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5 Reasons it doesn't matter whether God exists

Updated on June 14, 2012

Explanation

Should we really be focussing on what is practically history in a time where war, poverty, famine, disease and homelessness is nigh?

Here are 5 reasons for why I believe God's existence, at the moment does not matter.

I subsequently believe that religion for now, also does not matter.

Is this really helping?
Is this really helping?

1. It takes time & effort

Religion takes time. Effort too.

  • Churches
  • Mosques
  • Synagogues
  • Pilgrimages
  • Prayer
  • Confessions

all take up time.

  • Male & Female Circumcision
  • Abstinence
  • Fasting
  • Not eating particular foods (beef -hinduism, pork, crab - judaism etc)
  • Spreading religion (Jehovah's witnesses, mormons, missionaries)

all take up effort.

When we have up to 3.5 billion people suffering from malnutrition, should we really be spending time fussing over traditional beliefs, food cleanliness and praying for people, when we could all be putting in our effort and time into actually helping them?

Should you really be reading this hub right now, comfortable with an internet connection when you know that there are people suffering all around the world?

How is going to church every sunday helping the 100,000,000 people who are homeless in the world?

My argument is that at this current time, when we still have huge world problems, should we really be distracting ourselves with religious beliefs? Would it not be better to shelve religious beliefs until we sort out humanity first, before moving onto cosmology?

Would the world not be better if the 6 billion religious people committed the time and effort they did to following guidelines of their religion to thinking about or physically aiding (via volunteer charity work every sunday morning for example) the less privileged?

This does not just count for the religious too, those without faith that spend their evenings pondering the existence of gods or our cosmology might also want to consider that their intellect and free thought may want to be channelled into something more useful for humanity.

In summary, with point 1. I do not want to discredit the likelihood of religions existing or the beliefs of the non religious. I do want to point out a contradiction in man made organised religion however. Religious people often consider themselves as moral beings made in the image of God or made so that would better the world. But actions speak louder than words. Every minute not spent putting effort into helping humanity, results in a worse humanity than we could have had.

Over 9 million people die every year because of hunger and malnutrition. 5 million are children.

Your efforts and aid each sunday that you would have otherwise spent in a church or similar could have saved at least one of those people.

As a human being, I ask you, what did you really expect your prayers to do?


2. It's Unfair

I see it is as unfair that some people have the luxury to sit and ponder life's purpose and it's existence whilst other people are struggling to stay in it. Have you ever considered that it is because you have no life threatening problems (fear of disease, murder) or life changing events such as going to prison, that you find yourself thinking about life's larger mysteries? If that is you, then I ask you whether it is more moral to set your life goal as helping humanity and humans than thinking about these problems. What do you think you would achieve if you prove or disprove God?

Why cannot we see our priorities?
Why cannot we see our priorities?

3. It's not practical

Spending all of this time on the existence of God and his purported wishes for mankind's behaviour is not even a worth while task in any case. It is much like counting all of the bricks in a brick wall, you will have accomplished the goal. But as far as practicality is concerned, I cannot see it changing the world all that much.

From what I have seen of religious people, I think that some of them would not change their faith even if a different God rang their doorbells and presented himself to them. And even if everyone did, what will it achieve? We would still have to set the goals of preventing pain and suffering for all of our fellow beings.

Why not reverse the steps, prioritise. Sort out humanity first, and then try to sort out our roots.

Cosmology - If there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it's got to be very, very, far away
Cosmology - If there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it's got to be very, very, far away

4. It may never happen

So far, in over 5000 years of searching we have come up with "we can't tell yet". From this alone, we might start to conclude that it may never happen. You might say "it's worth a try". But I once again must bring back priorities. Is it worth a try at the expense of countless lives? Why not make sure that we can live morally and sustainably on this planet for the next 5 billion years (when the sun burns out). That way, we'll have plenty of time to sort out our existentialism. We'll be there, and the question of cosmology certainly will be too.

