Asimov On Atheism (June/July 2000)

Source: Yours, Isaac Asimov edited by Stanley Asimov (Doubleday 1995) “Properly read, the bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.” (p. 316, 22 February 1966) “I have done the Old Testament and the Apocrypha and am working away on the New Testament, and I must say that I stand amazed at the highly intelligent people who have taken so much of the Bible so seriously.” (p. 316, 28 October 1966)

“Nobody but a dedicated Christian could possibly read the gospels and not see them as a tissue of nonsense–at least the legendary and miraculous material in them.” (p. 316, 1 November 1966) “Religions may have been actively involved in the easing of the human condition, but I am more aware of conversion by the sword (the first case being that of the Edomites by the Jews in Maccabean times) and of burning at the stake and of Inquisitorial suppression of dissent.

The benefits are a matter of theory; the harm is clear and present. “I am prejudiced against religion because I know the history of religion, and it is the history of human misery and of black crimes.” (p. 319, 27 March 1976) “I have written on religion and science and have never made any secret of the fact that I am an atheist. My feeling is, quite simply, that if there is a God, He has done such a bad job that he isn’t worth discussing.” (p. 319, 1 December 1990) “I have never had to develop my humanist beliefs and ideals against a surrounding religious belief since I was brought up without any religion whatever. The result is that a rational, secular view is as natural to me as breathing air is, and nowhere inside me, no matter how deeply one probes, is there any conflict about it, any hidden shame or fear. The result is that I have never had to think about my humanism or find any system of apologetics for it. It just is.” (p. 320, 11 January 1983)

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