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Be not afraid

March 13, 2008

Last week I spent three posts describing the origins of my disbelief in the existence of a God, and the reasons that the idea of a God, and especially the Christian God, are completely unsatisfactory in the face of any rational consideration.

One thing that no one said but a few people hinted at was along the lines of “Look, it may not make sense. It may not be even true. But it helps people live better lives, so why not just let them have it?”

And my answer is: because it doesn’t. What religion does is make people live in fear.

In many cases, it’s fear of Hell. People live their lives stifling perfectly natural and healthy impulses and desires because they’ve been taught that they are engaging in “sin”. They flagellate themselves — sometimes literally — with guilt when they commit some act that they have been taught is sinful or immoral for no good reason. They deprive themselves of joy in this life on the promise of another life after this, yet still always have the gnawing fear that they may have done something wrong or aren’t quite good ENOUGH to curry God’s favor so they won’t be cast into the flames. This is not the way to live a better life.

It manifests in fear of others. Other people whose customs present a threat to your belief system and your sense of morality. If people were killing each other over whether Mother Goose or the Brothers Grimm were the true authority on morality, it would be madness. But when it’s “real” religion, suddenly it’s more serious and deserves more respect than that. Nothing that leads to fear and hatred deserves respect. That is not the way to live a better life.

It becomes a fear of new ideas. Every truth that you discover about the world, the universe, the nature of reality itself is almost certainly in contradiction to something that you are supposed to believe — you should believe that the sun revolves around the Earth, that insects have four legs, that all animals were created and lived simultaneously up until the flood. People are dying because of religious opposition to stem cell research. A potential human has, in some cases, more rights than an actual human.

Any idea that contradicts the “perfect Word of God” cannot be accepted and must be rejected out of hand, lest “Satan” take hold of one’s mind and draw someone away from the fold.

And ultimately, this boils down to fear of being insignificant. Fear that this is all there is. Fear that we are not worth anything unless someone else tells us so.

I have a friend, who I will not name, who once admitted to me that she knows that she is dependent on other people for her own sense of self-worth, that she is nothing without validation from people who care about her.

On another occasion, we were discussing religion (she’s a believer), and she said “Even if there was all the evidence that there was no God, and I knew logically that there wasn’t, I would still believe in God. And I’m not sure why.”

A loving presence that , despite being tasked with keeping the whole Universe running at once, cares about you individually and tells you that you matter in the grand scheme of things. The God-as-Santa that many people today “believe in”. And it seems obvious why it’s so important to her that God exist.

Put back-to-back like that, it seems obvious; but these conversations were weeks apart, and unless she reads this blog she may not make the connection at all.

When pressed, anyone who calls him or herself a believer cannot come up with logical reasons or evidence for believing as they do, they just believe it. When pressed further, the revealing word that starts to show up is “want”.

“I wouldn’t want to think that the people I love who die are gone forever.”

“I don’t want to feel like we’re alone in the universe.”

“I want to believe that there’s a higher power with a plan for all this stuff.”

Well, I’m sorry to say this but here’s a truth in life, truer than anything else: What you want, has no bearing on what is.

Read that again and make sure you understand it.

The fact that it dismays you to think that this is all there is doesn’t change the fact, if it is fact, that this is indeed all there is. And frankly, that shouldn’t dismay you. It should be a source of freedom.

If this is all there is then it’s idiotic to live one’s life trying to build credit for the next one. It’s here, and now, that’s important.

Religion takes away from the beauty and wonder of life by turning it into something manufactured, planned, understood even if not by us. If God created us, then we’re not really that special all-in-all; we’re a toy in his sandbox.

But if nothing created us, if we just came to be, then, to paraphrase Richard Dawkins, the fact that we have come to exist, and to exist at such a level as to question our own existence, when all the odds are stacked against us, is such a profound, moving realization, and one to instill such a deep appreciation and meaning into every precious moment of our fleeting time on Earth.

One of the most egregious faults of religion is taking credit away from humanity. People who suffer through illness, and credit God for their recovery are selling themselves short, selling all of humanity short when it is science, it is the beautiful brilliance that is human knowledge, that saved them.