Working to improve humanity is what Jesus would have done.
Working to improve humanity is what Jesus would have done.

5. It's what God would have wanted

At least most Gods. I would (perhaps boldly) claim that God wants us to be happy. Prioritising and making sure that we all survive and that there is equality within our society is the way to be happy.

No matter which faith you do/don't adhere to, why not make humanity's happiness the key factor in your philosophy. What kind of God would be upset because humans stopped going to church every sunday and instead worked with the homeless making shelters and contributing to happiness? What God would mind you not fasting once in a while so you can concentrate more on a thesis on how to improve sanitation in your local area? Would he be upset if you go on a strike for human rights instead of a pilgrimage?

All in all

All in all I firmly believe that at the moment, God's existence is something that we should not be worried about and for the sake of humanity, we must stop for now at least. Just for summary's sake, here are the 5 points again:

  1. It takes up time & effort
  2. It's unfair
  3. It's not practical
  4. It may never happen
  5. It's what God would have wanted

The summarising point of this entire hub is that it is pointless to spend time & effort on God(s).

  • This includes rules that he has made, because he also made the rule of not letting humans & animals die or suffer. It is indirect murder to spend your time on leisure when you know it can be helping humanity
  • Intellectuals that enjoy spending their time contemplating cosmology should find it more moral to redirect their energy into something that directly aids humanity.

To conclude: Both God(s) and Religion should wait until humanity is fixed.

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    • Seek-n-Find profile image

      Jenna Ditsch 3 years ago from Illinois

      Its been a long time! Greetings to you once again. :-) So here's something interesting: How would you explain this scenario? A friend of mine is out walking around. He senses God telling him to talk to a stranger. My friend senses that the stranger has pain in his back and neck from a car accident. He approaches the stranger--finds out he is an atheist--yet the stranger is intrigued...how could a stranger possibly know about his pain and that he had been in an accident? They talk. Atheist says his pain is a 8 out of 10 on a pain scale. He can't turn his neck all the way or bend down and touch his toes. Then my friend prays. The atheist feels a warm electricity-like feeling flooding through his body. He feels overwhelmed with a sense of love and power. His pain goes away completely--to a 0 out of ten. He can turn his neck. He can touch his toes. He is healed. Atheist believes God--he can't deny what he just encountered--it wasn't an argument that won him (though they exist) but an encounter with the very Being he'd for so long mocked. He is instantly set free from a drug addition. His marriage is restored--and his whole life is changed by this one encounter. Multiply this story by millions of such stories. I love logic and science and intellect and reasoning--it's great. But an encounter with God is all that a person truly needs. The rest becomes secondary when a person is healed, freed, and forever changed. Just wanted to share that. Blessings to you!!!

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 3 years ago from London

      Danny Taylor, I ask respectfully that when you make a claim you at least attempt to back it up in one way or another.

      Other than agreeing with what Borsia has so eloquently submitted, I shall add the following:

      "Its funny when atheists say to believe in god is an emotional decision"

      I'm not entirely sure who is saying this, but I say that to believe in god is an illogical decision.

      "but the anger against religion is what drives your beliefs!"

      No, the anger towards religion stems from the fallacy that underlines it. Whereas Christians typically offer no reason for their beliefs, citing faith or some vague incomprehensible and utterly useless statement such as:

      "once you learn to comprehend it you will understan why it is so obvious this world was created,"

      atheists tend to give some sort of reason such as 'there is no evidence for a god' or 'it is axiomatically impossible for a being to know everything' or 'even if there were a god, which has no evidence for it, it answers no more questions than saying the universe created itself'.

      Given the efforts many atheists make in rationalising their lives and choosing to live in a reasonable way, it is understandable that many find those people that judge what others do based on a book, the validity for which has no basis, as somewhat insolent.

      Lastly, and as a keen enthusiast of science I am intrigued:

      "The best scientists in their field actually believe in a god because of what they have discovered."

      I ask you courteously to name one such 'best scientist', explain why he is 'best' and then outline exactly what it is he has accomplished and how he has come to the certain conclusion that there is a god.

    • Borsia profile image

      Borsia 3 years ago from Currently, Philippines

      "atheism is turning out to be a passing phase as experts will tell you"

      Atheism is the fastest growing "belief" world wide. Hardly a passing phase by any means. Even in the US polls show that as many as 30% of people under 25 no longer believe in a functioning god that has any power in the world, if it exists or ever existed at all.

      Atheism is man coming out from under the dark cloud of superstition to explain the world. It is the natural outcome of education and understanding, which is why theists fear and fight education freed from religious dogma and always have.

      Every god that ever was, from the beginning, was created in the minds of men and exists solely in the imaginations of their believers. Documented only in works of fiction that fall apart under scrutiny. Defended by reading into them things that aren't actually there and calling it "translation".

      Take away these works of fiction and no gods stand on merit or action. Nothing hold them up against the wind of reason or the light of day. This is as true of the gods of today as it was of the ancient gods. It is as true of mainstream gods as it is of the obscure gods of tribes or cults.

      In the end the only logical conclusion is that no gods exist or ever have, the definition and sole premise of atheism.

    • Dannytaylor02 profile image

      Daniel Nathan Taylor 3 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      One other thing its not faith that makes people believe in god. Its faith that he will act as he has told us he will.

      Evolution has never been able to answer the question of life on earth again if you think that then you are brainwashed.

      Year after year science is making great strides, I suggest you keep up with scientific discovery as its moved on from Darwin.

      The best scientists in their field actually believe in a god because of what they have discovered.

    • Dannytaylor02 profile image

      Daniel Nathan Taylor 3 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      Haha those comments just prove that you have been brainwashed.

      That type of argument is becoming obsolete as well you will find that atheism is turning out to be a passing phase as experts will tell you, why? Because people have a problem with religion not god and also because society is finally getting over the atrocity of ww2.

      Its funny when atheists say to believe in god is an emotional decision but the anger against religion is what drives your beliefs!

      There is a difference between understanding creation and comprehend ing it, once you learn to comprehend it you will understan why it is so obvious this world was created

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 3 years ago from London

      Oh, it looks like Borsia got there before I did. Thanks!

      Yes, the main issue I have is with this statement:

      "When you refer to the "thousands of gods" I assume you mean gods like Zeus and Odin and ***these ones are clearly man made fakes just like the Egyptian gods***."

      Given that each are founded on the same thing, faith, it seems that to say some are 'clearly' manmade and fake seems a little hollow.

      After all, ask an Egyptian back in the day of whether he truly believed in his gods and he would tell you with the utmost confidence that they all existed. Likewise, ask a devote Hindu, or more niche African tribesman, and he would do the same.

    • Borsia profile image

      Borsia 3 years ago from Currently, Philippines

      If one reads the Bible and looks at all of the contradictions and falsities one can only take the position that its god is a fraud. Likewise the Koran.

      The fact is that no matter what god you believe in there are more who believe in something different.

      No god has ever proven to be more fraudulent than any other and no one god's followers have ever faired much better than any other. To then make the jump that this means that they all really are worshiping the same god is not just grasping at falling straws it is an intellectually empty argument.

      When believers were faced with their "Bible Code" working just the same on Moby Dick as it had on the Bible, with just as many returns

      their answer was that god must have written Moby Dick. This despite that fact that we know with absolute certainty who wrote Moby Dick. Saying that all gads are really just the same god is the same as saying that all books are written by the same people, rather silly.

    • Dannytaylor02 profile image

      Daniel Nathan Taylor 3 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      Philanthropy

      That's precisely what I'm saying!

      Christians, Jewish and islam all worship the same god, Yahweh translated into English as Jehovah.

