we had such men as Cassius, though of an ill temper, but critical, we would have made quite some strides against all superstition. In an address to Brutus, he had this to tell him
It is the opinion of our sect[ Epicurian philosophy] that not all that we feel or see is real and true;but that sense is a most slippery and deceitful thing, and the mind yet more quick and subtle to put the sense in motion and affect it with every kind of change upon no real occasion of fact; just as an impression is made upon wax; and the soul of man, which has itself both what imprints and what is imprinted on, may most easily, by its own operations, produce and assume every variety of shape and figure.
[..] It is its nature to to be ever in motion and its motion is fantasy or conception.
[…]But that there should be any such things as supernatural beings, or if there were, that they should have human shape or voice or power that can reach us, there is no reason for believing, though I confess I could wish that there were such beings, that we might not rely upon our arms only and our horses and our navy, all which are numerous and powerful, but might be confident of the assistance of gods also, in this our most sacred and honourable attempt.
Cassius to Brutus in Plutarch Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans
Upon setting his eyes on a football game for the first time, YHWH consulted Angel Gabriel for an explanation: YHWH: Why are those 22 men there chasing an inflated piece of cowhide? Is it a sort of ritual? Have they created another god besides me? Gabriel: It’s a game. They call it football. One team wins, and another loses. YHWH: Why are they cheering when the cowhide passes some lines on the ground? Are the lines magical? Gabriel: The lines signify territories. If the ball passes particular lines, it means that one side has struck a goal against the other, which is a victory. Hence the cheers. YHWH: What sorcery is that? Why don’t the men just take up spears and shields and maul each other to the ground, like real champions? Gabriel:Most men nowadays consider violence to be uncivilized and archaic. They now engage in such sports as football for recreation and to release their pent up energies. YHWH:This is an outrage. The men are going soft in their heads. Why, I’ve just seen one of them chase the cowhide to the end of the field, only for another one to run for it, and throw it right back into the field. And they all started running after it, once again. Are they bewitched? Gabriel:They are following the rules of the game. There is a stipulated time during which the game has to keep going. YHWH: So why are the fully clothed men on the benches admiring the scantily dressed men on the field? Are the men on the benches homosexual? Gabriel: They are not admiring the men per se. Not in a sensual way. They are admiring the skills displayed on the field: the tackles, the fouls, the passes, the interceptions, the slants, the midfield game, the inevitable penalties, and the ultimate scoring of goals. YHWH: What sorts of spoils go to the victors? Do they take land away from those who have lost the game? Do they get to take their women and livestock? Gabriel:No, the victors simply celebrate their victory on the pitch and in the evening. Tomorrow is another day. Another match. Today’s losers might be tomorrow’s victors. It’s a dynamic arrangement. YHWH:It sounds totally devoid of sense. And a little deranged.
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