I had a little Twitter conversation with my favourite man of the cloth Rev Richard Coles a few weeks ago…..
I was having a little crisis of confidence in some of my fellow online non-believers. He, surprisingly, admitted to me that, like myself, he swings back and forth between apathy and antipathy towards Religion. It struck me as interesting that a man of the cloth could adopt a position so close to that of myself who has never believed in God. It made me wonder about all sorts of things. To what extent are the labels we put on ourselves decided before we justify them? Optimist or pessimist? believer or non-believer. In other words do Scientists make good Atheists or vice versa? I have observed that most Religious people seldom have any interest in rational reasons for their beliefs but rather their world-view seems to be developed out of an emotional response to Bach, or Titian or the beauty of the natural world and they mostly choose to set aside reason. Francis Collins famously set his rational mind aside after seeing a beautiful waterfall. Others have failed to comprehend how the natural world could exist without a creator and thus have concluded that God must exist. I have a lot of sympathy for these kind of views and generally these kind of believers are nice, genuine people who truly cannot, or don’t wish to, understand a creation without a creator. They are probably as perplexed by me as i am by them. Some have gone as far as being ordained despite their doubts because, i guess, they have weighed everything up and concluded that the fruits of their endeavour are their own reward. The ones to worry about are the ones who insist that Religion is rational and their Holy books are the word of God etc despite evidence. It is one thing to be concerned with matters eternal but it is something else to to claim rational reasons for doing so.