Stopping the Draining of the Light
I have been asked, on more than a few occasions, why I write about the Book, and the alleged illiterate tasked with acquainting mankind with its content, knowing the consequences of one wrong word, a typo or a misspelling, let alone a book-length challenge to orthodoxy.
The risk is there, but it is nothing compared to the risk we ask our young people to take when we send them to fight religious extremists like the Islamic State, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda... and unlike yours truly, they risk lives not yet lived in what many have to know is a forlorn battle because of what is happening at home.
With the new race and religious hate laws coming through [after the London bombings] it could be considered illegal if Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice is deemed an attack on a person’s religious belief.
A publisher expressing his regrets.
What is to become of free speech when an honest critique of a religious text is considered a crime while a quote from that same text demanding the subjugation, if not the murder, of those it vilifies on almost every page, the despised unbelievers, is considered perfectly acceptable?
It will not be guns and bombs that will ultimately decide who wins this struggle between the powers of light and those of darkness, but words. Yet, words, the most effective weapon against the encroaching darkness are being constrained and rationed in a futile attempt to appease an intractable foe who lives, murders and dies as per the instructions contained in an inviolate book of revealed truths whose provenance and error free status is vouched for by the Book.
2:2 This is the Book which cannot be doubted and is a guidance to the God-fearing
39:28 We made it an Arabic Qur’an without any defect that perchance they might be God-fearing.
This “epistemological black hole”, to quote Sam Harris, “[is] fast draining the light from our world.”
How do we know our holy books are free from error? Because the books themselves say so.
Epistemological black holes of this sort are fast draining the light from our world.
If we cannot find our way to a time when most of us are willing to admit that, at the very least, we are not sure (italics his) God wrote some of our books, then we need only to count the days to Armageddon—because God has given us many more reasons to kill one another than to turn the other cheek.
The End of Faith - Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason, W. W. Norton & Company, 2004
The darkness cannot smother the light on its own. It requires our complicity, our collective willful ignorance of what the struggle is really all about. I will not be an accomplice and neither should you, the reason for my books.