I would call myself a humanist. I believe in the innate values of humankind. Religion tends to formalise these innate values. Religion can be called a superstition. The reason why religion is a necessity for most people is the unknowingness of the universe; the infinity. What lies at the end of infinity? I doubt we’ll ever know. And religion is a sort of crutch which people lean on. It’s a source of comfort in crises. It’s a way of coming to terms with mortality. It’s a way of formalising our relationship with other people.
I suppose I came to believe this through rational thought. Darwin started it off when he upturned the fundamentals of Christianity. Before Darwin people thought we were placed here by God, fully formed. And Darwin taught us we’re mere animals of a higher nature.
I suppose I’d say that a benign God wouldn’t have afflicted us with so many problems: whether it be health, whether it be conflict. It doesn’t seem probable that a benign God would not produce a perfect human. Somebody who lived in a paradise. Who had no traits, which afflict man: envy, avarice. Just think about the purest form of Marxism, which is almost Christian-like. We’d have no conflict, we’d be at one with our fellow man. It would be like a Shangri-La; we’d live in a sort of fabulous oneness with each other.
I’ve looked at other faiths. I do like a lot of the tenets of the Christian faith. For instance, turn the other cheek, the Good Samaritan. These are things we should all aspire to. The big problem is the church, which distorts all these basic tenets, as humans inevitably will.
Because I’m not a perfect being, inevitably a fall short of the basic tenets of Christianity – and any other religion come to that. So, yes, I’m not perfect. I’ve almost certainly broken any of the ten commandments at some time or other. That’s the nature of being imperfect.
We’d all like to think there are some things that would surprise other people, in the sense that because they don’t know me, they might found out from other people that now and then I’ve done a good deed; helped a fellow person. It’s not something I’d necessarily crow about.