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clarification - i'm not opposed to the idea of a creative force in the universe....

Reader comment on item: The Evil Isn't Islam
in response to reader comment: Jim Bob

Submitted by jimbob (United Kingdom), Mar 12, 2008 at 21:26

hey, look, i'm not totally opposed to the idea that the universe is the work of some kid of creative, intentional force, (it makes sense that there is some reason for it, its patterns and wonders) but what i am opposed to is all these holy book waving nut jobs telling me who god is, what he did, what he wants from me and what he's going to do after i die.

all religions were born and will die in what is a fraction of the life of our planet - an even smaller fraction in the life of our sun... the universe, well, it doesn't bear thinking about. how can they, the tiniest, insignificant fraction of a vast, immense cycle of creation and destruction, comment on the universes intentions, its beginning and eventual end!? we're just not that important. in the grand scale of things.

i mean, we know the world was ruled by gigantic reptiles for millions of years... was it a similiar judgmental, moral god who created them? if there is a god, it is in my view an impersonal, unreachable, indescribable thing. perhaps god is the universe itself. we know life is full of gruesome ironies. for some species of parasite to live, they feed on the tissue behind their hosts eyes, usually human beings. god is not our god, its not a judge. the only personal way i would describe it is, god is an artist. the universe delights in the unseen and tiny, and the vast and grand, the beautiful and the ugly, peace and violence, the hunter and the prey. it just seems daft to put a label on it all and go - 'god is jesus,' or whatever, 'or allah, 'cos muhammed said so.'

those are personality cults, societies and cultures, admirable and interesting, but dogmatic, intolerant, and used as forms of control. its arrogant to assume god belongs to human beings, when for as far as we can tell, most of the universe is a hostile, destructive, cold and empty place. but of course, these are human labels, products of our own condition, of which nature cares not a jot. it will provide the conditions for our downfall as surely as it did for our rise, and when we are gone, it will be almost as if nothing had ever happened.

yes, i do believe we evolved from primates. not because someone told me, or because of 'faith,' but because it is a reasonable hypothesis given the mountains of evidence, compiled by blokes alot smarter than you. its got pages and pages of information on the net, i won't go into detail. but philosophically, what can explain the incredible, unimaginable diversity of life, demonstrated in the present and in fossil records, more beautifully than a gradual and steady evolution of life, continuosly conquering new territory, from the ocean, to the land, to the trees and air, beaten back by mass extinction, disease and environmental change, only to adapt over millions of generations, by mutation, the selection of mates etc in new and improved forms?

was god so impressed by beetles for example, that he hand crafted more species than we can possibly hope to record, many only slightly different? the problem is, you have to think in terms of hundreds of millions of years. when you consider we're in 2008 AD and reasonably reliable history doesn't go back much farther than another 5-6000 at the most, we're talking about an incredible amount of time, more than what we as human beings are capable of imagining. millions upon millions... just one million is a thousand thousands... all the generations of civilised man have lived for less than the blink of an eye in that context. if you look at the way continental drift, volcanic activity, processess of material removal and deposition shape what appear to be impossible natural feats over millions of years, it is not a leap of faith to assume similiar processess are at work on life, and have been since the first simple organisms arose (or possibly arrived) on our earth. birds did not evolve into men, nor dogs from horses, but in the mists of time they shared common ancestors - and have similiar features - eyes, bones, blood and muscle, hearts, lungs, and in the conversion of food to energy for example. all lifeforms, live and extinct can be classified by science and by diligent study fit into the pattern of lineages, migrations, and types, that havve revaled themselves through the fossil record. i don't need to provide the evidence for this here, it is truly strong and would fill up more than a few museums, libraries and facilities. in fact it does. thousands of them. go look it up.

one could speculate that the 'god' that seeded life on earth was very much a part of our reality, perhaps some kind of vastly superior alien intelligence. in that case we are concievably the victims of some kind of cruel game of souls (if that 'god' is the abrahamic 'god'). who knows what their crack was with the dinosaurs.... i'm getting off the point. the fact is i will not believe the soul purpose of the universe was to develop a sentent being, turn it into a flock of faithful sheep subject to rewards and punishments in order to test their conscience . its too simple, too human. and life forms evolve, ok, we know this. thats not to say we know exactly how or why.

i'm not blind enough to look around me and call our reality an accident. the universe is at work for some greater purpose, i'm sure. but muslims, christians, any religion, have neither the knowledge or the authority to tell me what it is, and i won't have that crap forced upon people. i am an increasingly spiritual person, but never will i be a religious one.

i think you can see i've considered these questions more than is probably healthy, and therefore my opinion was probably more valid than you gave it credit for. my education is substantial but incomplete - i'm an undergraduate. oh, and i'm english, a brit, so the comment about the old U S of A went straight over my head...

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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