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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
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!
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