The Legacy of the Imagined Benefactor
All religion claims that their god embodies "omni" qualities, such as omnipotence and omnipresence and omniscience. So we should see God doing all sorts of things, shouldn’t we? For those who've bought into the delusion, they THINK that they DO see "God's hand" in everything. Oh what a truly confused lot indeed.
The primitive people who first thought up religion saw "God's hand" in everything, too. From volcanic eruptions to lightning strikes, it was all the work of "God" or "the gods" who later dwindled down for most to a single deity. They offered blood and flesh "sacrifices" of beasts and humans alike to appease these gods in the hopes of winning their favor and to stop nature from following its own course. The foolishness of this is something that most of us agree upon now as we are able to look back on our past. But some stubbornly hold to such notions and claim their god has sent destruction by natural disaster to their religious enemies. This is the legacy of death that they have thrust upon their imaginary benefactor. Because of this, when we ask what God has done for mankind, we can answer: "He has brought death and hatred."
If "God is Love", then Ice Cream is a Meteor
The phrase "God is love" is a very popular one. It's on t-shirts and bumper stickers and even up on billboards, but that doesn't make it true in the least. In fact, there are few statements that are LESS TRUE. If we are willing to look critically at the world around us, it is painfully obvious that IF a "god" exists at all, that god either hates us or flat out doesn't give two shits about us. The other alternative is that no god exists at all and the world is a shitty place because WE LET IT BE. And that, my friends, is a hard notion for the religious to swallow, because it means their gods aren't the omnipotent beings they believe them to be.
This is the only real "burden" of atheism. It calls for one to take full responsibility for their actions. There is no guiding hand to lay the blame upon and no "divine" plan that relieves us of our obligation to act humanely and justly to all people. But it's a "burden" and a "blessing" as well, because it also means that we get to own all the pride in our own achievements as well. There is no guilt associated with that pride for us because we know there is no “sin” to trouble our mind. Religious people do not get to enjoy taking pride in their own accomplishments because according to their various doctrines all “glory” belongs to their god. They fail to see that this idea that God gets all the glory is like a father whose son does all the hard work on a science fair project and wins first prize, but then his dad comes over and says “Since I put my penis in your mother’s vagina a few years ago and that made you, now everything that you do that is note-worthy and a wonderful accomplishment belongs to me. So hand over the trophy, you little snot-nosed brat.” The worst part of that idea is the fact that God is an absentee parent, like a father who walked out on his family years ago… BUT HE STILL EXPECTS TO BE INVITED TO THANKSGIVING DINER! Ask anyone who’s had a parent walk out on them how they feel about that idea and I’m sure you’ll get an earful.
God is Present in all Things all the Time, it just SEEMS like he isn’t there at all…
This is the religious argument for a case that God exists:
- First, ASSUME that God does exist because someone wrote a book once.
- Secondly, ASSUME that although God exists, he isn’t big on making flamboyant gestures.
- Third, when confronted with the idea that your holy book says that God used to be very active in the lives of humanity but seems suspiciously absent now, state that God does what he wants so they should just shut up.
- Fourth, when confronted with the idea that God is portrayed in their holy books as a genocidal, narcissistic asshole, who is the epitome of hubris, tell them that they are just humans and can’t understand “God’s will.” He exists outside of the physical world, so we can’t judge him by human standards.
If none of that makes sense to you, that’s why you’re an atheist. It all falls apart at the point where you must first ASSUME that God exists. If God is all-powerful as they claim, I shouldn’t need to ASSUME a damn thing. As an atheist I make NO assumptions about such things. I evaluate ALL situations using logic and reason to make a rational decision. I look to science to provide answers as to HOW we got here and where we’re heading, not WHY we are here because that is an existential and philosophical question which honestly has a different answer for each of us. But when it comes to knowing HOW science is the only place that offers any real substantial truth on the matter.
The sun is not the work of God, it’s a nuclear reactor sitting in the void of space expending light and heat during the chemical process of converting various gases into fuel energy in order to continue its own “life-cycle.” If I believed it was just the work of God, then I would have to also believe that the melanoma that UV rays can cause IS ALSO the work of God. But that would also leave us looking to God for a cure to that cancer, and NOTHING would come from that except death. It is not any great accomplishment to seem invisible, and if God chooses to appear invisible, then we may as well consider that God non-existent whether that is true or not. Why? Because we can’t rely on that invisible being to do anything to help us.
What has God Done for YOU Lately?
So the most important question we can ask ourselves is, “What has God done for me lately?” And unless you can say that God literally came into a plane that was crashing and spirited you straight into your living room unharmed, the HONEST answer to that question is NOTHING. “God” does nothing. It is all up to you to do for yourself. If you are unhappy, don’t pray about it, go do something about it. Take an introspective look inside yourself and identify what it is making you unhappy and change that thing. Sure, you might need to seek some outside help to do that, but the idea of an invisible fairy in the sky making it all better is just a silly idea.
In the end, I can give all the same old arguments that we as atheists give against God and religion. I can list all the similarities between all religious myths and their commonality. I can point out the great harm that is facilitated by religion. But most of that has already been stated time and again and it quite often fails to sway the most devout of believers. So what I want to offer, and what I want anyone who reads this to take away from it is this:
I don’t care if you are religious or not. I don’t want to destroy anyone’s faith. I simply want everyone to understand that if we want to thrive and succeed as a species, we have to ALL start putting humanity first. Because the only being we can count on to be there and do for us is ourselves.