Catechism of the Church of Last Thursday

    I heard about this a week ago, and expected the world to end on Thursday. Why didn't it?
    Everything that indicates that this universe existed before last Thursday, including all of your memories, was planted by You. That is, you remember having heard about this a week ago, but that is a false memory. The universe didn't fail to end on Thursday, it just never existed before then, and you have been fooled into recalling otherwise.
    So, you believe in God?
    Yes, though not the God of the Bible. We believe that You created this universe.
    Why do you sometimes capitalize "you"?
    When we are referring to the creator, we capitalize "you". Getting this right is more of an art than a science.
    I am your God? I don't feel like God.
    We believe that You created the universe, then placed a copy of Yourself here to test yourself. This copy (you) doesn't have the memories or powers of the original.
    How can I be the same individual if I am just a less-potent copy?
    The personalities are the same.
    But my personality is influenced by my history.
    That is an illusion. Your history before Thursday is all planted in your memory.
    If I am your God, you must do as I say!
    We are programmed to provide the testing environment You specified. Obeying you is not part of the test. Furthermore, the copy of You here in this universe has no powers to force us, threaten us, or entice us to obey you, other than those all humans have.
    How can God be only me? Anyone can read this website. To whom are you lying?
    Only You created this universe. Everyone in this universe but you knows that You are the creator, so those who read this website know that it's not about them.
    If you're so clever, what do you know about me? What are my hobbies, what's my middle name, etc.?
    That's a quite reasonable question. The short answer is: We weren't given that information.

    The long answer is that when You created this universe and all of us, your experimental controls, you didn't endow us with perfect knowledge. The kind of knowledge we have is much like the kind of knowledge you have: our names, jobs, personal "history", a few good jokes, etc. We have a few additional pieces of knowledge about the true origins of this universe and its meaning. We also have a sixth sense — we know when we are talking to you. That is, we know it's you. The other information is, frankly, not important to our task, which is to act as controls in the experiment centered around you.

    Those are the only extra bits we get. On the other hand, you get eternal omnipotent life, if you just stay ethical and exercise good judgment.
    Can I join the church?
    You may, though it would make no sense. You have no reason to believe the truth of our gospel, so joining would be an act of faith. Part of the test You set up for yourself was to avoid faith.
    It must be hard to attract members.
    In fact, everyone but you is already a member of this church, though they keep it quiet.
    How can they be members and also not have faith?
    Faith is belief without evidence. Everyone but you knows the truth of the creation and meaning of this universe, and has known it as long as they have existed. (That is, since Thursday.) We are not acting out of faith, but out of knowledge. This knowledge is so foundational, it is hard to describe its origin. It is not observational, but innate. We know it the way you know I am.
    Most people I talk to about your church deny membership.
    Yes, they do. They are programmed to do so.
    They are programmed?
    Though we are all (including you) human, we are also all deterministic. We have been programmed to act in certain ways.
    Have I been programmed?
    No, though you are deterministic. You can think of this like you might think of an experiment in a chemistry lab. Though you don't know what the tested reaction will do, you don't assume the reagents have free will. In a sense, you are the experiment, and we are the controlled factors.
    Your views seem to imply that no one has consciousness
    We disagree. Consciousness is not so binary as the Western "tradition" (which is not really a tradition but merely a planted history) would have you believe. For instance, consciousness and free will are not the same concept. It is true that none of us (not even you) has free will, as we are all deterministic. On the other hand, we are all conscious; that is, we are all aware of our surroundings, have the impression of making decisions, feel pain and joy, etc.
    I saw someone preaching to a friend that (s)he is the creator.
    That was a setup. They both know that You are the creator. Like everything else, it was part of a show to test you.
    Well, I'm convinced, so I'm going to join.
    If you exercise such poor judgment as to act on faith, you will be punished more severely than you can imagine, and more severely than any human work describes.
    Who's going to punish me?
    You are.
    Why would I do such a thing?
    You will understand when this universe expires on Thursday.
    Isn't this just solipsism?
    Well, solipsism is true, for you. Nonetheless, this is not solipsism, which is from the Latin solus, alone + ipse, self. It's more like soltuism, from solus + tui, you.
    How can you say it's "from the Latin" if the universe was only created just this most recent Thursday?
    It's a figure of speech. It would be more precise to say "the evidence has been planted to indicate that this word is from the Latin …", but that's a mouthful.
    Well, I believe in God because of Pascal's wager: If I choose to believe in God and I am right, I will be rewarded forever in heaven. If I am wrong and there is no God, then I've lost nothing.
    The wager was put here for you (by You) as a test, and it bites both ways: If you choose faith, you will be punished (by You) much more severely than the Christian Bible describes. The calculation is now:

    The punishment or reward received in the afterlife for your choice of faith
    action \ true church Christian None Last Thursday
    No Faith very bad none unimaginably wonderful
    Faith very good none unimaginably awful

    If you choose to disbelieve in a god, you risk Hell, but it is nothing compared to the hell you risk by choosing to believe. If you take Pascal's argument seriously, you would be wise to choose not to believe.

    So, since everything was created Thursday, does this mean we live on a young Earth?
    Yes, but as part of your test of judgment you are expected to take the evidence at face value, and the evidence points to evolution and the Big Bang as the best explanations for our existence.
    How can the universe be so young when this website has been up for more than a week?
    It was not up before Thursday. Any history of this website that you observe was planted here by You at the time of creation as part of the test.
    Why did the creator put you up to this?
    It is part of the experimental procedure. You will understand the details on Thursday.
    I write left-handed. What should I do?
    Left-handedness is an abomination before You. You should write with your right hand. You may have left-handed urges, but these urges are sinful and you are to ignore them until you conquer them. If you don't wish to write with your right hand, you are not to write at all. Though this is also a sin, it is a lesser sin.

    If you have already written (or desired to write) lefty, you will be punished. Repent this perversion and depravity now, and you will be spared further punishment.

    Wouldn't switching to righty be acting on faith, and therefore verboten?
    No. Deep down, you know that left-handedness is unnatural and wrong. You don't need faith to understand that.
    Since the universe is expiring so soon, I'm going to quit my job, insult my boss, and go on vacation until Thursday.
    Acting on faith this way will only buy you unimaginable pain in the afterlife.
    Aren't you sad that you will no longer exist soon?
    We are not programmed to feel that melancholy.
    Is this a parody religion?
    Yes, really. You may come across some parodies of Last Thursdayism, but that's true of any religion.
    I have more questions.
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