Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thoughts on Religion at Age 90

..."I have become a firm atheist - not an agnostic, but an atheist.  Perhaps it is because of my father's influence, my medical training, or my readings in my old age.  I think the term "secular humanist" fits me best.  If this is so, why do I attend church and even contribute to its support?  Since the Protestant Revolution the work of organized religion has increasingly been directed to helping the less fortunate and to softening the rough edges of mankind.  It attracts the peoples of goodwill to a collective means of beneficence.  For these reasons I go along with churches.  At the same time I am reminded of the saying that religion is the most effective method of mind-control designed by man.  And that the bible is a collection of letters written years or centuries after the events they described - for people so ignorant that a simple wheelbarrow would have seemed like a huge technological breakthrough.  The word "God" doesn't put me off, because I equate it with "Mother Nature" or "Nature".  To me, Nature means a huge collection of physical, chemical and biochemical laws - of which man has so far only discovered a few "easy" ones and is only exploring a few, such as genes, quarks, [string] theory, etc.  All this results in my being a confirmed believer in Evolution by errors, discards of unsuccessful variants, and the ultimate survival of the fittest.  Whether man is the ultimate winning species only eons will decide.  I have learned [many examples in my own training.]  For all these reasons I think I am a secular humanist, and a firm believer in protecting Nature and doing good.  (found in the papers of George Sigurd Balfour, dated January 16, 2010.)