The world is cold and hard. There is no mercy in nature. The planet shakes and buildings fall, huge waves wash all away. Fires destroy without will or care. When the rain stops, everything dies. Death is the rule in life. Hunters choose the young, the weak, the helpless. The big cats kill whatever they can. Crocodiles spare no creature, they are not merciful, they are cunning, and serve no being except their own appetites.
All fight to survive, and kill what they must. When a killer whale tosses the sea lion into the air, and then kills and eats it, that is how the world works, the killer whale is a complex chemical system, as is the sea lion. They are collections of molecules that through millions of years of natural selection have managed through a blind process to assemble into creatures that suffer, die, eat, and survive, to no particular purpose except to produce more of their own kind. Evolution has through its own mechanisms produced the sharks with their teeth, the eagles with its talons and eyes, the rabbits and mice with their fear and cunning to escape.
This is the world. Not good, not bad, just real. Who survives wins.
We are also survivors, and winners. We also kill, hunt, hurt, and do what we must. We fight our rivals to eat, mate, live. We feel anger and fear. We make weapons, and we learn how to do all that we must do better than any other creature has ever done. We have prospered. The world has become ours. We fear no cat, no bear, no lion. Not any more. We are supreme in the world of nature. We have won.
We no longer fear the lion, but we fear each other. We gather in groups to chase and kill other groups that threaten us. We kill the children of our enemies, we rape the women of those we vanquish, we make slaves of those we conquer. We seek and take control, and then we do whatever it takes to keep control of others. We invent ways to eat without hunting, We build cities and monuments. We force suffering on others to improve our lives beyond any natural expectation.
There is no mercy, all are in competition with all. We make friends for the sake of our own benefit. We extend mercy when we can profit by it. There is no limit to the misery we can impose on others. This is not evil, this is nature. We are not evil, we are not good. We are what we are, winners, survivors. Some are foolishly bothered by what we call evil, not realizing that there is no evil in the world of nature. There is only reality which is the result of complex chemical reactions. Nothing more.
That is where I started from. That is the background of my picture of the world. A chemical world, where E = mc^2, and the rest follows. I was surprised when folks complained: “Man is cruel, there is no sympathy for the downtrodden”. Of course man is cruel, cruelty can be useful, and the downtrodden are losers.
Our goal is to be the best, so that our genes will go on and on. We don’t know this, of course, but it is built into our instincts by the same selection process that produced the wings of birds and the antennae of bugs. There is no purpose, no meaning, no judge, no reason, no soul, no self, no community, no consciousness. All of those are illusions.
For a very long time, I believed only in what I have written above. I don’t believe any of that any more. And that is why I believe in God.