      The problem is that the mainstream so called Christians refuse to acknowledge and Sanctify god's name because they for some reason think jesus is god instead...but that's a whole other argument.

      Islam, Judaism and Christianity use a lot of the same material. they all use the Pentauch (Torah) and many of the Psalms. With that being the case they all use Exodus 3:15,16 which is when god reveals his name to Moses also Psalms 83:18. One of he main points of Jehovah sending Moses was to Sanctify his name to the Egyptians as the only true god and to prove that the Egyptian gods where powerless to prevent him from carrying out his will.

      The ten plagues where all for proving the irresponsiveness of the Egyptian gods, for example the final plague when Jehovah sent the angel of death t kill all of the Egyptian firstborn. He asked the jews to use lambs blood on their walls because it was the animal that the Egyptians sacrificed to Ra.

      Christianity is not even a new religion. Jesus never transgressed the jewish law and he always praised his God, Jehovah god above himself John 14:28 "the father is greater than I am"

      1 timothy 2:5 "for there is one god and one mediator between men and god, a man jesus Christ."

      In other words you are correct the god of Judaism is the true god, but he is true Christianities god also.

      When you refer to the "thousands of gods" I assume you mean gods like Zeus and Odin and these ones are clearly man made fakes just like the Egyptian gods.

      I stick by my comment. Even atheists admire the bible as a book just not as anything other than that.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 3 years ago from London

      @Danny,

      Thank you, and you seem like a reasonable and intelligent person - however that will not stop me finding faults in your argument.

      "The fact that this particular god has outlasted all of these other thousands of gods you refer to I think you could come to a logical conclusion that if there is a god its him."

      This is a terrible (non-existent argument) and the fault of it is explained best by the fact that Islam is older than Christianity and Judaism even older than that. Therefore, due to being believed by humans for longer, the god of Judaism must be the true god and everything in the New Testament must as a follow on be a 'fraud'.

      "When you read about those "thousands of gods" you can easily see them as frauds so you can take them out of the equation."

      It astonishes me that you don't see this is how atheists look at the Bible.

    • Dannytaylor02 profile image

      Daniel Nathan Taylor 3 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      Don't get me wrong i like your hubs philanthropy they are better thought out and better summarized than mine however you simply cannot compare the bible to any of these "thousands of other books" as well.

      The bible is well renowned by believers and atheist alike.

      You can find scientific facts in it that have only in the last century been discovered.

      Prophecy that is well before it's time.

      Advice on the best way to live our lives, i know a lot of people don't like this (Me included) as we like to make our own mistakes but that doesn't stop the bible from being right in what it says.

      There is a reason that the bible has been going strong for thousands, it has stood the test of time and it's still very relevant today.

      I agree with you that we shouldn't spend more time reading it than helping other people as the bible itself will tell you "Faith without works is DEAD."

    • Dannytaylor02 profile image

      Daniel Nathan Taylor 3 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      Philanthropy

      When you read about those "thousands of gods" you can easily see them as frauds so you can take them out of the equation.

      Well I agree that we should not go mainstream in our search for god as that will have us believe in hellfire , baby baptism and what not.

      However the fact that this particular god has outlasted all of these other thousands of gods you refer to I think you could come to a logical conclusion that if there is a god its him.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 3 years ago from London

      @Danny,

      What you have achieved by reading one large religious text is the deliberate search for one, single god.

      As aforementioned, there are thousands.

      "In all of the main religions of today there is only one god" - what on earth does being a 'main religion' mean to the search of an omnipotent being? Just because more people want to read one particular book doesn't mean that what is inside that book is more true than the other millions of books in existence.

    • Dannytaylor02 profile image

      Daniel Nathan Taylor 3 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      Philanthropy

      You dont need to read an hour a day to be a decent person, but to search for god you do.

      I certainly agree that practically helping people is better and that reading too much would be selfish...but you can still read too!

