Elliott Darwin Simpson is a free – thinker, internet debater and an atheist. He lives in U.K and hopes to work with CERN as a physicist in his future. I had an opportunity to interview him about science, God, Morality and atheism.
Q. Tell me something about yourself?
Elliott: A big thing about me is that I like to question things – ideas, authority and science alike. I base my reasoning primarily on my simplistic metaphysical attitude, and the empirical findings within the scientific community, and my conduct and behavior is influenced extremely by my own rationale. This is sort of a social problem I have. I will not do anything stupid. That’s sort of a thing that teenagers do; stupid things. I do not commit such acts. I evaluate actions and determine if they are rational or not. More often than not this causes problems between me and my friends.
Q. You are quite young Elliott. What is your age?
Q. You are still 14. What made you go against the social norm and become an atheist?
Elliott: I live in a country that is extremely secular, religious grounds of political advancement are looked down upon in the government that rules my country. We have a fairly large atheist population and the many religious that do exist here are quite liberal generally. I used to believe in so many absurdities, religion included as one of them. As soon as I dropped the absurdities, religion was dropped as well. Without me even realizing.
It was never a big process for me, de-conversion. I am not sure if I had the same reasons I have now for not believing in religions as I did then. I’m not sure I had any, I just grew up.
Q. Some people will say that you haven’t yet found God. Have you ever tried finding Jesus or Krishna in your life?
Elliott: It’s difficult to remember, I’m not sure I even researched or learned much about religion when I was a part of it, I’m not certain I felt a need to. When I did come to leave religion, I didn’t research it a LOT, but I did some. Although I disbelieved in the dogmas of religion, I held a lot of weight to religious arguments and ideas. To be fair, I respected religion as a concept. That soon changed.
Q. Does anyone in your family or friends believe in God? How do they take your atheism?
Elliott: My two older brothers were atheists. My mother is a spiritual superstitious Christian who is quite liberal. My father, well he was an agnostic, he converted to Christianity. I am pretty sure they do not have much problem with my atheistic attitude. It’s more me that has the problem with their belief systems, as I was christened at birth. I remember a time when I asked my mother what would she do If I used a Ouija board. She told she would kick me out of the house immediately. Goes to show superstition can change one’s attitude to their children.
Q. If there is no God, than who created the Universe?
Elliott: You cannot ask anyone as to “who” created the universe. It’s a mundane question, it implies intent, and therefore it implies a creator/designer. A better question is “how”. And this is certainly of a naturalistic manner.
Q. So, how did the Universe came to be?
Elliott: It’s hard to say. We only know so much about the universe. We lack the knowledge of the spatial-temporal dimensions of what was previous to the big bang. All I can say with certainty ascertaining to the creation of the universe is; it expanded. And to implement gods into the idea, is redundant to the entire subject and is unsubstantiated empirically and rationally. It is something used where a gap in knowledge exists, it is not used as an actual explanation, it is used to fill the gaps, as humanity seems to like knowing things, whether or not that thing is true or evident.
But as far as we have found, things in the universe are not of a supernatural nature, but of a naturalistic manner, perhaps the creation of the universe involves that also. It is almost definite that it involves quantum mechanics of some kind.
Q. If there is no God, than there is no fundamental basis for morality. Won’t it be a scary world without religion?
Elliott: If there is no God, only true morality exists, we would have people making decisions because they are right, not because God says so, doing that is not morality, it is the submission of one’s reason and one’s mind. It is control; it is crowd mentality, to say this is morality you would have to have some extremely perverted direction of your morals.
Q. What professional career do you want to choose in your future?
Elliott: I am not sure at the moment, what career choices I wish to make; I wanted to be a philosopher, and then a physicist for CERN, and then a philosopher again. I cannot seem to make up my mind about such things at the moment. But what I know for sure I yearn to do, is write a book of some kind on religion, atheism and philosophy. A lot of career choices appear interesting to me.
Q. Many people accuse atheists to be materialists. Do you think there can be an atheist version of spirituality?
Elliott: Spirituality does not necessarily invoke a god, so yes by definition, but by a freethinker’s terms, a freethinker should not be spiritual, but logical. I believe that spirituality is unnecessary for human advancement.
Q. There are billions of people in the world who believe in God and live their entire lives by the code of conduct given in their holy scriptures. Do you see these people as your partners in the endeavor for the progress of civilization OR do you see these people as impediments on the path to development?
Elliott: It depends on their attitude towards those different to their belief systems.
If they are against science, actively fighting against it, they would be indeed halting human development. For science is the greatest path to progression for humankind. If they are contrary to Humanism, religious, Bronze Age dogmas as the basis for their moral conduct, then they would be affecting the moral development of our species.
Q. One last thing, your middle name is not really Darwin, is it?
Elliott: Not at all, I wish. Charles Darwin is my favorite scientist; he is the center of all biology – A grassroots scientist. He has founded basically an entire area of science.
Me: Thank you Elliott for this wonderful interview. I really appreciate your views. I wish you great success and luck.
Elliott: Thank you, and to you too.