5/22/2011 | Share this article:By Peter ~
I was 61 years old when I had my "Eureka" moment. The realisation that I had not stopped to think and open my eyes, and my mind, came as a thrilling surprise. My only disappointment was that I had hidden the truth and ignored the facts for so long.
I was born, baptised and raised as a Catholic, served as an altar boy, and became a Godfather to several children. My mother was a convert to Catholicism and being a wise and intelligent person I guess I just followed her lead. Her basic message was, have faith, do not question. I was born in England, UK, but was taken to South Africa aged 1 and returned to England on my 16th birthday. The church had been a champion of Human Rights against the Apartheid regime and was a conduit for peaceful protest against the government. Also the Mass was always said in Latin and this allowed the mystery to survive in my mind. When the Latin was dropped in the late 1960's (?) the full meaning of the scriptures was more plainly revealed and to be honest I did start to have some doubts. But because of my upbringing and the fact that nearly everybody seemed to believe in God, I just went along with the flow, in spite of my creeping doubts. Ignorance is bliss. My two children were baptised as Catholics but the "magic" of going to church was beginning to wain. I had doubts in the existence of a personal god but still hung on to belief in a Higher Power. By the age of 40 I stopped going to church.
Jesus Christ had some very wise things to say - but so did many others in history and his and their wisdom is not lost. After drifting along for the next twenty years I started to take an interest in Evolution. However the truth only dawned on me after reading two most enlightening books. God is not Great - how religion poisons everything, by Christopher Hitchens, and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. All I can say is WOW!, the light poured in, the burden of faith was lifted and the pure wonderfulness of my existence became clear to me. Forget about hoping for a better life after death. This is it and make the very most of it. Ultimately you will become what you were before you were born i.e. non existent. The chances of living are zillions to one - Be grateful and stop depending on a non existent prop. If you have any doubts at all I recommend reading The Greatest Show on Earth - the Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins who is a brilliant zoological scientist. Also Breaking the Spell by Daniel C Dennett. And many, many more.
Jesus Christ had some very wise things to say - but so did many others in history and his and their wisdom is not lost.
Equally there are some very unpleasant religious texts - and some very unpleasant people. Our human morality, and sense of justice are innate and do not depend on any God, just as there are deeply religious and non religious people who are pretty evil and self serving.
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