I’m elated that God is getting so much press lately. And even more surprising is who’s talking about God. Atheists! On the one hand, I’ve gotta say that I don’t agree with the current batch of atheists selling their wares: Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and others. On the other hand, I’ve gotta say “Way to go, guys!” You’ve definitely raised God’s awareness to levels not seen since the beginning of the War on Terror.
Now, I know your goal is to convince people that God doesn’t exist. But I’ve gotta tell you, your arguments are weak. You’re relying on old arguments (Hey Dawkins, does Bertrand Russell’s Celestial Teapot mean anything to you?) And Harris, yes, your education does bring you some authority, but unfortunately, I don’t see how you’re tying your research interests in with your arguments? It would be great if you could use your neuroscience background to help prove that God doesn’t exist. But, I doubt that’s in your curriculum, isn’t it. In fact, I’m willing to bet that there’s plenty still unknown in your field. I’m thankful for the advances in medical science, but I also know that it’s not an exact science, nor is it a replacement for God.
Now, I know that many of your arguments are against the inhumanities that are committed in the name of God. I’m right there with you. I don’t think that religion, and Christianity in particular, should motive the troops to go out and kill the enemy. In fact, I believe just the opposite: Jesus was a pacifist. Plain and simple. But, that doesn’t mean that we should discount the religion due to some misguided leaders of the religion. Should we abandon university campuses because of a few bad professors? I don’t think so…
The beauty of faith is the positive life force that it gives to an individual within a community of believers (and even sometimes in solitary – just ask the monastic members of a faith). God truly does scale to meet the needs and challenges of each one of us in every situation on earth. No, God doesn’t always answer our prayers. But, perhaps those are blessings in disguise as well. Who am I to know? I don’t have all of the answers. And I know that science can’t provide any better explanations either.
And speaking of explanations… where do we get our moral compass from? If we rely simply on rational thinking, what would a moral high ground look like? Would we align our good and bad impulses towards ourselves or towards the community of which we are a member? If there is no God, then what’s the point in being anything other than self-centred? In that case, do you become a threat to those around you? Or, do you think that there is some merit to community-driven moralism? And if there is some compassion towards fellow man, why would that be in an atheistic world? There are no rewards to be had. Aren’t you just wasting precious resources that you should be spending on yourself before your time runs out?
Do you get where I’m coming from? You question my motives for believing, while living a paradox yourself. You really do confuse me… you come across as so smug and so confident in your knowledge that God doesn’t exist, yet you sit on the edge of a moral cliff, trying to convince yourself that your actions don’t really matter, all the while continuing to further your chosen field of study. Why bother if we’re just ashes to ashes and dust to dust?
In any event, like I was saying earlier, thanks a ton for the great press you’ve been drumming up lately. Nothing like some star-studded name dropping to keep God in the news and to keep him on the tips of our tongues. It really is true… there’s no such thing as bad press, and guys, you’re doing one heck of a job.