Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Goddidit - Your One Size Fits All Solution

It seems to me that if there's an unsolved mystery, or a little bit of the universe which we don't understand, or unresolved questions about origins or morality or any number of other things, if you're of a religious disposition you need only insert the term Goddidit. It really is the perfect answer to any unsolved dilemma, and it means you don't have to think as hard as you'd otherwise be required to. Let's give it a try and see if it works.
1. We don't know how the universe formed.?Answer; Goddidit.
2. We don't know how the first self replicating molecules came into existence? Answer; Goddidit.
3. We haven't answered every question about the mind and consciousness? Answer; Goddidit.
Well bugger me with a badger from Boston, this works! All these deep questions, all the complexity and nuance; all swept aside by simply positing a divine answer. I wonder if it works on the more mundane stuff? Does all purpose Goddidit work on persistent staines or neutralize nasty odors? Does it work in the real world? On the ground, so to speak?
Ok, I admit it. Goddidit is a poor answer. It's about as poor as an answer can get, to be honest. And why? Because it explains precisely nothing. Why then, do I hear it deployed with such tedious regularity? Well it means we don't have to think about the really tough stuff. We just put it all down to the great divine mystery, the sacred unknown that somehow binds us all together.
Now whilst I'm unashamedly teasing my religious friends at this point, there is a serious point to be made. I think you've sold out. I think you've given up just when things are getting interesting. I wonder what would have happened if the Wright brothers had decided that Goddidit explained flight? Or Darwin gave up and conceded that Goddidit explained the diversity within the natural world? Worse, what if science had decided that Goddidit explained disease and that solutions such as drugs and transplants weren't worth pursuing?
I could name a thousand, ten thousand other examples, but frankly if I haven't made my point by now I never will. Let me make this crushingly, creakingly clear; Goddidit is not an answer. It's an excuse to be lazy. You've bought into the greatest scam on Earth if you choose to listen to any of the answers religion tries to pedal. I happen to think you're smarter, wiser, and more noble than that. You create software, teach kids, counsel the needy. You are brilliant, engaging people. And yet when it comes to the biggest questions you settle for an answer that could never be an answer at all. Goddidit never answered a single question, and in fact multiplies the scale of any problem you're trying to resolve. So throw away that old comfort blanket, take a deep breath and try looking at the world as it truly is.
Incredible, isn't? Beautiful, bizarre, unique. This is your planet, and this is your time. Here, today, now.

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