Re: Dawkins was right all along

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Fri Sep 28 2001 - 15:57:18 BST

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    Subject: Re: Dawkins was right all along
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    Hi people,

    Since we are all so interested in religion and how to
    bring it down, perhaps the time is ripe to let
    you all a little in on the opinions of one of the
    greatest scientific geniuses of the previous century.
    My all-time favorite physicist Paul Dirac.
    The next excerpt is taken from the book `Physics and Beyond' written by
    another great physicist, Werner Heisenberg and is about the discussion
    Dirac, Heisenberg, Pauli and Bohr had on the role of religion on
    contemporary society. Mind you, Dirac's enlightened insight dates back
    all the way to 1927 when Dirac was only 25 years old.

    ``I don't know why we are talking about religion,'' he [Dirac] objected.
    ``If we are honest-and scientist have to be- we must admit that religion
    is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea
    of God, is a product of the 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 an 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 the 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 class quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern
    than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also very 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 [there's
    a word missing here, my guess is that it should be a proverb such as
    `establishing'] the close alliance between those 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.
    That 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.''

    What a vision! It is all-the-more rather peculiar that later in his life
    Dirac was persuaded to become religious by joining Christianity.
    He even became a personal friend of pope John!
    Weird bugger...


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