It’s been a while since I have expressed my disgust of monotheism. So here’s Nobel laureate physicist Steven Weinberg on the god of the monotheists. He says he dislikes that god — and clarifies that his dislike of a non-existent being is akin to the dislike he has for other villains of literature. Watch the brief ~3 min. video. Continue reading
We take it as a given, almost a fact of nature like the seasons or the geography of continents, that different parts of the world enjoy different levels of prosperity. But there’s nothing “natural” about this since this is almost entirely within human control. The differences are stark, and at one end of the scale, heartbreaking. Consider the extremely rich first. Luxembourg has an annual per capita income of over $110,000, Norway over $100,000, Switzerland around $85,000. Those are small countries and outliers with perhaps little to tell us. But the US is large and has an annual per capita income of $53,000. Why is it so rich?
At the other end of the scale are Burundi and Malawi with only $200 or so annual per capita incomes. Why are they so poor? The richest countries are around 500 times richer in per capita terms than the poorest. What accounts for this inequality in incomes of countries? That question has engaged the attention of people for hundreds of years — starting with of course the great Scottish economist Adam Smith who inquired about “The Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” in his famous 1776 book.
The god of the Old Testament is the same god that Christians adopted in their New Testament. Following the Jews and the Christians, Islam proclaimed the same monotheistic god. Who is this god? Richard Dawkins, a non-believer, characterized that god in his book The God Delusion thusly:
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
Every word in that description is justified — within the so-called “holy” books. Chapter and verse can be quoted to show why that god is “the most unpleasant character in all fiction.”
I mainly criticize ideas and ideologies because ideas fundamentally affect human welfare. Most of the time my focus is on ideologies and not people. That distinction is worth keeping in mind. If ever someone misconstrues my criticism of an ideology with animosity against a group or a person, it reveals at best a reading comprehension problem and at worst guilt associated with a hidden prejudice of the reader against the group I am accused of opposing.
Not only does Jesus save, his followers save as well. Here’s a comment that one of Jesus’s own (whose handle is “Jesus Loves You”) wrote:
It is based on perfectly logical and reasonable premises. What’s there not to like about Christianity? Continue reading
Richard Dawkins, he of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion, pulls no punches. He tells it as he sees it.
India, like all other countries of the world, is embedded in the larger context of the world. Naturally therefore India’s fortunes and the prospects for its development are circumscribed by the world’s prospects. Religion — especially the monotheistic ones — are arguably one of the most powerful of the forces that shape the human world. One cannot hope to study economic growth and development without understanding how religion is impacting the world at large. One fact is undeniable: when societies undergo severe stress, they fracture along predictable lines. The most prominent of these fault-lines is religion — and I stress once again, that monotheism is at the heart of all major religious strife. That is so because monotheism does not, by its very constitution, suffer non-believers to exist or even tolerate a plurality of views. The danger to the continued existence of human civilization on earth may proximately arise from such matters as doomsday nuclear warfare but the ultimate cause can definitely be traced to anti-humanistic monotheistic religious dogma.
UPDATE 23 Oct 2018:
The post is clearly wrong. It was Mark Twain, not Jefferson, who wrote this about Christianity.
See this: TwainQuotes.com
Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), the third President of the United States (1801–1809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) had this to say about Christianity —