The Wonderful World of Wanzie: Thank God for the Godless!

The Wonderful World of Wanzie: Thank God for the Godless!
michael wanzie atheist
Michael Wanzie

On Thursday January 11, 2016, scientists announced they had finally discovered “Gravity Waves,” which Albert Einstein insisted existed exactly 100 years ago when in 1916 he formally presented his Theory of Relativity. It took a full century for the science to catch up to the vision and brilliance of Einstein’s magnificent mind, but as of mere weeks ago, his hundred year-old “theory” is no longer that. It has been proven. It is fact.

Now, I ask you: What do Albert Einstein,Elton John, John Lennon, Emma Thompson, Billy Joel, James Cameron, Sir Ian McKellen, Kathy Griffin, Woody Allen, Warren Buffet, George Carlin, Carl Sagan, Richard Strauss, Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher, Mark Zukerberg, Steven Wozniak, Steven Hawking and Michael Wanzie all have in common?

Before you attempt to answer that question, consider the astonishing accomplishments of the following people who all share a common trait with those listed above:

Andrew Carnegie was not only the American industrialist who founded Carnegie Steel and eventually U.S. Steel, but he was a most noble and decent fellow. Considered by many to be the second richest American to have ever lived, Carnegie limited his personal income to $50,000 per year and gave up his fortune to establish libraries, schools and universities all over America.

Jawaharlal Nehru was the first and longest-serving Prime Minister of an independent India, where he made social opportunities and a better life available to any person regardless of their class in the caste system. He was a noted promoter of Peace.

Chemist Linus Pauling, arguably one of the most important scientists of the 20th century whose discoveries have saved millions upon millions of human lives, has been hailed by Science Journal as “One of the greatest thinkers and visionaries of the last thousand years.” Pauling is one of only four individuals to have ever won solo Nobel Prizes in separate and unrelated fields – for chemistry in 1954, and the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize for his unyielding work against nuclear bomb testing.

Jacques Lucien Monodis the French biologist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1965. His discoveries are credited with saving millions upon millions of human lives.

Francis Harry Compton Crick is likely directly responsible for the most righteous convictions of actual murderers in this country as well as the much overdue release from prisons of the wrongly convicted. This guy is the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA! Oh, and he won a Nobel Prize.

David Takayoshi Suzuki is a world-renowned zoologist, geneticist, science broadcaster and environmental activist. He is the man behind the groundbreaking children’s TV series, Suzuki on Science. He hosted CBC’s The Nature of Things and the acclaimed PBS series A Planet for the Taking.

Q: What do all these truly amazing people, from Einstein to Suzuki, have in common?

A: Atheism!

Might it not then be true that a belief in God and a blind adherence to a religious doctrine is quite simply counterproductive to freeing the mind to achieve its fullest potential?

When asked if he believed in God James Dewey Watson answered “Oh…no!The biggest advantage to believing in God is you don’t have to understand anything, no physics, no biology. I wanted to understand.”

Every great scientific mind in the world today has joined in a deafening chorus with regards to the ways in which we are rapidly killing our planet. But God-fearing capitalists, evangelical preachers and the largely Christian right of the Republican Party feel they know better than these learned people who are dripping with degrees and prizes and intellect and common sense. It seems to me that far too often a belief in God turns otherwise intelligent people into simpletons.

I have never heard of an atheist throwing their teenage child out of their family home and disowning them because they are gay, but I personally know of hundreds of good Christian parents who have done so for no other reason than they believe their God disapproves of what their child has become.

I know of no atheists who bomb clinics or kill doctors because the medical procedures they perform don’t align with their personal beliefs, but Christians seems to make sport of this murderous practice.

I know of no atheists who are white supremacists, Neo-Nazi’s, or members of the KKK, yet virtually every person I have encountered both personally and through media reports who belong to any such organizations adamantly proclaim themselves to be Christian.

I know of no atheist who denies science or pickets the funerals of gays and veterans.

I know of no atheist who has disowned their child for marrying a person of faith but I personally am aware of hundreds of parents who have absolutely no contact with their adult children because they married outside their faith.

And before angered believers write in to point out that not all Christians can be pigeon holed into this category, I know many decent Christians. And to be fair; counted among atheists are the likes of Hitler and Castro. But my point here is that blindly adhering to a belief in something that ultimately cannot be proved and then holding that blind faith to a higher standard than hard scientific fact, good common sense, and common decency is a danger to our society.

What I am striving to point out here was best said in two simple sentences by Nobel Prize-winning atheist Steven Weinberg, who famously noted, “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

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