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- Atheism & Agnosticism
No God, Sorry
Well, friends, I've finally had enough of the inanity of trying to justify the existence of an omniscient, all-knowing, all-seeing powerful and judgmental god that cares about us on an individual basis.
Many a Bible-toting friend has told me, we are not to question god's motives -- that he has a plan for everyone -- even if we don't understand it.
After the latest massacre of school children by a single assailant with undetermined objectives, I can say that no controlling creationist who demands our love but shows us the short end of the stick, is worth following -- even if you can somehow piece together enough flotsam to keep your psyche attuned to the so called "holy scriptures."
Unless god is a personal god -- an entity who cares about each one of his creations, then he either doesn't exist or has a sadistic mind set. There is too much evidence of evil in the world to hold onto this worn-out axiom of an all-powerful being. To hold to the notion seems puerile and blind.
For many years I gave religious doctrine the benefit of the doubt and remained a kind of agnostic, but now I'm fed up. I can no longer subscribe (even in part) to the liturgy, to the entire mythology of Christianity. Sucked up into this vortex goes all other religions of which I am familiar.
The way I see it is that a few early Christians concocted the basic comic book of god and Christ, which eventually went through an edit that eliminated all the agnostic chapters and then went through other re-writes to fit the necessities of the church -- which for decades was not just a religious institution but the government itself. Since almost no one could read or write, this was a pretty easy scam.
The technicalities of how/why Christian dogma became the dominate force over Western humanity for a thousand years is egregious, sad and inexcusable. Our advancement as a species was stultified during this long, dark period. New ideas, inventions, insights were regarded as blasphemy. And this outlook alone should be sufficient evidence that the church is not interested in knowledge and enlightenment, ergo, it wants you to remain a brainless rat in a psychological cage.
The other argument I get from my religious converts is that we are incapable of judging god based on the happenings here on Earth. That is the most flimsy of excuses I have ever heard. If we have no "right" to weigh god's actions or non-actions then we are not using the full capacity of our brains -- either out of fear or basic horse sense.
Boldly Marching into the Future
For me, now, there is nothing to discuss, nothing to argue. A humanistic god would not allow the sorrows we know to smother this planet. If god is incapable of intervening in the affairs of man, well, he is of no use to us. The mythology of Jesus is useful in that it gives a basic moral background by which we should conduct our lives and how we should treat our brothers. But, even with this guidance, it does not placate the tremendous suffering of human beings. No heavenly reward will forgive us now for wasting the time we have in the world we know.
I know that for many thousands, the gospels provide a concrete way of marching forward into the future, but, sadly, I have to regard them as mentally immature, uncomplicated, non-dialectic, and basically lost without a moral compass. My greater feeling goes out to people like myself who have to navigate through the forest using a code that we've inherited from family, friends, counselors. Without a primer, discerning between right and wrong is not a black and white confrontation. It requires the individual to make his/her own stand based on common sense, humanity, and decency. Absent primers, a network of mind-programmers, such decisions do not come easily, and when we make an error in judgment, we suffer the full weight of its consequences. No one or no thing is leading us, and that isn't easy. We do as much "soul searching" as anyone connected with a religion, and when our decisions turn out to be wrong, we bear the full weight of it. We cannot excuse our decisions by saying they were influenced by acts of god.
The Religious Psychos
Anyone who is not capable of taking this responsibility onto their own shoulders is simply an infantile coward. People such as myself have been quiet for far too long. We have a responsibility for calling a spade a spade. Having no desire to undermine the belief system of so many humans, we've sat on the sidelines and let the circus go on year after year, millennium after millennium. And this has really been a cowardly or a blase attitude to one of the most fundamental channels of belief for our species. The mind of human kind must wake up from this deep torpor that has gripped it for a few thousand years. Under the aegis of doing god's work, saving souls, what have you, the majority of people are keeping our species from developing from subservient subjects to the masters of our own fate. Some hell-bent Christians are literally salivating at the thought of the Rapture and Armageddon.
To keep this psycho-thinking in check, it is incumbent upon us -- scientists, the literate, the religiously disenfranchised, and just plain old common-sense thinking people not to muffle their objections to these destructive flights of fancy. For an unknown period we have held our tongues -- either out of generosity or subterfuge, but I believe this is not a sensible way to proceed. I sense that the only way to adjust the tide is by showing that non-believers can get along just fine without divine intervention. Most certainly, we do not have answers to the big questions of life -- not yet anyway, but give us some time, and we just may figure out a few things (in a certifiable/provable fashion) much of which heretofore has been regarded as supernatural. Physics is by no means a religion -- it just helps us figure out where we are and how we got here.