Saturday, November 17, 2007

CREDO REVINCO - another version

Credo Revinco - a latin phrase coined by me after searching online dictionaries. it probably means "I believe I refute". If it doesn't mean that, it still sounds cool.

My first CR was coming from the direction of the "War on Terror". Here is a new attempt at a Credo coming from a different direction. The last section is pretty much directly lifted from Richard Dawkins.

Do you believe in God, or practice a religion? I think you are mistaken to do so, and you should reconsider. Since the day I realised I don't believe in God, I have felt liberated and powerful. I've seen the beauty and wonder of the world and the people in it, untainted by fear and superstition. A way of life without religion has been a good and joyous way of life.

Please think about whether your belief is really what you feel inside. Are you just going along with what your parents or other members of your community believe? Please think about whether your belief has come about after you've considered the facts. Think about the things you were told when your belief was being formed; if those things were wrong, maybe you should reconsider your belief.

I was raised as a Christian, but I abandoned religion when I was 14, and now I believe there is no such thing as god. If you are over 30 you might be too set in your ways to make the change the way I did. But if you are young, you might be inclined to change your mind.

Religion tells us that God made the world. This idea was formed thousands of years ago, when people still lived in caves and didn't know any better. Now through the wonderful sciences of cosmology, astronomy and biology, we know the earth was formed from a giant cloud of debris which came together by the force of gravity and became the solar system. We can see the process continue in our own solar system, and we can see new versions of solar system formation being repeated in distant space.

We know that life on earth has come about through the gradual process of evolution by natural selection. We can see the way this process continues around us. Farmers and dog breeders know how animals' offspring change by selective breeding, over just a few generations. Over thousands or millions of generations the changes from natural selection are amazing. We see the way animals and plants have evolved by looking at the different species that survive today. Examining fossils has shown us that this process has been going on for millions of years. This study has given us an astonishingly complete picture of the evolution of life, and insofar as we can be certain of anything, we can be certain that evolution is a fact.

So we know that God did not make the world, or the people and other living things who live on it. The science we used to arrive at this knowledge is relatively simple. To me it's easier to understand than the science that led to the invention of the television, for example. Many people don't understand exactly how a television works, but they don't deny the existence of television factories in China. Likewise it is silly to deny the existence of evolution, the truth of which is easier to see.

Once those facts are accepted, religions can be judged on with a clear head. If you grew up in a Muslim country, you probably believe in Islam; if you grew in in Europe, you're more likely to believe in Christianity; in India, it's probably Hinduism. Is your religion true just because you happen to have been born in that country? Are religions which are popular in other countries false just because you weren't born there? It would be arrogant of me to believe Christianity was proved true because I was born in Australia, where that religion dominates.

All the world's religions can't be true. Inescapably, the conclusion is that none of them are true. We already think that about ancient gods, like Zeus and Odin. We have stopped believeing in most of the gods which have come in and out of fashion throughout history. Why not go one god further?

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