Where Are We?What Are We?Why Are We?
And Why Do We Want To Know?
This book is an attempt to explore the underlying
reasons why people feel the urge to give meaning to life.
approaches its task by looking at our perception of our place in the
universe, and it speculates on how this perception may give rise to
such phenomena as spiritual and religious sensibilities.
recent years there has been a veritable deluge of books published on
the subjects of religion, belief and atheism - a genre to which this
volume is a modest contribution. The first draught of the book was
written in 1998, predating this mushrooming of titles. Since then much
has changed in the world, and indeed in the author's head: the book has
evolved and expanded accordingly.
For the purposes
of religious classification the author categorises himself as a
"non-believer". Despite this fact, the book that you now hold in your
hands is not so much a criticism of religion but rather the
distillation of the author's attempts to understand its existence. The
book contains practically no mention of religious dogma or doctrine,
and the world's principal monotheistic religions are only mentioned by
name once. The word atheism only appears twice, with both of those
occurrences being in the preface that you're reading now (So that's got
that over with).
The author's only qualification
for writing this book is that he is a cartoonist: a profession that
encourages him to stand back and look at life from unusual angles and
to think about things in slightly skewed and unconventional ways. While
the core of the book is based on current understanding of the topics
involved, some parts are purely the product of the author's own
speculation. He would like to apologize in advance for any
inappropriate lapses into humour that may occur in the following pages.