Archive for September, 2011

Why I Don’t Believe In God…

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

I’ve never really believed in God. When I was young, I went to a Christian school so I didn’t really question it and called myself a Christian (we sung hymns and everything), but that was mainly because I didn’t know there was a word for not believing in God or never having considered it before.

These days, I’m a firm atheist. I try to be tolerant of other people’s beliefs but when you believe that you’re right and other people are wrong (to the point of certainty), that’s harder than it seems. (Hence why people of other religions try to convert you.) Try to let spelling mistakes pass when the other person genuinely believes that’s how it’s supposed to be spelled and you’ll see what I mean. Humans don’t like being wrong and they don’t like it when other people are wrong. After giving it some thought, I concluded that there is no God, but for a number of reasons.

One of the reasons is that I believe that the theory of evolution by natural selection is true and indeed, observable (if people started using the word “theory” correctly instead of using it to mean “hypothesis”, more of them would believe in it). Having worked that one out, I concluded that if life evolved, there was not really a need for a God. You could bring the idea of intelligent design into it, but I personally think it’s a cop-out so that you can still say “God did it”. (I also don’t understand why people are offended at the idea of evolving from primates.) The main beauty of evolution is that if it happened without a God, that just makes the appearance of certain species all the more wondrous.

The main problem that I have with God, and in particular, The Bible is that once you’ve refuted one thing from a 2000-3000 year old collection of myth and allegory, everything else starts to fall down as well and that makes it less likely that there is a God. You’ve got to remember that this was a time when much of what we take for granted today was totally new and crazy to the people of the time, so stuff like thunder probably was frequently interpreted as the voice of God. It was also a time where the written word had been invented not too long before so stories were only just beginning to be written down so people could just lie and say they heard the call of God (or, as is possible with some of today’s charlatans, genuinely believe it and/or have some sort of mental problem). I also feel that religion in general has done more harm than good.

I believe that Jesus was probably a real person (although he wouldn’t have been called that) and he’s on my time-travel “to meet” list, but that all he did was teach some lessons and tell some parables and it all got blown way out of proportion by the gullible fools of that time. And he certainly wouldn’t have been a white man.

I also feel it’s not exactly helpful, even though it’s understandable, to believe in a big man in the sky who will make everything better and is controlling it all, so there’s a reason for your suffering. This goes hand in hand with the invention of an afterlife as a consoling tactic for the grieving (which I’m fine with, just if you’ve read this don’t expect me to say things like “he’s gone to a better place”).

I think the most important thing, however, is the fact that I have got by perfectly fine without believing in any sort of God for most of the 20 years that I’ve been on this Earth. I’ve followed my own moral code and so far I’ve not committed any crimes against humanity or gone on killing sprees (although I have hurt people emotionally, which I deeply regret). I’ve seen wondrous things and known fantastic people, but nothing to make me think there’s some sort of God watching over me. Other people can believe that if they want, and that’s fine, but I have laid out here why I don’t.



Sunday, September 18th, 2011

As the second episode of Epic Win that I was in the audience for aired last night, I felt now would be a good time to do reviews of how they came out on air.

Episode 1: The first one I attended, we were told to come back next week so Kane could participate in the “breathing in someone’s face” challenge covered below. This one wasn’t that great, but it did make me chuckle a few times. The experience was mainly memorable for the untelevised “woman walking into doorframe” bit and the fact that I was in the audience for in (and indeed, am visible).

Episode 5: This one was more interesting to me as Kane, my friend, was in this one as a “breather”. He finally admitted (and you can see for yourself, it’s here or you can watch the whole thing on the iPlayer) that he really went for it and breathed hard in the guy’s face. For some reason, he also raised his eyebrows seductively as the camera panned past him. This time, you can see me three or four times. I’ll be honest, I sort of blend into the crowd a bit and don’t look very happy to be there.

I thought the shows themselves were alright, they had a good couple of contestants and slightly mental ones. As a series, it does have an over-reliance on puns though. I’m sure if the show the show lowered its use of puns that it would be better for all concerned. There’s one bit that’s part of all the shows that is sub-par 70s variety show schtick, which is the bit where the announcer, Joe Lycett, pops up from behind a chair and does his announcing stuff. It seems like it belongs on a 70s gameshow of some sort.

I probably wouldn’t watch any episodes of a second series, but I have been watching the ones I wasn’t on. I thought they were alright, nothing special. They’re a reasonably entertaining way to pass the time, but be warned, you will cringe at the puns.