I'm sitting here pondering on the meaning of life... (as one does...) It's a good life if you just sit back and savour it; drink the odd glass of Chablis, smoke the odd bit of dope, read good poetry, sleep with beautiful people... but some of you out there want to complicate things; being short of the intellectual capacity and courage to just accept life as the beautiful accident that it is you go and invent Gods, mysticism, mumbo-jumbo, Religion... you become that most detested and cowardly vermin that ever strode the earth; 'Believers'.
But there must exist reasons as to why apparently intelligent persons become 'Believers' in some sort of God. Usually a male God. So lets explore one of them:
The commonest reason given by 'Believers' when attempting to explain their mental aberrations and reclusive, self-centred smugness is the argument relating to some kind of 'revelation'. The St Paul/Damascus experience. When someone tells me that they 'know' God exists because 'He has revealed himself to me...' then it is difficult to argue against them without presuming that either;
a) they're liars or
b) they're bonkers.
If 'a' then one has to look for an ulterior motive for their lies and that's difficult when one looks at the millions of 'good' believers who exist and if 'b' then it becomes a very disturbing world to live in... I mean... being surrounded by millions of persons who are totally insane.
Clearly they can't all be insane and they can't all be liars. Perhaps then the fear of death frightens so many people that they invent (subconsciously perhaps) a God and this 'belief' in a God allows them to face up to the brevity of their own mortality and the subsequent inevitability of Death with something approaching composure... a bit like an alcoholic accepting detoxing, it prevents the shakes becoming too severe... Or maybe it's that 'accepting God into their lives' at least prevents them going seriously barmy at the apparent futility of it all. Believers, it seems, need a reason which makes some sense of this life, the atheist or the anti-theist, on the other hand, is someone who can actually face up to the apparent 'futility' of it all with equanimity, someone who can see a beauty and a worth in simply existing without becoming obsessed with the illogical and irrational thought; 'What happens after?'
Can I ask any believers who may be reading this why it is that their God chooses to reveal Himself so selectively to people like St Paul? Why is it that He reveals himself to Mr and Mrs X but chooses not to reveal Himself to me? Is this some sort of divine discrimination? Has God already written off myself and all of we Atheists and anti-theists? If so the 'logic' runs something like this:
1) God reveals himself to Mr & Mrs X, because they are potentia believers,
2) However God does not reveal himself to me because I am a stated nonbeliever,
3) However as Mr & Mrs X have had His presence revealed they then act like believers
(note the word 'act')
4) Therefore poor old 'me' becomes a victim of God's selective tendency to 'reveal' himself, (an image of a 'flashing' God has just appeared in my brain!) I become branded as a nonbeliever per se and will inevitably be condemned to the fiery furnaces! A victim of God's Selective (Non-Militant?) -Tendency!
I have been told by believers that I have to place myself in such a position so as to make myself easily accessible to God. Well that's fair enough but what more can I do ? I attended Church regularly as a child (all 57 varieties) and I chose to study the Philosophy of Religion at University. All to no avail for despite my efforts, in His wisdom, He continues to exclude me from 'knowing' Him.
Now then... I've just had a thought; maybe He actually decided to create me as a member of the Devil's Party, like Milton. In that case, if I behave like a Devil, it is surely His fault. And yet I am not at all committed to the Devil's Party, in fact I believe I'm a good anti-theist, yes, I'm anti all these people who spread fear through religion. The thought of a Devil in fact appalls me almost as much as the thought of a God and the only thing I see myself fighting against is 'Believers' of any kind and there frequent attendant; Bigotry.
Can someone out there explain to me why 'Believers' are often evil bigots (Botha, Paisley, the Borgias...) and why Atheists and anti-theists (Shaw, Mandela, Marx, Russell...) are frequently quite nice people?
Any one of you 'Believers' got the integrity to answer?