The Purpose of Life – Religion and Hardwiring.

I believe that to an extent religion is hardwired into our brains through evolution. We have evolved intelligence. Our success is our ability to see patterns and solve problems. There is a purpose to everything. That works great with hunter gathering. It enables us to work with the patterns of seasons and weather, to see the patterns of behaviour in predators and prey, to find water, to seek out fruits, berries and plants, to make tools, invent things and develop knowledge and technology.

This problem solving ability has enabled us to become masters of science and technology to the point where we are actually not only the predominant species but we are actually changing the whole planet. This is now the Anthropocene. Science and technology, stemming from our intelligence, our ability to see patterns and solve problems, has brought us control over our environment and all creatures. It has brought us agriculture and civilisation and enabled us to prosper in huge numbers – now pushing 8 Billion.

It falls down when confronted with the big questions that there are no answers for. Such as what is this immense universe? Where did it come from? What is life? Where did it come from? Am I immortal?

As I said at the beginning – we are hardwired to provide answers. We do not have answers to these and other such questions. They are too immense for our puny brains. Those brains have evolved to solve more mundane, practical problems. But that does not stop us from searching for answers and providing answers.

Early man was subjected to the vagaries of nature. If they could not find food through hunting or their crops failed because of unseasonal weather they starved.

They worshipped things such as the sun which gave life. They thought they could control it, appease the god they had created and performed rituals to please her. They performed rituals to produce rain, to have a good hunt, to harvest crops, for fertility, health and prosperity. They had holy men who could converse with the gods they had created. They invented explanations for the world, the sequence of life and death, creation myths and morality stories. They created reasons for when things went wrong and how they could put them right. They created fascinating tales of the afterlife to remove fear of death – death that was so prevalent.

They held great ceremonies, pageants and developed elaborate sacrifices and costumes. They built pyramids, temples and powerful spectacle.

The bigger and more lavish the greater the ease in believing in the story.

Through time these religions grew in sophistication and adapted as our knowledge of the universe and life grew. We see this with Christianity. In the beginning Hell was under the ground, Heaven was just above the firmament, the heavens were a dome. The stars chinks in that dome letting through the light of god, the sun rotated around the earth. As our knowledge grew these concepts were changed. We no longer look for hell under the ground or burn people for saying the earth goes round the sun.

We still cling on to the supernatural explanations though. Our minds have evolved to require answers. We still need to believe there is a purpose. Even in the face of no evidence we cling to the supernatural answers we find satisfying. They give us the assurance of order, purpose and answer our questions. They are much more psychologically satisfying than to accept there are no reasons, no order and no purpose. The universe just is. Life is an accident. We have a life and that is it. The only reasons we have are the ones we sort out for ourselves.

But I reckon that it is best to face up to the truth and accept it as it is. I see no evidence of god, an afterlife or a purpose for life.

Best to get on with it and enjoy it while we can. All we have is now. Let’s try to make this wonderful experience as good as we can make it, wring as much love, fun, creativity and pleasure out of it as we can and make the planet as good as we can make it for everybody else and all living things. That’s fulfilment enough for me.


Is there a God? Some thoughts and questions.

Is there a god who created the universe? Perhaps one who created the big bang and then left it to get on with things? Or one who created the universe and life and is involved with how it develops?

Now that is the nub of the matter. Put aside all the religious books that were so obviously (to me) written by man and one still has the major questions about creation. How did the universe come out of nothing? That is something that is beyond our comprehension (not surprising really with our tiny brains and limited intelligence). Did god create it? Is there a god?

For me it is obvious – there is not.

For me the very idea of a creator is such a human concept and merely kicks the can further down the road. It creates more unknowns than it answers:

We humans cannot conceive of something coming from nothing.

We solve this by having a superbeing who is capable of creating everything from nothing.

What does that solve? Nothing as far as I can see!

How logical is it? Not logical at all to me!

Is there any evidence for this superbeing? None whatsoever in my view.

We still have a universe created out of nothing.

We now have a superbeing who has come from nowhere with the ability to create whole universes. How much more incredible is that than what we had in the first place? It just poses a whole series of other questions:

Where did this superbeing come from?

Who created him?

Did he arise out of nothing spontaneously?

He has to be even more incredible than the universe doesn’t he? How can that happen? – – The spontaneous creation of a amazingly complicated god with stupendous powers out of nothing?

Or has he always been there forever? Just think about that for a moment and see if that makes sense.

