Cornered in this way, the pope had to accept that the real problem was: “We are not concerned whether the earth goes around, or the sun. Our concern is that even if one sentence in the Bible is found to be wrong, the whole credibility of the Bible goes. Then it is not a work of God. God is infallible, God cannot commit such a mistake. He made the earth, he made the sun, and he does not know who goes around.
“The point is that one sentence proved wrong will create doubt about the whole authenticity of the Bible, so we cannot allow you to create this doubt in people’s minds.”
Galileo was very old, almost on his deathbed. He had been dragged from his deathbed to the court of the pope. He said, “I don’t want to get into any unnecessary trouble. I am already dying. So I will cancel the sentence.” And he must have been a man of a great sense of humor. He canceled the sentence. But in a footnote he wrote, “Although I am canceling this sentence, the fact is that the earth goes around the sun. They are not going to listen to me, and they don’t follow any religion and they are not Christians.”
Certainly the earth is not Christian, neither is the sun Christian. And certainly whoever wrote the Bible is not omniscient, is not infallible.
Hundreds of facts have been found in these three hundred years after Galileo which go against the Bible, which go against the Koran, which go against the Vedas…which go against every religious scripture in the world. All these holy scriptures are full of common sense, not of any scientific inquiry, nor of any spiritual inquiry.
It is so strange to read the holy scriptures. They look such rubbish that even newspapers seem to be more important. And if God is writing, or his special messengers are writing these scriptures, they cannot be counted sane.
My whole understanding is that all these prophets and messiahs and avataras and tirthankaras – the founders of all the religions – are basically megalomaniacs, great egoists. This is the greatest ego in the world, that you are related with God in a manner nobody else is related.
That’s why Jesus excludes the idea that there is another son, another brother to him, or another sister. God has only one begotten son and that is Jesus Christ. Why does Mohammed close the doors – “I am the last prophet of God; now there will be no more prophets coming. So the holy Koran is the final message from God; no correction can be made in it.” But he himself corrected it, and he himself accepted that he was inspired by the devil.
Religions have been repressing truths, and now it is time that the truth should be declared, freedom should be declared, individuality should be declared. Man has lived under slavery long enough. The night has been too long; a new dawn is needed. A new man is needed, a new humanity is needed, and that humanity necessarily needs all these so-called religions to disappear from the earth.
They are having their last breaths, so your question is exactly right. The same is the case with a candle going out – having a last final spurt of energy before it splutters into extinction.