      How long did it take you to write this hub? You could have volunteered at a homeless shelter instead going by your logic! :)

      In all of the main religion s of today there is only one god, yahweh you dont have to look far.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 3 years ago from London

      @Danny Taylor,

      My argument is that you shouldn't have to read "an hour every day or two" in order to be a reasonably decent human being. A fortiori, spending those hours doing something practically helpful to mankind would achieve far more (again, practically) than learning about just one of the thousand potential gods there are in religious literature.

    • Dannytaylor02 profile image

      Daniel Nathan Taylor 3 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      Philanthropy

      You present your argument as if it's a complicated thing to search for god and it takes too much time so therefore it's immoral to search for god...? It really doesn't take that much time at all, all you would have to do is read for an hour a day or every 2 days and try to apply it in your life. Knowledge is free these days!

      There are things in the bible that god has allegedly promised and they are things that every single human being wants:

      A world without violence, immorality, corruption and death. So how is that not reason enough to find out whether he exists or not?

      I don't see how it's immoral to search for god, that's an incredibly ridiculous conclusion to come to.

    • blake4d profile image

      Blake Ford Hall 3 years ago from Now Rising Out of Phoenix Arizona Earthlings

      Perhaps and adendum could have been...

      6. I don't really care...

      My bad. Keep on Hubbing. Blake4d

    • profile image

      Gigi 4 years ago

      Once during a major depressoion episode, I had an experience of a silent darkness and a warm, enveloping loving "presence" that filled me with instant joy and gratitude and love for the whole world. I know of others who have this same experience. How do you explain this?

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 4 years ago from London

      @Danny Taylor, I will reply to your points in the order you presented them.

      [How did we get here] - Searching for God seems like an impossible task to do and decide, ere go, we should stop and focus our time on things we know will give results.

      [We would understand our place in the world.] - Understanding whether or not God exists does not and will never let us know whether or not the Bible, Qu'ran or Torah teach correctly, how to interpret these doctrines, nor which one is more worth following.

      [We would have the opportunity of living forever] - This opportunity will regardless be given to those of us who meet particular criteria that God would have set us. Since we don't know whether God wants us to kill or not kill, rape or not rape (the bible etc. offers no evidence) then we will never know how to cease our opportunity of living forever.

      [We would have the opportunity to live in a world that had no badness in it.] - This statement seems more of a joke than anything else - how would pursuing a task that cannot be completed help anyone live better? This only works if specific gods like that of Christianity or Judaism are known to be existent. My point is that we won't ever know and shouldn't bother trying to find out.

      [We would be able to see our dead loved ones again.] - Once again you make the mistake of assuming that the evidence for God can be found.

      You have misinterpreted my argument. My argument is that there is no point in searching for a God because it is immoral.

      If you would like to provide a counter-argument then you should find some sort of proof that thinking about God helps starvation, poverty and disease leave this world.

      Thank you,

      Philanthropy,.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 4 years ago from London

      @ God Is Dead,

      Sorry I missed your comment, I thought I had replied! Thank you for your kind words and support :)

      Like the name by the way, very powerful.

    • Dannytaylor02 profile image

      Daniel Nathan Taylor 4 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      there are a lot more reasons why it does matter whether he exists or not.

      We will have answered the all time number one question - How did we get here.

      We would understand our place in the world.

      We would have the opportunity of living forever.

      We would have the opportunity to live in a world that had no badness in it.

      We would be able to see our dead loved ones again.

      We could be confident in what the future holds for us...as well as many other questions and benefits that would be answered for us.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      Thank you Kathryn,

      Your friend that left you whilst you were ill to go to a church made me chuckle!

      Glad you found it interesting and I appreciate your views, have a nice day :)

    • kathryn1000 profile image

      kathryn1000 5 years ago from London

      I believe that was Jesus's message...whatever you do to these little one,you do it to me..

