Just look at what the pursuit of evidence based knowledge has enabled the human race
to achieve. No Smallpox for example! See picture on
Smallpox was responsible for an estimated 300–500 million deaths during the 20th
century and was the cause of a third of all blindness. Those that survived were disfigured
or deformed. But it has been eradicated! You cannot catch this disease today! It’s
gone! Did God save us? No! Man saved himself by studying the real world and applying
the knowledge acquired in the form of a vaccine.
Typhoid and Cholera are no longer a threat in the Western world thanks to the discovery
that they are caused by bacteria in contaminated water not ‘evil spirits’. It just
needed a clean water supply and good sewage disposal.
Diabetics and Haemophiliacs can live more or less normal lives thanks to the gathering
of information using Scientific method. Mankind has created wonderful works of art,
musical compositions (yes, some of them inspired by the notion of a god) and legions
of technological products which empower us to do marvellous things beyond our bodily
capabilities. Man has done these things, not ‘god’. No god has ever given us any
prizes like these!
I know some religious people will try to steal Scientists’ thunder by claiming that
god gave them their brains; well, what a pity god didn’t make priests that brainy
- the clergy have invented nothing!
Please don’t resort to unfounded fantasy - there’s plenty of cause for hope in the
Believe in and support your own species!
Give money to charities sponsoring ethical research
‘Hope springs eternal’. Most people seem to have a natural inbuilt tendency to be
over optimistic. We commit all sorts of follies like gambling, making ill advised
investments and buying lottery tickets when under the influence of hope. Boxers enter
the ring, runners get on the starting blocks, applicants attend interviews and actors
do auditions all pumped up with hope. We believe disasters just won’t happen to us,
despite seeing others suffer. Teenagers don’t even think they will die. When a young
Woody Allen was asked what he’d like to see written on his tombstone he said, ‘He
How many of us date people and become aware of their ‘faults’ but, nevertheless,
we hook-up with them in the hope that we can change them?
So hope can be a great deceiver and it’s easy to see how people can invest their
aspirations in such unlikely prospects as prayer, salvation and heaven despite the
lack of evidence that those things ever deliver their promises.
Unfortunately, vulnerable people often become prey to misguided hope because their
more desperate situation drives them to consider the possibility of success from
longer odds and riskier propositions.
Do not invest too much in hope,
* apologies to President Barack Obama for the use of his book title