I often encounter the “creationist Christian vs. atheist” debates everywhere and I must admit that I find them quite disturbing, in a way one would find it disturbing to hear zombies and vampires arguing at night in front of his house about whether to drink his blood or eat his brains.
Essentially, what it’s all about is that the creationists use arguments like “this or that tiny little thing in science isn’t right, therefore Adam and Eve”, and the atheists use arguments like “there is no spirituality outside of matter, and we should get rid of religions and other historical relics and go forth into the bold future of science and space exploration”.
The problem is, they both argue for the approaches to civilization that have already been tried before. The creationist religion produced the darkest period of the dark ages, when scripture was given priority over any other form of evidence, and atheism already tried to get rid of the primitive past. It’s historically known as “enlightenment”, and produced the bloody reign of the guillotine during the French revolution, where all the “reactionary elements” were purged in a very literal sense. But that was only the modest beginning. When the ideas really took hold, in the age of modernism, the concept of the “new age” for mankind, whose time has come to claim its destiny from the hands of darkness and ignorance, resulted in the terrible genocides of Communism and Nazism in the 20th century. So, when the atheists say that the world would be much better if we sent all the priests to Mars, know that it’s been tried before, only Mars was out of reach so they used ordinary graveyards. So, when the creationists argue for God they in fact argue for the dark ages, and when the atheists argue for science they in fact argue for Stalin. Atheists often invoke the argument of horrible crimes committed in the name of religion, but what is actually true is that the crimes, committed in the name of “modernity” and “enlightenment” in the centuries where science showed itself on the map, were so brutal and massive, it’s almost without a historical precedent. In fact, only Islam showed to be the equal of atheism in sheer cruelty, and it’s probably because they both think that being on the “right side” justifies them in everything they do.
I think we need a different approach to those things, because we can’t leave things of such importance to those idiots.
On the religious side of things, I think we need to understand that the issue is much deeper and more intellectual than the American Christians make it sound. Their main problem is the idolatry of the Bible, and very poor understanding of what they are actually talking about. I am going to use the arguments of St. Augustine, who had a much wiser approach, and I am going to modernize his points in order to make them more comprehensible to the audience. You see, what he would say is that God didn’t create the Bible. It’s not the word of God. It’s history of the Jewish nation’s understanding of its relationship with the transcendental. Since they were inherently sinful and therefore unable to receive God’s point of view in the purity and fullness of its truth, their understandings remained flawed and limited until the appearance of Jesus, who revealed God for what he truly is, which is not God of the Jews, but God of certain principles: reality, truth, love, kindness, forgiveness. Furthermore, St. Augustine is not a deist, he is a theist. It’s an important distinction, because a deist sees God as the distant creator of the Universe who involves himself with the matters of men only to reveal the Law and to judge men at the end of their earthly lives. A theist, however, doesn’t see God as distant, but sees God as pervading the world with His being, as eternity beyond space and time that nevertheless pervades space throughout time and guides the beings from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge and from selfishness to love. A theist sees God as a presence in his life, a presence that guides him and tries to reveal itself to him, a presence that left breadcrumbs of truth and reality for him to find in the world and, if willing, to accept guidance and be lead out of the confines of this world, and into the infinity for which there are no mortal words. For St. Augustine, God’s word isn’t limited to the Bible. In fact, God never ceases to speak to us, his word is not limited to the people of the past who wrote some of that down, for other people to include into the biblical canon. It is good to know how other people perceived God, and that is what Bible is for, but for each of us individually God has guidance and a destiny and a plan, and He is the silent yet very vocal presence in each person’s mind, and in each person’s life. The crucial part is that we are free to choose what we are going to do about it. We are free to refuse or to accept. We are free to ignore and to ridicule. Each of those choices puts us in a certain relationship with the truth and the light, and each of those choices determines our fate in eternity, beyond space and time. So, instead of adopting idolatry of the Bible, you should rather adopt the attitude that Bible didn’t do mankind much good in the dark ages, and that this literal approach did not serve to reveal the depths of the reality of God to mankind. It was a failed attempt. However, you should also understand that science revealed much more about the nature and functioning of the world than religion, and it is quite likely that science is actually a better way of understanding the ways and intents of God than worshiping ancient scripture. Science has the attitude of actually listening to what the world has to say about itself, instead of trying to find some simplistic explanation that would fit the world into some nice intellectual drawer. So, how about trying that with God? How about trying to listen what God has to say about himself, instead of trying to jam him into some narrow intellectual drawer? How about listening to what the difference in the spiritual taste between gentle kindness and indifferent cruelty has to say about God? That, too, is a way of listening what the reality has to say.
As for the atheists and their faith in the way science “disproved” God, just let me remind you that science today is actually closer to disproving materialism and atheism. It suffices to invoke Occam’s razor, which the atheists routinely use to reject God as a superfluous supposition, and remember that the choice of scientific cosmology today is to either assume that the Universe was deliberately fine-tuned to an incredible degree in order to allow for our existence, or to invent the concept of Multiverse, an infinity of Universes with an endless number of variations in basic constants, for which there is no evidence whatsoever and is a mere figment of imagination.
So, basically, it’s a choice between saying that the Universe was created in a deliberate act by a conscious entity which you cannot directly prove, or that there is an endless number of Universes with endless number of variations in basic constants, which you also cannot directly prove. So essentially, since you can’t prove any of it, just shut the fuck up about science disproving God, because you simply chose to believe in one interpretation you couldn’t prove, while the others chose to believe in another, equally valid interpretation which they, too, cannot prove.
For all you know, this entire Universe could be a virtual reality that runs on some graphics card that’s only a few years ahead of our current technology*, and this interpretation could completely encompass everything science showed us so far, and could actually be proved if at least some people could temporarily wake up from the simulation and return to bear witness, and various spiritual experiences of the yogis and saints, as well as the near-death testimonies, are actually proving this hypothesis quite nicely, while the official materialistic science has no explanation for them other than pretending that they are not what they obviously are.
So, both the religious people and the atheists have quite an abundance of reasons to shut the fuck up and learn some humility for a change.
* For those who don’t believe that computers could render convincing universes, this can, as of today, be rendered on a $200 graphics card, and the real-time render is actually much better than the video: