Generating mainstream press saturation this week in a way no amount of bombed refugees, human slavery or scientific analysis of the impossible 9/11 WTC building collapses could ever hope to achieve, English comedian Stephen Fry launched an astonishing tirade against God, revealing what he would ask at the Gates of Heaven:
In his imaginary conversation with God, Fry says he would tell him: “How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault? It’s not right.
“It’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?”
Pressed by Byrne over how he would react if he was locked outside the pearly gates, Fry says: “I would say: ‘bone cancer in children? What’s that about?’
So it’s not only Richard Dawkins accused of shaking his fist at sky fairies: an identical mental incoherence apparently stretches across a wide swathe of outspoken public figures.
The whole thing couldn’t be simpler: the argument for the existence of God only has two sides. Suppose for a moment that He exists, and you are obliged to credit Him at least with everything in the Universe that doesn’t bear man’s signature.
That would include the marvellous DNA (better than any man made storage device), the ribosome (a 3-D printer better and quicker than anything we made), the infinitely recyclable fuel called adenosine triphosphate (of which half our bodyweight is generated and used every day without even a thought from us – by engines which not only run faultlessly but run backwards when called for, converting surplus fuel into a useful electrical gradient!), the backwards facing retina with its faultless, decision-making, realtime microprocessor – butted seamlessly into its own immune system, coolant system and recycling depot (no other design could survive direct sunlight), the macrophages of our immune system designed to chase, grab (with eery tentacles), then consume and dismantle cancer cells, and so on practically infinitely.
We would credit Him with the wonder of birth, the instinctive love of a mother, society’s geniuses – still a mystery to us, the nourishing and protective mechanisms of the Earth in the freezing (and pitch black) vacuum of space. Any ever labelled beautiful or awe-inspiring, including the scale of the Universe itself is down to forces beyond Man. An impressive portfolio!
Is free will designed or random? It makes no difference to free will. Once you accept free will, then even hypotheising a Creator, we take the blame for human trafficking, invasions, the Guantamo prison, Bush and Blair’s kidnap and torture programs, our wars for oil, the poisoning of the ecosystem, slavery, poverty, massive inequality, starvation, corruption, white phosphorous, napalm, atomic weapons, the sea of plastic, NATO’s chemtrails and so on.
All of these really horrible things bear our signature. Each seemed like a pretty good idea to someone influenctial, attracted finances and support and eventually passed for normal, until we tolerated them or, for the sake of our sanity, pretended they don’t exist. Proposing a God means our free will to criticise Him without any expectation of retribution, shows our autonomy, and therefore how much blame we shoulder. It must be the height of idiocy to demand a God magically intervene to put right our errors, while demanding freedom to do and say exactly as we like. If God is always to stop the result of natural laws before we reap the harvest of our own actions, then all learning becomes useless and our laws redundant; states of ignorance and of wisdom, law and chaos, maturity and immaturity become worth nothing. What kind of Universe does Mr Fry want?
If one doesn’t believe in God it becomes simpler still: credit all this injustice to mankind and anything awe-inspiring in the natural world to random forces. Supposing that, then the intellect we continually boast about and use to rule out any need for a God – has in a few decades made a colossal failure after millions of years of evolution. We can only conclude random blind forces did a better job bringing us into existence than we did, creating a society riddled with misery.
Maybe Mr Fry should stop wasting his public voice and direct his anger instead at the politicians and mobsters – currently two indistinguishable groups – for these failures. His intelligence, if resting contentedly and delighting in a world we know to be unjust and fatally flawed must be as tainted as the worst of the political criminal class. His tirade to God seems more aimed at man!
As for bone cancer in children: Fry will find it is only partly because of our natural immune system (carrying us and our ancestors through billions of years of Earth’s history) heavily damaged by food grade plastics, parabens, benzine pollution, aspartame, chemical “therapies”, radiation, neurotoxic pesticides, glyphosate and genetically tampered profit-centred organism designs. Apart from these unhelpful factors it is mainly due to our government putting hydrofluosilicic acid – a “highly toxic, unstable poison” – into both parent and offspring’s water for several generations after the horrendous massacres of the second world war (another thing we can thank governments for). HFA (a carcinogen so hazardous that spillages in industry require hazmat suits) accumulates in the growing bones, providing cases of osteocarcinoma for the forseeable future. Credit where it’s due!
In an atheist’s tirade against the Almighty, is it really too much to expect a little common sense?