I have a strong idea who Lynn is, but I’m not positive.
Why do you believe in god (assuming you do)?
Yes, I do. Part of it is faith. Part of it is the sense of the wonder and beauty of the world – for me, particularly music – that God seems self-evident. And part of is that, in a much more enlightened, scientific world, is the otherwise unexplanable, which I attribute to God.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
Yes, probably, maybe, perhaps, but other than being closer to God, not clear what that means. In any case, it is not the focus of my life.
Do you think that non-believers are doomed in the afterlife?
Non-believers of what? Most religions suggest some type of life after this one. I’m a Christian; do I believe that a devout Jew, Hindu, Muslim is going to hell? Well, no, I don’t, if there is one, which I’m sure some would consider sacrilege, but there it is. In any case, it’s not my call, and again frankly where I’m concentrating.
Jesus said that we don’t know know the time the Lord will come again. Some people seem to have taken that as an excuse to sit by the door, waiting for the Resurrection. I happen to believe that kind of thinking is blasphemy. We should be busy feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and otherwise loving one’s brothers and sisters, our primary tasks.
And what IS hell? Separation from God. I was watching the soon-to-be-canceled TV series Life on Mars, and a couple cops on a stakeout got into a conversation about life after this one. One cop decided heaven, and I’m paraphrasing here, had to do with having all the pizza and sex one could want. And hell is being on the other side looking at all those people in heaven eating pizza and having sex. Don’t know that I’d subscribe exactly to that notion, but the apartness from God would be hell.
What do you think of the theory of evolution in relation to religion?
Ah, the easy question. I find them totally compatible. Some people, and a lot of them are Christians, seem to have confused physical truth and metaphysical truth. The Bible is not a history book; it’s allegory and poetry. Is it true? Sure, the same way a good movie or poem or song can true, not factually but at its core.
Let’s take the Creation. Do I think the earth was literally built in six days, as we now understand the concept of “day”? I do not. But that there was an evolution of the world, where humans arrive fairly late in the game is pretty consistent with most science. My Jehovah’s Witness buddy said just this week that the notion of earth literally being put together in six days is “silly”.
More important is the notion of resting on the Sabbath, which is far more consistently stated in the Bible. In the 10 Commandments. In the story about manna from heaven that was supposed to be collected only six days, with a double portion on that sixth day and none on the seventh. The message of setting aside time for reflection makes sense, even in a secular world, does it not?
Neil Gaiman is not a Scientologist.