Sunday, September 26, 2010

How to properly dispose of holy books

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Koran and Bible
Koran and Bible

There are no real good reasons to keep any holy texts lying around; they are of no use to the rational mind in everyday life, and what archival value they may possess (such as highlighting an excerpt to denote their inaccuracy or other weirdness) has been replaced with the greatly superior tool that is the Internet. But how best to rid yourself of these archaic manuscripts?

Forget burning them, which recalls unpleasant imagery; tearing them apart, which is just crude; or even merely tossing them into the garbage (perhaps with a nail through them), where they only take up valuable space. PZ Myers shows us the best way to dispose of these useless books, whilst simultaneously putting them to greater use than they would ever have been if perused or left to collect dust on bookshelves. For the first time since their inception, let them serve, not to spawn bloody battles and prohibitive superstition, but to help spread beautiful life. [video below the fold]

(Let’s now play the “how long before this video is flagged as offensive and removed” game …)

PZ puts it quite poetically:

Right now, the pages swell with moisture, the fibers separate and the chapters turn into pulpy masses. Bacteria bloom and their colonies expand; fungi flourish and their hyphae infiltrate and convert cellulose into spores. The ink runs as nematodes writhe over the surfaces, etching the words with slime and replacing the follies of dead men with the wisdom of worms. The roots of flowers and grasses will fumble downwards to embrace the decaying leaves, and the roots of trees will impale the volumes laterally. Given only a little time, the madness will be reduced to compost.

At every instant in this gradual process of degradation, the books are being improved and given greater value. And with my decision to discard the poisonous symbols of past ignorance, I became a little more free.

Almost makes me wish I had a garden and some religious texts lying around.