People who throw off the shackles of an addiction and credit it to God are demeaning themselves. If there is no God interested and involved in human affairs — and there is no reason to believe that there is — then THEY broke the spell of their addiction. THEY had the strength and the will and the power to do it. When people give all the power to God they fail to recognize the power in themselves. It holds them back as individuals, and it holds us back as a species.

I went off on a long and very specific rant about the problem of amputees, and how if God existed he would answer the prayers of amputees, even if only occasionally, and we would have cases of people spontaneously re-growing limbs. But they don’t, because humans aren’t salamanders.

But then there’s this:

Humans DO have the capacity, in our genetic code, to regenerate limbs. We can do it when we’re young and if we were funding stem cell research — which the RELIGIOUS people are blocking funding to, remember — we could have that capacity. And it’s only a matter of time before the science gets there, U.S. government funding or not.

God didn’t do it. We did. To give up the praise for God, or to decide that you WILL pray for your arm to grow back now that Alan Russell has figured it out — but it won’t work without God’s intervention — is total bullshit. It’s a travesty of logic, and it completely misses the real miracle: WE did this. WE are figuring this out. WE are learning to understand, and may even learn to control, the very forces of the universe itself.

And if WE don’t learn to master our fear, and let go of the idea that someone smarter and more powerful than us will swoop in at the nick of time, show us how to do it right, and save us from ourselves, we will destroy ourselves.

Even on the off chance that God exists, we are coming to an age of power and technology where the true morality will be found only if we assume that he does not.

There are people who are unwilling to help stop global warming — not because they don’t believe it’s happening, but they believe that God put us in dominion over the Earth, that God wouldn’t let it get to the point that we wouldn’t survive because he promised us he wouldn’t, or that God will bring the Judgement Day before we get to that point.

We cannot live under the assumption that God will fix it, that God is in control. We must accept that nothing and no one is in control, and do our part to take control and make things work.

I picked global warming for my example but you see it time, after time, after time. There is too much at stake and the world is changing too fast to let first century mythologies inform twenty-first century humanity. Think of all the things we know today that we didn’t know even two years ago. And we’re supposed to believe that people TWO THOUSAND years ago knew jack-shit about the universe?

I’m begging you, WAKE UP.

Listen, I have no problem with people taking a philosophical stance on religion. If the Christ you were taught in Sunday school is an example you want to live up to, more power to you. That Christ isn’t Biblical — Christ was a mean, petty, misogynistic guy if you actually read the Gospels — but he’s a great role model. So is Luke Skywalker. Or maybe Frodo Baggins is your thing.

I understand the power and the value of mythology and fiction and storytelling. It helps us understand our own experience by watching someone else’s, even if they’re fictitious. I’m devoting my life to creating and wrestling with and understanding it.

But there is a reality, too. It’s easy to say “Well, Jesus was God, so of course he was good. No mere human could get there.” But we’ve had Martin Luther King, we’ve had Gandhi, we’ve had hundreds of people who could be true heroes and role models, and the idea that they are human and their strength comes from them — and the same strength lives in you — should lift you up beyond the fear and weakness of submitting yourself to the will of a fickle God.

You are beautiful. Life is beautiful. And you don’t need anything else but this life, right here and now, to have meaning.

A friend of mine who stopped believing in God recently, after a whole life of faith, confided in me that he is now afraid of death. This seems genuinely incomprehensible to me. If death is the end, then it is nothing to fear. It can’t harm you, it can’t bring you pain. As Mark Twain said, “I do not fear death, as I was dead for millions of years before I was born and have not suffered the slightest inconvenience for it.”

Death is nothing to fear; if there is anything to fear, it is not living life the to the happiest and fullest extent. Do not postpone joy. Happiness is a choice, and I urge you to make it right now, and for the rest of your life.

All of this has been a primer towards the subject of living free of the self-oppression that is religious thought and devotion. Other, smarter men have gone a lot farther into it than I, and I have used their arguments among my own. It is not my intention to plagiarize anything and I apologize if I have said anything that I have not properly credited, but my intention is more to get the ideas out there than to claim them as my own.

