Recently, Merlijn lent me The God Delusion, a book written by Richard Dawkins. He urged me to read it, but I thought that as an agnostic or weak atheist, I will not be very influenced by reading it. Now I can see how deeply mistaken I was. So, big thanks to Merlijn.
// Side note: While I do not believe in a “personal god” (who reads our minds, knows everything, and crap like that), I think that we can’t completely reject the possibility of a being outside of our universe that created it (and watches it evolve). But if that was the case, it seems very likely that this relationship is recursive, i.e. there are other beings on the same level as this one and there is a being above (and so on, imagine a tree structure). But it seems rather unlikely and artificial as well as purely philosophical (= blabber about something we have no evidence for and aren’t ever likely to have it). //
The God Delusion primarily contains a lot of answers to various questions. Answers, some of which I vaguely felt, but which weren’t clear before.
Sadly I’ve already returned the book, so I can’t quote, but I’d at least like to paraphrase few things that I found interesting:
“We are all atheists, some of us just go few gods further than others.” This is wonderful: funny yet it tells a very important message.
“What impresses me about Catholic mythology is partly its tasteless kitsch but mostly the airy nonchalance with which these people make up the details as they go.” Which continues by pointing out how Pope John Paul II credited some particular saint with guiding bullets during the assasination attempt so that he would survive. WTF?
Dawkins also explains why religion is harmful to society. As I have spent more than 10 years in Catholic schools, I was obviously exposed to several biases and incorrect views (and sometimes even lies, I guess). My math teacher told us very passionately how most scientists believe in God, because otherwise they wouldn’t be able to cope with such complex things as infinity. It didn’t look like a very good reason, but I failed to investigate the facts back then (hey, teachers are supposed to be right). In fact there are much less religious people among scientists than among non-scientists (it isn’t so surprising anymore, now that I think about it). I feel deceived and abused by religion, because I was fed various nonsense by teachers during their task to convert me.
I highly suggest watching Dawkins’ two part documentary on religion:
This documentary is basically a substantially shortened version of The God Delusion (the book), and while not exhaustive, it at least addresses some of the important points. However, I would like you to read the book, as it covers the topic in a much more thourough way.
[Although I don’t currently own the book, I will try to get it (not as easy as you might think) so that I can lend it to my friends (afaik there’s no czech version available, so if you’re czech, you’ll also practice english, which can’t be bad for you).]
Let’s end this post with a question: Why won’t God heal amputees?
That’s a very serious case of discrimination from God’s side, if you ask me…