Posts Tagged ‘religion’

A few days ago I updated my status on Myspace to fall in line with the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, more commonly known to the general population simply as On the Origin of Species.  I personally saw nothing wrong with wishing Evolution a “happy birthday”, as it were; however, my mother did.  Her comment read, and I quote “So what, does this mean you don’t believe in creation?”

I don’t, to be honest.  Everything I know and love about science cannot fall in line with a creation theory.  Opening myself up to attack by Christians was previously something I did not want to engage in, even going so far as to stop myself from posting something similar to a “Happy Birthday, Evolution!” blog.

To start this off, I used to be Christian.  In fact, I used to be a lot of different religions.  In high school I delved into many different religions, from Christianity to Wiccan and back again.  But no matter what I looked at or read or tried to believe, I never stopped questioning whether or not God existed.  Even more recently when I gave Christianity another try (a Pentecostal church this time), questions still filled my mind.

I cannot in good conscience hold to the beliefs given in the Bible.  To accept the creation theory, or at least in a strict view of the Bible, is to believe that mankind and indeed the earth and universe, is less than 20,000 years old.  In the science community it is widely accepted that the age of the earth is closer to 4.5 billion years old. 4.5 billion vs. 20,000.  I think you would be selling yourself short and insulting your own intelligence to believe the earth is so young.

To also believe in an ultimate designer, well, as Dawkins puts it: The problem with the designer theory is an obvious one.  The designer would have to be just as complex, if not more so, than what he was creating.  The question also comes up if we were created by an ultimate designer, who created the designer?

To believe in such a paradox is unfathomable to me.  Also call into the equation the Bible itself, and the more I scrutinized everything in the view of Dawkins, the more I came to understand, even accept and adopt his views.

I can understand an attack on this, but I only just recently started reading Dawkins’ books, and if you wanted to get technical, I only just recently began picking up books on science in general.  I say I’ve been reading on scientific theories for a few years now.  That’s true, and at the time I was using the only means I had: the internet.  I confess a majority of my information came from Wikipedia, but I digress.

Back to the Bible, a book written by 40 different authors over the course of several hundred years.  It’s contradictory, and in the hands of certain preachers and priests it’s displayed as scary and unforgiving.  The omnipotent, omniscient God in his own right is a contradiction.  This quote by Epicurus says it all:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

One of the more famous quotes from Richard Dawkins is what he has to say of the God of the Old Testament:

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

A stark contrast to the gentle, mild lamb that is Christ of the New Testament.  Even the New Testament is contradictory.  The books of Matthew, Mark,  and Luke cannot keep straight what Jesus said or what his life was like.  Did he say “It is finished” or “It is accomplished” after being crucified?  The NIV Bible I have gives both statements.  I once again think a person is selling themselves short and insulting their own intelligence to read through the Bible and view it as fact.

I attribute it to this analogy, which should be noted that the analogy is my own design:

The Old Testament could be compared to the mythologies of the old world, i.e. Greek mythology.  The New Testament, if scrutinized against the times in which the books were written, could be nothing more than satirical papers against the Roman government.  Indeed, several passages and books of the New Testament were compiled and written when the authors were in prison.  This being said, you’d be no better off with the New Testament than you would if you followed Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

To couple Greek mythology and  Swift’s novel into a “bible” of sorts seems nonsense, doesn’t it?  Isn’t that partly what Christianity has done?

I enjoy the popular quote by Stephan Roberts:

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

It’s not necessarily that I don’t believe in God, I just think it highly improbable and even more highly unlikely that he exists.  In the same way Christians scoff the old mythologies of the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks, so too atheists/agnostics scoff (or question) the existence of all gods.

As I’ve said before, I only just recently began seriously reading on this, and I started with Dawkins.  If it sounds like I’m doing nothing more than regurgitating parts of The God Delusion, it’s because that book is what “converted” me, if you will.  I don’t claim to be overly knowledgeable, or what have you, more simply, this is what I believe.  I don’t expect everyone to accept it or understand it, and quite frankly I’m not concerned with everyone else.

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