- Religion and Philosophy»
- Atheism & Agnosticism
The Many Quotes of Famous Figures Regarding "Religion"
Is God Actually Perfect?
The perfection of god is an issue nearly all religious standpoints agree on. God, according to those religious standpoints, should be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. God should be able to do anything, should know everything and should be looking to prevent all evil. But evil exists, god knows why it exists, god can stop the evil from existing, why doesn't do it? Epicurus puts the question this way:
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
Then why do actually we call him God?
Nicholas Everitt, faculty member of University of East Anglia, however, answers the same question by stating that the "perfect being" theology is simply paradoxical in itself.
"Given the defining features of the God of “perfect being” theology, God would not create any contingently existing things. To do so would introduce a kind of gratuitous metaphysical imperfection in an otherwise metaphysically perfect universe. Given that in fact there are contingent things, it follows that the God of perfect being theism does not exist."
Thus, the question is: If the god exists, is he actually the way we are told? If not, why are we told so?
How Does Religion Affect Communities?
Religion, throughout history and also today, makes up for enourmous parts of many people's lives. Crusades have been made, the church has been reformed, religions parted ways, but the main theme, "God", stayed alive. But how does "religion" actually affect people during their daily lives?
Karl Marx comes to mind with his famous quote when we talk about religion and masses:
"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people"
"The opium of the people" means that once we have religion, we need more, belief is a drug that doesn't only control your mind, but your body as well. It affects your daily life, it becomes a routine, and it lets people controlling the religion, the religious authorities, to control you. The more opium you need, the more dependent you are on them. But would someone who never even heard of opium ever need it?
German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer also states that religions cause war and death by stating:
Consider the Koran... this wretched book was sufficient to start a world-religion, to satisfy the metaphysical need of countless millions for twelve hundred years, to become the basis of their morality and of a remarkable contempt for death, and also to inspire them to bloody wars and the most extensive conquests. In this book we find the saddest and poorest form of theism. Much may be lost in translation, but I have not been able to discover in it one single idea of value.
Schopenhauer also states that religion should not, and can not, oppose law, by saying criminal laws are what sets our morals, not religious laws:
Just think; if a public proclamation were suddenly made announcing the repeal of all the criminal laws; I fancy neither you nor I would have the courage to go home from here under the protection of religious motives. If, in the same way, all religions were declared untrue, we could, under the protection of the laws alone, go on living as before, without any special addition to our apprehensions or our measures of precaution. I will go beyond this, and say that religions have very frequently exercised a decidedly demoralizing influence. One may say generally that duties towards God and duties towards humanity are in inverse ratio.
The quote shows us Schopenhauers view, which basically says that morals are not set by our religion, but rather the laws.
Is Our World the Best of All Possible Worlds?
Among his many philosophical interests and concerns, Leibniz took on this question of theodicy: "If God is omnibenevolent,omnipotent and omniscient, how do we account for the suffering and injustice that exist in the world?" He answered the question by stating:
"Since He is good and omnipotent, and since He chose this world out of all possibilities, this world must be good—in fact, this world is the best of all possible worlds."
As we have previously discussed, the omnipotency and omnibenevolency of god are questionable. This approach supports the idea of god being perfect, while he can't create a perfect world, creating a loop. Or, there could be no loop since we can't actually define "perfect". Leibniz says that there is no fact to support that this world we are living in is not perfect.
However, many philosophers oppose Leibniz's thought.
"If a God has made this world, then I would not like to be the God; it's misery and distress would break my heart"
Alexandre Dumas' (père) quote backs this up by saying:
'If God were suddenly condemned to live the life which He has inflicted upon men, He would kill Himself. '
He simply states that the lives we are living are, supposedly, because of god, and it is not enjoyable to say the least.
The Existence or non-Existence of God
"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."
And Mikhail Bakunin answers:
"A jealous lover of human liberty, deeming it the absolute condition of all that we admire and respect in humanity, I reverse the phrase of Voltaire, and say that, if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him."
The existence of god is probably one of the most questioned issues of history. Both sides of the thought are usually passionate about their own opinions so it will most likely keep its state as the important matter it is.
"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” -Stephen F. Roberts
Stephen Roberts states that the question of belief bears no purpose, since it is not qualitative, and that it is rather emotional.
“An atheist doesn't have to be someone who thinks he has a proof that there can't be a god. He only has to be someone who believes that the evidence on the God question is at a similar level to the evidence on the werewolf question.” -John McCarthy
The question needs no answers, the question itself is the problem.
What do YOU think?
We have discussed the religion and god. Why is belief so important for us? Why some don't believe while some are passionate? Why is god "God"? The questions never end.
As it turns out; there are several answers and views to every kind of question or philosophy. Today I have shared only a little bit of them with you. What are your thoughts on the subjects? What is your opinion of god, religion and our world?
Also, for further studies on the topic, you can check out the video below.
I believe that there is no God, but that matter is God and God is matter; and that it is no matter whether there is any God or no.— "The Unbeliever's Creed", Connoisseur No. IX (March 28, 1754)