Poetry – God


God is energy

God is light

God is sound

God holds the atoms

That swirl in the ground

God is flowing

Through you and me

God is the galaxy

And electricity

Religion is dogma

Religion is a lie

That separates us from energy

And puts God in the sky

I don’t believe in

Jesus, Buddha, Krishna or Mohammed

They’re all just people

That lived on this planet

I don’t believe in prayer

Or a God that cares

A force for good or evil

With a face that stares

Religion is an evil

Full of pomp and hypocrisy

Useful by the powerful

There for all to see

If God were alive

In such simplicity

Guiding our lives

On a planet in this galaxy

One tiny speck of dust

In a raging sea

He’d appear the same to you

As he does to me

Not as Jesus to some

Just the chosen few

Jehovah to some others

Creating pagans and true

Giving out commands

Ordering us around

With strange beliefs

And dictats profound

No – God is the atom and the energy

The fuse that makes them dance

And the time to let them be

God is around within and without

With no Heaven or Hell

On this magic roundabout

When I think about religion

Perhaps there’s something I missed

Maybe God’s just punishing me

For being an atheist.

Opher 8.2.99

I’m an atheist. I do not believe in god or religion. I believe in science, carbon dating, Darwin, evolution and the Big Bang.

I believe the Bible and Koran were written by men. They are not ‘the word of god’.

I see no evidence of creation in the ‘design’ of the human body or the universe. I see a lot of things we do not understand with out limited intelligence and perhaps we never will.

I acknowledge the good things that religion has produced: the cathedrals, works of great beauty, poems and writings that move people, morality that helps people live their lives happily, comfort and purpose in times of desolation.

I believe morality came before religion.

I believe in tolerance, peace, love, free speech and the right of people to believe what ever they want. I think we should argue our case with passion.

We don’t all have to agree – just respect each other.

I also see the terrible things that have been carried out in the name of religion (and still are), the slaughter of unbelievers, pogroms, crusades, jihads, persecution, holocausts, genocides, crucifixions, beheadings, burnings and discrimination. I see the crazed fanaticism of the fundamentalists and the intolerance, bigotry and hatred it induces. I see the indoctrination of small children and cultural brainwashing.

I find the beliefs of creationists and fundamentalists (along with the dogged quoting of religious texts) absurd. I have studied how those texts were put together and find their formation, translation and content all extremely suspect. They were written by various men, long after the events, passed down generations by oral tradition and accrued into books. These books were then further culled to remove ‘heretic’ works and mistranslated. What we have is a mish-mash of contradictory offerings, purporting to be the word of god but really a collection of writings from many suspect sources. No more the word of god than my poems.

We seem to have a need to believe in some deity and magic. It is a psychological need. We’ve worshipped suns, moons, rocks, idols, ancestors, cats, trees, and supernatural superbeings who we have placed in the sky in heavens, valhallas, cloud palaces above Olympus, paradises and the rest. We have had gods and goddesses cavorting in human form, creating catastrophes, drinking, fornicating and causing mayhem. We have idolised, worshipped, sacrificed and beseeched them all. Most of the ones that were previously idolised to the point of martyrdom and believed in to the point of death have fallen by the wayside. Once they ‘ruled’ over millions but now we no longer know their names.

It just so happens that we have a few that are presently flavour of the month. Wars will be fought over them, sacrifices made, and much prayer and offerings will be presented up to the gods. The only trouble is that those gods do not exist. They were invented by men (few by women) and are now being used to gain power.

Our present religions will fade and die. No doubt they will be replaced by others equally incredible.

Meanwhile science continues to push back the frontiers of knowledge so that we understand more and more.

I believe all religion is a product of human imagination but I can be persuaded that there are mystical forces at work in the universe. They are probably scientifically verifiable – given time. The energy in the atom; the transformation of a supernova.

My idea of a ‘god’ is more akin to atomic energy. It’s an incredible force that pervades the entire universe. I do not think it is conscious, has purpose or thinks we humans are anything special. It is. It is something in the midst of nothing. It came into being and that in itself is miraculous. Forget the rest.

I am an antitheist because I believe all religion is false, it creates more harm than it does good and it is used by the powerful to gain more power and wealth. It is one more cause of misery, hatred, violence, bigotry, intolerance and arrogance. We’re better off without it.

