Does this about wrap it up for God?

Philosophy "We explain our existence by a combination of the anthropic principle and Darwin's principle of natural selection. That combination provides a complete and deeply satisfying explanation for everything that we see and know. Not only is the god hypothesis unnecessary. It is spectacularly unparsimonious. Not only do we need no God to explain the universe and life. God stands out in the universe as the most glaring of all superfluous sore thumbs. We cannot, of course, disprove God, just as we can't disprove Thor, fairies, leprechauns and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. But, like those other fantasies that we can't disprove, we can say that God is very very improbable." -- Richard Dawkins

I wonder if Dawkins was conscious that he was referencing his friend Douglas Adams in that last line of the article? I always come unstuck when I try to grasp ideology and religion. I haven't committed to any of the monotheistic religions for many of the reasons that Dawkins relates in relation to rational thought. Also:

(a) I can't believe in anything that leads to war and yet history is about fighting over religion and ideology and often more importantly over who is right and if you won't commit to any of it you're on a hiding to nothing because then everybody hates you, even the ones who say they forgive you and you only have love in your heart.

(b) There's only so many times that someone whose religious can tell you that if you don't share their beliefs you're going to hell (which happened a lot when I was at school) but then claims to be compassionate. I don't like those kinds of contradictions.

(c) This passage from The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy:
" "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
"But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. Q.E.D."
"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
"Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing." "
(d) Don't not believe in God is a contradiction I do like. I just can't believe in God using a set of rules set out by anyone else. The counter argument is that you end up choosing the religion which best fits your expectations which sort of goes against the divine inspiration approach that's often favoured and also means that you'll inevitably make exceptions and start contradicting your own beliefs. That seems wrong.

(e) The BA thing, for example. BA's anti-jewelery policy (which is standard in many, many industries) wasn't anti-religion even though it was portrayed as such. The inevitable result of all this will be that the policy will be rewritten to say that jewelery is banned, except for religious icons. You're essentially favouring the rights of those who have religious beliefs and choose to broadcast them over those who don't. That seems a bit unfair to me although I'd like to hear the opposing argument.

(f) Prayers and rituals worry me. I was in Liverpool Cathedral the other day, a place which I do find humbling and lit a candle. But I didn't say a prayer, I made a wish. It wasn't to anyone in particular, no metaphysical being. It probably had the potency of the kind you make on your birthday. But I don't think it was a worthless wish. It was for world peace.

(g) Although its essentially about war and me being able to put my name to something that causes them. I've asked around and no one can think of a war that hasn't been caused by religion. Is anything philosophical really worth fight over?
Updated: I inevitably Asked Metafilter. As Steven says: "I would say that wars which are at their heart religious are only a minority. Far more common is wars which are motivated by other things, but where leaders cite religion as a way of motivating the masses to fight. However, if those demagogues didn't have religion, they'd have found something else for their speeches." I've also been put in my place elsewhere: "Religion has caused a lot of persecution, conflict and suffering, but it's plainly wrong and frankly moronic to try to blame it for all war. Anyone who's read a history book should know better." So I can knock (g) from the list, perhaps.

1 comment:

  1. RE: god belief

    God Belief - The Meme Thought Virus
    http://beepbeepitsme.blogspot.com/2006/11/god-belief-meme-thought-virus_26.html

    ReplyDelete