Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thoughts on Atheists

I actually thought this week was going to be a quiet blog week, because I'm still working on the relics post, I kind of want to write about the book I'm reading, but I'm dog sitting, so I haven't been able to concentrate on it to really do the material justice, and Christmas, so, crazy family stuff. And yet, here I am.

So, atheists. Every so often you'll get one who spouts a line about how, 'if you need religion to tell you right from wrong, there's something wrong with you!' or 'if you need God to tell you that murdering/raping/stealing is wrong' or 'if all that's keeping you from doing X, then you're a sociopath!'. And, to a certain degree, I agree with them.

If the *ONLY THING* keeping a person from committing some sort of heinous crime is fear of God's punishment, then there *is* something wrong with them. And I'm not talking about things that are considered a moral wrong, but not a violent crime, like adultery, for example, (it's bad, and adulterers should be dragged over sharp glass and then dumped in the ocean, but it's not - to my mind - as bad as murder or rape) but *crimes* - if the only thing keeping you from walking over to your neighbor and stabbing them is fear of God, seek help. You have ISSUES, and possibly a psychosis. On the other hand, if the only thing keeping some nut job from doing this stuff is fear of God, then thank God for their fear of God!

And another thing:

So many atheists will ask, 'what if you die and discover you've been wrong, and there was never a God? Won't you feel you've wasted your life? What about all the things you didn't do because of God?'

To which I say, 'Well, if you're right, when I die I'm not going to 'discover' anything, because I'll be *gone*, and have no consciousness left to discover anything at all...' But also, so what? Let's just say, theoretically, that we're *all* wrong, and the atheists are right, and there is no God. This whole, existence thing is just a mistake of the universe. So? Does my believing that there is a God and that He wants me to do a, b, c, and not to do x, y, z, make the world a better or a worse place? (And I know some atheists will say *worse*, but I don't care. I think atheism makes the world worse, so there you go.) If I die, and I've 'wasted my life' obeying a Being that doesn't really exist, so what? It makes my life better. It makes me strive to be a better person. So...I see no down side.


  1. I agree with you. There really isn't a huge downside to it. Only downside is those who feel they need to punish others for not believing in God in the EXACT same way they do...and the preachers in the subways >_<

  2. Does my believing that there is a God and that He wants me to do a, b, c, and not to do x, y, z, make the world a better or a worse place?

    Depends entirely on what abc and xyz are. There are a lot of abcs and xyzs that cut across many religions and ethical systems, and you won't find much disagreement if "a" is, say, "feed the poor" and "x" is "don't steal". The problems come in if "a" is something like "execute homosexuals" or "x" is "only treat your child's illness with prayer."

    (Strictly speaking, if atheists are right, all that means is that gods don't exist. Atheism per se says nothing about what happens after death; some atheists in India believe in reincarnation, for example).

  3. LK,

    Which'd be why I don't think religious leaders should be involved with politics at all. And laws shouldn't be based on religious thought. There's way too much possibility (almost certainty in many cases) for abuse.

  4. Brian,

    Depends entirely on what abc and xyz are...The problems come in if "a" is something like "execute homosexuals" or "x" is "only treat your child's illness with prayer."

    True, I was only thinking of the benign issues that affect only the individual believer. I sort of work under the assumption that things which are patently stupid, to say the least, would be stopped by the secular powers and reasonable people. I know that's not always true, but it should be. My brain is sometimes an idealistic place.

    If (to use your examples) you believe that homosexuals should be executed, you should be locked away in a very small hole, but then, that goes for anyone who wants to wipe out any other group of people based solely on their gender, color, sexual identity, whatever. And if you think that you should refuse to have your child treated and instead pray over them, you should have that child removed from your custody, and placed somewhere where they will be given the treatment they need.

    Now, if you're an adult and you want to refuse medical treatment because of a religious conviction, then it's just your life on the line, and more power to you. But you don't have the right to do that to another person.

    Hmmm...interesting. I'd always assumed that a rejection of a creator deity (or really any kind) went hand in hand with a rejection of any sort of afterlife. I can almost see how that would work with reincarnation, something along the lines of 'energy is neither created nor destroyed', but what about other forms of afterlife? Or would it just be something about traveling to another plane/universe/etc?

  5. Belief in something bigger than ourselves is so natural, and psychologically beneficial. This is perhaps an argument for its truth. In any case, as you say, it doesn't matter if it's not true really as long as it's good for us.

  6. Wrestling,

    Given that every society, ever, has had some idea of deity, of something greater than themselves, I feel it has to be natural to humanity.

  7. Enjoyed this! I thought you were going to counter the atheists who ask what if God were not real and you "discover" this in your next life and find out its been a waste. To them -- "what happens when you die and you realize there WAS a Creator and you are accountable to Him?" Personally I'd be more afraid of that than being reincarnated into a rat or something. If I am, I am. *squeak*

    Glad you found time to post!

  8. Susanne,

    True, but that's not my first reaction/response.

    Hmm...if reincarnation is true, then I hope to come back as a shark. I need no reason! :)

    *offers rat-Susanne cheese* :)

  9. Hi Amber, I have actually been asked this at work by the ladies. I am sure they havent ever had any religious instructions in their life and think women like Amy Winehouse and Britany Spears are idols and role models for life

    By keeping the comandments and by following scripture, even if as others say there isnt a higher being.... They are guidelines for leading a clean life. Dont steal, dont kill, do not commit adultery.

    And then you have the other things like in the old testament, dont eat shell fish or pork. Again, when this was written they didnt have refridgeration. So it all is a way of keeping you on the straight and narrow and not killing yourself, or another in one way or another.

    So the answer to all the nay-sayers.

    If I lead a good clean life and hurt no other, How is that wrong?

    And if I find out that there isnt anything after, I wont be disappointed.

    But if I didnt believe, and did things to hurt others,and then there is something out there as a higher power... well the thought of what could be to come doesnt bare thinking about.

    Also I read somewhere that there is scientific data to prove that people of faith live longer. have lower stress levels. This maybe due to prayer, by letting go of your problems in prayer and talking it through, giving your problems to God, it reduces stress. And that can only be good for you right? and cheaper than a shrink.

    win win.

    Hope you had a lovely Christmas.

  10. Slice,

    Oh, very nice. I agree with everything you said. :)


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