Friday, January 30, 2015

Stephen Fry on God

This is an excerpt from The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne, on RTE (Ireland). Great answers, don't you think?

PZ Myers adds:
Another factor, to me, is that if their afterlife were true, they expect us to stand before a deity as a supplicant, with a vast power differential, and then essentially grovel. There is no human dignity and no hope in their vision of death — your choice is to submit or suffer. If this god could see into our minds what we were truly thinking, then there is also no point to pretending, and it would know it: this would be a monstrous alien passing judgment on a humanity it regards as corrupt, debased, and wicked, and the only propitiation it could get from us is our terror.

Fortunately, there is no evidence and no reason to think we will continue to exist beyond the death of our bodies, or that there is such a cosmic tyrant, so I’m relieved that I don’t have to worry about a Christian afterlife.

Like Myers and Fry both, I see absolutely no reason to think that any god exists, let alone the God of the Bible. There's just zero evidence of that.

If he did exist, I'd have some big questions for him, that's for sure. But right now, even if I thought he existed, I'd see no more reason to worship such a god than to worship a sadistic murderer who stuck a gun in my face.

Hmm,... unlike your 'God,' a sadistic human wouldn't be able to read your mind. But he'd still know you were just pretending. Likely, that would just make it all the better for him. For your 'God,' too? Maybe groveling out of fear, pretending to worship, is exactly what he wants?

PS. Stephen Fry mentions the ancient Greek gods. I was wild about Greek mythology when I was a kid. And I knew, of course, that it wasn't "mythology" to the ancient Greeks - it was their religion. They believed what they believed for the same reason that the Christians I knew - everyone I knew - believed in their religion: because that's what they'd been taught since infancy.

I think that's one reason why I didn't believe, myself. Clearly, because your parents taught you something - because your whole society believed it - that was no good reason to believe it was true. I was just a kid, so it wouldn't have taken much to get me to believe. I know a lot more now, and I'd need a lot better evidence. But the Christians I knew, like the Christians I know now, didn't have any evidence to back up what they believed.

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