A philosophy webcomic about the inevitable anguish of living a brief life in an absurd world. Also Jokes

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Zera Yacob

"Zera Yacob was born in 1599, in Ethiopia. When he was 30 years old, King Susenyos converted to Catholicism, and ordered all his subjects to convert. "

"Zera Yacob refused, so he was exiled. Fearing persecution for his beliefs under the new King, he left the city and went alone to live in a cave."

"There he reflected on life and philosophy. He realized that every religion was fallible, since it's doctrines were written by men, not God."

"He knew then that the only way the find the real truth was the use our reason, observe the world, and find out things for ourselves. Reason was common to all, no matter the customs of each culture."

"For two years he studied, and thought, alone in his cave. Then he heard the King had died, and he could go among the people again, and teach them his philosophy."

Description: Zera Yacob comes back out of the cave and preaches to the people.

Yacob: "Hear my words people: I have returned, and i have been enlightened by my time solitude, and i tell you that all dogmas and religions are the works of men, not of God."
Yacob: "Some religions say we must not eat meat on Friday, but fish is allowed. Others say we cannot eat pork. Others say any meat is allowed.  "

Yacob:  "Are we to believe God created these rules? If so, how do we know? The only way to discover the truth is through our own faculty of reason, which God gave us."

Yacob: " Instead of us fighting over dogmas passed down from generation to generation, we should promote harmony in the world among all of humanity equally."

Person in crowd: "Wow."

Yacob: "Yes, I'm sure you can see the wisdom in this, which i realized aft-"

Person in crowd: "No, I mean wow, like...wow, we really hate that idea."

Yacob: "Wait, what?"

Person in crowd: "Yes we want to follow dogmas, and kill the people following the wrong one, just like men everywhere have always done."
Second person: "In fact, we are killing the Catholics right now."

Yacob: "God damnit you guys."
One problem with going back into Plato's cave to enlighten the people is that people fundamentally like being stupid idiots.

Zera Yacob was a 17th century philosopher, from Ethiopia. Like the comic says he was exiled for refusing to convert to Catholicism, and he spent the time developing a rationalist philosophy which rejected dogmas passed down through the generations, instead believing that human reason should be seen as the foundation of knowledge. While he didn't think religions were wrong, per se, he thought the particular specific dogmas that each faith were fighting over were created by man, in part because many of them seemed irrational and conflicting, so they could not have come from God. Unfortunately when he returned from exile, the new emperor wasn't much more interested in this philosophy than the last, he just wanted to purge the Catholics, like the last guy wanted to purge the Orthodox religion. Just like pretty much everywhere else in the world, the population was the same, preferring their dogmas. At least they didn't kill him though, so that's a plus.

Zera Yacob was a 17th century philosopher, from Ethiopia. Like the comic says he was exiled for refusing to convert to Catholicism, and he spent the time developing a rationalist philosophy which rejected dogmas passed down through the generations, instead believing that human reason should be seen as the foundation of knowledge. While he didn't think religions were wrong, per se, he thought the particular specific dogmas that each faith were fighting over were created by man, in part because many of them seemed irrational and conflicting, so they could not have come from God. Unfortunately when he returned from exile, the new emperor wasn't much more interested in this philosophy than the last, he just wanted to purge the Catholics, like the last guy wanted to purge the Orthodox religion. Just like pretty much everywhere else in the world, the population was the same, preferring their dogmas. At least they didn't kill him though, so that's a plus.

Philosophers in this comic: Zera Yacob
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