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Imaginary Friends

August 21, 2010

Just the other day I received an email from my grandfather entitled, “How would you introduce Christ to a room full of people?”

I just find these things silly.  Why does God need someone to introduce Himself?  God is all powerful and all knowing, and they claim He’s longing to have a relationship with me.  Even so, He won’t come down to my bedroom and appear before me. Surely it’d be simple for Him to do so, but no.  Instead He needs his faithful messengers to introduce Himself.  And how are these messengers instructed to do so?  They read cryptic passages out of the Bible on how He committed suicide on a cross in a bloody sacrifice in order to bridge a gap which He himself imposed between us.  I’m also instructed to take part in cannibalistic rituals, symbolically eating his flesh and drinking his blood in remembrance of the event.

“Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd, and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.”
– Voltaire, in a letter to Frederick the Great.

“Could a being create the fifty billion galaxies each with two hundred billion stars then rejoice in the smell of burning goat flesh?”
– Ron Patterson

I get tired of talking about religion, but at the same time I have to because it’s so widespread; it’s everywhere you look.  Many years ago I too was caught up in religion.

So many people claim that God talks directly to them.  Whenever you start confronting them with facts, evidence, and inconsistencies in their beliefs, they always fall back on that unquestionable fail-safe, “Well, God talks directly to me.  I know He’s real.  Nobody has to tell me.”  They claim to receive divine revelations through prayer.

Being famous, Richard Dawkins frequently receives letters regarding these issues.  Sometimes they claim to have contact with aliens, or believe wholeheartedly that God speaks directly to them.  He responds by sending them a letter requesting the solution to a difficult mathematical proof which hasn’t yet been solved.  If God (or super-intelligent alien life-forms) really does have contact with them, surely He can tell them the answer.  As expected, they never can answer because it’s all in their heads.  If you think God speaks directly to you, I’d ask you the same question.  Ask God to tell you how to unite Einstein’s general relativity and the equations of quantum mechanics.  If “God” can’t tell you that, you’re talking to your own mind, not God.

“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.”
– Napoleon Bonaparte

As an interesting side note, if Dawkins asks them the answer to a moral dilemma, they always have an answer.  Otherwise, no.

People live their lives with their imaginary friends, and I don’t know about you all, but I’m tired of it.  I’m tired of seeing women wrapped up head to toe in black garb in the middle of the summer heat-wave.  I’m tired of hearing about people stoned to death for petty things.  I’m tired of arguments about some stupid mosque being built near ground zero.  I’m tired of the conflicts in the middle east.  I’m tired of holy wars being fought over irreconcilable doctrines believed in blind faith.  I’m tired of being preached to from my family members.  I’m tired of arguments about whether or not we should have a tablet of the ten commandments in our courtrooms.   I’m tired of debates on whether or not we should have “In God We Trust” on our money.  I’m tired of Christians wanting superstition taught in schools.  I’m tired scientists needing to justify their every action to people who don’t even remotely understand their research.  I’m tired of seeing gays mistreated.  I’m tired of new-age mystics spreading superstitious nonsense.

“All thinking men are atheists.”
– Ernest Hemingway

I’m just tired of religion and mysticism.  Period.  Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism… all of it.

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”
– Jesus Christ, Matthew 10:34

Just look at what modern biological research is heading toward.  Watch this video of Craig Venter touring Richard Dawkins around his genetics facility.  We’re mapping the DNA patterns of all the different species on this planet using super-computers.  We can clearly see how all life is related.  Even if there wasn’t a single fossil on the planet, and there were no other forms of evidence for evolution, we would still clearly know that evolution is true because we’d see the common threads within the DNA sequencing.  We can see the common ancestry and links between species.

One day we’ll be able to create any life-form we wish just by using the proper DNA sequence like a strip of computer tape.  DNA is an instruction set on how to build a body and we’re coming to a deep understanding on how that process works.  We’re literally on the verge of that right now.  We’re doing it for small simple organisms already.

When I watch that video I’m in absolute awe.  What amazing research!  I look at the flaws within my own body, such as my poor vision, and think about how wonderful it’d be if I’d been born with perfect eyesight.  I think about how nice it’d be if the circulation in my hands and feet wasn’t poor.  I think about the headaches I get from the poorly laid out blood vessels behind my eyes.  Now imagine if prior to being born my DNA was examined and all of those problems were removed during my development in the womb!  It’s incredible!

We as a society can fund this kind of research, or we can continue building tanks and missiles for the power-hungry bastards running our governments.  I think it’s obvious the direction we need to take.

How long are we going to be held back by superstition and stupidity?  Will religious zealots end up burning down Venter’s facility like they did the library of Alexandria?   We have the power to fix this cruel world.  Day by day we’re coming closer and closer to doing so.  It’s likely that within my lifetime we’ll be able to carefully examine each person’s genetic genome and custom tailor medications for their body.  Medications will no longer be generic but will be created by complex computer programs tailoring the medicine to the individual.  Then again, we can turn back to faith-healers and prayer.

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