Notice: Undefined index: HTTP_REFERER in /home/faculty/mccrthyd/public_html/default.php on line 8

Since you have taken the time to visit I want to take the opportunity to cajole you (if necessary) to consider what is undoubtedly one of our most pressing problems. Before doing so I want to mention that I am not interested in impressing you with my web programming expertise or lack thereof and so I am simply going to type a little. And I will not type much as the authors I reference below are far better equipped to inform you and give you insight.

So what is this problem to which I allude? It casts a dark shadow over our species and challenges our intellect. It quite simply is belief in supernatural beings. Some call them gods. It is belief without evidence. In virtually no other sphere of our existence do intelligent people accept the proposition of believing without evidence. Some may call ancient writings evidence, but that is hardly the case. Writings alluding to Zeus or Poseidon are no more evidence than for current gods. If someone tells you that they believe that god has given them the power of surgical techniques you will not allow them to invade your body without proof of this. And of course our government requires such training. You do not choose a physician or surgeon without some form of evidence that they have been duly trained in the requisite studies and techniques (all scientifically based). Why then would you believe that a supernatural being is responsible for a far bigger task, that of creating our universe? As Dawkins and others have pointed out, if you need to lean on a deity to account for all, then how do you account for creation of the deity. Clearly a problem of infinite regress. But oh yes, the religious trump card is now played: that is not for us mere mortals to know. We are not allowed to ask such questions. You have to accept and have faith. Faith in what? It is clear as to who or what benefits by restricting our thinking in this way.

So rather than continue as I might I would strongly urge you to open your mind and start by reading the wonderful book at the top of the list by Richard Dawkins. Dawkins is an Oxford University Professor who rose to prominence in 1976 with his book "The Selfish Gene". You can find out more about him at his web site. To see and hear Sam Harris at a recent meeting in Aspen, watch the following. Aspen Ideas Festival, July, 2007.

Books You Simply Should Read