Some people berated me for my Post yesterday. But I stand by it.

Allahu Akbar

Some people berated me yesterday, after my otherwise trenchant post in the wake of the Paris bombings, when they thought that I tacked on an observation about how there is no God. They felt it was gratuitous and unnecessary.

But it wasn’t gratuitous and unnecessary. It was the whole point. “Allahu Akbar” is not true. God is not Great. God is not at all. That part wasn’t an aside to yesterday’s post. It was the point of yesterday’s post.

  1. People need to get out of their comfort zone when it comes to belief in God.

I recognize that belief in God provides a great many people a great degree of comfort. And even if I could, I would be very hesitant to remove that source of comfort from anyone.

But anyone who has ever been to a personal growth workshop knows that people are constantly being advised to step out of their comfort zone. They are advised that no growth can occur while in your comfort zone.

And the problem is this: as comforting as belief in God is, it’s still a grand delusion. It may be a beautiful delusion, but it’s still a delusion. Perhaps what people need to be is massively uncomfortable for a long period of time, so that they can appreciate the magnitude of the delusion.

And the delusion takes many unfortunate forms, such as the belief – and I don’t really know how else to phrase this – of these motherfuckers in Paris, who really believe that there is a God anywhere who would approve of, bless, or reward their slaughter of innocent civilians.

  1. The only proof of God’s Existence is the belief in God. No other proof exists.

The only “proof” of God’s existence is the number of people who seem to have acquired their belief in God – a belief with which they are not “born,” but which they really do have to acquire along the way. Other than people’s belief in God, there is no independent verifiable proof that God, several Gods, many Gods, a cornucopia of Gods, or any God exists. “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence,” as Hitchen’s Razor prognosticates.

As anyone who has ever argued with a believer knows, the believer will always assert that you have to begin with faith.

Why?

Because there is nothing else that would lead you to a belief in God than beginning with faith.

Again, I recognize how comforting having faith is, but the problem with faith is that, by definition, it is belief without evidence.

  1. I would rather know the Truth than be Deluded.

If you believed – because some Shaman had prognosticated – that you were going to live to be a thousand years old, whereas you actually had a case of terminal cancer that was going to end your life within six months, would the belief in the thousand years be comforting?

Of course! But it would also be a massive delusion.

I’d rather know what I’m facing: six months or so, and a clear time line to get my life in order before I die.

And so it is with existence, generally. I would rather know the truth than be deluded.

Now, before you philosophy students take me apart, I know that truth is relative and not absolute. There are, of course, degrees of truth and degrees of delusion. But belief in God is not a small delusion. It’s a massive delusion. In this, the 21st century, where we know so much about the Universe – it’s approximate size, scope, duration, and incomprehensible complexity – to believe in a sentient God who cares about each of us individually and will bring us to an afterlife that is bifurcated between absolute good and absolute bad, is just childish. I’m sorry, my friends, it’s just childish.

And it’s time that we all grow up.

About a1skeptic

A disturbed citizen and skeptic. I should stop reading the newspaper. Or watching TV. I should turn off NPR and disconnect from the Internet. We’d all be better off.
This entry was posted in Culture, Religion and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Some people berated me for my Post yesterday. But I stand by it.

  1. Isabeau D'anjou 1981 says:

    Well said. I heard a comment the other day about, in this case, the Christian belief, and how when having a discussion about why bad things happen (drought, poverty, rape, child abuse) the Christian will eventually resort to a statement such as: its all in God’s plan. The person relating this then explained that when a Christian says this, they are actually saying “I’m done thinking”.
    So well written, well said, a1! Religious ideology has caused more confusion, pain and suffering over centuries than anything else… it is indeed time that humanity grew up and stopped its magical, childish thinking.

  2. Wow, this is deep stuff! You write your opinions well, and it’s an interesting read.
    http://www.thedatebookblog.wordpress.com

  3. Interesting blog, however I firmly believe that the use God and religion as a pretext to do what they want to do anyway, which is destroy and kill. But even they need to justify their atrocious acts to themselves and others and doing so by using their religion and the concept of the ‘other’ because again, it makes it easier to perpetrate violence if someone is perceived as different and therefore ‘deserving’ of death, rape, torture etc.

  4. Religion turns out to be a gateway to hatred of life. Perhaps it’s time to declare it a psychosis and search for a cure. The physicians are likely to be creative artists …

    • Isabeau D'anjou 1981 says:

      ‘delusions of grandure/grandiose delusions’ … ‘paranoid schizophrenia’ … might already be a few medical labels that match. An Oxford University neurologist Kathleen Taylor said in “The Brain Supremacy” that religious fundamentalism may soon be an identifiable “mental disorder”… maybe even
      curable as an illness.

