“Who made God?”

It would have been wholly inconsistent with my father’s ideas of duty, to allow me to acquire impressions contrary to his convictions and feelings respecting religion: and he impressed upon me from the first, that the manner in which the world came into existence was a subject on which nothing was known: that the question, “Who made me?” cannot be answered, because we have no experience or authentic information from which to answer it; and that any answer only throws the difficulty a step further back, since the question immediately presents itself, “Who made God?” He, at the same time, took care that I should be acquainted with what had been thought by mankind on these impenetrable problems.

Excerpt From: John Stuart Mill. “Autobiography.”

This lesson of keeping my thoughts to myself, at that early age, was attended with some moral disadvantages; though my limited intercourse with strangers, especially such as were likely to speak to me on religion, prevented me from being placed in the alternative of avowal or hypocrisy.

Excerpt From: John Stuart Mill. “Autobiography.”

Belief or disbelief? Proven or denied? The assertion from either side is equally impossible to advance with any credibility. By which I mean the same applies to atheists. Religion of any description – whether literal or metaphorical – is inevitably shrouded by mystery, purpose, design and pretence. The most immediate and vocal answer to the theology or mendacity is that the invention affords a source of real, emotional or psychological relief – not necessarily belief. Physicians call it a placebo – a measure designed to humour or placate. The importance of humbug is unfortunately a critical element of the smokescreen. It is basically a sales pitch by those who anticipate that “religion is the opiate of the masses“.

Religion is the opium of the people” is one of the most frequently paraphrased statements of German philosopher and economist Karl Marx. It was translated from the German original, “Die Religion … ist das Opium des Volkes” and is often rendered as “religion… is the opiate of the masses.

Like every charade it is attended by display and ostentation, generally motivated by self-interest by the parties who have something to gain.