Tuesday, April 12, 2005

God Part II

A comment (don't get many of those!) on what I wrote below shows the stickier side of an unprofessional writer (me) making their opinions public - badly articulated points. I wasn't trying to say that living life automatically becomes in some way impossible by deciding there is no Deity / afterlife. It's more that I just wonder what the point of life is if this is all we have. Surely it logically follows that there is no point to life - our universe, our planet and our lives are an accident of physics and evolution. Of course, then, the incentive should be to enjoy and make the most of the time we have rather than "curl up in a ball and cry" but do we really do that? How many billions don't have the chance to live life to the full and, worse, how many in our own society do have that chance and don't take it? I was actually originally wondering why we should waste our time doing things that don't make us happy, that we don't enjoy.

I'm not trying to defend religion as such. Now I'm in complete danger of sounding elitist here, but I look around me and wonder at how aware people are of their lives - it seems to me that, inevitably, all people live in bubbles of varying degrees of ignorance. The vast, vast majority of people just don't think about the meaning of the lives they lead - ignorance is bliss. Now if you believe that no value system can be naturally derived from atheism then what moral value system would the world have if there was a universal realisation that this is all we have? An atheist with moral values often claims to be humanist to escape (what I believe to be) a moral dilemma. But even accepting humanism at face value, would enough people in the world decide they were also humanist in order to maintain a civilisation that has just realised this is all they have?

I just don't think they would (there is a school of thought that suggests that if around 10% of a population revolt, civil society breaks down and a state of anarchy will reign). The injustices perpetrated in the name of God isn't really my point nor is the notion that to be good one must have God (as a race we seem to manage to slaughter millions of our fellows regardless of whether we claim a God or not). My point is (and don't read this and conclude that I believe in much religious doctrine) that it is the world's religions that have provided us with the basic moral compasses that makes us "civilised" and I believe that, if the world's religions were to collapse, there is nothing strong enough in place to replace them. In fact I think my point is that a particular John Lennon song is, frankly, bollox.
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