One of the reasons I did this myself was to get a broad overview, and potentially interest some people reading the blog to read further about a point I have made. It’s also to introduce the ideas outside of a context which might appear hostile — for example, you can find an expansion of some of my points in Dawkins’ The God Delusion, but the title may be offputting, and without an interest in the subject matter may never be read.

Some other resources to continue this “path to truth” for yourself:

Read the Bible: The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible is the full text of the KJV Bible, annotated and correlated to note all of the points that don’t make sense on their own, contradict other parts of the Bible, or are just plain abhorrent to common-sense morality, destroying the claim the morality comes from God/the Bible. I guarantee that the quickest path to apostasy is actually reading the “Good News”. You can also find some strong anti-apologetics, using the Bible as an indictment of religion, at Evil Bible.com

Check out some other blogs: The guy who compiled the SAB also runs a blog, Dwindling in Unbelief, highlighting particularly interesting (read: disturbing or absurd) Bible verses that most people don’t know because they’ve never actually read the Bible. There’s also The Godless Bastard, who is a lot less respectful than I’ve been (which should tell you something) but makes a lot of good points, at much greater length and detail than I have in this handful of posts on the subject.

And then, of course, there’s always the straightforward proofs at God Is Imaginary.

Please feel free to comment or e-mail me with other points of view, critiques of my argument, or good ol’ fashioned debate points. As for the blog, it’ll be going back to the “lighter” fare for a while.

17 Comments
  1. Rin permalink

    I don’t believe in God because I fear death, or Hell, or Satan or whatever. I believe in God because God calls me to be a better person. Too many people use the fact that we are “only human” as an excuse to say why they don’t stop smoking, or drinking, or drugs. Christ’s humanity was a role model to show that even being human should not limit us, perfection is attainable and just because we are human does not mean we can not aspire nay acquire that perfection. This could be an example of how God wants us to evolve.

    Religion may leave some people in fear, but not me, not my family. It empowers me, it reminds me that God is behind me, keeping me safe as I go through my day and cheering me on with each accomplishment I make, waiting until that day when I grow and evolve to come home to Him.

    Do I think that I’m special because I believe in God? No. But I do believe that God calls me to keep love and truth in this world safe, to help and defend not His image but what matters the most. His people. Us. All of us. HUMANITY. Made in his image. Every good person, be they Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jew, whatever. To stand with them as we make our way through the wonders of this world never forgetting that even if this world was a gift, its ours to care for and ours to help grow.

    That is what my faith in God is made up of. The rest, as a Rabbi friend of mine has always said, is details.

  2. Dorkman permalink

    Your second sentence, “I believe in God because God calls me to be a better person”, is tautological (circular).

    God calling you to be a better person presupposes a belief in God, because if there is no God he can obviously not call you to be a better person. So you cannot believe in God because he calls you to be a better person, when it is your pre-existing belief in God which informs your idea that he calls you to be a better person.

    From your explanation, it sounds like believing in God makes you feel better about yourself. I may be wrong, but when you say “[Religion] empowers me, it reminds me that God is behind me, keeping me safe as I go through my day and cheering me on with each accomplishment I make”, it sounds like you think that without believing in God, you would have none of those things. No empowerment, no safety, no one appreciating your accomplishments. Dare I say, it sounds like at some level you are afraid that if there is no God, you would hold no significance and no one would be looking out for you.

    “Christ’s humanity was a role model to show that even being human should not limit us”

    Until you get into the part where Christ was also God, in which case that doesn’t work, because he had to be God in order to be perfect, and is therefore unattainable.

    Unless he wasn’t God, never existed and is a fictitious ideal like Luke or Frodo, or all of us are God in the same way he was. Any one of which ultimately makes belief in a third-party God pointless, and comes back to believing in ourselves and each other.

