know’s?—they might know something I don’t know.
    For obvious reasons, agnostics don’t have a lot of myths. Atheists have the scientific explanations of the origin of the universe for their mythology. But, to agnostics, these are just theories, not a statement of belief. So, I thought I’d write some agnostic myths to keep up with the other belief systems. But, a warning to agnostics: these stories are not true. This, I KNOW, because I made them up. Please, do not place faith in them.

8. INTERLUDE 3 (instrumental)
For interludes 1&2 see Remember Alice?’s first CD. To Find out why this is called interlude 3 call Tom or Paul.

9. THE AGNOSTIC CREATION MYTH
There are numerous theories about the origin of life.
Many of which make interesting reading.

10 THE MYTH OF AGNOS I & II:

“Now it all started” Arlo Guthrie, “Alice’s Restaurant” “Only a moment ago” The Partradge Family, “Only a Moment Ago” “Yesterday” Franklin Roosevelt, “Day of Infamy Speech” “Yesterday” The Beatles, “Yesterday” “Two Thanksgivin’s ago” Arlo, again “Long Long Time ago” Don McClean, “American Pie” (celebrity impersonation by Andy Crossland) “Two years ago on Thanksgiving” Arlo again “1961" The Clash, “Washington Bullets” “1941" FDR again “Back in the bad old days” Paper Lace, “The Night Chicago Died.” “A date which will live” FDR again. “A thousand years ago” Lou Reed, “Heroin” “Hudreds of years before the dawn of ’istory” Spinal Tap, “Stone Henge” “Now listen here this story" The Animals “The Story of Bo Diddly”

I. The Agnostic Covenant

The Great God or Gods or Goddesses may,
Or may not,
or up from the ground
And said unto the person or persons below,
“You guys don’t know me, right?”
And the Great God or Gods or Goddesses
The person or persons below,
Having never faced the almighty before,
May, or may not, have replied, “Uh, yeah, right.”
May, or may not, have said unto them,
“I want you guys to make up stuff about Me and fight over it.”

“Yes I got’a have” George Michael, “Faith.” “Now I’m a believer” The Monkeys, “I’m a Believer.” “I believe in Miracles” Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing.”

II. The Counterfactual Agnostic Messiah
Assume a time of world-wide civil-strife
Pitting person upon person and nation upon nation
Theoretically, Humanity might call upon a deity
To uh deliver us out’a this misery
Let’s say a Messiah appears among us, saying...
......Hypothetically
I’m Afraid you guys’re gon’a ha’fta work this out on your own

“Yes I got’a have” George Michael again. “(Instrumental sample)” and “Then I saw her” The Monkeys again. “My faith was so much stronger then” The Animals, “When I was Young.” “There’s an ‘if’ on what you say” Credence Clearwater Revival “Up Around the Bend.” “You need a bus load of faith to get by” Lou Reed “Bus Load of Faith” “How do you know she is a witch?” Monty Python’s Flying Circus, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” (Celebrity Impersonation by Karl) “And people say I’m crazy for believing this” Steve Martin, “What I Believe.” “And I guess that I just don’t know” Lou Reed, “Hereon.”

11. THE AGNOSTIC COMMANDMENT
(There’s just the one)
What? You want me to tell you what to do?

12. THE AGNOSTIC PSALMS [THE SONG OF AGNOS]

ONE
How do you no
That you no
What you no
When you don’t seem to no
Anymore than I no
And I don’t no
That I no
What I no
’s’Enough to no
That I no
What I no

UNTITLED
I think I think
Therefore I think I am

TWO
How can you see
What you see
When you see
‘Cuz when I look what I see
Don’t look like that to me

What’s the appeal
Of the zeal
Do you feel
If you feel
Enough that makes it real

THREE
What makes you think
You’re so dumb
You can fool yourself
What makes you think
You’re so smart
You’ll succeed
Don’t get me wrong
I don’t say
I don’t fool myself
I just don’t wan’a make that
My goal from the start

13. THE AGNOSTIC MEDITATION MANTRA

I wonder whether I’m wasting my time...
I wonder whether I’m wasting my time...
I wonder whether I’m wasting my time...

