Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Excerpt from Varieties of Scientific Experience, Part Two

More wisdom from Carl Sagan's The Varieties of Scientific Experience:

"By definition, as Ann Druyan has pointed out, an immortal Creator is a cruel god, because He, never having to face the fear of death, creates innumerable creatures who do. Why should he do that? If he's omniscient, He could be kinder and create immortals, secure from the danger of death. He sets about creating a universe in which at least many parts of it, and perhaps the universe as a whole, dies. And in many myths, the one possibility the gods are most anxious about is that humans will discover some secret of immortality or even, as in the myth of the Tower of Babel, for example, attempt to stride the high heavens. There is a clear imperative in Western religion that humans must remain small and mortal creatures. Why? It's a little like the rich imposing poverty on the poor and then asking to be loved because of it." (p. 29)

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