My own view is that this planet is used as a penal colony, lunatic asylum and dumping ground by a superior civilisation, to get rid of the undesirable and unfit. I can’t prove it, but you can’t disprove it either.
Even if I accepted that Jesus – like almost every other prophet on record – was born of a virgin, I cannot think that this proves the divinity of his father or the truth of his teachings. The same would be true if I accepted that he had been resurrected.
One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human pre-history where nobody – not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms – had the smallest idea what was going on.
The faithful believe that certain truths have been ‘revealed.’ The skeptics and secularists believe that truth is only to be sought by free inquiry and trial and error. Only one of those positions is dogmatic.
I’m not afraid of being dead, that’s to say there’s nothing to be afraid of. I won’t know I’m dead, would be my strong conviction. And if I find that I’m alive in any way at all, that’ll be a pleasant surprise. I quite like surprises.
Who are your favourite heroines in real life? The women of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran who risk their lives and their beauty to defy the foulness of theocracy. Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Azar Nafisi as their ideal feminine model.
The search for Nirvana, like the search for Utopia or the end of history or the classless society, is ultimately a futile and dangerous one. It involves, if it does not necessitate, the sleep of reason. There is no escape from anxiety and struggle.
There’s been some research in cognitive science, I’m told, that discloses that there have always been perhaps 10 to 15 percent of people who are, as Pascal puts it, so made that they cannot believe. To us, when people talk about faith, it’s white noise.
I became a journalist because I didn’t want to have to rely on the press for information… I only read it to make sure of whatever everyone else thinks is going on, because it’s useful to know what people think is the news.