‘The most preposterous notion that homosapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.’ Robert A Heinlein, Time Enough For Love, 1973
The noble and honourable stance for the reader when standing in the dock is to protest against this fascist empire-building God in solidarity with our many brothers and sisters who were wasted by the wayside with disease and starvation and the wicked wayfarers condemned to blow the fag-end of Life in flaming Hell. Religious people fawn and cower and praise God-knows-what, and are selfish in the saving of their own souls rather than protesting support until every last brother and sister is saved. Selfless solidarity is the highest lesson we struggle to learn of a Life sentence, and wins the pot of Pascal’s challenge that we may as well believe in God because we have nothing to lose.
‘Why do you write to me, ‘God should punish the English’? I have no close connection to either one or the other. I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible; in my opinion, only His non-existence could excuse Him.’ Albert Einstein
French author Jules Renard takes the ‘pleasure of breaking’ ‘un grand silence roux’: ‘I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn’t.’
The living fear of being dumped in Hell and having your backside used as a toast-rack is not sufficient reason to worship a fascist intergalactic empire-builder.
Under English law a contract made under duress or fear is invalid. ‘To rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world is just as base as to use force.’ Hypatia
Shake free your spiritual shackles, shed your fear, show some backbone, and shine in support of your downbeat sisters and brothers:
‘If he is infinitely God, what reason should we have to fear him? If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future?’ Percy Shelley, pamphlet The Necessity of Atheism
The street-philosophy of why God permits such suffering in the world, and why so many feeble infants are fated to die of suffering and starvation, presents a stunningly powerful Epicurean argument against God being God.
‘Maybe at the very bottom of it ... I really don’t like God.’ Professor Steven Weinberg
The comedian George Carlin fires the first shot in a good spot of God hunting: ‘If we could just find out who’s in charge, we could kill Him.’
‘He was an embittered atheist, the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him.’ George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London
The Mormon victim suffering cognitive dissonance after a Life sentence of indoctrination may feel obliged to worship a weirdly fascist God festooned with faults and funny habits. But many Mormon addicts openly admire and hanker for a fascist God and a Sturmbannführer brotherhood.
‘If it were to be true, one would be living under a permanent surveillance, a round-the-clock celestial dictatorship that watched you while you slept; and could convict you of thought crime, could indict you for things you thought in the privacy of your own skull, and sentence you to quite a long stretch, namely an eternity of punishment for that. Or dangle not to me very attractive reward of life of eternal praise and grovelling and sprawling and singing the praises of someone who you are ordered to love; someone whom you must both love and fear ... Compulsory love — how fascinating.’ Christopher Hitchens, interview Divine Impulses
The late Christopher Hitchens coldly laid out the horror of a real-life Sky-Daddy: ‘It is the wish to be a slave. It is the desire that there be an unalterable unchallengeable tyrannical authority who can convict you of thought crime while you are asleep. Who can subject you — who must indeed subject you — to a total surveillance ... A celestial North Korea. Who wants this to be true? Who but a slave desires such a ghastly fate? ... At least you can fucking die and leave North Korea.’