Once upon a time there was a man who asked questions:
Where did the universe come from?
Some people said it was always here.
Some people said it came out of nothing.
The man was puzzled.
Everything has a beginning. How can the universe not have a beginning? How can it always have been here?
But if it came from nothing how is that possible? All the matter cannot just suddenly be created out of nothing, could it?
He went to ask the Holy Man (who lived in a very nice house and was worshipped by many).
‘Holy Man, please tell me where did the universe come from?’
The Holy Man said ‘God made it.’
That made sense.
The Holy Man added – ‘God has given me instructions. You must worship only God, you must wear these clothes, you must eat this food. You must behave this way. You must pray, fast and study the holy book. God has a purpose for you.’
The man went away. Everything was explained. God made everything. God told him how to behave. God had a purpose for him.
But the more he thought the more he came to realise that it wasn’t an answer at all. He went back to the Holy Man with more questions –
‘Who made God?’
‘Where did God come from?’
‘Where was God before the universe was made?’
‘Has God always been here?’
‘What is this mysterious purpose?’
‘Why are the moral codes given to us by God reflecting the values of the people the religion came from? Why are they racist? Why are they misogynistic? Why are they intolerant of homosexuals?’
The Holy Man had no answers to these questions and became angry.
And the man came to realise that the Holy Man’s answers were not answers at all. They just kicked the can down the road and provided the Holy Man with power and control. The Holy Man had invented God as an answers to questions that there was no answer to.
So the man went off and said to himself – ‘I do not know where the universe came from. I do not understand. But I have a life and I intend to enjoy it. I am a good person and I will continue to be as good as I can be not out of fear or out of promise of some future life but because I feel it is the right thing to do. That is enough.’
He knew the Holy Man was a charlatan.