Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dirac on Religion

Dirac was known to be a staunch atheist. His reasoning was as follows:

“If we are honest, we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of a god is a product of human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can’t for the life of me see how the postulate of almighty god helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why god allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all other horrors he might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classed quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people, hence, the alliance between the two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly god rewards – in heaven if not on earth – all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. This is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.”

“All talk about god’s will, about sin and repentance, about a world beyond by which we must direct our lives, only serves to disguise the sober truth. Belief in god merely encourages us to think that god wills us to submit to a higher force, and it is this idea which helps to preserve social structures that may have been perfectly good in their day but no longer fit the modern world. Life, when all is said and done, is just like science: we must come up against difficulties and have to solve them. And we can never solve more than one difficulty at a time.”

Assuming that the majority of the people do not direct their thought to such pursuits, is it still to much to ask that we realize it is just by mere chance that a person belongs to any of the ‘n’ religions present in the world. We live in a society with others and since we have no logical reason to believe our religion superior to that of others, we must co-exist instead of trying to prove the dominance of one.

No comments:

Post a Comment