    The rest of what you said is great, make no mistake. But it’s not coming from your belief in any God espoused by any of the Western religions. It’s coming from what you know is right and just, regardless of what any religion or religious representative says. If you remove your references to God, you’ve described Eastern philosophy, particularly Buddhism, to a T. And Buddhism doesn’t not believe in God, per se, they just think the question of whether God exists or not is irrelevant.

    The third-party God you believe in, who sits in the bleachers cheering you on and uses his magic to protect you when you get in trouble, is not revealed through any religion that exists, certainly not Christianity. In fact it sounds like you’re confusing God with Dumbledore.

    Which leads to two conclusions as far as I can see:

    1) You believe that you are special and that God has revealed himself exclusively to you, more fully and truly than he did even to the authors of the Bible, or any theologian of the last two millennia; or

    2) The God you believe in is one you have created in your image, to fit your worldview and the way that you believe you should live your life. He’s a security blanket when the going gets rough and otherwise he stays out of your way. He’s a God of convenience.

    It’s easy to remove that God from the equation, and you’ll notice that everything else about what you believe about the world and the meaning of your life remains the same. And besides, the God you believe in doesn’t care if people worship him specifically, as long as they’re good people and “worship him with their lives”, right? Different paths.

    So if that’s how God works, Pascal’s Wager works in reverse:

    It is better not to believe in God, live a good life, and be wrong, because God will forgive you, than to believe there is a God, live with that expectation, and be wrong, because you will never get a second chance at life. The atheist risks far less.

  3. Dorkman permalink

    On a related note, towards your comments on “evolving”, I highly recommend reading up on “transhumanism” if you haven’t already. It’s fascinating stuff.

  4. Rin permalink

    Oh I know about transhumanists. A web cam in my eye = awesome.

  5. Rin permalink

    Because I have a habit of digressing on discussions I need to beg your apologies in advance. I’ll do my best to stay on topic. Also when I talk about faith I mean what you classify as religious faith, which we can go over later.

    God calling you to be a better person presupposes a belief in God, because if there is no God he can obviously not call you to be a better person. So you cannot believe in God because he calls you to be a better person, when it is your pre-existing belief in God which informs your idea that he calls you to be a better person.

    Who says it was a pre-existing belief? I wasn’t always a theist, I experienced God at some point. I don’t remember the exact moment unlike yourself, but it happened. Belief in this case might better be explained as a choice to follow. But this discussion is more to the matter of the existence of God, so I’ll focus on that. Because lets face it, if God does exist, and is the Superman of our Justice League, then its obvious who’s side we would be on. The universe needs protection here. =p

    Because we are talking within limited confines of our reality if I just start off saying “God exists” then there is no foot hold. Lets just start off with the idea of God, leave the mystical element for later since the two realms don’t mix. The idea of a good God that has messages of kindness and love is a calling. By example Christ being kind shows me that I too can be kind and loving. Thus the idea of God calls me to be a good person.

    From your explanation, it sounds like believing in God makes you feel better about yourself. I may be wrong, but when you say “[Religion] empowers me, it reminds me that God is behind me, keeping me safe as I go through my day and cheering me on with each accomplishment I make”, it sounds like you think that without believing in God, you would have none of those things. No empowerment, no safety, no one appreciating your accomplishments. Dare I say, it sounds like at some level you are afraid that if there is no God, you would hold no significance and no one would be looking out for you.

    Nope, I would still be a strong person, still would be confident in my actions and be living my life. How do I know this? Because I was there, without faith in God, without any “empowerment” by God. You should know exactly what that feels like, you are going through it right now. I’m not saying that at some point you will “return” to God, just that you know exactly how it feels to be on your own. Not that different is it?

    Anyway I was not feeling that He was hindering my actions or “cursing” me because I wasn’t by his side mind you. Think of it like a parent wondering where I was and wishing that I was safe and would just come home. More of a priority on the former. I felt no need to come home, even bragged about how well I had it out on my own. But its not like God would deny my return. In a way this whole existence is like a child being out on their own, with worship being the occasional postcard or email saying “Hey God, how are you. I’m still here, hope you are well.”

    Until you get into the part where Christ was also God, in which case that doesn’t work, because he had to be God in order to be perfect, and is therefore unattainable.

