Rabbi Eric Yoffie recently posted an article with the same title as this one but with atheists lacking in the humility, imagination, and curiosity. The phrase, “pot calling the kettle black” comes to mind.
I really don’t see the point of the Rabbi’s attack. His article was more an attempt to refute the prediction that religion will die out by the year 2038. Well get me a crystal ball and call me a prophet. Of course religion will survive past 2038, but let’s face facts here. Religion is dying.
Yoffie was arguing against Nigel Barber’s opinion that religion preys on people in need, and when people find themselves secure in their lives and their livelihoods, they tend to be less religious. Barber isn’t claiming that this is always the case, but it is a tendency which is evident from looking at the nations that have the best and worst quality of life and noticing the lack of religiosity and religiosity of those countries respectively.
Another problem with religion these days is a little thing called the Internet. Today, when a rabbi or a priest makes a claim, we can use Google to find out just how full of kosher baloney they are. Were the Jews really slaves in Egypt? Did Jesus really fulfill Jewish prophecies? Did the Bible predict the future? It turns out that the answer to all those questions is no, and it is pretty easy to discover that using the Internet.
Let’s get to the meat of Rabbi Yoffie’s attack. He claims right in the title of his article that atheists lack humility, imagination, and curiosity. Interestingly enough, atheists aren’t the ones claiming to be the chosen people of the creator of the universe. We also aren’t the ones claiming that the creator of the universe made the entire universe just for us and gave us dominion over all the animals. No, atheists (most of us anyway) think (with good reason) that we are insignificant on the cosmic scale and that our only significance comes from each other. We live on one small planet, orbiting an average-sized star, in an average-sized galaxy, in an average-sized galaxy cluster. I think atheists are pretty darn humble compared to the religious of the Abrahamic religions.
As for imagination, atheists tend to be the ones imagining the vastness of our cosmos while religious believers are trapped within their holy book(s). Lawrence Krauss is imagining nothing, and even that takes more imagination than the limited concept of a personified deity.
And lastly, there is curiosity — This coming from religious believers who punctuate every question with, “God did it.” But don’t take my word for it; let’s look at the so called word of God. Perhaps the good Rabbi can remind us what happened in the story of Babel. Oh right, according to the story, people got curious and wanted to build a tower to Heaven and God knocked it down, scattered the people all over the planet, and scrambled up their language skills so that they couldn’t communicate with each other to try again. Fortunately for us, we have Google Translate now. Oh and we not only built towers high into the sky, but we also sent space shuttles to the moon. No Heaven was found.