October 13, 2009

Heres a thought. I have never shared my religious views in this blog. Possibly unsurprising as they are quite dull.

I dont really have any. Am not an atheist. Don’t partake of the company of any particular religious affiliation. Was baptised a catholic, to prevent my immortal soul from burning in hell, after being the result of a sexual experience which definitely didn’t come within the remit of what the bead rattlers approve of-and after a priest tiptoed after my mother as she left the confessional booth, and advised her to have an termination. I was briefly baptised a mormon when I was 8, because my mum had a bit of a crush on one of the post adolescents they send door knocking for two years, as a mission. Before she realised they actually expected her to give up booze and fags. (You should see the Mormon explanation for black people….barking, absolutely barking).

Generally, I reckon that I can only perceive a tiny percentage of the light spectrum, a tiny bit of the sound spectrum, and my brain connects a series of images, to form my vision, because it isnt even advanced enough to cope with being able to perceive everything in my immediate vicinity.  I have been reading economics books for months and am still no closer to understanding how something as small as money, travels round the planet. And if I cant get my head round such an insignificant part of the universe, then I am probably not evolved enough to comprehend what the universe is, never mind understand my place within it, and the purpose of it all. Fuck, I would need about an ounce of cannabis, and copious amounts of acid to even begin to comprehend infinity as a mathmatical concept, never mind the reason for existence itself…  Me trying to comprehend god, is about as useful as a fish grappling with quantum mechanics.

I reject any cocky sod, who says that they have an absolute answer- they are either making it up, or guessing, or both. Even if their ‘answer’ is that there is no God.

I generally side with Pascal, and think that in the absence of evidence, its in the human races interest to wager that there is a purpose. But even if there isnt, if existence is being part of this universe, then maybe thats enough.

I respect people who use their faith to provide some kind of moral framework to live their lives, if they use that moral framework to benefit society, or to contribute something positive. But at the end of the day, faith, is a belief based on no evidence. And I think people with faith should accept that its a belief based on no evidence.

Ah, I hear the hand wringers among you- that is not respecting someones faith. Well actually, I think it is. If someone can say that they believe that their religious doctrine to be true, and everyone elses to be false, then I can point out that no single religious doctrine, has any more basis in evidence than any other. I respect peoples right to believe what they like. Respecting peoples rights to believe what they like, is not the same thing as pretending that that belief is something that it isn’t.

I think if people are going to be proud of maintaining their faith(a pride which is surely about maintaining that belief, even when its sorely tested by reality), and want respect for maintaining that faith, then they should want full credit for maintaining it, and should not be pretending that challenges to it are somehow invalid. If your faith is true, then welcome it being tested by those who are willing to point out that its based on no evidence, and be honest about that fact, instead of pretending that you somehow have a direct line to ‘god’, and are offended on ‘his/her’ behalf.

I object to the right of anyone who bases their beliefs on someones guesses about who, or what God is, to dictate morality, to the rest of us, or worse.

At the point at which religion is used for the justification of affecting anything outside the lives of the people who choose to share that unfounded belief, I do not see why their belief based on no evidence should be given any more credence than mine.

At that point, I dont see why religions are given any more credence, than your average nutter with a mad story about a bloke in a white robe, on a cloud, who gives a shit about who I fuck, and whether I eat fish on a friday, but doesnt give a shit about the human suffering caused in ‘his’ name.



  1. I enjoyed reading your blog for the first time. I found this article so compelling that I chose to walk back to bed walking extremely slowly and nearly hitting the door frame because I was reading.

    Thank you x

  2. Didn’t Pascal also say that if we can conceive of something (in this case, “God”) then it necessarily exists? An interesting guy, but as full of crap as the next person.

    The reason that many people who consider themselves deeply religious cannot countenance challenges to their faith is that, while an objection to the existence of “God” implies/requires an intellectual argument, maintaining that He/it exists emphatically and necessarily does NOT. Those on the atheist side of the “debate” do, at least, in general, attempt to explain and justify their perceptions.

    Twitter’s trending topic “No God” appears to be causing special consternation among American Christians, where the dominance of religious ideals has remained subject to less questioning than elsewhere and is thus something of a novelty and the kind of shock to their system that we over here are long used to. I think the challenge that’s bringing is probably a necessary thing.

    And I don’t see the difference between most religions and the average nutter you describe …

  3. emmajaner, I think you’re getting your Pascal mixed up with your Descartes.

    Very interesting post, Lisa. The 3rd paragraph reminds me of a passage from Aquinas where he argues that the highest way to know God was to know that God is unknowable.

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