What was his motive in creating the universe?

Where was he before the universe was created?

It certainly doesn’t make any sense to me. It sounds like a human construct to explain the unknowable, nothing more.

What do you think?

Male Circumscision – is it Child Abuse?

We have no problem whatsoever in declaring that female circumcision is child abuse. If a parent allows their female child to be mutilated then most civilised people would shout loudly that it is wrong.

It does not matter if the parents erroneously believe that it is a religious practice.

Religious practices are not above the law.

Some religious practice declares that it is not only alright, but an absolute mandate from god, to take the life of a nonbeliever. It is never right.

Some religious belief declares that it is right for a wife to throw herself on the funeral pyre of her husband.

Female circumcision is an abuse. It is wrong. It is illegal. It never should happen.

Neither should male circumcision be allowed. It is nowhere near as bad as female mutilation but it is the same principle. A child should not be subjected to such a mutilation unless there is a sound medical reason.

That child should be free to make that decision for themselves when they are old enough to understand. I would suggest that sixteen is such an age.

Under the age of sixteen I believe that imposing religion on children is wrong; I believe that mutilating children against their will is wrong.

Favourite Religious Quoutes gathered by Michael B.

Some of my favorite religion quotes:

“I have no faith in Faith, and don’t believe in Beliefs.”
Neal Peart

“The religious persecution of the ages has been done under what was claimed to be the command of God. I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do to their fellows, because it always coincides with their own desires.”
Susan B. Anthony

“One’s religion is whatever he is most interested in.”
J.M. Barrie

“Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses.”
Arthur C. Clarke

“Die Irreligiösen sind religiöser als sie selbst wissen, und die Religiösen sind’s weniger, als sie meinen.”
Translation: “The irreligious are more religious than they themselves know, and the religious are less so than they think.”
Franz Grillparzer

“The cosmos is a gigantic fly-wheel making 10,000 revolutions a minute. Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride on it. Religion is the theory that the wheel was designed and set spinning to give him a ride.”
H.L. Mencken

The life of an atheist.

Is it dull being an atheist?

We are born, we love, we have fun, we share, we create, we solve problems, we care, we make things better, we love a bit more, we play music, dance and sing, we paint, we write, we think, we wonder, we are in awe, we raise families, we love a lot more, we share with friends, we drink, we party, we create, we help one another, we laugh a lot, cuddle, hug and cry a bit, we die.

It’s not so bad to open your eyes in a wondrous majestic place for a while. In fact it’s awesome.

Is religion defunct in this day and age?

The three Abrahamic religions started up way back in the dawn of time – in a time of medieval ignorance.

Judaism has its roots 3000 years ago.

Christianity 2000 years ago.

Islam 1500 years ago.

They originated in nomadic tribes of Arabs in a small area of the Middle East renowned for its many sects and religious fanatics.

They all claim that ‘God’ spoke to their originator when they were alone in a cave, up a mountain or in the wilderness – with no witnesses.

None of the originators wrote anything down.

The writings in the holy books were either accumulated from the prevailing genesis stories or myths or written down generations later from accounts passed down by word of mouth. Yet the adherents claim they are the exact word of God (despite the inconsistencies, obvious social context pertaining to that Arab culture, ambiguities and contradictions).

These holy words have been used as excuses to wage war, destroy the environment, justify all manner of obnoxious behaviour – including torture, misogyny, slavery and murder, and used to persecute whole races and vilify anyone who does not believe the same set of words.

These religions claim all manner of strange things from paradise/heaven, angels, cherubs, Satan/devil and Djinns to Hell – without a shred of evidence for any of it.

They used to say that the world was flat, that the sky was a black dome with holes in letting the light of God to shine through, that hell was under the ground, all plants and animals were created, that the universe was created for human beings, and that the earth was the centre of the universe. As our knowledge grew these notions were modified or abandoned. Religion moved the goalposts. They used to burn people for thinking differently.

I can see that religion is a comfort to many. The bereaved like to think of their loved ones safe somewhere nice after they die. People find death hard to face. There is comfort. The church provides a psychological prop for the needy. There are good things done. People like to believe in a caring God in the face of a world of atrocities and evil. The man rescued from the mine thanks God for his rescue (not the rescuers) while his tens of colleagues who perished had prayers unanswered. It is perverse. What did the perished do wrong? Where is there a shred of evidence that prayer worked? Or that there was a God who cared?