THE AGNOSTIC PRAYER

Could somebody tell me whether I’m wasting my time.

14. BLIND [An Agnostic Parable about an Accident on 3rd St.*]

Agnes fell asleep and drifted into the other lane.
She left her parents with no children and nobody to blame.
They said, “God’s to give and God’s to take away.”
But, why he happened to pick Agnes the other night they couldn’t say.
    Blind...I guess I’m blind
“Preacher said she’s gone, (to live in) a better world”†
My Guru said she came back to live in New Jersey as a baby girl
The television says she’ll live on as long as she’s got fame.**
Her family said she’ll live as long as they pass down her name.
But, I think we should consider that she really could be gone.
But, that doesn’t mean life doesn’t mean nothin’ just ‘cause it doesn’t last that long.
I don’t know What I see
“But I can’t seem To Believe”‡
And I don’t know What to try
When the wise men Say deny.
    Blind...I must be blind
A year later I’m down there at the café Abyss
Workin’ on this little experiment to try to find out if ignorance is truly bliss.
Agnes is still dead, and her mother’s still alive.
Her father’s still in therapy and I’ve still got these eyes.
This guy sittin’ next to me says somethin’ to me that must be sound
Like a black hole in a scientist head the kind’a stuff’s useless but profound.
“Ours is not to reason why
Ours is just to”†† stagger by
He said he used to worry about it once when he was young
But now he doesn’t even bother to try
    Get me Blind...

* See for comparison “Accident on 3rd St.” by Al Stewart, from the 1983 Album Russians and Americans. You’ll love it.
† “Brother Bill” The Animals, 1976.
** The Theme song to Fame.
‡ Led Zepplin 1978, “Fool In the Rain” at least it sounds like he says something like that somewhere in the middle section where he says all the unintelligible stuff.
†† Rudyard Kippling, “Gunga Din”

15. THE AGNOSTIC MYTH OF THE AFTERLIFE

    Suppose, just suppose, I ate a bad batch of blowfish and had to be rushed off in an ambulance. Doctors had me on an operating table, trying to save my life, but I started to slip away. My heart stopped beating. I was clinically dead.
    The doctors frantically tried to revive me while there was still time. There was hope; there was still enough oxygen to keep brain alive for a few minutes. If they revived me fast enough I could make it back without major brain damage. That’d be good.
    Meanwhile, I was trying to keep a good attitude, that “fly into the sun” attitude, “I welcome the chance to meet my maker and answer my mystery.”
    The doctors worked quickly, as the oxygen that remained in my brain began to get thin.  I began to feel calm, almost euphoric. I felt like I was floating above the operating table, looking down at the doctors and nurses.
    As my brain cells began to die, it began to get dark. At one end of the room, a bright light appeared. I moved toward it. I felt good. Death could be interesting. I mean, I hoped they’d revive me and everything. I was really going to miss everybody, but, at least I’d get to see what’s on the other side.
    The doctors began to give up hope.  The light got brighter and I thought I saw someone beckoning to me to the light.
    Then........The light went out.
    But, I didn’t see it go out.
    I didn’t see darkness. I didn’t hear, see, or think anything. I was now fully brain dead. The doctors knew now it was impossible to revive me. They sent my body to the morgue. I stopped thinking about my past life. I stopped thinking about my next life. There was no answer to my mystery. I simply stopped thinking at all.
    But, I didn’t know it.
    I didn’t know anything anymore, as a matter of fact, I was unable to come back and tell this story. Obviously, I’m making this up.
    If this story was true, no one could tell it. It could be true, but if it was, no one alive would know it. No one dead would know it either. But, suppose, just suppose, it was true. It could happen.
    For all we know, this happens to everyone, but if it does, we would have no way to know it happened to anyone. It’s impossible to verify, but it’s possible, and, perhaps, a possibility that should not be ignored.

16. AN AGNOSTIC MOMENT OF SILENCE

17. AUDIO PLAY: (An Agnostic Dialogue About) THE PATH TO THE PERFECTPLACE.

Characters of the dialogue:

Faithguy, (F)
Everydude, (E)
Otherfaithguy, (O)
Panfaithguy (P)
Antifaithguy (ANTI)
Alternafaithchick (A)/ Hedonistguy (H)
Yetanotherfaithguy, (Y) / Shallowguy (S)


FAITHGUY: Hey, Everydude, where ya going?

