Atheist Advent 2023 – ep.3

Monument to Giordano Bruno in Piazza Campo de’ Fiori, Rome.

At some point 70.000 years ago, the first humans arrived to Oceania.

There were no maps, no previous knowledge of these lands, they literally had to sail towards the unknown. They could have easily died during that journey. But they didn’t, and they discovered a new land.

As humans, we all have this natural curiosity, we want to explore the unknown. Ulysses wanted to go beyond. So did all the pioneers who went to previously unexplored lands. Or the scientists who look into the far universe. Or migrants like me, who one day decided they needed to restart their life somewhere else.

And what is the common trait that all these people? They threw away the playbook. They weren’t satisfied with common wisdom, because they were looking for something different.

Throwing away the playbook is a very important element of human evolution. If we only ever relied on what we already know, we would still be living in caves.

But most religions, on the other hand, give us a sacred text to follow. That’s the playbook. Following a religion, for this reason, often causes people to think in a dogmatic way.

We can say no to this. We can throw away the playbook, just like Giordano Bruno, with one important difference: many of us no longer have to fear that we will get burned alive for doing that. Giordano Bruno didn’t have that privilege.