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The water of life

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Hi, everyone. As some of you may know, I've been away for a while on a drugs binge. Not only that, it was an atheist drugs binge, which makes it a thousand times worse. At least I hope it does. But now that I'm back in some kind of reasonable shape I just thought I'd make this video, firstly to wish everybody a merry Christmas whether they like it or not, and also to answer a couple of points that people have made to me recently. Somebody said: "You're not going to win the battle of ideas by insulting people you disagree with." Which is a fair point. Or it would be if we were engaged in a battle of ideas. But unfortunately religion doesn't have ideas. It has dogma. And the purpose of dogma is to get in the way of ideas, to stamp them out and kill them off before they succeed in changing anything. Because, as everyone knows, change to religion is pretty much what kryptonite is to Superman. It's about as welcome as garlic to a vampire because it threatens the position of those who control religion for their own narrow ignorant selfish ends. And secondly, I don't insult people because I disagree with them; people who believe in things like spiritualism or astrology, even though I don't believe in those things myself. Although I have to say I think the planets do influence our lives mainly by not crashing into us, which I think is quite considerate of them, really. But if astrologers were demanding special privileges all the time and insisting that their beliefs be allowed to dictate the behaviour of others then I'd probably adopt rather a different tone. If astrologers enjoyed a tax-exempt status which they routinely abused to meddle in politics and force their values into other people's lives, or if they reacted with fury, threatening to kill people for the slightest criticism of their beliefs, or if astrologers were allowed to indoctrinate young children before their minds were fully formed, and if they then molested many of these children, and protected each other from justice while insisting that women and homosexuals not be allowed to practise astrology because they're women and homosexuals, then one or two insults might slip out. That's how it works. And I don't apologise for that. Why should I, when religion has the barefaced cheek to claim moral authority over us, when anyone can see it doesn't even have any moral awareness. How can it have, when it's so insulated from self-examination by its blind obedience to scripture? It seems like hardly a week goes by these days that we don't have to listen to some mealy-mouthed clergyman complaining that secularism is going to lead to moral anarchy and the breakdown of society. As if people really are stupid enough to swallow this shallow-minded self-serving bullshit. Obviously, nobody wants to live in a moral vacuum. Well, nobody outside politics and banking. But, far from filling this vacuum, as it always claims, religion has actually caused it by using scripture as a vacuous substitute for genuine morality, by denying people the chance to formulate their own more substantial moral bearings in the only place you find anything of real value, and that's within. If it hasn't come from within it isn't worth a damn, and you know that in your heart. You know it's been put on like a cheap Sunday suit and it's as phoney as a clip-on bowtie. If you get your morals uncritically from scripture you're really no better than a dog who's afraid to steal the meat because he knows he'll be whipped. He'd love that meat more than anything, but, like you, his finely tuned moral compass keeps him on the straight and narrow. What a good dog he is. Of course, a dog doesn't have a soul, apparently, so he doesn't have the problem of having to live forever, but you do, and you know that you'll be whipped forever if you even think about touching that meat, you bad dog, you miserable sinner. Now, maybe this doesn't apply to you because you're a happy worshipper. Maybe you embrace the Lord every day with a joyful heart. And that's great. But surely you realise that the moment you change your mind about the Lord and stop embracing him you're setting yourself up for some terrible eternal torture. Don't you ever feel as if somebody is shooting at your feet to make you dance? Because that's how it looks to a neutral observer. Maybe that's just my ignorance talking, because that's something else I get accused of quite a lot. Somebody said recently: 'Clearly you just don't understand what a person's faith actually means to them." "For me", she said, "it's like the water of life." And I thought what a great phrase - the water of life, without which, of course, there can be no life. But even the water of life needs to be contained and properly managed or it can run out of control, get into places where it doesn't belong, and cause real damage. For example, if the water of your life gets together with the water of other people's lives, and they form a deluge, a rushing torrent of righteous certainty that sweeps all before it, including reason, then it's not so much the water of life any more, is it? It's rapidly turning into the water of death, as everything in its path is crushed; original, thought, rational enquiry, free speech, and their tattered remnants are strewn upon the rocks of scripture and blind dogma. What's needed here, obviously, is a dam to contain this water of death, convert it back into the water of life, and give us all a chance to switch on a lightbulb in our minds. And that's where secularism comes in. It's everybody's friend - believer and non-believer alike, which I think makes it the real water of life. At least almost as much as this stuff here. Beer. Cheers. Now that's what I call the water of life. A merry Christmas to everyone, especially to all you Islamist crackpots who think that celebrating Christmas is a sin. Of course it is. That's why it's fun. Peace.

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 57 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Director: Pat Condell
Views: 5,272
Posted by: patcondell on Dec 23, 2008

Cheers, and a merry Christmas to everyone.

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