EVERYDUDE: Well, Hi, Faithguy, I, uh, I don'no.

F: You're lost, Dude.

E: No, I've got a pretty good idea where I am. I'm in Thisplace where all these different paths cross and go off in all these different directions. I’m just not goin’ anywhere.

F: Then, you’re lost, dude. I used to be lost like you but now I can show you the way. Only one of these paths is the Path to the Perfectplace. If you’re not on it, you’ll get destroyed: so come with me.

E: Destruction’d be pretty bad and a Perfectplace’d be pretty good. How many time’s you been there?

F: I haven’t been there.

E: Then how do you know how to get there, Faithguy?

F: The Perfectpeople from the Perfectplace left us directions to take this Path to the Perfectplace.

E: Great. Can you introduce me to one of the Perfectpeople?

F: No, they tend to hang out at the Perfectplace, they haven’t been here in a long time.

E: Then, how do you know that the directions are right?

F: I just know it, Everydude.

E: So you think you know it?

F: No, dude, I know that I know it.

E: How do you know the difference between thinking you know it n’actually knowing you know it?

F: Faith

E: What is faith, Faithguy?

F: Belief without question, Everydude.

E: "When you believe in things that you don't understand,” isn’t that superstition? Or, that's what Stevie Wonder called it.

F: He's blind. You have to have faith first before you can see the proof that Thispath is in fact the Path to the Perfectplace.

E: I only get to see the proof if I accept it without proof, but, then, I won’t even want to see the proof?

F: Oh, Dude of little faith. You can't understand the people from the Perfectplace, their perfect, not you, dude. You’ll know the truth, if you stop trying to see proof that the truth is the truth. That’s faith.

E: Then why should I even decide to start having faith?

F: Faith.

E: Look, somebody else is coming down the Otherpath.

F: It's Otherfaithguy, don't believe him, he lies.

E: Hi, Otherfaithguy what's up?

OTHERFAITHGUY: Hey, Everydude. Come with me, I'm on the path to the Perfectplace.

E: Oh, Faithguy’s goin’ there too. Maybe you guys can go together.

O: No, Faithguy's going the wrong way, he's gon’a get you lost, dude, you'd better come with me.

F: No, dude, Otherfaithguy doesn’t know the way, you got’a come with me.

E: Guys, let’s all walk a little ways down each path find out which one really goes there?

F: No, Everydude, to get to the Perfect place you have to forsake all other paths and walk only down the one Perfect Path for the rest of your life.

O: Don’t listen to him, Dude. All paths but the Otherpath lead to destruction.

E: In that case, I’d better be sure I’m headed the right way before set out. Let’s compare the evidence. How do you know which path goes to the Perfectplace?

F & O: Faith
O: Don’t believe’m, he’s got the false faith. I’ve got the real faith, Everydude.

E: How can you tell false faith from real faith, Otherfaithguy?

O: My directions explain explicitly that the Otherpath is the only path to the Perfectplace.

F: My directions state distinctly that his directions lead directly to destruction.

E: How do you know your directions are the correct ones?

F & O: Faith

F: You should question your faith, Otherfaithguy.

O: My faith’s fine, that’s why I found my faith. You should question your faith, Faithguy.

F: You only think you know that your faith is the real faith, because you have faith in a false faith, that’s why you should question your faith, Otherfaithguy.

E: Maybe we should all question our faiths?

F: Dude, “You’ve got to stand for something or you’re gon’a fall for anything.”

E: By that reasoning, you’ve got to fall for something or you can’t stand for anything. How do you decide which faith is the right faith to fall for in the first place?

E, F, & O: Faith

F. Hey here comes Alternafaithchick down the Alternapath. Don’t believe’r she’s badly misguided.

E: Hey, Alternafaithchic, nice tattoo.

ALTERNAFAITHCHIC: Thanks, Everydude. These Faithguys are, like, ridiculous. You don’t get to the Perfectplace by walking the Perfectpath. You get to the Perfectplace by walking the path perfectly.

