Most likely there is no God, now go and have a nice day! (A toast to Richard Dawkins)
You might have noticed my increasing concern with religious issues recently.
This entry is a bit further away from the usual mindfulness topic, but still something that has been keeping me busy a lot lately.
I had a discussion a couple of months back, with a girl I worked with at uni.
She told me, that she believed Darwin’s Theory of evolution to be plain wrong.
In her opinion, the earth and all living beings, including humans had been created 6000 years ago by the God of the christians.
What I figured out that day, is that I believed in natural selection as much as she did in creationism.
I had no knowledge or arguments, to defend myself.
So I set out to find knowledge. And knowledge I did find.
Knowledge, and a new hero.
I’ve been devouring two of his books “The Greatest Show on Earth” and “The God Delusion”.
In the first, he presents in a compelling and unmistakable way, why Darwins theory of natural selection, better known as evolution theory is not a mere theory, but a scientific fact. I will spare you my futile attempt to reproduce the stunning array of evidence he presents, as well as his merciless disarming of all religious/creationist arguments, however ridiculous they might be.
In the second book, he disects, again stunningly entertaining, why religious belief should be questioned or omitted.
This book, even more than the first one, deeply inspired me.
I grew up in a family, that was quite ambiguous towards religion.
My grandparents were religious enough, but my parents never cared that much.
They gave me a special freedom. The freedom to choose my own religion.
This freedom had left me, for the greater part of my life, under some pressure.
At one point I even seriously considered getting christened, just because then I could join the party after confirmation.
Somehow, I wanted to belong.
I always felt as if I just had not found the right religion yet.
As if I might just figure it out after I am dead and face whatever is waiting for me.
But after the lecture of this book, I realize that I’ve been an atheist for all my life.
When I was a little boy, I would sometimes lie awake all night, tossing and turning with the question, what would happen to me and my loved ones after death.
I had never fully accepted the idea of a greater god, which was taught in my primary school,( a detestable exploitation of how easy it is to influence the child brain).
It just didn’t seem logical, and scared me more than anything else.
But I was so scared of the logical deduction from a world without a god.
First and foremost that after death, an eternity of nothingness would follow.
Now I can see, that it is this fear that has been keeping me from embracing Atheism for so long.
I am an atheist, and thanks to Mr. Dawkins, I can see what a great luxury it is, to embrace evidence, reason and critical thinking, rather than just sheepishly believing something just to belong, or because it is more convenient or someone tells me to.
I recommend this book to all of you. It is ridiculuosly well written, very funny at times (I laughed out loud several times, which happens rarely) and, what I probably love most about it, it is incredibly educative in so many directions.
I learned so much about sociology, history, ethics, religions, psychology, scientific moral, astronomy, physics, geology, biology, ontology, etc. etc..
I will definitely read them again, most likely more than once.
Here’s to a man who genuinely and arduously works for the progressof man(/woman)kind and the fight against dangerous supersticious belief.
Here’s to Richard Dawkins.
My three favourite arguments from “the God Delusion” are:
If you believe in one particular religion, you are probably rejecting thousands of other gods – which makes you very much an atheist.
The reason why you believe in one particular religion is most probably because you are the son or daughter of people who believe in this particular god and your brain has been infected with this belief system when you were still very easy to influence.
The conclusion, that everything that can’t (yet) be explained by science is a proof for a God is very very poor reasoning.
He compares it to a murder case. To say that because scientists can’t explain one tiny gap in evolution theory leads to the conclusion that there must be a god, would be the same thing as when a suspect in a murder case gets a life sentence, just because he fails to explain, where he had been at exactly 19:45 and 28 seconds and what kind of socks he was wearing.
Religion is not a credible source of moral.
People have a built-in sense of moral which can be explained in Darwinian terms.
The kind of moral provided by religion is more often than not utterly questionable (like the catholics stance towards condoms, or female rights in muslim countries).