    Who said the perfection would be attainable directly in this existence? I’m not talking about this existence as in Earth and Heaven. I mean existence as a planet dwelling, bipedal, oxygen breathing, partially hairless (some more than others) ape. Your anger at the human race for limiting itself is well placed, there is so much more we can strive for. The very act of STRIVING to perfection will yield nothing but good results, forget for a moment about reaching it. Now this requires a few things, primarily a well balanced sense of kindness, since many have strived to what they think is “perfection” and end up causing genocide.

    But again if we strive for it we will attain newer states of life.

    Heres where some of that Bible interpretation comes in. To the culture of that era, when all this stuff took place, the ability to communicate instantly across the internet, decode and study DNA and reach for the starts could sound a lot like life in another state of existance. Take that further to say what if the technology that the Covenant from the Halo games was to actually come about, (light bridges, faster than light travel) how would that look? Not like life on this rock for sure. It must be Heaven! Existence with God! Yep, never EVER gonna get that here, quick someone write that down.

    Unless he wasn’t God, never existed and is a fictitious ideal like Luke or Frodo, or all of us are God in the same way he was. Any one of which ultimately makes belief in a third-party God pointless, and comes back to believing in ourselves and each other.

    God calls us to that because there is so much that we CAN accomplish because we have each other, the human race as a family. On the road there, we will at some point cease to be the type of creature we are now thus evolving into….. I dunno. God like? into God?

    The third-party God you believe in, who sits in the bleachers cheering you on and uses his magic to protect you when you get in trouble, is not revealed through any religion that exists, certainly not Christianity. In fact it sounds like you’re confusing God with Dumbledore.

    I’m not confused. My view of God is not shaped solely on Christianity. Its shaped by all my studies. I am troubled by those who classify the Christian God as what is stated literally in the Bible as a way to disprove other trains of thought be they believers themselves or not. Especially when a good number of Christians believe that “the Bible is true and some of it actually happened.”

    You believe that you are special and that God has revealed himself exclusively to you, more fully and truly than he did even to the authors of the Bible, or any theologian of the last two millennia

    Ok, I’ll give you that, so some degree maybe I think I’m a bit special. But not because God chose me, but because I used the skills God gave me and made some connections of my own. That those theologians over the millennia just over thought the whole deal.

    The God you believe in is one you have created in your image, to fit your worldview and the way that you believe you should live your life. He’s a security blanket when the going gets rough and otherwise he stays out of your way. He’s a God of convenience.

    So what you are saying is there is no description of my god or at least any defined parameters of my god in any religious text? Is that my fault, or the fault of the Church which has failed to evolve its teachings with the times. The Church’s failure to evolve as an institution to guide people is not God’s fault. Never have I said that I believe in the Church first and God second.

    It is better not to believe in God, live a good life, and be wrong, because God will forgive you, than to believe there is a God, live with that expectation, and be wrong, because you will never get a second chance at life. The atheist risks far less.

    That is only true if your faith condemns you to a life of fear, tyranny and limits. My faith does not. For many their faith doesn’t either. As a Christian it is my responsibility to make sure my path does not turn completely into that. That means it is up to me and my fellow Christians to better our Church. It goes without saying there is a lot of work to do.

  6. Rin permalink

    Damn.

    Looking over my post I see several areas where I digress too much.

    Sorry, I should have cleaned up some things.

  7. Dorkman permalink

    Who says it was a pre-existing belief?

    You did. Your statement was “I believe in God because God calls me to be a better person.” The second half of the statement is not an explanation of the first half.

    It’s only after you accept the notion that God exists that his calling you to be a good person has any relevance. God calling you to be a better person does not explain why you believe in God; at best, it’s backwards.

    The idea of a good God that has messages of kindness and love is a calling. By example Christ being kind shows me that I too can be kind and loving. Thus the idea of God calls me to be a good person.

    Fine, but that still isn’t any sort of evidence that God exists, or any sort of reason to believe in God in the first place. I could say the same about Luke Skywalker, Frodo Baggins, or Santa Claus.

