Kopimism is a new religion that was officially recognized as a church in Sweden in 2011. You can read the work in progress Kopimism Level 1: The Creation here.
Richard Dawkins is an evangelist for an atheist and scientifically based worldview, as opposed to religion. In his book The God Delusion, he totally trashes God, at least the Christian god that we are used to (and the related variants within Judaism and Islam). The God Delusion is a sharp and funny book, and an excellent starting point for thinking about religions.
We can look at how the Kopimist faith would stand up to the criticism that Dawkins levels against all religions (even though most of his examples are from Christianity).
To start with, Dawkins dislikes the idea of God as the creator of the universe. He doesn’t think it makes sense, and he’s right: it doesn’t. The creation myth in the Old Testament, which is shared by Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, is severely illogical.
If God created the world, then he must have been even more complicated than the world he created, and must have existed before the creation. Where did he come from?
Instead of having to explain how the world came into being, we now have to explain how something even more complicated did. Thanks a lot, but that’s not much of a help. Here, Dawkins is absolutely right. This is the wrong direction.
But the Kopimist creation myth, how would it stand up to Dawkin’s criticism of the Old Testament?
The Kopimist creation myth begins:
In the beginning, the world was a stinking mess of ammonia, methane gas, and nasty toxic chemicals. The atmosphere was alight with flashes of pure energy. Something wanted to be born.
In ways and for reasons that remain to be explored, the ribosomes appeared, who could copy. This was the beginning of Life. We therefore see Copying as the first manifestation of the Divine Spirit.
What would Dawkins have to say about this?
Kopimism avoids the problem of having to explain where God came from, since he or she hasn’t entered the story yet. There is a manifestation of a Divine Spirit, so we suspect there may be a God lurking around somewhere, but since s/he hasn’t appeared yet, we don’t need to concern ourselves with where s/he came from, at leas not yet. So far, everything is okay according to strictly scientific atheist principles. God does not yet exist.
The only prerequisite is an Earth in primeval state, but it is assumed to have appeared in the customary way.
Here we have a well defined starting point that Kopimism and Science can agree on. This is not a demand that Dawkins explicitly makes, but I think it will please him anyway. The main theme of The God Delusion is how poorly (the Abrahamic) religions fit with science.
Kopimism does better. Before the story has even started, we have already found a connecting point that fits perfectly with both the proposed religion and with science.
The Kopimist creation myth in itself is perhaps not enough to make Kopimism qualify as a religion. A religion should have a little more than just a creation myth to offer. As mentioned, we haven’t actually seen any Kopimist God yet, and this is a demand that at least Dawkins makes.
But the creation myth at least provides a starting point for a religion that doesn’t immediately run into any of the inconsistencies that Dawkins point out in other religions.
This is a good starting point for Kopimism, I think Dawkins would agree.
We then add the four fundamental principles, the Four Kopimist K’s of Kreativity, Kopying, Kooperation, and Kwality. It is true that these additions constitute metaphysics rather than science (since there isn’t a lot of scientific data to back them up, at least not yet). But the addition is nevertheless done in the same way that new scientific theories are added to the body of existing science, by adding the hypotheses that these Four Fundamental Principles represent important aspects of the universe we live in.
There is no conflict between recognizing that science is valid and believing that Creativity, Copying, Cooperation, and Quality are forces that exist and drive evolution on. Kopimism suggests an addition to science, not a replacement for it.
I hope Richard Dawkins would find this to be and acceptable religion, even from his perspective.
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CC-BY-NC Christian Engström