by A. Uiet Bhor
In the old days there were atheists aplenty, but they always seem to lose out against the theists, because they had nothing to offer, no hope, no immortality, no nice gods to worship. The problem was that, although these critical thinkers had through reason, philosophical analysis and just plain intelligence realised that the truth was not in religion, they didn't know where the truth was Many didn't know whether to trust the thoughts of the metaphysicians or the empirical thinkers, or simply practical observation, they had yet to formulate a formal scientific discipline, and many were bamboozled by the likes of Aristotle.
It wasn't until Galileo that what would later become the scientific method began to take shape and finally we had a reliable way of getting to the truth independent of superstition, abstract thought or metaphysical meaninglessness. Since then, science has progressed to such an extent and allowed us to answer far more questions then we had a right to expect, that we have every confidence that through the only method that has proven itself, we may answer all questions. In fact very few people are aware of just how many of the important questions have already been answered beyond any reasonable doubt, mainly for two reasons.
Firstly, ignorance due to laziness.
It takes a great deal of time and effort to do the necessary research.
And secondly, those under an isolating delusion.
Many are under the conviction that they already have all the answers that they know the "truth" because they are being told that they do by their religion. And are not encouridged to look anywere else, as the "answers" (if not the truth) are only to be found within the group.
Sufferers of the former reason merely need education or convincing that it is good to be educated so that they may get there themselves.
Victims of the second reason need deprogramming which is a complicated affair at best, as no matter whether you make a philosophical, moral or scientific attack upon their assumptions, they won't willingly abandon their comfortable and familier beliefs.
Many theists have been prepared for just such encounters and told that everyone secretly believes in God and are living in denial, or all atheists are liars, or are possessed by Devils. These rather shallow and obvious attempts to demonise everything outside the xtian cult is the principal reason why it is very difficult to convince people they are living a lie. But at least now we have a great many answers, and can hold our own against such things as the design argument, as well as provide answers to questions that religion has not asked. In time religion's significance will become smaller and smaller as humanity becomes more and more aware of the true nature of reality and they will realise how few (if any) of the really important questions religion really answers.
The questions that religion usually specialises in are those that religion invented itself in order to convince the people it had answers, but the many questions science has created are far more interesting and far more real. These answers have changed a great many people, making them realise that their views on reality a very provisional very short-sighted and very narrow, this is led to a broadening of horizons and an opening up of the mind to the universe. Many then look back and realise what a pathetic and insignificant thing all religion really is compared to the real world and our capacity to understand it. Mankind is truly coming alive into a far better brighter, bigger world, it is an awakening and religion is merely the afterbirth, we may have needed it once, but not any more.
We are no longer dependent, we are independent, we are born, we are adult and mankind the most significant mental force in existence should not have to suffer so many illusions, to be turned into a child who is made scared through ignorance, when it deserves far better. Many have already woken and thrown away the afterbirth, but some are still clinging to it, and screaming to get back into the womb. To this day, there are a great many people will never really wake up, never realise their potential as humans. The rest of us must be patient, must help those willing to resist and to escape, because one day we must all wake up. The consequences if we do not are unthinkable. To quote the great philosopher G'Kar…
'there are those… for whom the term "never again!" carries special meaning'.
AUB - I'll be the judge of that.