This is utterly astonishing, and it’s yet another example of religion having far too much influence on laws and (and basic thought). I absolutely agree with Fry’s answer, especially in the last paragraph: the god we’re told to worship is a monster created by mankind, and once you stop believing in that nonsense it lifts such a massive, oppressive burden from your shoulders.
That doesn’t mean you can’t find spiritual fulfillment elsewhere…but if you’re going to devote yourself to a mystical being, is this really the one you want? You may as well worship Cthulhu — at least he’s honest about his evil nature and doesn’t promise you ridiculous things for your unquestioning worship. He just wants to rise up out of the ocean and destroy us. So much simpler!
Living treasure and outspoken atheist Stephen Fry has a classic bit from a two-year-old episode of RTE’s “The Meaning of Life” in which he answers the question, “What would you say to God if you died and found yourself at the gates of heaven?”
Two years later, Fry is now the subject of a police investigation in Ireland for the antiquated crime of “blasphemy.” It’s not clear why the investigation was launched, and the Gardai aren’t commenting.
Here’s the part of Stephen Fry’s Q&A that freaked people out so much. It’s pretty damning.
Interviewer: Suppose it’s all true and you walk up to the pearly gates and you are confronted by God. What would Stephen Fry say to him, her or it?
Fry: I will basically (it’s known as theodicy I think) I’ll say, “Bone cancer in children? What’s that about? How dare you! How dare you create a world where there is such misery that is not our fault! It’s not right. It is utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world that is so full of injustice and pain?” That’s what I’d say.
Interviewer: And you think you’re going to get in?
Fry: Oh, but I wouldn’t want to. I wouldn’t want to get in on his terms. They’re wrong.
Now, if I died and it was Pluto or Hades, and if it were the twelve Greek gods, then I’d have more truck with it because the Greeks didn’t pretend not to be human in their appetites, and in their capriciousness and their unreasonableness; they didn’t present themselves as being all-seeing, all-wise, all-kind, all-munificent. Because the god who created this universe (if it was created by God) is, quite clearly, a maniac — utter maniac, totally selfish.
We have to spend our life on our knees thanking him? What kind of god would do that?
Yes, the world is very splendid, but it also has in it insects whose whole life-cycle is to burrow into the eyes of children and make them blind. They eat outwards from the eyes. Why did you do that? Why? Why did you do that to us? You could easily have made a creation where that didn’t exist. It is simply not acceptable.
So, you know, atheism is not just about not believing there’s a god, but — on the assumption there is one — what kind of god is it? It’s perfectly apparent that he is monstrous, utterly monstrous, and deserves no respect whatsoever. The moment you banish him your life becomes simpler, purer, cleaner — more worth living in my opinion.