The end verse is meant to be humorous.

16 thoughts on “Poetry – God

      1. I’m re reading all my Banks novels at the moment. Tipler believed that by the end of the universe we would have achieved god like omniscience and omnipotence. Noe that is my idea of a god!

      2. I started rereading the Banks books this year in lockdown but I didn’t have a great deal of time for reading as I was writing and editing so much. I only got through the first two.

  1. I believe morality came before religion.

    Absolutely spot on, Opher. Morality comes from inside us; it comes from our nature as human beings. Morality for lions or giraffes, for example, comes from the nature of their species. If a lion tried to pick fruit from tall trees, and a giraffe tried to hunt zebra, both would be behaving against their natures; and both would go hungry. Religion, on the other hand, is touted as coming from above; and it’s someone else’s conception of “above.” Religion is no more than a tool for power-grabbers. Oh, and that goes for deep green environmentalism too.

    We don’t all have to agree – just respect each other.

    You’re on fire today, my friend! That is exactly the basis of my own personal philosophy. But if we don’t all have to agree, doesn’t that mean that no-one has any right to impose any particular way of life on others? Doesn’t it mean that, while people who like socialism can agree to live together in a shared-property commune, it’s immoral for them to try to force their socialism on to others?

    I’ll make an individualist of you yet, Opher!

    1. Gosh Neil – more agreement – what next?
      There’s an interesting debate to be had about imposition though isn’t there?
      If you live in a community and have a version of democracy – then surely it is not an imposition as much as a majority choice. I’ve spent most of my life living in a capitalist society that I detest. It is imposed on me by the democratic process with the media, lies and brainwashing at the rudder.
      Following your logic does this mean we all have to move and group together in autonomous groups every time we have an election? Or would you simply do away with democracy?

      1. As you will know from reading my articles back in the days of WB, I’m no fan of democracy. It gives a false legitimacy to the bad policies of psychopathic politicians. Also, “majority choice” is only appropriate in a society – a group of people who agree on particular purposes, and get together to implement them. But the people who live in a particular geographical area do not automatically form a society. They are only a community.

        I would like to live in a community which has the absolute minimum of government. It should provide justice, and that’s about it. Government should be like the referee in a football match. Everything else should be done by voluntary associations.

        (Well, at present military defence is also necessary. But once we’ve got rid of all political governments, that need will disappear).

        It interests me when you say: “I’ve spent most of my life living in a capitalist society that I detest. It is imposed on me by the democratic process with the media, lies and brainwashing at the rudder.” Change one word – “capitalist” to “political” – and we’d be in agreement yet again!

        The point of my ideal is that you socialists can get together with like-minded people and have your socialist commune; while the capitalists down the road can keep their capitalist ways. As long as neither of you causes, or seeks to cause, objective damage to the other, of course. That’s where the minimal government can step in, and demand that the aggressors compensate the victims, and desist from their aggressions.

      2. Unfortunately your argument falls down when one starts to pan out to the bigger picture. If we ALL lived in little villages cut off from each other it might work. But we don’t. We live in big urban complexes of millions of people. We live in nations, in countries. There are seven+ billion of us. We need energy, infrastructure and organisation. If you retire to your little communities you allow all the megalos a free run at exploiting, polluting, ripping up and controlling people.
        That simply won’t work. Those monsters need controlling. You do not give them unimpeded free license.

      3. Opher, there is nothing to stop groups of people of different persuasions co-operating with each other if it is in their mutual interests. Infrastructure is a case in point – the same new road that would allow a green forester community to ship out their products could also help the miners and metal-smiths next door ship out theirs. There is a role for minimal government in infrastructure development – namely, to make sure that what individuals and groups pay for infrastructure is commensurate with the benefits they receive from that infrastructure – but this is, in essence, an arbitration function. It’s part of the “referee” role.

        You say “we live in big urban complexes of millions of people.” Well, you don’t (Nafferton population c. 2,500, says Wiki) and I don’t (I live on the outskirts of a town of about 22,500). And even those who live in big cities but outside the city centre still tend to identify more with a particular district of the city, than with the city as a whole.

