I just finished viewing a panel featuring Hitchens and Dawkins discussing why there is no God and what should be done to spread the word. Very interesting, intensely intellectual discussion.
In case you haven't noticed, their message is spreading. A lot of people are going down the path to hard atheism.
Since you asked, I'll tell you what I think. I don't know, I really don't.
Listening to the views expressed by these leading atheists I was struck by one fatal flaw that has plagued mankind since the beginning of civilization - the firm belief that we're at the centre of everything. It's a powerful urge, given that the religious and the atheists both lapse into it at every turn.
Remember when we had to believe that the planets, including our sun, rotated around the earth? We just had to be the centre of everything. Most of the monotheistic faiths have an idea of their God looking just like - why, me! Oh, c'mon Buddha sure does.
What if we're really way too dumb to get it? We don't expect humans in a vegetative state to be able to intellectualize very much. But what if, in the greater scheme of things, our greatest minds are just a tiny notch above that? What if we're all severely mentally challenged on some galactic scale and are just too damn dumb to know it?
We're still puzzling a lot of things out. Get into quantum physics and the string theory and some of the experts predict there are eleven dimensions, seven more than the mere four that we humans are capable of recognizing. If they're right, you inevitably have to ask what's behind Doors 5 through 11, eh?
We've learned so much over the past century and we're still just scratching the surface of the body of universal knowledge. So, my question is, what's the rush? Do we really have some, make that any legitimate need to resolve this God v. no god question now? Maybe we should just put it all on the back burner for another millennium or so until we get answers to all those questions that we're just now discovering that we didn't even know existed a decade ago and that aren't mentioned anywhere in anyone's holy book.
Now we've used religion as a crutch to try to deal with some of the great, unanswerable questions that have plagued man since he first looked up at the starry night sky. Maybe we were taking unfair advantage of religion, sort of like the dad who says "because" when the kid asks "why." But that would just be another typical human failure, not proof that there is no God.
Religion is curious. Everybody belongs to the right one and all the others are wrong. Look at Judaism, Christianity and Islam. We all share the same, Old Testament God, we just use different prophets to persecute the innocent. Neat trick, eh?
So I think that, for now, I'm going to remain firmly agnostic. But I'm always willing to change my vote just as soon as you can tell me where it all began, I mean really began, and what's behind those seven doors.
And a very merry Christmas to you all.