Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Philip Pullman on religion

Philip Pullman comments on the stupidity of those who clamor for banning books, films, and art -- "they never learn." Along the way, he has this to say about religion:

... [W]hen it comes to banning books, religion is the worst reason of the lot. Religion, uncontaminated by power, can be the source of a great deal of private solace, artistic inspiration, and moral wisdom. But when it gets its hands on the levers of political or social authority, it goes rotten very quickly indeed. The rank stench of oppression wafts from every authoritarian church, chapel, temple, mosque, or synagogue – from every place of worship where the priests have the power to meddle in the social and intellectual lives of their flocks, from every presidential palace or prime ministerial office where civil leaders have to pander to religious ones.

My basic objection to religion is not that it isn't true; I like plenty of things that aren't true. It's that religion grants its adherents malign, intoxicating and morally corrosive sensations. Destroying intellectual freedom is always evil, but only religion makes doing evil feel quite so good.

BTW, did you know that god actually prefers atheists?


  1. Anonymous said...

    Slightly off topic, but in context: Indian Scientists on Religion.

  2. M.Ritesh said...

    "Destroying intellectual freedom is always evil" - how does one conclude that religion make destroying intellectual freedom a happy exercise? Its a general perception, and not backed by factual information. People like to bash and target religion because apparently its a easy target with no institution and no spokesperson. The world would better if some of these "intellectuals" actually practiced some tenets of religion to make sense of whether religion is good or not. Until then, you are as hallucinated and irrational as the religious lot you target.