Whenever I have the chance to escape the city, I start to really understand where religion came from.
I lie on the ground and look at the absolute forest of stars up there. I see, like a textbook illustration, the zodiac belt that some people invented to give order to, and to explain, the 'white dots' up there. I see a deer looking timidly and curiously in my direction and can understand the urge that some had to imbue that noble species with 'supernatural' abilities.
I can understand why, devoid of any other explanation, people at one time said 'these things were all created by somebody much bigger than us'.
But scientists have shown us things infinitely more fascinating. They have shown us that each of those white dots is in itself a universe bigger than we can comprehend. They have shown us that the deer shares an enormous amount of genetic information with us and that its human-like glances in my direction are the same legacy of our common ancestor as my glances in its direction.
This gives me enormous peace. It shows me that I am but a very small cog in an incomprehensibly large machine, but it shows me that I am completely 'of' it, not 'seperate from' or 'better than' it.
That something so great and wonderful as our world and our universe could be created by someone or something who then went on to tell us what we should wear and how we should make love insults the beauty of the universe. It takes all of existence and tries to cram it into a human mind.
Two thousand years ago, I could understand it. The God concept widened our vistas and our comprehension of the universe. Today, the God concept limits it. Science has shown us that the universe is more beautiful than God. And, unlike God, it is utterly and demonstrably real.
The universe is more magnificent than the gods we have created to fill it.