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God or nothing

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This video is for those people who have told me they believe in God for just about the stupidest reason I've ever heard, because, as they put it: "You have to believe in something. You can't just believe in nothing." Can't you? Oh dear. I wish somebody had told me earlier. Oh well. So it's either the supernatural, or it's nothing. What are you, hypnotised? Anyway, if you only believe because you don't want to believe in nothing then surely you already believe in nothing; you're just pretending you don't. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to frighten anyone. Maybe you think believing in nothing will plunge you into some kind of existential void, a bottomless chasm of uncertainty, perhaps? Not to worry. That's what we call an open mind. I don't believe in nothing. I wouldn't know where to begin. I believe in lots of things. It's just that religion isn't one of them, because I've examined religion quite closely and I've found its version of reality to be false, insulting and degrading. I've also found its implementation to be sinister, coercive, fraudulent, and grossly immoral, especially with regard to children. You see, one thing I do believe is that to indoctrinate a child with the bigotries of religion is a predatory assault on an unformed mind. It's an act of sabotage, a mental circumcision that ought to be against the law. One day it will be, and then the term "human rights" might actually start to mean something. However, if we're talking about the bigger picture, about where we come from and why we're here, and so on, even there I wouldn't say I believe in nothing. I simply don't know the answer to those questions any more than you do, and I know that you haven't got a clue about them because you're a human being just like me. I suppose the difference is that I don't really mind not knowing. If the information should present itself that would be great, but I'm more concerned with enjoying the experience as it happens than I am with fretting about the possible cause of it, and I'm certainly not interested in making up childish fantasies to cling to like pieces of driftwood because I'm afraid I might go crazy if I believe in nothing. Admitting you don't know something is not the same as believing in nothing. Pretending you do know when you don't is much closer to believing in nothing because when you believe falsehood against all reason, truth has no way in. Of course some religious people like to use reason when it suits them. They say things like: "If God didn't create everything then who did? "It couldn't just come from nothing. That's irrational." Yes, we wouldn't want to be irrational, would we? People might get the idea that we were crazy. Well, according to Stephen Hawking, everything did come from nothing, so there. He says the universe can be explained without the need for a creator because the laws of physics allow for it. But then what does he know next to a theologian? I don't know if science does have all the answers, but I'm pretty sure religion doesn't have any of them, especially when I look at some of the people who run it. Religion was a pretty crude way of explaining reality even back in the days when we thought the earth was the centre of the universe. Now the universe isn't even the centre of the universe, to hear some people tell it. Now they're talking about a multiverse, where our universe is just one of billions, like one tiny bubble in an ocean of bubbles. But of course the god of the middle eastern desert on planet earth still created all of it - that goes without saying - when he wasn't busy laying down the law about shellfish and pork, obviously. I have heard it said that the meaning of life may be found one day somewhere in the area between physics and philosophy, whatever that's supposed to mean. Between splitting atoms and splitting hairs, maybe. Why not? Yes, I'd be open to that. Science has already shown us so much that boggles the imagination, and that frankly doesn't make any rational sense, that when it comes to reality I wouldn't rule anything out. Particle physics, for example, has revealed that this world of ours that we thought was solid isn't solid at all, yet we still appear to be here in all our corporeal reality. How can thing possibly be? Beats me. Unless... Yes, of course... You beat me to it, didn't you? Maybe it's a miracle. It's obvious when you think about it. A miracle would explain it. Miracles are great. They can explain anything. You believe in miracles, don't you? Yes, of course you do, because you're a human being and you have to believe in something, right? You can't just believe in nothing. That way lies madness, which can drive a person crazy, so they say. Yes, a miracle makes sense to me, but then I am something of an ignoramus, so a miracle is actually very helpful to me because it enables me to hold strong absolutist opinions about things without the need to actually know or understand anything. And, predictably I suppose, it makes me sympathetic to the idea that knowing and understanding things should be blasphemy. A neat trick that enables me to drag everybody else down to my level of crass and wilful ignorance without having to make any kind of intellectual investment whatsoever. Yes, I thought you'd be impressed. And if anyone should challenge me on it I can simply accuse them of hate speech and shut them up quicker than a cow's arse in fly time. So, as you can see, I've got it all covered. Praise the Lord. Meanwhile, back in the real world, do you want the truth? You do want the truth, don't you? The truth is nobody knows why we're here. Nobody. Not you, not me, not the priest, not the imam, not the scientist - nobody. And anyone who expresses an opinion on the subject is guessing. And your guess is a good as mine, or the Pope's or Stephen Hawking's or anybody else's. And I think that anyone who insists that their guesswork is the truth and the only truth is a liar or a fool, or both, and should be treated as such, not humoured and indulged as they presently are, and made to feel that there's virtue in their arrogance, but openly mocked and ridiculed, and if it hurts their feelings so much the better. Not because I believe in gratuitous insult - I don't - but I do believe in responding to it in kind, and there is a difference. As for you, if the fear of believing in nothing, the terror of an open mind, is keeping you in thrall to this monstrous, crude, imaginary god foisted on you by a class of parasitical fear-mongering clergy, this vengeful punished who will be waiting for you at the moment of death - looking forward to that? - then I would suggest for your own mental health you're far better off believing in nothing. Even if you do go crazy, you'll still be ahead of the game. Peace. You know you like it.

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 46 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Producer: Pat Condell
Director: Pat Condell
Views: 2,310
Posted by: patcondell on Oct 25, 2010

You have to believe in something?

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