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Belief by Brawn or Brains?

Howell Hurst Uncategorized

The ancient question whether a god actually exists or not fascinates people. Worldwide polls consistently document that about 90% of all people believe that, in some form or another, a god does exist. About 10% don’t believe a god exists. About 100% of people agree that it appears impossible to factually document which group has got it right.

Those who don’t believe a god exists often point to scientific facts to bolster their argument. Believers commonly bypass facts and point to faith. Each has a difficult time reconciling their different views and reaching any sort of consensus. Lately, I’ve been reading a book by a non-believer who has a very interesting perspective on the subject; he supports his case by pointing to historical human record. He is, by the way, very well read in old and new testaments and the Koran, among other texts.

He documents that the organized killing of other human beings has historically been accomplished by believers in a god, and – more specifically – in the name of their god. Non-believers have been known to kill people, but not commonly in an organized manner. And when they have individually done so, they have not done it in the name of their non-belief, but for entirely other reasons.

I have a cousin who believes in a Christian god because he was once sick and prayed to his god, and was subsequently cured of his disease. He is not swayed it seems by the fact that millions have prayed to their god and not been cured of a disease. Apparently, he does not consider that the simple act of praying could cause one to relax sufficiently so that the relaxation, leaving the job to a god, might ease anxiety and thereby allow the human immune system to operate more efficiently.

The writer of the book I am reading is not so much attempting to change people’s minds, as he is attempting to bolster the decision making process for people who do like to base their personal decisions on facts rather than faith. He understands that faith-based believers are rarely affected by facts even slightly indicating that the existence of an invisible god is highly unlikely.

His well reasoned arguments are extremely compelling. He shows how Jews, Christians, and Muslims [the majority of organized, well-financed religions] almost always band with political power and actually build and wield military forces. He shows how they have historically blocked scientific medical work that has proven to extend human lives. His accumulated facts are irrefutable.

If you are the type person who likes to base your decision on such a profound issue with the rational support of facts, you will very much enjoy the writer’s presentation. He is clearly a brilliant person, whose main objective is to encourage people to get to the truth of the question whether it is honestly likely that somewhere in the vast universe an invisible intelligence lives. Documenting how far the Hubble telescope has travelled and visually scoured the universe, and found no visible sighting either of a god or a heaven, he prompts one to consider carefully one’s real psychological need to posit the existence of either.

My personal opinion is that his book is a vitally important read for anyone who seriously cares about the future of the human race rather than simply one’s own individual life destination. Further, I believe anyone who fears reading such a book, because it might endanger his present belief, occupies highly tenuous intellectual and psychological territory.

I approached his book with skepticism. Now, I find it one of the most intriguing pieces of thinking and writing I have ever encountered. Only the most diehard religious fanatic could possibly be put off by the facts the writer has accumulated and documented and written down in a most interesting fashion.

He has his bias: he does not believe any invisible god of any name exists. He makes clear that this is his personal conviction. One cannot fault him for his honesty. He carries the thought further in that he believes religion, as the instigator of organized killing, and other human evils, is the prime cause of most of humanity’s problems.

He will challenge your mind. He will do so in a massively entertaining manner. If you would like the name of the book, and its writer’s name, let me know. I’ll gladly supply both for you. All of us maturing folks, who face the fact that we will in fairly short order find out what does or does not exist on the proverbial “other side” of life, could hardly find a more fascinating book at this side of the eternal issue in question.

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