There was a great discussion yesterday over at Unreasonable Faith called Thoughts of a Dying Atheist. One exchange summarized one of my favorite topics:
John C [a Christian]: So sad, such utter darkness and despair. “Nothingness” is not the truth, is not the offer that the Truth (Himself) makes you, its far better and its…true.Ty hits the nail on the head. I'd rather live the truth, however sad, than to live a lie. Darwin himself said it best:
Ty: No despair. And nothing is sadder than delusion masquerading as hope. You’ll wind up in exactly the same place all the rest of us will, you’ll just have wasted the one life you had first. What could be sadder than that?
A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, a mere heart of stone.In other words, what we want to believe doesn't matter. We have to seek truth, no matter how unpleasant. In my mind, this is the single most important sentence that Darwin ever wrote. It is the very foundation of the scientific method, the very thing that made all of Darwin's other discoveries possible.
Religion works in the exact opposite direction from Darwin's advice. With religion, people believe things because they want them to be true.
How many times have you heard, "If science says we're monkeys, I'll take religion." But what if we really did descend from monkeys? Should we just ignore reality? Or another favorite, "Without God, there can be no morality." Does that prove that God exists? No! But it is one of the most widely used arguments for God's existence. If God doesn't exist, and there is no God-given morality, then maybe we should use our heads and figure out how to be moral all by ourselves. Pretending God exists, and pretending he made up some rules, can only lead to trouble.
If something that's not true makes you happy, would you rather have the happiness or the truth? Until you can honestly say "I'd rather have the truth," you are in no position to criticize science or to judge your own religion. If you reject truth because it's unpleasant, then truth is beyond your grasp.