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Goodbye God

Why would an atheist want to see the end of God? As I’ve said on many occasions in the past, I don’t hate God – how could I when I don’t think he exists? But I’ve thought about this a bit more and I have decided that yes, I do think he exists and I do hate him. I don’t think there’s a supernatural personal god of course but I do think there’s an imaginary construct which humans have created to serve various purposes and it’s that god that I dislike.

So I think it’s time for God to die. He has outlived his usefulness (if he ever had any) and it’s time to move on. It’s unrealistic to think the death of god will be a quick process because he exists like a mind virus in so many people’s thoughts, but I think it will happen. I guess it will be a slow, painful death. Oh dear, poor God!

Many atheists, rationalists and skeptics (in other words members of what we often refer to as the free thought community) have noted the recent rise in prominence of atheism and anti-religious figures (note that atheism and anti-religiosity aren’t the same thing). And judging by the shrill cries of complaint from the community of believers I think they might be starting to feel the pressure too.

It’s their own fault. The Catholic Church seems to be doing everything to make it one of the most despised organisations on the planet thanks to it’s idiotic leadership and constant revelations (I love that word in this context) of perverted behaviour. And the attempts of the equally repulsive fundamentalists to push their outdated views on everyone else has gained them a lot of enemies too.

Maybe the internet is a biased source but in most of the debates and commentaries I see the atheist side seems to be better represented, both in numbers and in skill and knowledge. Of course there are still the crazy web sites like “Answers in Genesis” which spread lies and misinformation and allow no comments or corrections, but these tend to be on the periphery rather than being central to most people’s internet experience (naturally that isn’t the case for creationists),

Perhaps the major trend being seen is the refusal of an increasing number of critics to take an accommodationist approach to this subject. Previously many people (Carl Sagan and Stephen Gould being two good examples) who strongly supported science would avoid criticism of religion even though it was clearly an opponent of science in many cases. That’s not happening any more. Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and many others are all high profile critics of religion.

I’ve listened to a few interesting podcasts and interviews on theology and philosophy recently and it surprises me how otherwise intelligent people just switch off their logical minds when it comes to religion. In every case they start with the idea that a god exists and twist the facts to fit. Even when they reach the point that their beliefs are obviously incorrect or contradictory they just continue trying to force god belief in to fitting the facts.

Great minds such as Newton, Descartes, Calvin and Francis Collins today all suffer from this. They were perfectly capable of analysing and understanding other subjects but when it comes to God their arguments suddenly make as much sense as a five year old trying to justify belief in the Easter Bunny. It’s pathetic and embarrassing.

Belief in a god isn’t always bad, of course. Sometimes it is a useful delusion and can help people who are otherwise incapable of managing socially or psychologically. But I don’t think it’s a good thing on balance. God should stay in his place: as a useful imaginary device which people can use for their own amusement and benefit. But he has escaped his role as servant and has become the master. He controls the same people who created and perpetuated him and they in turn try to control the rest of us.

And just the general illogical silly way that believers think can be dangerous too. It’s not coincidental that there is a link between belief in creationism and global warming denial. Both are anti-intellectual, rebellious against reason, and make no sense when looked at reasonably.

So it must stop. God must die, or at least go back into his cage until he is required to perform some menial task for a believer. Goodbye God.

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