Why I am a humanist.


Only a few people would come out of a Beethoven concert thinking “God is great” — no, Beethoven is great, and the performers themselves were brilliant.  But why not thank God for Beethoven, then?  Problem solved!

No.  I should thank Beethoven himself for his hard work: for the most tiring effort and dedication on his own part.  Understanding the evolution of human music as I do, I certainly see no God at work.  Man puts in all the effort, and the best you can do is to attribute the final result to God?

Then there are doctors.  There are people who go through years of costly study just so they could save your life, and the best you can do is to thank God?  Thank God for doctors?  Do you seriously think that prayer, unaided, is going to save your bleeding arse?

So sit around the dining table and thank God for the food you are about to receive, and remember that by doing so you are essentially acceding to the fact that it is in your God’s power to intervene: to feed you and to care for you; and then think of all the starving children in the world and let it be known to them that God is good, for the reason that he has been keeping your stomach full.

And how many people have prayed to God without success?  How many people have begged on their knees, only to be abandoned and shunned by their own creator; the creator who never was there.  Zeus.  Allah.  Vishnu.  Yahweh.

I am a humanist because I acknowledge the power of humans to achieve things, things unachievable and unthought-of by any of the petty gods we happen to have invented in the course of our evolution.  You can sit around and pray all day, but know that it is only by work and effort that we will tread forward, lest we condemn ourselves to return to the darkest ages of civilisation — yes, the age of your beloved religion, wherein people would just sit around all day praying for them diseases to magically vanish; if only there was science to actually make it all just… go away. 

Your opinion that knowledge is beyond our grasp is damnable.  It is laziness, disguised in the form of noble faith.  It is nothing but the closing of doors; the unwillingness to face the problems at hand by a simple act of shrugging it off, by pretending that we already know it all, or by proclaiming it as ‘unsolvable’; oh, and by the way, should anyone among you disagree — we shall see to it that he be hanged.

But the only power many religions has ever had is the power to convince you that you need to apologise for being born; for being what you are: a sinner by default; a human being incapable of any good except through the assistance of a fictional character who not only has you under 24-hour surveillance, but will continue to do so for an eternity after you die when your soul be burnt in a dismal lake of fire.

Because unlike you, I am human and very proud of it.

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