One the the podcasts I listen to is Atheist News. It’s a bi-weekly podcast that discusses news from around the world that is of interest to Atheists. The show is really fun, the hosts are great, and there are funny stories here and there, but the vast majority of news is utterly depressing. Another catholic priest has raped hundreds of children, some state or federal government is chipping away at the wall of separation, a quack doctor is selling bullshit masquerading as science, somewhere someone is being stoned to death for being a rape victim, or yet another child has died because their religious parents refused medical care. News like that day in and day out makes you want to put a gun to your head. The world is just so fucked up and so full of stupid people that sometimes I feel like it’s best to just walk away and let us make ourselves extinct. Let natural selection take it’s course, let’s make life as brief and painful as possible till we eventually die out. One day alien archaeologists might find out barren planet and determine that we destroyed ourselves over imaginary friends. Perhaps we can serve as a warning to other species. But I digress.
Why is it so easy for evil to succeed? (And I use “evil” loosely, I’m not sure I like the concept, but that’s another post). From just paying attention to news around the world, especially religious related news, it seems to me that the natural state of our existence is one of ignorance, fear, superstition, and cruelty. Therefore, it is understandable to encounter great resistance when trying to change things from their natural state. It is always easier to break things than to build things. It will always be easier for people to embrace the comfort of ignorance rather than to put forth the hard work & effort to learn. It will always be easier for injustice to succeed over justice. It will always be easier for oppression to exist over freedom. It will always be easier for conservatives to get elected as opposed to liberals. It’s physics; it’s inertia. It takes a lot of energy to move an object. Once you do start to move that object, gravity and friction constantly work against you. The same is true when it comes to trying to make the world a better place. There are so many interests vested in keeping the status quo as it is. People in positions of power don’t give up that power easily. While knowing this doesn’t change the fact that there is so much disheartening resistance to trying to improve man kind’s lot, it is comforting to know that it’s a sign I’m on the right path. If it were easy to achieve my goals, then I’d be worried.