How vast these Orbs must be, and how inconsiderable this Earth, the Theatre upon which all our mighty Designs, all our Navigations, and all our Wars are transacted, is compared to them. A very fit consideration, and matter of Reflection, for those Kings and Princes who sacrifice the Lives of so many People, only to flatter their Ambition in being Masters of some pitiful corner of this small Spot.
Christiaan Huygens, New Conjectures Concerning the Planetary Worlds, Their Inhabitants and Productions, c 1690
It is not clear why the change from polytheism to monotheism should be assumed to be a self-evident progressive improvement. But it widely is - an assumption that provoked Ibn Warraq (author of Why I Am Not A Muslim) wittily to conjecture that monotheism is in turn doomed to subtract one more god and become atheism. The Catholic Encyclopedia dismisses polytheism and atheism in the same insouciant breath: 'Formal dogmatic atheism is self refuting, and has never de facto won the reasoned assent of any considerable number of men. Nor can polytheism, however it may take hold of the popular imagination, ever satisfy the mind of a philosopher.'
Monotheistic chauvinism was until recently written into the charity laws of both England and Scotland, discriminating...
A deeply religious non-believer
I don't try to imagine a personal God; it suffices to stand in awe to at the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it.
The boy lies prone in the grass , his chin resting on his hands. He suddenly found himself overwhelmed by a heightened awareness of the tangled stems and roots, a forest in microcosm, a transfigured world of ants and beetles and even - though he wouldn't have known the details at the time - of soil bacteria by the billions, silently and invisibly shoring up the economy of the micro-world. Suddenly the micro-forest of the turf seemed to swell and become one with the universe, and with the rapt boy contemplating it. He interpreted the...
Why there is almost certainly no God.
The Priests of the different religious sects...dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subdivisions of the duperies on which they live'
The Ultimate Boeing 747
The argument from improbability is the big one. It is the traditional guise of the argument of design., it is easily today's most popular argument offered on favor of the existence of God and it is seen, by an amazingly large number of theists, as completely and utterly convincing. It is indeed a very strong and, I suspect, argument - but in the precisely the opposite direction from the theist's intention. The argument from improbability, properly deployed, comes close to...