Thursday, November 20, 2008


We seem to have an upsurge in door-knockers round our parts these days, selling eternal salvation and promises to relieve you of your sinful wages, in return for . . . well I'm not exactly sure what you get. Some stories about being nice to other people, some questionable antics about life-after death which don't seem to have much in the way of an evidence base, and an absence of decent music, I think.

A couple of days ago we even had some missionaries from America who had decided the UK is a heathen, godless society and, rather than accept my hypothesis that it is all the better for it, a one-way discourse ensued in which they described how much better religious folk were than unbelievers. I wasn't convinced, and pointed this out.

To reiterate their point, they asked me where my morality came from, if not from a higher source. My answer was that it seems to stem from an innate morality derived from evolving as a co-operative species, and is common to most humans, whereas they appear to get theirs from a giant CCTV camera in the sky, where it is only the fear of being caught and the possibility of a reward when they die that prevents them from molesting kittens.

Doesn't sound very moral to me.

They were not open to my opinions, and I was also closed-minded to theirs, but only until they come back and provide some evidence and then I'll cumbaya with the best of them. Until then, I pointed out my car sticker - which says it all really:

From my exerience, religion has far too much of a hold on public life, and influences policies in this country that affect me, which just isn't right. I don't want my taxes used to support churches and pay the wages of mystics with ideas of relevance. Can we request that they keep it private, like other passtimes, and not force their hobbies onto the rest of us?

There. I've said it. Now to wait until the mainstream religious machinery is dismantled around us. I expect it'll take a day or two . . .


  1. Understood but too simplistic. Perhaps, someday, you will find other reasons why man invented religion beyond your very valid ones.

  2. Not sure I agree - the universe is anything but simle, and I feel religion simply takes the amazing wonder out of the universe and replaces it with a much more tawdry, human-centred one.

  3. I won't disagree. What I will do is ask you to bring an open mind as you look at the history of art and science and religion and see how they are interwoven. I say this as a person who is atheist. I have gained a healthy respect and appreciation for religion over the years.

  4. That's interesting, because as I get older, I lose more and more respect for anything that puts faith above reason. That's different to people trying to improve themselves, trying to become better humans, and I would even go as far as to say that religion has played an important role in crafting society thus far, before we knew any different.

    That doesn't mean we should give it respect just for the sake of respect, or just because lots of people still believe in it.

    Call me cynical, but I like my understanding of the universe to be based on observable evidence, as far as possible.

  5. I'm 62. I have gone through a number of phases on this. I may go through some more. Cynicism is good, just don't get stuck there. Remember the dog egg, play with your son.


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