    Nope, I would still be a strong person, still would be confident in my actions and be living my life. How do I know this? Because I was there, without faith in God, without any “empowerment” by God. You should know exactly what that feels like, you are going through it right now. I’m not saying that at some point you will “return” to God, just that you know exactly how it feels to be on your own. Not that different is it?

    No, in fact, that’s precisely my point. If you don’t need God for that, by your own admission, then what is the point of God?

    So what you are saying is there is no description of my god or at least any defined parameters of my god in any religious text? Is that my fault, or the fault of the Church which has failed to evolve its teachings with the times. The Church’s failure to evolve as an institution to guide people is not God’s fault.

    It is no one’s fault, but it is a fact. And to argue that your God is more valid than the God of any other religion — without any concrete proof of his existence or logical argument besides “I like it that way — is to argue that there is no true God. It’s to argue that you can define what God is, which means you are God’s creator and not the reverse.

    You yourself have just argued, right here, that God should be whatever the culture thinks he should. You are arguing for creating God in the image of Man. You are arguing that no true God exists and anyone is capable of defining God to be whatever he or she thinks God ought to be.

    In other words, you are arguing my point.

  8. Rin permalink

    But are you trying to say that believing in God’s existence is bad?

  9. Dorkman permalink

    Is believing, as a grown adult, in the existence of Santa Claus “bad”?

    It’s absurd, especially when your version of Santa Claus doesn’t even bear a resemblance to anyone else’s conception of Santa Claus.

    If I told you I believe in the existence of an invisible fire-lizard that lives in my bookcase, and I really did believe that, would you consider that “bad”? Would you really be able to just say “to each his own” and allow me to live my life believing in the wisdom and power of the invisible fire-lizard? Could you as a friend really allow me to live with a belief that was clearly delusional? You’d at least mention, once or twice, that maybe I should “talk to someone” (aka a shrink) about it, right?

    Now, what if there were a hundred people who believed in the fire-lizard? A thousand? And let’s say I treat the fire-lizard as my buddy and don’t really let it rule my life, but other people do. Other people are killing and abusing and hating in the name of the fire-lizard.

    Are you going to let me say “They’re misusing the teachings of the fire-lizard for their own gain,” and accept that with understanding and compassion, or are you going to do what any rational person would do? Specificaly, stand up and say “There IS no fucking fire-lizard! There is no reason for anyone to believe that there is! This madness has to stop!”

    Even if YOUR belief in God isn’t generally harmful, because you only believe in a God that is good and kind and compassionate (despite the fact that there is no evidence that such a being exists), the belief in God is the cause of many of the world’s ills today, and it must be recognized that fighting and dying over a fairy tale is wrong, and is precisely the thing from which we must intellectually evolve as a species.

    The fact that one version of the fairy tale is warm and fuzzy makes it “bad” for me to criticize because it’s perceived as being helpful or, at the least, not harmful. But when you give person A, who is kind and compassionate, a pass on their beliefs, your hands are then tied when person B, who is a terrorist, destroys human life based on those same beliefs.

    If there is a God, then yes, frankly, it IS his fault that people misinterpret his words. I’m supposed to believe that he runs the universe and each person’s soul and well-being is important to him, yet he can’t make his meaning clear or prevent it from being changed by a translation error?

    Believing something that is untrue is a bad thing, if for no other reason than that it obscures the truth. So unless there is a genuine REASON to believe that God exists — and there is not — then yes. Believing in the existence of God, something that is untrue, is a bad thing.

  10. Rin permalink

    Believing in God (like your Lizzard) can motivate some people to goodness, where otherwise there would be none.

    Is the sins done in God’s name God’s fault, or man’s?

    If there was no belief in God, do you think man would have NO wars, no atrocities? Or would we find other things to kill in the name of?

    Would you attack those things then?

  11. Dorkman permalink

    Believing in God (like your Lizzard) can motivate some people to goodness, where otherwise there would be none.

