On the need to give God a holiday.


Last week, 140 inhabitants of the town of Emerli, Iraq, who belong to a religious sect, were bombed to death by neighbours belonging to another religious sect; in Islamabad, Pakistan, following an assault on a mosque occupied by armed religious people who wished to impose religious law on the entire country, more religious people have just blown up two dozen Pakistani conscripts in protest; in Qalai Sadan, Afghanistan, holy-minded militiamen who, for religous reasons, believe women should not be educated, machine-gunned a schoolgirl for having gone to school.
According to the Journal of Neurophysiology (May, 2005) exhorbitant feelings of love can affect the dopamine level in the brain to a degree that can lead to highly irrational, even psychotic behaviour. Exhorbitant love of God is no exception, if last week's evidence alone is anything to go by.
The atrocities mentioned above happen to have been carried out in the name of Islam, but I for one do not doubt that the denomination is immaterial. Any faith, if taken in excessive quantities, can turn your average pious chump into a hatchet man. From 1991 to 1995, for example, one of the nastiest civil wars in Europe featured entire armies of true-believers whose spree killings and rapings were blessed by local Catholic and Orthodox authorities.
Indeed, wherever religion flourishes there shall we find whole skiploads of dogma-based suffering, all of it imposed on behalf of supernatural entities whose existence is asserted without evidence and who may, therefore - as Christopher Hitchens puts it - be dismissed without evidence, too. In which case, why don't we all give God the summer off, just for the hell of it? I'm sure He'd appreciate the break.

- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programació: Nac -