Sunday, June 03, 2007

Are people tired of the concept of God?

I have been meaning to write this post for a week since it is based on last weeks Toronto Star's best selling non-fiction book list. Flipping through the paper (as I usually do on the weekends) I was pretty surprised to see that the top two books on the Non-Fiction best sellers list were:

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens (click on either link to find out more or even buy them).

For the interest of transparency I should mention that I have not read either book but from what I can gather (from interviews and reviews) they are both interesting books, written by fascinating people, taking a critical view on organized religion and at the same time possibly promoting Atheism (this part I am not sure of but since both authors are noted Atheists I would have to assume they would promote their belief system).

Part of the reason I think the book rankings are so interesting is because I think it shows something that I discuss with folks all the time. My generation (born in the early 70's) are (and this is just my opinion) more willing to question conventional wisdom. I myself grew up in a traditional Jewish home and continue to observe the laws I grew up with......BUT I constantly question why I do this since I was always told that "If you follow the laws of your religion, God will watch over you and look out for you" etc etc. Now this makes perfect sense to me except that I look around at other people (friends and family) and see that some of them totally ignore all the laws and observances of their religion and they seem to have life much easier then most people (either financially, or health wise etc) so a skeptical person like myself would have to ask the question "Am I better off ignoring my religious programming?" or would it not make a difference what so ever.

My argument stated above is pretty simplistic (and selfish) and yes other obvious ones can be made like 911 or Katrina (how could this happen since many of the people who were killed were very observant to their religions and should have been warned or spared from the disasters but as we all know they were not. I know the common reply is that "The Lord works in mysterious ways" but I as I get older this seems like a convenient excuse to explain the unexplainable.

I could go on and on about this (since I had all week to think it over) but I try not to get too heavy in this here blog. I will wrap things up by saying that I think the success of these books show that even if people are not questioning things out loud people are at least questioning things privately and questioning things is a good thing.


p.s. I ordered God is not Great and will be giving it a read.

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