Stanislaw Lec: Far not all have resisted
By Dr. Uladzimir Tratsiakou
The proposed text is the first of my planned circle of comments to the thoughts said out by Stanislaw Jerzy Lec*). Despite the fact that his life ended in the last century (in 1966), his talent of foresight and depth of understanding of human nature allow to call him a thinker of the XXI century. So, let us enter deeper into his thoughts which he treated with irony, calling them "unkempt". Let the first one of them would be:
SOMETIMES DEVIL TEMPTS FOR ME TO BELIEVE IN GOD.
The said might be considered just as a play on words, as a kind of pun flavored with an oxymoron. But knowing other Lec thoughts, their rich hidden meaning, which is not open to everyone, it is worthy to ponder what is behind this game is.
It's easy to see the obvious: the author of the dictum was proposed to get believer but he once and again rejected, but the devil pestered with his suggestion to believe in some god anew. It turns out that the author is an atheist on principle, having for its position some weighty arguments. And all this is also contained in Lec aphorism.
And what about others? They probably also are and were offered with this? Yes, of course. Here is information from Wikipedia about deals of believers among whole world's population: 33% are Christians, 23% - Muslims, 14% - Hindus, 6.7% - Buddhist, 6.6% - Confucians, 0.3% - Sikhs, 0.2% - the Jews, and 3.9% - adherents of local beliefs that are not common around the world. So, if you adopt this Lec thought then devil have done a handsome job. Really, not yielded to temptation there were only 9.4% of the population to be not privy to any denomination, and 0.2% of atheists to have principal considerations for them not to be a believer. And Stanislaw Lec - among those last "rara avis."
By this logic, in the ancient times, the devil led only individual work pleading each. Now when the majority of the human population compose believers to be unbeliever, let’s say in communities Islamic, Catholic, Hindu or Buddhist - is to be in opposition to the majority, be a stranger, feel everywhere attitude guarded, unfriendly or even hostile.
For comparison, innovative teachers had once theory of "the salt cucumber" when a newcomer in their classes got quickly "salted." The same happened and happens now from time to time with newcomer from "unprincipled unbelievers": as the statistics shows, they in majority joined others. Well, "the life makes a lot to do voluntarily," and it was also marked by Stanislaw Lec.
But he, this wise Pole, could for all that remain an atheist among Catholics, with their rituals and prayer services to be strictly regulated by the church. If we take into account that it looks like he, over the heads those not understanding the subtext, expresses his solidarity with those who find it difficult to be an atheist in societies with overwhelming majority of believers. The mass of believers is unlikely to carry out something from his utterance. After all, to believe means to be over some rational arguments, and the opening of the Christian theologian Tertullian, "I believe because it is absurd", as far as I know, none of the fathers of the church have disproved.
Well, it is possible that just such the meaning in that Lec dictum have laid. But this is clearly not all the meaning. Devil, as people perceive him, is always pushing into something devilish and evil (the believers would say "sinful"), even threatening to death. So the "behind the scenes" was rating religion as diabolical undertaking - this is what is hidden behind Lec aphorism. Of course, Lec could not have known about the religious massacres in Rwanda in 1994, where the last 3 months have been killed, according to various estimates, from 500 thousand to 1 million 30 thousand people, but he knew about the bloody Crusades (of books) and about the Nazi concentration camps (not by hearsay). Not everyone knows that Hitler was quite righteous Christian, just merely too militant, as he believed that all Jews as infidels and as such ones have to be exterminated in the concentration camps.
American journalist Samuel Huntington wrote in the 1996 book "The Clash of Civilizations". It is just about the inter-religious clashes having been, taking place now and those future ones threatening the very world’s existence. So this danger of a clash of civilizations, i.e. inter-religious strives and wars, Stanislaw Lec realized in the middle of the last century.
In single faith communities the religion promotes softening of manners, whereas if the community is whole humanity it is a source of hatred and even mass death. Here is how Lec contrived in 4 (four!) words to express the idea of vast content. Here is the idea:
ALL GODS___H A D___B E E N___IMMORTAL.
It says that they to be objects of mass adoration are alive in people minds only until humanity itself exist. And the possibility for humanity to go extinct is not excluded because of an unreasonable desire of most people to idolatry up to the creation of DIFFERENT gods in particular.
P.S. About one of the reasons why people create gods I wrote in an essay Coauthoring with Voltaire. I replenished there the known Voltaire thought for it to read so:
IF GOD WOULD NOT EXIST, HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN INVENTED. THIS IS WHAT WAS DONE. MAYBE FOR HUMANITY TO LIVE UNDER THREAT OF SELF-EXTINCTION.
Fathers of churches of different denominations would have to recognize this anger already long ago and avert human catastrophe on a global scale, trying together to have agreement on something, and for the beginning to discuss that was proposed to the Elijah Interfaith Institute.
*) Lec, Stanislaw Jerzy. Aforyzmy, fraszki. - Krakow, 1977.