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On the infeasibility of monotheism


A flame of controversy has leapt up on the normally placid letters page of the UK's Times Literary Supplement. The letters in question concern the best-selling essay 'The God Delusion', by the English scientist Richard Dawkins, in which the author affirms that science and religion are incompatible, that religions are negative and superfluous side effects of evolutionary development, and that the world would be a safer and freer place if a majority of its population were humanist atheists.
Especially interesting about the controversy is the tone of the letters from the pro-religious correspondents. Try as they might to be as clinical and common-sensical as their pro-science adversaries, a hysterical, outraged note always manages to creep in at some point in their arguments. In a nutshell, they do protest too much.
This, I may say, has generally been my experience with religious people: in the end, they treat any negation of their beliefs as a deeply felt insult, thus creating an atmosphere of untouchability around spiritual credos in general, to the extent that anyone who publicly states that virgin births or virgin-populated paradises, say, are nothing more than desperately fanciful products of the imagination, is immediately subject to any amount of holy vitriol. As was William Burroughs (1914-1997), when he launched his definitive attack on theism in general: 'Consider the impasse of a one-God universe: He is all knowing and all powerful; He can't go anywhere since he is already everywhere; He can't do anything since the act of doing pressuposes opposition; His universe is irrevocably thermodynamic, having no friction by definition; so He has to create friction: War! Fear! Sickness! Death!: just to keep His dying show on the road...'. Please think about it, all you devout monotheists out there, before you reach for your outrage.

- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programaciˇ: Nac -