Vic: Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I’m going to post this interview on the Sam Harris Forum.
God: Glad to oblige.
Vic: First off, could you help clear up the confusion about evolution and ‘intelligent design?’ What is your position on it?
God: Oh, geez! Not this again! Evolution IS intelligent design.
Vic: What about the fundamentalist belief that you created the Earth in six days and that the Earth is about seven thousand years old?
God: Cripes! I thought this was going to be interesting! Before modern science, different cultures speculated on how the Earth and all its life forms were created. Genesis is just one of many pre-scientific fables. Jesus!
Vic: So modern science has it right?
God: It’s all written down in the rocks for any sensible person to read. If Darwin hadn’t figured it out, others would have.
Vic: Why aren’t you able to get this across to fundamentalists?
God: Their minds are closed.
Vic: How did their minds get closed? Do you create people with closed minds?
God: Everybody is born with an open mind. Everybody is born with the ability to explore, discover, and learn.
Vic: So, what happened to these people? What closed their minds?
God: A free and open mind, a mind able to explore, discover, and learn, is the finest gift I have bestowed on human beings. When this gift is taken away from someone, especially from a child, evil has occured. It is a kind of robbery.
Vic: Evil . . . robbery . . . you mean . . . the ‘D’ word?
God: The Devil? Sure, who else would do such a thing? It’s the Devil who robs people of their innate ability to explore, discover, and learn.
Vic: How in God’s name . . . sorry, I didn’t mean to be disrespectful - how is he able to do this?
God: He disguises himself as me and is able to fool the gullible. It’s no big mystery.
Vic: Are some people born gullible? Do you create gullible people?
God: You’re slipping off the main point. You’re not asking the right questions! Anyway, no, I don’t create gullible people. The tragedy of a person losing their God-given free mind usually begins at birth when closed-minded parents start conditioning their child to be like them; to believe like them; to have a closed mind like them. This is all very dull. Surely every sensible person knows these things. Salt Creek is going to kill me for this interview!
Vic: Bear with me. How about someone who grows up in an intellectual, or scientific household who, in later life, as a teen or an adult, joins a fundamentalist religion and gives up his or her mental freedom?
God: (sighing, and taking out a small box of aspirin) Could I have a glass of water? Listen, the Devil is very clever - incredibly cunning and deceitful. Just because you’re an intellectual doesn’t mean you are impervious to his wiles, his promises. His promises! (takes the glass of water from Vic and swallows some aspirin) Some people want to be secure and know all the answers. The Devil promises that. That’s what a bigot is - a person who feels secure in the knowledge that they know all the answers - that they are right, and that those who don’t believe what they believe are wrong. That’s what a fundamentalist is. In this bargain, the Devil takes a person’s real brain, his free mind and his ability to learn, his common sense, and gives him in trade a paper brain - a paper brain with all the answers. In other words the Devil changes a live thinking person into a robot, an automaton. The fundamentalist has a Bible or a Koran for a brain. He’s not a living, thinking person at all. He’s just some kind of walking computer with some kind of holy book as his program. Even a rabbit is better off than that!
Vic: You’re a lot more plebeian than I thought. Still, I can see that you have strong feelings about these things. Speaking of intellectuals, what do you think about science and scientists?
God: Some people know intuitively that creation/existence doesn’t have an explanation. Einstein knew this. Plebeians, if you like that word, are always waiting for an explanation. Explain existence. Jeez!
Vic: But, my question . . . are you saying that there is no explanation , no grand theory, that is going to be discovered to explain the Universe; to explain existence?
God: That’s what I’m saying. Surely you can see that no matter what scientists explain, they only uncover more questions.
Vic: So, scientists are knocking on a door that isn’t ever going to be opened?
God: I like the Zen expression, “like a mosquito trying to bite an iron ball.”
Vic: Getting back to fundamentalists, can I really quote you as saying that they are possessed by the Devil? That’s going to alienate a lot of people. The whole Christian/Muslim shebang is going to tar and feather you.
God: (laughing) And ride me out of town on a rail? They’re already alienated, that’s the point! Fundamentalists are bigots. Do you know the definition of a bigot? One who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his own opinions and prejudices. Fundamentalists KNOW they are bigots. They’re PROUD of it. They love to turn their children into bigots. They feel that their main purpose in life is to create other bigots like themselves. Bigotry causes wars. It always has. The Devil loves to create bigots. Fundamentalism, bigotry, is the work of the Devil. He loves to see people maim, murder, and torture in the name of goodness. It’s one of his major triumphs! Sure, you can quote me on that!
Vic: What do you suggest, if you don’t mind my asking?
God: Mind? I thought you’d never ask! First, and most important, children all over the world have to be taught how they are being conditioned by their parents and society. They have to be able to sit in discussion groups at school where each one can describe, as best he can, how their parents and society are conditioning them.
Vic: Are you saying that children have to be taught how they are being brain-washed?
God: Surely that’s clear. It’s just as true for U.S. children as it is for fundamentalist Muslim children in other countries. People have to be taught how to see their own conditioning, their own narrow, limited, self-righteous view. Fundamentalists will see this as a great threat, just as the Devil will see this as a great threat to his various programs. They will fight such an educational policy tooth and nail.
Vic: Because they are convinced that they are conditioning their children to love and obey you, and that by closing up their children’s minds they are protecting them from the Devil’s influence?
God: Right. Pardon me if I sound like a broken record, but the Devil has taken their original, free mind, and given them a paper brain in its place - a Bible, or a Koran, or some other inflexible view, and sealed them up with it, ENTOMBED them with it.
Vic: So the Devil is able to help his subjects justify their evil deeds and not feel guilt?
God: Right. A fundamentalist can incinerate a million people at the push of a button and not feel any guilt or remorse at all.
Vic: Be that as it may, you’re not going to get people to uncondition their children. It’s one of the so-called joys of parenthood - bringing up your kids to be like you - to share your values.
God: Well, it’s do or die, as the saying goes.
Vic: In a nutshell, you’re saying that the human race, or the majority of the human race, is possessed by the Devil, and is racing headlong toward destruction?
God: That’s what I’m saying. And, as I said, the Devil is disguised as me.
Vic: On another subject; I won’t drag this out; you’ve been very patient: atheists say you don’t exist. How do you respond to that?
God: It’s all semantics. I like atheists. Some of my best friends are atheists. Atheists understand me a lot better than fundamentalists, I can tell you that!
Vic: I don’t get you.
God: If they knew what to call me they wouldn’t say I didn’t exist.
Vic: So what should they call you?
God: First of all, I don’t have a name, or an identity, or a description. You can’t stick your little words or thoughts on the ineffable. The closest you could get would be to call me Common Sense.
Vic: Your name is Common Sense?
God: I didn’t say that. I said that’s as close as you can get to me with the thought process.
Vic: So, what you were saying before about fundamentalists - do you mean they don’t have Common Sense?
God: They have it but they don’t use it. They use printed words on paper instead of Common Sense. That’s why atheists are closer to me. Most of them use Common Sense. Substituting your birthright, your own Common Sense, with a paper brain is a very lazy process. Paper brains don’t have to think for themselves. With their paper brains they think they can protect themselves from the Devil, but the Devil loves people who are lazy, people who have given up their Common Sense and adopted a fixed program. The Devil thrives on fixed programs, whatever they may be. Fixed programs are not alive. Common Sense is alive, vital.
Vic: Thank you for your time.
God: Sure. Don’t fix on anything I said. Stay on your toes. Use your Common Sense.