E: Huh?

A: When you reach the end of the Alternapath, you like start over from the beginning and you walk it over and over again until you walk it perfectly, that’s when you like go to the Perfectplace, Dude.

E: Cool, Alternafaithchick, like the nose ring by the way. How do you know walking the path perfectly gets you to the Perfectplace?

A & E: Faith.
PANFAITHGUY: That’s right.

A: OK, somebody else has it right.

O: Look, whoever you are, the two of you need to open your eyes and read these directions.

P: That’s right. They’re wonderful everyone should read them.

A: Wait, You said you agreed with me.

P. I do.

F: You must be Panfaithguy. Dude, don’t believe him, he lies.

E: Hi, Panfaithguy where did you come from?

P: One of these paths; it doesn’t matter which one, cause they’re all just variations of the same thing.

A: Not mine, Panfaithguy, mine’s an alternative to theirs.

O: All of theirs are the same thing: destruction, but mine’s different, it leads to the Perfectplace.

P: Look to the core of each faith, don’t you see that the essence is the same?

F: No way, dude. The number one direction in my direction book is: “There is only one path to the Perfectplace, you shall not take any other path but that Path.” That is the essence. You can’t have it both ways. If you follow any Panfaith you’ve lost my faith.

O: For once he’s right, dude. You have any Panfaith you reject my fatih.

A: Mine too.

P: But, you are ignoring what’s most important about all of your faiths.

F: Who are you to tell me what’s important about my faith, Panfaithguy?

E: Hey look, Faithguy, somebody else’s comin’ from where you’re goin’.

F: It’s Antifaithguy. Don’t believe him he lies.

ANTIFAITHGUY: Hey, Everydude. The only thing these faiths have goin’ for them is a little common sence: the rest is crap. There is no Perfectplace. No path is the right path.

E: Well, hi, Antifaithguy, How do you know there is no path to the Perfectplace?

ANTI: There is no evidence of a Perfectplace, so, I assume there isn’t one.

E: Sounds like faith. Isn’t faith in the absence of faith a funny thing to have faith in?

ANTI: No, I can prove there is no Perfectplace.

E: That’s a new one.

ANTI: OK...Faithguy, if the Perfect People are perfect then they must be able to create a jalapeno pepper so hot that even they cannot eat it, right?

F: That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, Antifaithguy.

E: Why don’t you ask them if they’re so perfect they must be more perfect than they are perfect?

O: Here comes Yetanotherfaithguy down Yetanotherpath.

E: Don’t tell me. Le’me guess–

F: –Don’t believe him he lies.

E: I said le’me guess.

YETANOTHERFAITHGUY: Hey, everybody. Uh, which way are yous headed?

F: This path: the only path to the Perfectplace.

O: No, the Otherpath is the only path to the Perfectplace.

ALTERNA: No, I’m on the Alternapath, the only path to the Perfectplace.

P: Yeah, whatever.

E: Y’see we were tryin’ to figure out how to get to the Perfectplace. Everybody seems to have a different idea of how’d get there, an’ we were tryin’ to make sure before we went anywhere.

ANTI: Actually, we were exposing their lies.

Y: Yous twos did the right thing. The rest of you guys’re all tellin’ lies. Yetanotherpath is the only path to the Perfectplace. I’ll give yous a chance to change your minds and stop spreading your lies...

F, O, A, & P: No.

Y: Well, then, my directions say, “Yous shall not allow people who spreads false faiths to live.” So, I’ll have to kill all you false faith folks, and then, Everydude and Antifaithguy, I’m gon’a preach to yous and show yous twos a more lovin’ and peaceful way of life.

A: He’s got a knife, Dude.

ALL: Gasps, Oh, etc.

O: My faith forbids me to fight, but it says if I die I’m goin’ straight to the Perfectplace.

F: My faith commands me to defend all of us.

P: I’ll help ya.

ANTI: So will I.

A: They’ve all got a knives, Dude.

ALL: more gasps, ohs, etc.

E: Can’t we all just get along?

Y: Hah.

O: Ouch.

A: Hey, he’s stabbed Otherfaithguy. I am, like, out’a here.