    I don’t believe that for a second. I don’t believe that believing in God or a fire-lizard or anything else is necessary to motivate people to goodness. I believe that people are good and people want to do good, and if anything believing in a higher power gives them an excuse not to — as you said yourself in your very first comment.

    Is the sins done in God’s name God’s fault, or man’s?

    Man’s, obviously, because God does not exist and therefore nothing can be his fault.

    However, if God exists, they are God’s fault. Because he could stop them. Because he knew they would happen and allowed them anyway. Because if he is worth worship, then he should be in control, and he is not.

    If there was no belief in God, do you think man would have NO wars, no atrocities? Or would we find other things to kill in the name of?

    Probably there’d still be reasons to fight each other until inequality is eliminated. But I’ll tell you one thing: the ONLY thing that keeps the Palestinians and the Israelis fighting is religion. If they had no religion, there would be no fight.

    If al-Qaeda were not Muslim, I don’t see how they’d find a reason to attack us since we wouldn’t be an affront to their God.

    I believe there would still be fighting, but its amount and its intensity would reduce by at least 60% instantaneously when people realize there is no us vs them, no chosen vs damned. Religion is THE great divider.

    Would you attack those things then?

    Fuck YES I would. Anything that causes human misery and suffering deserves to be attacked and eradicated. Do you not agree?

  12. Rin permalink

    Anything? Then what of those who are moved to good things and are comforted by God?

    How would you talk to them?

  13. Dorkman permalink

    Anything? Then what of those who are moved to good things and are comforted by God?

    How would you talk to them?

    That’s exactly what I have been doing this last week.

    If there is no God, then believing there is doesn’t make it so. Which means that those who find the will to do good are moved by their own spirit, not God. Those who are comforted are comforted by their inner strength and resolution, not God. They are demeaning themselves and their potential to imagine that these things come from God when in fact it comes from themselves.

    Ultimately, you’re not talking about “believing in” God. You’re talking about “liking the idea of” God. And that’s fine. I personally like the idea of flying like Superman. But I recognize the line between the ideas I like and the reality of experience.

  14. Dorkman permalink

    look there is soooo much shit happening in the world right now, and the last thing we fucking need is a fight over religion.

    All of that shit happening in the world right now is, in large part, BECAUSE of religion. How can we have a solution when you don’t want to address the problem?

    A fight over religion is what we fucking HAVE already, and that’s the whole problem and the whole point of what I’ve written the last week.

  15. Dorkman permalink

    First of all, besides the fact that it’s not great form to push your agenda on someone else’s blog, I’d like you to show your sources regarding your stats that 20-30 kids die a week due to bullying. Because it sounds like you’re pulling it out of your ass. Especially since your blog post on the subject quotes 16-20, also without citing a source. So which is it and where are you getting these numbers?

    Second of all, don’t pull out that “no judging” crap. You judge people all the time. You’re judging the beliefs of bullies (that it’s okay to abuse those they deem deserving) and calling it “wrong”, aren’t you?

    By your logic, their belief that you deserve to get beat up is valid, and you should respect what they believe. But we both know that’s bullshit. Some beliefs are bad, do not deserve respect, and need to be spoken out against. That’s what you’re doing, that’s what I’m doing.

    Yes, bullying is bad. But religion is the biggest bully in the world’s playground. For every kid you can show me who committed suicide over bullying, I can show you at least 10 people who have died over religious bigotry and ignorance. The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials, the daily conflicts in the Middle East, the events of 9/11 — and that’s only counting the “mainstream” religions, not including fringe religions like Scientology, or suicide cults like Heaven’s Gate or Branch Davidians.

    Religion is bullying. And bullying at every level ought to be stopped, don’t you think?

  16. RhysFletcher permalink

    (sent my final msg to you on MySpace)

  17. *_*Antoine*_* permalink

    The concept of God and religion is something I never try to touch because it gets people too emotional and honestly, if someone does want to believe in Him and that makes them happy one should not stop that, honestly. Even if they do it out of fear. I’ve seen some religious folk live our fantastic lives that they wouldn’t be able to live without that backing of a Lord and Saviour. Just another way of living.

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