You can talk with someone for years, everyday, and still, it won't mean as much as what you can have when you sit in front of someone, not saying a word, yet you feel that person with your heart, you feel like you have known the person for forever.... connections are made with the heart, not the tongue.
We are sorry about the way things turned out. We gave, in the phrasing of our words if not literally in the words themselves, the false impression that these pages might hold some small fragment, some slight fragrance of a greater truth. That there might be something here to be learned. Before we go any further the author of this cartoon wishes to make an apology. Such an impression was deliberately cultivated. It is a ruse. It is a lie. We are every bit as lost and afraid as children abandoned in a wood: every bit as lost as you.
It is taboo in our society to criticize a persons religious faith... these taboos are offensive, deeply unreasonable, but worse than that, they are getting people killed. This is really my concern. My concern is that our religions, the diversity of our religious doctrines, is going to get us killed. I'm worried that our religious discourse- our religious beliefs are ultimately incompatible with civilization.
I feel that we should stop wasting our time trying to please the supernatural and concentrate on improving the welfare of human beings. I think that, uh, we should use our energy and our initiative to solve our problems, and stop relying on prayer and wishful thinking. If we have faith in ourselves, we won't have to have faith in gods.
If faith is what you have to go on, if faith is the link between your beliefs and the world at large, your beliefs are very likely to be wrong. Beliefs can be right or wrong. If you believe you can fly, that belief is only true if indeed you can fly. Somebody who thinks he can fly, and is wrong about it, will eventually discover there's a problem with his view of the world.
The problem I want to talk to you about tonight is the problem of belief. What does it mean to believe? We use this word all the time, and I think behind it lurk some really extraordinary taboos and confusions. What I want to argue tonight is that how we talk about belief- how we fail to criticize or criticize the beliefs of others, has more importance to us personally, more consequence to us personally and to civilization than perhaps anything else that is in our power to influence.