Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?' So begins 'The God Delusion', a 2006 best-selling non-fiction book by English biologist Richard Dawkins.
In 'The God Delusion', Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that belief in a personal god qualifies as a delusion, which he defines as a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence. With many examples, he explains that one does not need religion to be moral and that the roots of religion and of morality can be explained in non-religious terms.
I like Bertrand Russell's 'Teapot' analogy, "If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time."
Want to join the Teapot religion? Repeat after me: "I am the Lord thy Teapot. Thou shalt have no other teapots before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any coffee. Thou shalt not brew thy tea in vain. Remember teatime, to keep it holy."
Richard Dawkins' book concludes with the question of whether religion, despite its alleged problems, fills a "much needed gap", giving consolation and inspiration to people who need it. According to Dawkins, these needs are much better filled by non-religious means such as philosophy and science. He suggests that an atheistic worldview is life-affirming in a way that religion, with its unsatisfying "answers" to life's mysteries, could never be. An appendix gives addresses for those "needing support in escaping religion".
Enjoy your Sunday because the here and now is all we have!