People need support and comfort in times of need. But can’t this support be better carried out by trained social workers, therapists, psychiatrists, counsellors and friends?

Nowadays if a man was to come into town claiming God had spoken to him he would likely not receive a good hearing and nobody would write his ramblings down.

Isn’t it time we left these outdated religions, and superstition, back in the medieval Dark Ages they were spawned in and moved on?

Isn’t religion defunct in these enlightened days?

Now spirituality – that is different.

The Antitheist’s Dictionary – The Age of Enlightenment/Age of reason

Another extract from the Antitheist’s Dictionary:


Age of Enlightenment/Age of Reason

This is simply the most important thing that has ever happened. It began as a philosophical movement in the mid eighteenth century, gathered pace and has changed the whole cultural landscape of the Western World for the better.

The premise for the Age of Reason/Enlightenment was to challenge ideas based on tradition or religion and move to a system based on reason and scientific method. This inevitably took religion out of controlling people and introduced the present secular states.

As soon as this happened we experienced rapid progress. In contrast those cultures still ruled by religious superstition continued to stagnate.

I do not make the case that everything is hunky-dory. That is far from the case. In many ways the Age of Enlightenment heralded all sorts of moral and social problems that we are still battling to address today. It has unleashed a chaotic state. This needs addressing. Religion gave people structure and purpose even if that was madness and stupidity. Freedom from religion has left many people directionless and aimless with only hedonism to fall back on. I’ve nothing against hedonism but ultimately it is vacuous. What is necessary is for the State to provide purpose and impetus before the fanatics of religion rise up to fill that hole.

Politicians have so far not been particularly inspiring in this direction. They had better get their act together. The alternative could be religious oppression and the thought of that is dire.

However the writers, artists, poets, dancers, musicians and other creative folk have been doing a great job in making life worthwhile and filling the hole religion used to occupy. Long may they do it!

In the UK:

My other books:

In the USA:

My other books:

The Arrogance of Human Beings – Awe and Wonder


We are microbes on the surface of a small planet.

Our planet orbits around a small, insignificant star – Sol.

Our star is out in an outer spiral arm of the Milky Way Galaxy – not even near the middle.

There are 400 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. It is a mere 100,000 light years across. (It would take light 100,000 years to get from one side to the other!)

The biggest galaxies are 2 million light years across – hugely bigger – with 10 trillion stars. They make ours look tiny.

We know of 2 trillion galaxies so far.

The distances between them are beyond our comprehension. The universe is 46 Billion light years from the centre to the expanding edge.

Yet human beings, with our tiny brains, think we can understand something as stupendous as this. We can work out where it came from, its laws and its future. What a remarkable arrogance.

It is the equivalent of bacteria living in your toilet for brief seconds thinking they can work out the nature of the backside lowering itself into position.

The fact that we have worked out so much is amazing! Science is stupendous and exciting.

For those fundamentalists of all religions who think that god created all this for the sake of us little bacteria on this insignificant planet – I find your belief ludicrous. That is the height of arrogance and super-inflated egos.

The universe is a wondrous, mystical place. The one thing I’m certain of is that it wasn’t created for us. We have a brief lifetime in which to be astounded by it and enjoy it. How lucky we are.

I’m An Atheist, But…

I liked this. It explained it well. I go a step further. I am an antitheist. While I do not oppose anybody believing what they like, I do not believe in any of the religions , think religion is harmful in many ways and would like to see these medieval superstitions done away with. I would like a more rational world where laws and ethical codes are globally implemented and subscribed to. I believe in tolerance, love and education, science, empathy and compassion.

The Ten Things that are Buggin’ me today!

I am quite a fun-loving individual. I’m not depressive or gloomy. I like a laugh and I like doing things – especially travelling, writing, photographing and listening to music.

But I do get exceedingly angry a lot of the time. I can’t turn off from a lot of the insane things that human beings are doing.

