I read it in the news, today,
And thought it rather odd:
“The world would be much better
If we all believed in God”
The heart of Christian charity
Depends on our belief;
It’s love of God that separates
The giver from the thief
Our movies and our novels serve
To highlight this conviction;
Though just like Aesop’s fables, they
Are moralistic fiction
The books about morality
Have overflowed the shelves
They show the hell that comes of people
Thinking for themselves.
Belief is what determines
How the common man behaves;
And everything goes smoothly
When we’re willing, happy slaves.
A bit more, after the jump:
I’ve long noted that the best evidence for God always seems to be hypothetical. To illustrate the alleged closed-mindedness of atheists, evidence is posited (like, say, the floating, mile-high statue of Jesus) that has never been seen, and (the claim goes) still would not convince an atheist of god.
Today’s CNN Belief Blog takes a slightly different tack: the examples aren’t hypothetical, they are fictional. Bedford Falls (or Pottersville) of “It’s a wonderful life”, “Lord of the Flies”, and a quote by T. S. Eliot (and a passing Hitler reference that may as well be fiction), are all brought to bear, to make the case that without religion, we are doomed as a civilization. As Aesop made clear long ago, fiction serves to illustrate the point of view of the writer, not the real world. The human wins the fight against the lion, when the human paints the picture.
If we are to make a better world, we need to look at the actual, real world to do so, to see the real problems, and the real solutions. It does not help us to constrain our vision, and it certainly does not help us to focus our attention away from the real world and into the pages of an ancient book.