January 27, 2013

How does the world appear to non-believers?

The answer to this question can be found in closing remarks of Sam Harris in the debate embedded below. This debate, between Sam Harris and William Craig, was the second debate in the  "God Debate" series held at the Notre Dame University. I like this debate primarily because of the closing remarks made by Sam Harris (at 1h31m in the video).  For believers of a particular religion, these remark highlights how the world appears to non-believers and to people believing in another religion. I am para phrasing these remark as follows. For all Muslims, replace the word Koran in the next paragraph by Bible, or Bhagvad Gita, or any other text you wish you use.

We all know that the Koran exists and is considered by many to be the perfect word of the creator of the Universe. We all know that once having heard of this possibility, and rejecting it, the ones rejecting it  shall all go to hell for eternity. If this vision of life is true then all non-believers and the believers of other religions shall go to hell for eternity. Now what if Muslims are right, and the Koran is indeed the word of God, and all the words in the Koran are true. How would we (non muslims) view God in moral terms? We (non muslims) have been born in the wrong place, to the wrong parents, given the wrong culture, and given the wrong theology. Most scientists who are non-believers have been thoroughly misled by science. Now where is the compassion of the God of all the monotheists? Now this God is omnipotent and compassionate. He could change this if he could, and yet he would not do it for mysterious reasons.  Therefore, hell awaits all non-believers and believers of other religions. Not only this, hell awaits the little children of these misled believers -- these mislead believers shall continue to mislead their children. Now hold this vision and just appreciate how little sleep you have lost over this possibility. Now how comfortable we all are despite the fact that we failed to recognize the perfect word of God. This is how Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and all other religions appear to someone who is not indoctrinated by any religion! Our scriptures were written by people who, by virtue of their placement in history,  had less access to scientific information and facts that we have now. In fact we now have a wider world view compared to people living thousands of years before us! We now have the power to build a global civilization of close to 9 billion people! The only tool we need for this is honest inquiry!