The creator of the universe, in all its expanse and infinite size, came to the earth and wrote a book. Which book that happens to be, humans can’t agree. Nor is it understood why a creator would make William Shakespeare a more elegant and proficient writer than itself.
The Bible, Quran, Book of Mormon, Bhagavad Gita and more are held by their followers to be the word of their god. Not only may followers justify their actions by reference to their scripture, followers of these books cannot even agree on what they mean.
Countless amounts of blood have been spilt over these scripture-related disagreements, recently as well as throughout the development of civilization.
Yes, there are many beliefs that go unchecked in daily life, such as why bacon is usually served at breakfast, whether tofu is an acceptable dessert or whether Pluto is really a planet. However, no other belief systems come close to how those that are creator-centric affect civilization.
Beliefs of divine books and a creator brought many religions into bloom with alternate explanations for nearly everything. These religions are monstrously intertwined with supernatural occurrences such as virgin births (Christianity), talking snakes (Christianity), Universal overlords named Xenu (Scientology) and magical undergarments (Mormonism).
Skepticism, logic, and scientific explanations have challenged human faith in the supernatural. If humans abandoned the ability for critical thought and unhinged the indulgence of forbidden fruit, then faith and beliefs in a creator may go on in an uncontaminated existence. But these beliefs are unparalleled in how they divide us, cloud our scientific observations and initiate many violent conflicts.
The recent violent conflicts in Palestine (Jews v. Muslims), the Balkans (Orthodox Serbians v. Catholic Croatians), Ethiopia (Muslims v. Christians), Sri Lanka (Sinhalese Buddhists v. Tamil Hindus) and Indonesia (Muslims v. Timorese Christians) are a few examples among many. Beliefs of such caliber require meticulous scrutiny.
Richard Dawkins, whom Andrew Jenson surely referred to in his opinion piece, is an evolutionary biologist and skeptic. Dawkins has backed up his biology related claims with observational evidence, data and peer-reviewed publications. Needless to say, he does not accept evolution on blind faith.
He has encouraged believers of scripture and higher beings to provide similar evidence for their claims of biological creationism as well. His encouragements remain unanswered. Dawkins is a strong proponent of questioning religious doctrine and has defined the dichotomy between blind religious faith and faith based on observational occurrences. For more info see his book, “The God Delusion.”
In times of need, loved ones may console each other or find strength within their own selves. Alternatively, some may seek beings from their books of scripture. Whether you admire how, as primate-like organisms, we have evolved empathy for one-another, or you believe in a book that tells you to love god (Matthew 22:37), fear god(Matthew 10:28) or in fact that there is no fear in love (1 John 4:18), surely there is agreement that love and compassion are ample remedies for fear and anxiety.
When it is said that god is in our hearts and everywhere around us, ask why not Allah, Yahweh, Zeus, Krishna, Xenu, Baal, El or any of the other deities dreamed-up by humans. It may be contended that we are all skeptics of most deities. Some just take it one step further.
If you are a fellow skeptic, feel free to checkout Freethought Moscow here on campus. We have meetings Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. in the Horizon room on the fourth floor of the Commons.
Stephen Burleigh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org