If there is a God (or indeed anyone else out there with an understanding of the scale of space and time and an ability to see what we're up to) they must be pissing themselves laughing at our stupidity. I was watching a man from UKIP on TV tonight talking about being British (ie English) as usual and thinking how weird it would be to an outsider with an understanding of the enormity of the Universe that a human was being so loyal to a tiny and insignificant country on a tiny and insignificant planet. At least have loyalty to the whole insignificant planet, though even that would seem ludicrously parochial. Why decide the important thing is the country (or sometimes even town or part of a town) that you come from, rather than being loyal to your solar system or Universe. You know, if you're going to insist that the fact that you're from somewhere makes it automatically better than being from somewhere else.
And it's not just space, but time. The Universe has been here for 13.8 billion years and there's a man claiming some kind of ownership of a scrap of land because his ancestors (or some of them) might have had residency for 10,000 years. In cosmic terms it was a blink of an eye since the beings that would ultimately spawn him were living in Africa anyway and another blink since all the land mass of the world was in a different configuration. Fuck me, it must be hilarious to see these creatures that were monkeys two seconds ago proclaiming some kind of God given right to the place that they now live in. Especially if you're God.
I am fairly convinced that most of the problems with the human race stem from our inate belief that the Universe revolves around us, both as a species and individually. We think of ourselves as the star of the movie that is our life (and everyone else's life) and think that our concerns are important on a Universal level. This self-centred self-importance has almost certainly helped us to get to where we are. Had we had any notion of our insignificance then we might not have bothered to fight for survival. We have to think our lives are important - and they are, but only to us.
So we believed that the world and everything in it was created especially for us and that the sun and the stars went round our planet and that the bit of the planet we were on was more special than the other bits and that a god was looking down on us and cared about every single thing we did and thought and everything that we shat out or spunked up. And that gave us the confidence to carry on with it all.
But I think to survive any further we need to get a grip on the truth, on our place in the cosmos. If God created a world for us then it took him a disproportionate amount of time to get round to putting us on it.
The biggest steps in human maturity (as a species) have been the reordering of the importance of us and our planet. We slowly realised that the sun and the planets were not spinning around us, that we weren't in anyway the centre of the Universe, that perhaps the plants and animals were not created specifically for us to do what we wanted with. But we have further to go if we want our species to survive. The world does not revolve around us as individuals either. Whilst we shouldn't lose sight of the importance of our own lives to ourselves and those around us, we need to be able to think more about the good of everyone and our environment, even if the choices we make might impact negatively on our daily lives. I don't think we should live our lives thinking of what's going on from the perspective of an all seeing alien or deity and being forced to acknowledge our total cosmic insignificance. But I'd like it if we had a bit more of a handle on our place in the infinity of space and time. And maybe if we could broaden our scope from being citizens of a country to at least citizens of the world.
Us as a species and as individuals not being the centre of creation or the Universe actually takes a lot of pressure off. I think we probably needed the idea of gods to get us this far, but now we need to understand that we're flying this plane and there's no one out there who is going to come and save us from ourselves. And if there is anyone out there they are just pissing themselves about our over-inflated ideas about ourselves.
These were the thoughts that were going through my head as I watched Question Time tonight, specifically due to the small mindedness of a UKIP member of the audience. It's probably good that I am not on the panel. I don't think this is the kind of answer we are looking for.