Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Religion and Logic

I was having a think the other day, as I often do.

Religion has been in the news a lot recently, what with the Pope's recent State visit and all. Personally, I found the whole thing quite entertaining - the primary reason being the attempts to stir up a hostile reception for a religious leader, only for him to be welcomed by the public reasonably well.

Pope Benedict's State Visit to Britain was the first for any Pope

One thing that has been brought to light by the Pope's visit is what he referred to as aggressive secularism - or militant atheism. They opposed the Pope's visit on the grounds that they do not agree with some things that the Catholic Church has done, and therefore it is bad.

Now, don't get me wrong - the Catholic Church is not a paragon of virtue. It has a bleak and troubled history, but that's because it's a human institution. The problem is not exclusive to the Catholic Church. I, personally, do not agree with their stance on contraception, homosexuality and equal rights. But do I oppose the Church's very existence because I disagree with them? No.

I find this emergent brand of militant atheism deeply disturbing - not because I am a particularly religious man, because I'm not. I find it disturbing because it is hypocritical - it accuses religion of brainwashing people into following an unwavering dogma, repressing freedom of thought and truth, and yet it does exactly the same.

They maintain that this brainwashing takes the form of convincing everyone that there is a single being responsible for the creation of the universe, and that it is somehow responsible for our actions and desires, guiding us through our lives in a great plan of infinite complexity which we cannot possibly understand. What a ridiculous notion, eh? Absolutely. Sky fairies and God delusions.

And I would absolutely agree with them... if they could prove it.

The absence of proof of the existence of God does not prove the non-existence of God. Atheism claims to be based on science. Science requires proof. Prove to me that there is no God.

If we cannot prove that there is no God, then atheism is simply the belief that there is no God. It is therefore a religion in it's own right, trying to secure it's own followers and destroy it's opponents, in the same way that Catholicism did in medieval times.

Just a thought.