Here are ten things that are buggin’ me today:-

  1. 10% of all the world’s wilderness has been destroyed since 1996 – that is utterly insane. All of the creatures living in that wilderness have been butchered and destroyed. Logging, mining, hunting, poaching, and strip and burn. Coffee, palm oil and farming. We are destroying the planet at an ever increasing rate! Soon there will be nothing left! It makes me mad!!!!!
  2. 1% of Britain’s richest own 25% of all the wealth – these are the greedy fuckers who are responsible for destroying the planet, creating poverty, creating the capitalist mantra of corporate greed and progress, ransacking everything for personal gain and not giving a hoot about the consequences. Inequality is the basis of most of the world’s problems.
  3. Rhinos, Elephants, Gorillas, Tigers, Chimps, Orangutans and all the other wildlife – All being machine gunned, hacked to pieces, used in Chinese medicine, ivory trade and bush-meat. Or else their habitat is being systematically destroyed. Soon there will not be any wildlife left outside of zoos.
  4. Grammar Schools – now the Tories have been taken over by the extreme right-wingers and think they have no opposition they think they can do what they like. Grammar Schools are OK for the ones at the top (who can afford the tutoring in order to get in) but it throws 90% of the rest of us into the shit. Label them as failures and throw them on the scrap-heap – take away aspiration and hope!
  5. The undermining of Democracy – there seems to be a systematic campaign run by the Tory Establishment to ensure that they remain in power for evermore. They have shackled the unions by bringing in legislation to stop them striking, shackled the BBC and taken over the board, run a campaign of lies throughout the media and are proposing to change boundaries so that Labour lose a bunch of MPs. Seems we might have Tories forever running the country on behalf of the wealthy.
  6. Mindless society – the celebrity culture and shallow, cretinous mindset that revolves around trivia, soaps, getting drunk, game-shows, strictly, Simon Cowell and the law of the lowest common denominator – anything to stop people thinking (particularly about the planet, big business, the wealthy and the Tories and their games).
  7. Capitalist Greed – the selfish mentality that puts profit before anything else. They are prepared to destroy the planet in order to have their yachts, penthouses and glamour. They do not care about the poor creatures butchered, the poverty, desperate people, war, inequality or drowned babies – just as long as they get more than their share.
  8. Overpopulation – the thing that is driving it all – now heading for 8 Billion and due to double in the next twenty years. Insanity. But necessary for growth, profit and a cheap workforce to drive the corporate greed – good for business. I see no effort to reduce this stupidity! It will swamp the planet and destroy us all. I hope there’s a virus soon!
  9. Trump – following the same populist, xenophobic, nationalist, right-wing movement verging on fascism, Trump has successfully motivated the desperate, disillusioned and impoverished and sold them the same old lies. They somehow believe a billionaire is on their wave-length and has their interests at heart. He is a lying fraud who is a great danger to everyone with his racist, misogynist, xenophobia. The fear of terrorism and Muslims has been deployed in the same way the Jews were scapegoated by Hitler. He’s a warmonger, an isolationist and a ruthless psychopath. Admittedly the choice isn’t great but it always comes down to the lesser of two evils.
  10. Brexit – the same tactics were used by the Brexiteers as they lied. It is true that the EU is a right-wing institution but it represents a more universal attitude, an outward looking force. I hate the media propaganda being put out about how great everything is. It isn’t. The racists have been given a charter to target Poles and other foreigners. Hate crime is through the roof as they create an atmosphere of British bulldog that I find repulsive. Behind the scenes I am already hearing from friends of firms closing down their operations here to move to Europe. Siemens is cancelling major developments. Already people I know of are being made redundant. Many companies are waiting to see which way we go. If we want in to the market we have to swallow free movement. If we opt out then firms flee. If we lose the bankers and car industry we are in for hard times. Apart from the race and economic impact we have been lumbered with an extreme right-wing government 9With the likes of Davies and Fox) who are already flexing their muscles with Grammar Schools and a host of other elitist policies. I fear for the weak and needy. May has already pulled the promises made – there will be no bonus for the NHS and I bet all the other EU funded schemes will find themselves scuppered. The worst is yet to come. We haven’t even started.
  11. Faith Schools – at a time when we have huge problems created by religious sectarianism and segregation you would think that politicians might have learnt their lesson. We want people living together in harmony – not apart being indoctrinated with sectarian, religious superstition. Indoctrinating children is child abuse!

I know. That is not ten. I threw in one for good measure!

I could go on. But those are the eleven that make my blood boil. I want to live in a world that respects nature and animals, controls its population and industry, is not obsessed with profit and wealth, practices equality, respect and empathy, and doesn’t indoctrinate our children. I want to do away with nations, religion and corporations. I want a population half its present size. I want freedom and individuality. I want creativity, fun and relationship. I want leaders who are not lying psychopaths, sociopaths and in it for the power and money.

I know – it’s become a tirade! But if we don’t shout it will all be destroyed by those who do not care!