• Christopher Tanner

Noah’s Ark: Building a Cult Mentality for the Christian Faith

My journey from theist to Atheist was a long and hard one. I did not lose my faith. Rather, it was a conscious choice to remove it from my life. There were many little “ah-ha” type moments along that journey and one of the biggest ones was when my view of Noah’s ark changed. I admit, I used to love this story, my god loved me so much that he saved us from the massive worldwide flood. The part I loved the most was that he saved all the animals (well, maybe not all, but two of each kind was enough to satisfy my young and vulnerable mind). I always had a soft spot in my heart for animals growing up and that was the main reason why this fairy tale appealed to me . As a young lad I even had to leave the room when the ant died in Honey I Shrunk the Kids.


As I grew up though, my view of this story began to change drastically. The first step was when I found out that there was, and still is, zero physical evidence to support this story. Later I found out that the story is not even an original but a knock off from the Epic of Gilgamesh, a story that was written three thousand years before the bible. It is one of the many stories that the bible re-purposed and passed as its own original piece. (look here for other examples.) It was not long after this that I had a big “WTF” type moment: “This story is not one of love. It’s a story about global mass murder by the judeo-christian god.” Why would an all powerful and all knowing god prefer to murder ninety-nine percent of his children rather than just doing a better job as a parent? He could have prevented this but he choose not to. He knew this was going to happen and instead of helping his children improve, he choose to condemn them. (this was not the first time he did this.) Maybe he just did a poor job of making us and if we are made in his image what does that say about him?

It was a while after that “WTF” type realization that I finally understood the real point of the story. It is one of the best stories of all time when it comes to creating a cult mentality. Is there a better ‘us vs. them’ (christian vs anyone non-christian) type story? What does this story teach people about what will happen to them if they do not obey the christian god? Sure the story is about “good” people vs “evil” people on the surface, but lets take a closer look at it. The good people, the people hand picked by the christian god, consisted of one family. (We will ignore the fact that the Earth was repopulated by incest in this article.) Everyone else was then murdered by the christian god with a massive flood. This is hypocritical (just one of many examples in the bible) because the christian god also said “thou shallt not kill.” This is the most crucial part though and the reason why it’s such a great cult building story. Many christians will say that it is fine for their god to do this, because he is god and can do whatever he pleases. This is one of the biggest keys to building a cult–unwavering and unquestioning obedience: “Whatever our lord and master commands shall be done.” Since their leader is perfect then they are perfect as long as they follow him. Their leader can murder everyone in the world and it does not matter because he is still perfect. Think about how wrong that is and how disturbing it is that some people believe this is a good belief to have. That is what a cult does though, it warps a person’s morality to fit its own. I would not be surprised if I heard a christian say, “That global genocide was not bad, our god did it for us!”


Yes, there were massive floods that happened in various parts of the world, but a worldwide flood is false. Noah’s ark is just a fairy tale used to scare little kids into the church. This is the other part of the story that makes it great for building a cult mentality. Fear. Why did the christian god have to murder everyone in the world, save one family? I thought Christianity was all about repenting, after all, is that not one of their biggest draws? Anyone can be saved no matter what they have done. The answer is simple. An example had to be made. Basically it tells people what will happen to them if they do not follow the christian god, he will drown and murder you. He will kill everyone, including women who are pregnant and innocent babies (abortion is bad though, right christians?). You are either with us or against us. You will go to heaven or you will go to hell, after I drown you of course.

I understand the stages that I went through and why I had to go through them in the order that I did. Once a person is indoctrinated they have to be un-indoctrinated before they can see the truth. At first one loves this story; god sent a flood to wipe out all the evil in the world but he made sure to save us. Then one realizes that the “evil” that was wiped out was our fellow Earthlings, imperfect but not deserving of genocide (why do all the books about Noah’s Ark fail to show the floating dead bodies of the people that god murdered). Next the questioning part starts. Maybe this god is not all loving? Why would he murder them? Is it murder if god does it? Insert the red and blue pill dilemma, what truth is one really looking for? Do I want to follow someone who is a mass murderer? What will happen if I do not follow him? Will he murder me too? Should I follow him anyway to save myself? Then the awakening starts to happen. Wait, first off, is he even real? The hardest part of the journey is now over. Fear is no longer holding you back from being honest with yourself about the doubt that has been there all along. Here is where the journey for hard physical evidence takes place and the lack of facts and evidence speak for itself. Then one generally reaches a point where they no longer care whether that god is real or not.

We live our lives and deal with the consequences of our actions. The consequences do not happen after we die though, they happen everyday of our lives. The consequences of how we treat each other now matter far more than the consequences we face after death. We need not worry about what happens after death, because we are dead, so it will not matter. Heaven and hell are ideas not destinations. The choices and actions we take right now help humanity move closer or further away from the light of perfection. Perfection cannot be achieved if fear is the driving force. There is good and evil in the world, but we need not equate it to an ‘us vs them’ type mentality. It’s just us on this planet and we will never be able to work together as long as we continue to place these false ideologies before our fellow Earthlings. Why not do away with the ‘us vs them’ mentality? Why not just focus on us; humanity?

“One of the things which danger does to you after a time is-, well, to kill emotion. I don’t think I shall ever feel anything again except fear. None of us can hate anymore- or love.” —Graham Greene The Confidential Agent (1939)


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