Saturday, June 16, 2012

Smullyan On Revealed Religion

"I agree that the difference between belief in God and nonbelief may be of some importance, but I can think of far more important differences. For one thing, I have always felt that the gap between atheism and belief in God is extremely small compared with the difference between a mere belief that there is a God and the belief that God wrote any of the existing holy books!
A mere belief in a creator God, without postulating any properties to this God, would hardly have much effect on how one would conduct one’s life, whereas any of the orthodox religions are chock full of moral regulations. Stated otherwise, the gap between atheism and natural religion is small compared to that between natural religion and revealed religion." Ray Smullyan [2003], p.3f 

Unfortunately for the world, these "revealed" books - like the Bible, the Torah and the Qur'an - are not only chock full of moral regulations but notably also of inhumane and cruel regulations and morally contemptible behavior of weird backwoodsmen. Though often unknown to the simple believer who contents himself with listening to preselected chapters of these "revelations" offered by knowing priests, these tribal society rules are still serving some people as moral standard ...
The gap between the belief in a mere creator God and a God who - in written form - requires his creatures to believe in and worship him is indeed huge. Think of a programmer who designs an advanced version of Conway's Game of Life filled with moving (near intelligent) creatures and then additionally requires these creatures to worship him as the creator God. C'mon! Get a life, nerd!


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