I don't understand. I want to understand. Why do human beings require gods and prophets as explanations for their existence? Religion is a form of slavery. You bow your knee to a pharaoh, a king, an icon, or one's own perception of his or her maker as if evolution were an epithet and faith in invisible inventions-of-the-mind a blessing. I don't understand. But I do understand the business of religion: it sells!
I also understand that prehistoric man feared the night, and a sky filled with an infinite number of lights that danced and moved. I can understand why mankind would invent religion as a buffer to that fear, and that a supernatural entity might be required for meaning, defense, and safety against the unknown--but to continue in that belief after the enlightenment of knowledge as to how things really are?
If I were to ask a believer to prove his claim that a god of his religion were real, little or no evidence would likely be forthcoming. "Faith" would probably be offered as a placebo against doubt. This is the way of religion, and although there is much unreality in its content, mankind remains drunk to its effect.
When I was a child, there was a moment when I considered the concept of a creator against the natural forces surrounding me. I pondered upon the expanding universe, a moving infinite mass of matter scattered throughout a more infinite expanse of space. My mind disposed of the idea of a god in which my image was cast, for the enigma of the container of space, itself.
Most of us know of the "big bang" theory for our reality; we can see the result of that event by relying on visual, as well as scientific evidence. But, as to its cause: a personality, an anthropomorphic idea of some supernatural father-figure with no origin for its own construct as being responsible for existence? The idea stretches credulity in the minds of Atheists and Rationalists.
Let me pose a question: Given, the "big bang" happened, was the container of space always there to be filled by the expanding matter, or was space, itself created at the same instant as the explosion? Does the edge of space, itself expand to allow the matter to fill it, and if so, of what does the canvas of "nothing," upon which the vacuum of space expands, consist of? If the "empty" was always there, how did it get to be the infinite "empty" it is? And you thought the concept of God was deep.
Of the many things I still know little or nothing about, there is nevertheless one facet of religion that I do know: it kills people. Man's belief in mythological fantasy has, in too many instances down through the ages, been a destructive influence, and it continues to be into modern times. Up to the day of this writing, young people--some of them just children--blow themselves and others to smithereens in a foreign land for the promise of attaining some invisible paradise where they expect to be honored for their madness with a feast of sexual gratification, money for their family, and glory for their cause. Driving this particular form of religious intolerance is not only the superstitious, albeit fanatically-devout mind, but the mantle of power which cloaks the ruthless, manipulative, coercive, and devious teachers of its craft.
Think on this: If I held out my hand to you, and told you that within my seemingly empty palm was a pill that, once swallowed, would grant you long life, a prosperous future, and the promise of eternal bliss in a heaven of your design and desire, would you deny the reality of your senses, and recognize there was nothing there, or would you gratefully pluck from my palm that "nothing," swallowing hard and fast?
I live in a Democracy, a Republic founded on the principle that an individual is entitled to the pursuit of happiness regardless of his religious affiliation. Atheist or no, the citizen is free to choose his or her own destiny, without abrogation of his or her rights or freedoms. This is achieved within the framework of a set of laws constructed to protect those rights, regardless of the foibles or failures of the Body Politic.
A fellow named Barnum once observed that there was "a sucker born every minute!" You can see them right now by turning on your TV. Here are the faithful, mesmerized by hucksters raking in the big bucks for offering the pill in the empty palm. Sad, that there are so many straining at their leashes to be included, like lemmings jumping off a cliff. Just think what these proselytizing charlatans might produce if they directed their energies towards farming or science?
Communism is not what I'm proffering; nor is it a utopian philosophy. I'm talking about a future for humanity where reason replaces dogma, where moral values are not gauged by any religion. Just what dreaded calamity would befall humanity if religion were eliminated in favor of ethical rather than theological principles? My bet is, that after the shocks of withdrawal had worn off, generations of rational, ethically moral, and intelligent Homo Sapiens might begin to finally populate this planet in a manner consistent with minds uncluttered by barbaric mores and rituals from a dark past.
Do I hear an amen?
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