  5. Could not have said it any better. Religion has literally been the ruin of society for thousands of years now. Whatever about those ancient civilizations that couldn’t have possibly known any better, that is understandable but what really gets me is the fact that we who live in the twenty first century, even in the supposedly developed Western world, we sting cling on to this security blanket of faith. I often wonder, if I had the power to round up a figure of all those who have died at the hands of religion throughout time, would they listen. But then I remember that this is part of the ideology. This twisted yet glorified ideal within all religions that would have us believe we should welcome death with open arms as the ultimate prize of eternal life outweighs the sacrifice. I am in no way hopeful that we will ever completely rid the world of religion, yet I do hope for a world that will eventually be able to separate faith from reason. Otherwise, what was the point in evolution, we’d be better off as apes still.

    • jakester48 says:

      Mags, that goes too far. Yes, great evils have been, and are daily, perpetrated in the name of religion, but religion has also been, and is daily, a force for good in the world. Religion requires faith, but they are not interchangeable terms, despite their common usage as such. As has been pointed out in other posts on this thread, people of no religion may still rely on faith for other beliefs that they hold, perhaps because those beliefs cannot be sustained, at least currently, by evidence or reason.

      • Hi Jake, I’m sorry but I disagree. While I understand that there are always going to be two sides to the spectrum, (the inherently good, and the abhorrently bad) it goes farther than this. People who are or were truly good in their time were and continue to be people of logic and reason. While of course they may also be people of faith, religious faith, no person is truly good or does good things because of a God that would terrify them into believing they must. Religion does not determine humanity, or moral principle. Yet it allows and for the most part encourages people to believe that they are superior, immortal. It gives them the sense that they not only have the moral right but the moral duty to judge and persecute those unlike them. I realize that everyone is different, believe me I do. And that mass amounts of religious people go about their lives every day peacefully.But its the ideological thinking that scares me. The sense that ‘I will be saved’ and you ‘will be damned.’ Whether you are the most peaceful person on earth or not, if you see yourself as special in the eyes of God, that is a dangerous ideology. I’m not claiming to know anything for sure, (I am not in fact a messiah who can speak to anyone from up above or down below) but that is what is so liberating about not having religion. Anything is possible. If we didn’t have scientists who believed this way in the past, there would be no innovation, no curiosity of the planet. We have learned more about our earth from these people than any of the Joseph Smith’s, Prophet Mohammad’s, or Jesus Christ’s of this world. And they are the only ones who can wake us up to the real dangers we have put ourselves in ( eg, Global warming.) I’m not trying to attack the word ‘faith’ either. I realize it is one of those words that has been stretched out over the years to mean a lot of things. But If faith means belief, then you might say I have faith in science rather than religion which I would then say I do not because I do not believe in science. Science is fact. Religion, at least the written texts is fiction. I wouldn’t say that faith is fiction, because it is a belief, an opinion that we don’t know the answer to. I would however say that it is not something that can be used to justify action and reason.

  6. a1skeptic says:

    Hello everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I have been reading your commentaries, and while I’m not going to respond to them individually at this time, I really appreciate the thoughtfulness with which you have added your voices to mine.

  7. Hi Skeptic,
    You say that belief in God provides comfort to a lot of people. I believe in God and I would absolutely not equate that walk to one of earthly comfort and peace. To believe in God is to relinquish control over our base, human faculties in order for the divine to work through us. This is not comfortable. To walk with God is to suffer and to be persecuted, by Satan, by our own minds, and by others. This belief often does go against what makes sense, which is why so many people who haven’t chosen the path are bewildered by it. So, it is not comfortable, but expiating and joyous.

    • Isabeau D'anjou 1981 says:

      Satan, son of the morning, a fallen angel, a lost child who just wants to go home. Seems that this God of Muslims and Christians and Jews cares little for his own children just as he cares little for his creations (all creatures on this Earth). I love the stories in the Bible, the Quran, The Torah… and I respect your faith, your passion, your commitment, gospelisosceles, but your story about the path you have chosen I can see no more differently than the faith I have that if I work hard enough and put up with enough s**t, then my boss will reward me with a payrise and a nice desk. I believe in the beauty of the sky, and the challenges of family, and living with suffering in different ways. But I do not need a deity to credit or blame – these are stories and structures we place around ourselves to help us get through and even enjoy each day. Take care, Is.

  8. Luanne says:

    Totally agree with what you say. The world would be such a better place without religion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s