Where science leads us
Much emphasis is now being given to the teaching of science in the American education system. Students are being encouraged not only to study the sciences but also to follow careers in science and technology. Such training will develop a generation that will ask important questions and apply logic, analysis and reason to find answers. The corollary to that process will be the rejection of superstition and its euphemism, religion.
Two thousand and five hundred years ago Democritus and Epicurus in Greece and their disciple, Lucretius, a hundred years later in Rome, concluded, based on their observations and reasoning, that everything in the universe is made of atoms and void, that the universe is limitless and that only atoms and void are eternal. Those philosophers discovered the basis of science.
Epicurus realized that there are no gods directing or influencing occurrences, that all phenomena result from cause and effect in accordance with natural laws and that those laws can be determined. He attempted to free man from senseless fear of gods and their punishment and from the absurd sacrifices and elaborate rituals to “glorify” and appease divine beings for the existence of whom there is not one shred of verifiable evidence. There should be no fear of nor hope for an afterlife because there is none. The sole aim and purpose in life is the pursuit of happiness and the avoidance of pain. (That must not be confused with hedonism.)
Rather than giving consideration to Epicurus’s conclusions, man has contrived various religions inspiring their believers to fight religious wars and slaughter members of other sects in bloody disagreements.
Religions present stunning interior inconsistencies: For example, God is perfect love, benevolence and forgiveness and those who do not accept that will burn in the fires of hell for all eternity. If Democritus, Epicurus, Lucretius and I are in error, we are in for a long hot spell. But the study of science should continue to be encouraged.