        Of course, you can feel an attachment to the land and people of a particular area if you want; this is what I call “patriotism.” Nothing wrong with that, as I told you on the “ecocide” thread (quoting George Orwell). You can feel an attachment to a particular culture, as well. But when you say “we live in nations, in countries,” what you actually seem to be saying is “we live in (and identify with) political units.” I can’t agree with that. I can be a Wessex patriot, because I like the landscapes and (some of) the people of Wessex. I can identify as an Englishman, because I have taken on many aspects of English culture (though I have mixed it with bits of Dutch and American, at least). But I feel no attachment to any political unit, or to any political process. The Tories and Labour and their respective hangers-on and the rest of the political class can all go to hell as far as I am concerned.

        As to your “megalos” exploiting, polluting, ripping up and controlling people, here’s yet another case where you and I agree on the sentiment, but not on the full meaning. You are thinking about corporations doing these things. Well, my minimal government would specifically seek to prevent them exploiting and controlling people, because it would uphold human rights for all those who themselves respect others’ equal rights. If they caused pollution that harmed other people, it would require them to pay compensation at least. If the property they are “ripping up” is someone else’s, it would, likewise, require compensation. And if it is their own, why should anybody else worry?

        I, on the other hand, see a much bigger problem, of political “tyrannos” seeking to exploit and to control people, polluting minds with their lies and propaganda, starting wars and making bad laws that rip up people’s lives. When you see this bigger picture, your (implied) argument for current schemes of government starts to fall down, because the very system to which you want to give power to control the “megalos” is always liable to mutate itself into a “tyranno.” Indeed, a tendency towards tyranny is wired into the very roots of the bad political system we suffer under today.

      4. Neil – your little community would be powerless against these wealthy robber barons! They would destroy the planet and eat you all up.
        I agree there is always a danger when any human gets power. Power corrupts. At the moment all those people with power are out of control.
        It must be possible to create a system where people with power are controlled.

      5. I don’t think the people in (or outside) communes of various shades of view would be powerless against robbers or any other kind of common criminal. The minimal government would support the rule of (minimal) law – and, in particular, the defence of human rights. And any individual would have the right to act to uphold that rule of law.

        You’re right that those in power today are out of control. That’s the inevitable result of a politics that attracts the worst into positions of power, and fails to make them accountable for what they do. But rather than create a system where people with power are controlled – where you have the fundamental problem, who will control the controllers? – I think the objective must be a distributed system, in which there are no central points at which excesses of power can collect. Accountability for all will be another key characteristic of the new way.

      6. Given our global city structures and vast populations, how would you propose moving to such a structure without allowing the greedy multinationals freedom to do what they like? Do you think they are going to give up their power or change their ways??

      7. The problem, I think, is that big companies today are wired in to the political system. They rely on their politician cronies to “allow” them to do what they do; as well as for favours, of course. Take away their political privileges, and make them accountable wherever they operate; then they would have to serve people instead of shitting on people.

      8. I agree with that Neil. They need to be made accountable and to be subject to control. They are in cahoots with the politicians who depend on their money for their campaigns. They are the source of much bribery and corruption.
        Left uncontrolled they rule the world and do what they like.
        So how would you control them Neil?

      9. How would I control them? That’s a long story, Opher. To get to my system (or any other with similar objectives, of getting rid of the politically rich and bringing justice to ordinary people) we are going to need to change the way people think about politics. People must stop accepting the lies and dishonesties that are so prevalent today. They must lose faith in, and respect for, political organizations of all stripes. They must see politicians and their cronies, not as great leaders to be revered, but as psychopathic criminals that deserve to be brought to justice. They must see government officials, that behave dishonestly towards, or act against the interests of, the people they are supposed to be serving, as criminals too.

        With such thinking in place, dishonest politicians wouldn’t be able to get their careers off the ground (and they’d probably end up in jail quite quickly, too). And their big-company cronies would find that if they treat people like shit, their products are likely to be boycotted. They will also face competition from smaller, quicker thinking, more innovative companies, who will no longer be put at a disadvantage by arbitrary, politicized rules and regulations.

      10. Firstly it is very idealistic and would never get off the ground. Far too many people would do the wrong thing. Secondly it does not control the multinationals. If they produce cheap product (no matter at what environmental cost) they would not be boycotted.

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