I love listening to the philosophers of our time, voices of reason and clarity , many of whom help me to consolidate and seem to express my thoughts and opinions. When I’m working I often listen to TED and I listen to all sorts of speakers on all sorts of subjects.
I believe strongly that morality is part of humanity not a state reserved for the religious. I believe strongly in the innate goodness of people and I believe in the evidence presented by science for the evolution of life and variation of species.
I also believe that people only have the right to believe in whatever they like when it does not harm others. I also see a huge basic flaw in religious fanaticism (when and where it occurs) that makes followers believe that ‘their God’ needs defending, protecting or policing to the point where they have to kill/maim or convert non-believers. Surely if these people believe in ‘their God’ and the group of abstract practices and cultural behaviours that enable them to demonstrate that belief, then they should also have faith that ‘their God’ is powerful enough and robust enough to deliver its or his/her own punishment or forgiveness (or whatever) on those who fail to believe and follow the appropriate practices. Surely these ‘all powerful, all-seeing God(s) are not so frail or upset by the offense of the none believer that they ned a mere human to defend them?
All religious groups seem to have fanatics; Christian missionaries who go to ‘uneducated’ tribes and convert or kill those who won’t be ‘saved’ or agree to believe in ‘their god’ ; suicide bombers. These fanatics work to ‘protect’ the reputation of ‘their god’ or to ‘save’ those who believe in a different god or different set of rules of behaviour relating to the same god.
If their were one true God then surely the majority of people with devout and uncompromising belief have it wrong and will burn in whatever form of Hell and damnation the correct god has as its counterpart.
I know this is a controversial blog and will upset many people. Theists mainly. But I put it to you theists. If your god is the ‘real God’ then he will deal with me as he sees fit in this life or in the next one (that you believe I will eventually transcend to). I can understand that you may fear for my well-being as a non believer but I see no need for you to take offense or to be intimidated my me; I have no need to try to ‘save’ you from your misguided notions (and as you have a strong faith would in any instance be unable to do so). I also have a strong moral code by which I love, treat others how you would like to be treated yourself, be kind, considerate, work hard, be thoughtful and compassionate, offer help to those less fortunate etc etc.
I also can understand that you may wish to try to ‘save’ me. Although I would remind you that for some of you, your God is a forgiving God (and thus will see me straight, consider my actions in life and ensure I am forgiven himself).
I end with this quote that I heard spoken by a great orator and philosopher, Richard Dawkin (it’s not his in origin but I don’t know rightly who first said it). I quote it because it put all the current Gods and faiths into perspective , because over the generations these gods and faiths have altered (does that mean that all our ancestors were wrong and are all in hell?)
“We are all atheists about most gods that humanity has ever believed in, some of us go just one god further”
Here’s one of my favourite talks by Philosopher Stephen Cave (I know I also posted it in my Blog “Life’s a Book” , but it is a good one)