Friday, August 12, 2005

Riemann, God, and G. H. Hardy

I wrote this on August 7, then bagged it. I reworked it a little, and leave it now.

G. H. Hardy, the great English mathematician, and an atheist, once wrote a to do list one New Year's day listing what he wanted to accomplish during the coming year. He wanted to resolve the Riemann Hypothesis. He also wanted to find a proof for the nonexistence of god that would convince everybody.

He would have been disappointed if he'd found a perfectly sound argument for the nonexistence of god. It would convince nary a soul amongst the believers.

One of the interesting statistics about atheists is there aren't many of them. They represent less than 10% of the earth's population.

I don't believe the broad accusations coming from some pulpits claiming atheists are creating a godless society. Human nature finds it nigh on impossible to renounce religious belief, so much is religion a natural by-product of the way we think. I doubt a small band of atheists possess the ability to make an impact.

Jonothan Swift said, "you cannot reason a man out of something he was not reasoned into."

Hardy should have spent all his time working on the Riemann Hypothesis rather than looking for an argument that never stood a chance to convince the believer.

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