Matt's Mind

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Funny insight on religion in Slashdot

I just had to post this excerpt of a quote on Slashdot from yesterday which arose, of all places, in the middle of a Q&A session with Larry Wall (of Perl fame). He had a quite odd description of how he reconciled his Christian beliefs in god with actual religion (IMHO).

And then, as is standard practice on Slashdot, things went off on a tangent and resulted in the following quote that I think actually deserved its "Insightful" moderation:

(Slashdot 10/08/2004:

Then again, my two favourite books in the Bible are Ecclesiastes and
Job. Both of which...

    So have fun, be smart and if there is a God - let's hope this is some sort of practical joke. Making us in the form of giant hairless monkeys is rather amusing when you think on it.

...provide a sound Scriptural basis for your conclusion. So welcome to the True Faith, Brother :-)

On a more enlightening angle, allow me to quote Carl Sagan (atheist):
    How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant'? Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.' A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths."

    - Carl Sagan
The God worshipped by Islamokazi nutbags and Creationist fundies is of little interest in me. He may have created us in His image - but some of his less-than-clued followers have unfortunately returned the favour :(

The Islamokazis (and to a lesser extent the Roman Catholic Church) re-created him in the form of a celestial slot machine ("insert [ 767 | money ], pull lever, get [ 72 virgins | indulgences ]"), and the Christian fundie hucksters re-created him in the form of a carnival barker ("I whipped it up in a week six thousand years ago and hid different ratios of potassium and argon isotopes in the dinosaur bones just to confuse their scientists 6000 years later! Suckerrrrz!").

But a God who can come up with an entire universe based on a few fundamental constants and some deep mathematics, such that out of that universe, a few bits of carbon compounds might emerge into sentient life capable of looking around at the universe and trying to unravel the math for themselves... That's the kind of God that might be worth getting to know more about.


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