Saturday, December 19, 2009

Terry Pratchett on Religion: 'I'd rather be a rising ape than a falling angel'


Transcription by me (I didn't understand some parts quite well. If you complete them, I'll be glad) :)

The Girl: Do you believe in God, do you believe in the belief of Gods?

Terry Pratchett: Hallelujah!

That's gonna be quite an interesting one in recent month as you see if you followed the news.

Do you mean do I believe in Jehovah?

The Girl: I am gonna go for broad here.

Terry Pratchett: Oh, she is gonna go for broad here! He is God of the Universe how bad broad can be that? Look, I know what you mean...

Recently, we watched, spent a week watching Carl Sagan's COSMOS series. I don't know if it is back on DVD for very long but I was astonished to find it and that was the best piece of popular science there has ever been. Anyone here seen it?

Rest of you, go and get it. Because it is everything!

Carl (Sagan) is very, now alas dead, was quite polite when it came to religion. He used to term "mysticism" but never actually confronted Christianity if you see what I mean. You could tell, but not to the point of tying him to the stake and burning him.He didn't particularly like Christianity very much.

I think lots of people including Einstein, Spinoza and me... well, I can't help, it is just a list, and Stephen Hawking, we have an instinct towards to good. Most people if left alone and I'm pressured I'm really quite pleasant people, my religion such as it is that we're shaped by the universe to be its consciousness. We tell the universe what is. In my religion, the building of a telescope is the building of a cathedral. I have no tract whatsoever with Genesis, I've inoculated against the Judaic Christian religion by reading the whole of Old Testament through in one go... well, apart from the begats, and I thought if this is true we are within the hands of a maniac!

[...]

I find it far more interesting in a sense far more religiously interesting that a bunch of monkeys got down off trees and stopped arguing long enough to build this to build that to build everything. That is so much more interesting being falling angels. I think, God help me if I ever become a Christian [...] because in fact within the story of evolution, is a story far more interesting than any in the Bible.

Because, it teaches us amazing things that stars are not important. There is nothing interesting about stars. Street lamps are very important because they are so rare, as farther as we know there is few million of them in the universe. And they've been built by monkeys who came up with philosophy and gods and this is so much more interesting and it is so much right. Admittedly we do err, such as the when we made Tony Blair prime minister, given where we started from, which was climbing up some beach somewhere, which no one ever knows where that was, we actually haven't done that badly. I'd rather be a rising ape than a falling angel.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/video/2009/dec/19/terry-pratchett-religion

P. S Thanks Mehdy for the corrections and additions.

4 comments:

RevolutionaryBum said...

Hi, I really enjoy your blog ! it's one of my favorites to check, I know there will be something of interest or humor... You do an excellent job ! What a brilliant quote on this last video clip... "I'd rather be a rising ape..." thanks for posting it. I was wondering if you have seen "A Brief History of Disbelief" good short series from the BBC i think. Of course it took years to air in the states and only on one of the completely viewer supported TV stations (FSTV) any ways I just wanted to say hello and Thank You :D

lunatic said...

It's the first time I actually got to hear Terry Pratchett speak and I'm delighted to acknowledge his humour in talking as delicious as that within his writings.
Thank you for posting!

ps: I recommend Terry Pratchett's "Small Gods" to any atheist fond of reading. It is as insightful as it is funny.

Mehdy S. Payam said...

Hi, the first blank is:
The Girl: I am gonna go for broad here.
TP: Oh she is gonna go for broad here. He is God of the Universe how bad broad can be that?

Somewhere in the second paragraph: I know what you mean.....I don't know if is was back on DVD for very long but I was astonished to find it.

2nd paragrpah. Now alas dead (instead of "more or less dead").

The 2nd blank: "you could tell, but not to the point of tying him to the stake and burning him."

3rd blank: There were two tree in the garden of Even,

Admittedly we do err, such as the when we chose Tony Blair prime minister, given where we started from, which was climbing up some beach somewhere, which no one ever knows where that was, we actually haven't done that badly.

Mehdy S. Payam said...

Also in the last sentence he says "I would rather be a writing ape than a falling angel"

But thanks for that, it was so cool. :D

I would have transcribed the other parts for you too, but I am so busy at the moment. Maybe another time ;)

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