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The God Delusion

Time to ride my hobby horse ...
Nothing perplexes me more than people's extraordinary level of faith in the almighty ... or, should that be Almighty?
I always wonder what are people's motivations for holding on to such an archaic structure ...
Anybody with a modicum of common sense and a rudimentary knowledge about the history of the world would appreciate that all of these major world religions were 'invented' about 2,000 years ago ... Christianity and Islam were founded by prophets belonging to small settlements or kingdoms in what is now known as the Middle East while Hinduism and Buddhism were started in the region that was home to what is broadly known as the Indus Valley civilization ...
Why were no religions invented elsewhere? Well, the answer to that is simple — couple of millenia ago, planet Earth wasn't home to 6 billion humans ... or a billion humans. The Americas were probably entirely dominated by wildlife ...
Some might ponder as to why it is that all the major religions took birth in about the same time frame ... the reason for that seems to be this — it was at that time in the history of our species that we became curious enough as well as intelligent enough to ask some deep questions about ourselves and formulate some answers to those deep questions ...
Questions such as 'Who are we?', 'Where did we come from?', 'Where did the universe come from?, etc.
But surely our civilzation has progressed since then ... so, why can't we jettison concepts that are obviously somewhat old.
If we can move beyond the horse-and-buggy days or travelling by bullock carts, why are we so eager to hold on to myths that are as old?
Haven't we found better answers to those fundamental questions in the years since those religious answers were conceived?
Science has certainly provided answers to many of those questions ... at least, those questions that can be answered — such as 'Why does rainfall occur?', or 'Why does lightning occur?'
For other more 'philosophical' questions such as those to do with the 'Meaning of Life', obviously science can never hope to answer such inexact questions ...
But, people are holding on to these archaic rituals and myths mostly out of intellectual laziness — it's easier to simply continue what one's parents have been doing or what you have seen others around you do as you were growing up; it's more difficult to take a skeptical view about rituals and question their fundamental meaning ...
People mostly live out their lives circumscribed by things that are very local in nature ... whether it's people in their immeidate vicinity, the community that they live in, the customs they grow up with, etc.
Very few people are world citizens as it were — although with the technology at our disposal, all of us could teach ourselves to be aware of goings on around the world ...
The reason that makes me skeptical about all these different religions is this: there's no global standard, nothing universal about these things ...
The simple and accepted truth about science and scientific principles is that they are UNIVERSAL ... so, to take an example of a scientific principle — nuclear fission — whether it is democratic United States or the former Communist Soviet Union, they both used the same principles to fight their Cold War ... Whether a nation believes in the teachings of Christ — or in the teachings of Prophet Mohammed, or the philosophies enshrined in the Bhagwat Gita, etc. — all of those nations use the same, universal principles of science to develop their weapons and demonstrate their destructive prowess.
Those who consider themselves 'educated' and 'liberal' and 'tolerant' usually adopt the position or argument that all religions basically talk about the same 'God' and talk about the 'equivalence' of the different religions ...
That seems a somewhat bogus position as the fundamental contradiction in a world with many religions is that their very existence diminishes all of them ...
I can't reconcile the idea of Christ and Prophet Mohhammed and Lord Vishnu and Shiva and Buddha and all the others ...
If you go through each of the religions, you'll find that they each have a different creation myth — basically saying that it was their particular God who created the universe ...
But, there's only one universe to be created and so how could it have been created in multiple ways by multiple folks ...
Of course, the sheer idea to think that a God who created the universe is looking after us is an example of attributing more importance to our species than we deserve ...
It's of course only in the 20th century that science — and more particularly astronomy — became advanced enough to let us learn the true picture of our own place in the universe.
We know now that we live on a tiny planet orbiting an ordinary star ... that a 100 billion stars like the Sun constitue our galaxy, the Milky Way, which has a diameter of some 100,000 light years.
The visible contains perhaps 100 billion such galaxies ... there are literally more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on all the beaches of planet Earth ... that's perhaps the most humbling truth that science has ever discovered.
And it's at the opposite end of the spectrum from religions truths ... while religions put us at the center of everything and claim that the universe was created for us, science tells that we're just flatsam and jetsam and there's nothing special about our existence.
Faced with this choice, it's perhaps natural that people opt to believe in the religious myths which is anyhow more commonplace ... as it has had much more time to permeate through people's hearts and minds ...
Perhaps, in centuries to come, ideas of science and atheists would become as common place ...
Indeed, 500 years from now, people might look back at us and smile at our childlike naivete and faith in God ...
The only way we might last another 500 years or 5,000 years on this planet would be if science continues to provide us with the necessary tools ...
The planet lies at the edge of a precipice today in the form of the climate crisis ... it's man-made certainly, but it's solution will be provided by science and not religion ...
Perhaps the root problem is over-population and again it's a man made problem that has answers if only we are willing to be rational enough and enlightened enough ...
There's an unbound future for humanity — in terms of explorations of the boundless universe and an almost unimaginably vast time span to accomplish it — if only we are intelligent enough to grasp that reality ...
Would we be so intelligent?

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