ALL: more gaps, etc.

F: OK, shows over. I think we chased him off. But, if we’d’a killed’m it would’a been a clear case of justifiable homicide. You OK, Otherfaithguy.

O: I’m OK, but you should’a let’m kill me, Faithguy, then I’d’a been in the Perfectplace by now. Now I hav’ta go have this cut looked at. See, y’guys.

ANTI: This proves how asinine faith is. Yetanotherfaithguy’s faith said to kill nonbelievers, and Otherfaithguy’s faith said to let himself get killed.

F: No, dude, this proves I have the real faith. Yetanotherfaithguy’s a murderer; Otherfaithguy’s stupid, and Alternafaithchick’s just chicken. My faith made me wise, brave, & moral, so it’s the real faith.

E: So, you can tell which faith is the right faith by the morality of the people who follow that faith?

F: Yes, the moral path is the path to the Perfectplace.

E: They all thought their actions were moral based on their faiths. How do you what’s moral?

F: Faith, Everydude.

E: Uh, how do you know which faith is the right faith?

F: Morality.

E: How do you know which morality is the right morality?

F & E: Faith.

H: Hey, guys, wan’a go to the bar?

ALL: No

E: Who was that?

ANTI: Hedonistguy.

M: Hey, guys, wan’a, like, go to the mall?

ALL: no.

E: Who was that?

ANTI: Materialgirl.

P: Acutally, this incident proves that faith has a universal moral essence, because the we all helped fight’m off.

ANTI: What are you crazy? Panfaithguy, those Other faith people all acted pretty different.

P: They misinterpreted their faiths. Yetanotherfaithguy took his zealousness to far, Otherfaithguy took his peacefulness to far, and Alternafaithchick is, like, stoned or something. I’ve seen people with all of their faiths who were perfectly reasonable. The true essence of all of them is the same.

ANTI: What about Stillanotherfaithguy?

P: I can’t keep these names straight who’s Stillanotherfaithguy?

ANTI: He’s the guy a few years ago who mixed  some science fiction and a bunch of faiths together. He told all his followers that if they all wore name brand shoes and walked down a path that led right off a cliff, then a spaceship would catch them and carry them off to The Perfectplane of Existence.

P: No, not him. He’s just a crazy guy makin’s stuff up.

ANTI: It sounds like faith is pretty easy to make up.

E: Or at least it’s pretty easy to get it wrong. How do I know what parts of what faiths really makes the right faith?

P & E: Faith.

S: Hey, guys wan’a come with me to the Prettyplace?

F & P & E & ANTI: No.

E: Who was that?

F: Shallowguy.

ANTI: Look, Everydude, take a lesson. All this faith stuff is worthless. The difference between you and me is guts. I make a stand for what I believe in. All you do is ask questions, why don’t you make a decision?

E: This is not indecision Antifaithguy. My honest answer is I don’t know. All of you claim to know, but none of you have convinced me that you know anymore than me. I don’t know, and I don’t claim I know. Which seems to me to be a slightly more honest admission.

P: Your belief is bleak and lost in a life of dark and depressing meaninglessness. If there is no Perfectplace at the end of the path, there is no hope for the future, Everydude.

E: Only if your only hope is for life that begins after life’s over. If you like this life in Thisplace–the only place we know–it doesn’t mean life does mean nothin’ just ‘cuz it might not last forever.

F: Dude, If there are no Perfectpeople to say what’s right and wrong, one path is as good as another.

E: Perfectly reasonable predicated on the premise that we know who the Perfectpeople are and what they say to do. But, if imperfect people disagree about who the Perfectpeople are and what they say to do, I don’t see what help it is to refer to what a possibly perfect person may or may not’ve said.

P: We have to have someway to decide what to do, Everydude.

E: I just think we could try to make Thispalce as good a place as we can make Thisplace.

P: That’s it?

ANTI: Oh, come on.

F: Dude.

E: Well...what do I know?
 

19. WHY I DON’NO IF I’M AN AGNOSTIC
[By Michael Lewis]

Agnostics think they don’t no
And no one no’s.
Well, I think I don’t no,
But I don’t think I no
Whether anyone else no’s or not.