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YOU DON’T HAVE to be intelligent to stop believing in God, just open-minded. Admit the possibility that there is no omnipotent, omniscient, caring Creator, deserving of worship and capable of intervention in our lives, and the idea takes root at once, is watered heavily by the available evidence and blossoms into the rational rejection of even the most well-intended of superstitions.
What’s more, there being no God explains everything in a complete way that there being a God cannot. The non-believer does not have to agonize over why God would allow bad things to happen to good people; he can simply go to work to make the world a better place; better to give a thirsty child a glass of water than to say three novenas begging God to make it rain.Read more
Part II of A Hope in Hell
FROM THE TIME we grasped that to be born meant having to also die, we’ve not been happy with the concept. William Saroyan, the great American short story writer (he is to O. Henry what backgammon is to ludo, or vintage calypso is to modern soca), said it best: “Everybody has to die but I always believed an exception would be made in my case”; if there were a God, surely She would give William Saroyan a break for that, precisely because it is literally deathly funny.Read more
Part I of A Hope in Hell
THE WORLD IS going to Hell in Donald Trump’s hand-basket and our trouble isn’t that we haven’t a prayer, but that we have far too many of them. The great challenge we face, as a species, is not Islam, nor radical Islam, nor even radical fundamentalist jihadist Islamic terrorism; no, the great challenge we all face is religious belief itself. Faith taints everything. But I’ll come to that dead end by the scenic route, probably two Fridays from now. (Coming from Trinidad and being raised Catholic, the power of threes has always held me in its sway.)