Joel Klebanoff: Stuff & Nonsense

To worry is to be. To be is to worry.

Product Review: ReligioMatic

Our choice of religion is usually arbitrary. It’s typically the result of an accident of birth (not to suggest that your conception was an accident, but, then again, it might have been) or a chance encounter with a charismatic preacher. The truth is that most people adopt a faith for no better reason than it’s the one into which one or both of their parents indoctrinated them.

At the core of your being you likely sense that “because that’s what my parents believed” or “because that’s what Reverend Shyster, the five-time winner of the huckster of the year award before turning his skills to the religion business, said is the path to heaven” is not an adequate rationale for internalizing an all-encompassing personal philosophy. However, selecting another faith is exceptionally difficult as they are all equally groundless. And, even if you are able to decide on one, the work involved in learning all of the asinine, implausible stories and weird rules is so great as to be much more bother than it’s worth. That’s why FutileSoft developed ReligioMatic.

ReligioMatic ReligioMatic is software that you load on your computer or run over the Internet at FutileSoft’s Web site. When you start up ReligioMatic, it displays a roulette wheel graphic either in your browser or, in the downloaded version, in a standard window. Instead of numbers, religious icons adorn the wheel’s face.

When you press the “Ctrl” and “R” keys the wheel will begin to spin rapidly. This continues for a randomly selected duration. When the roulette wheel slows down and eventually stops, the virtual marble spinning in it lands on what becomes the winning religion. You are then shown a brief synopsis of the religion’s creeds and practices. A pop-up screen offers you the option of selecting that religion or trying again. If you opt to try again, the process is repeated. You can continue until you find a religion that suits your temperament and wardrobe.

Once you’ve chosen your faith, all of the relevant sacred texts are downloaded to your computer. In addition, if you have to pass any tests in order to join the faith, you can take those tests online from the comfort of your home. Unfortunately, the initiation rites of some religions, such as being dunked in water or having your foreskin carved off, usually have to be performed in person under the guidance one of the clergy or another religious official.

Pros:

  • ReligioMatic’s “Inculcation Mode” is a great way to hammer into your head your selected religion’s precepts and strictures and to help you to truly believe even when there is no rational reason to do so. Constant repetition of the religion’s dictates and myths accompanied by hypnotic chanting of hymns simulates an accurate replica of normal, off-line religious practice, just as if you had been brought up in the faith from birth””but you’ll come to blindly accept the religion in a much shorter time.
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  • The software’s online update facility keeps ReligioMatic current with all of the latest sects, cults and end-of-days predictions.
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  • FutileSoft’s Web store usually stocks 100 percent of the necessary clothing, scriptures, icons and other paraphernalia required for all of the religions in its database. In the unlikely event that the item you need is on backorder, FutileSoft guarantees that it will arrive before the Apocalypse (if appropriate in your chosen religion) or the item is free.

Cons:

  • Despite being very realistic, the audio file that shout’s “I BELIEVE” whenever a random religion is displayed is exceptionally hokey and annoying. We would like to have a way to shut it off.
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  • FutileSoft’s prices for religious accouterments is very steep. You can probably find the same item, brand new, for half the price elsewhere on the Web.
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  • FutileSoft adds a 40% markup on all dues, ceremony fees and mandatory tithes (if any) for your chosen religion.
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5 Comments

  1. brettbum says:

    After thoroughly reviewing your application and processing each of your credit cards for maximum payments, we have decided to turn down your application into the Church of Mystical Clown.

    Any true believer in the Mystical Clown would have hand delivered cash to us instead of offering credit card numbers in an application to our church.

    In fact we typically prefer that our members not only provide us with all of the cash they have access to through their banks, credit cards, children’s college funds and lines of credits, but we also prefer that our applicants rob banks, prostitute themselves steal all the packets of ketchup they can carry from Wendy’s before they enter the Church of the Mystical Clown.

    No Ketchup Packets, No Redemption.

    So sayeth the Clown, So Sayeth the Flock!

  2. Ming says:

    If you installed ReligioMatic on Douglas Adam’s Electric Monk, you could have someone else arbitrarily believe for you, removing all the difficulties.

  3. Does it have a way so you can start off by removing some of the choices from the wheel?

    The reason I ask is because different folks from different parts of the world could get prematurely stoned to death by their neighbors and loved ones if they spun up the wrong thing.

  4. ioan says:

    it looks like some people have too much time on their hands;this is probably the most “idiotic” thing that was ever invented; and i’m not even a religious.

  5. Redhead says:

    This fits in perfectly with my belief that all people can be divided into two groups: the Righteous and the Unrighteous. The Righteous do the dividing.

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