      I think he wanted our actions to matter more than beliefs.And people trying to convert others irritate me..

      are they so doubtful of their own faith

      It made me laugh when I was ill and my friend could not help me as she was going to church!

      I believe in Judaism what you believe is not so important..it's what you do.Though you have to believe in God or to value the rituals and it has helped the Jews to survive after persecution.

      Very good question

    • God is dead profile image

      God is dead 5 years ago

      Very useful and deep.

      Keep up the good work

      Cheers (: Thumbs up.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      Thank you very much, your name intrigues interest - will check your page out (:

    • God is dead profile image

      God is dead 5 years ago

      It was good, keep it up. Thumbs up. (:

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      An excellent point Gentle Fist, though I would reword it to "Is our society ready to facilitate the next step?" Because in order to teach morals without the punitive measures of religious measures, we need a very good, very accessible and very free education system that is available to everyone worldwide.

      This unfortunately is so far from reality that the answer is most certainly "no".

      But some countries are definitely ready to take the next step, and many are. Non-belief is dominating many countries now (see 6 reasons religion is dying for stats) and with this happening, other countries will see that having a good, free education system pays off and makes for a more efficient, happier country.

      Thank you for your input, it's always refreshing to see intelligent comments.

    • Gentle Fist profile image

      Gentle Fist 5 years ago from Serbia

      You have a great point here, your reasoning is very bright and clear but I just want to ask all of us is it really possible for the whole humanity to stop believing in God as if it didn't matter. Since the dawn of humanity, men did believe in some phenomenon that is above, that is absolute and that can affect their lives. Christian moral did help us achieve that more conscious state of our beings, we feel as if we are naturally more moral, that we are born that way...but now, as you would say, it is time for the organized religion to disappear because it only backwards us. We achieved that state of mind, and now we need to go further, but organized religion is counterproductive at the moment... But the question remains - are people ready for the next step?...

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      Points 4 and 5!

    • Dannytaylor02 profile image

      Daniel Nathan Taylor 5 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      One reason maybe we should care is because he could rid the earth of all wickedness however humans are totally incapable of doing so as they have proven in the last century

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      Thank you very much Robert Pummer,

      ***********************************************************************************

      For all my hub readers, it's worth checking out Robert's hubs too. They are insightful and logical, much what the world needs.

      ***********************************************************************************

    • Robert Pummer profile image

      Robert Pummer 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      Lots of work going on here. Keep up your writing efforts.

    • f_hruz profile image

      f_hruz 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      P+N - Again, you have it all ass backwards!

      Science is the study of nature, not of man-made gods, and since nature has no use for any gods - only some god obsessed human minds do - it's the god idea in it's religious context which is whole irrational.

      There is nothing metaphysical about the research and analysis of nature when conducted by qualified minds using objective methods and scientific tools.

      No point in first talking about some god only to see each and every time that it's a natural process after all which may even enlighten your own mind one day to the point where you can expand your view of reality without the use of intellectual training wheels to keep you from falling back into the hands of some invisible man-made god ... :)

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 5 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      F_hruz,

      ("How does nature unfold herself in all her forms of matter, energy and motion so that intellect can be observed as being part of these natural processes without any man-mad gods having anything to do with it?" "P&N - can you relate to this question?")

      I can. Instead of hijacking Philanthropy's hub here, please visit my hub titled, "The Information Factor". From there, we can walk out the concept of information and how it originated, embedded, and manifested into biological life.

      Excluding the possibility of a creator or god is a metaphysical stance, not a scientific one. It is a presupposition based on a desire of not wanting a god to exist.

    • f_hruz profile image

      f_hruz 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      P&N - thanks for your comment but why do you keep asking your basically wrong questions yet again? :)

      Now please think about the following facts before getting even deeper stuck in your god delusion:

      * No gods helped humans learn about aerodynamics so we can now fly only to discover there is no heaven!

      * No gods had anything to do with us learning how to use electricity in it's many forms and frequencies.

      * Micro-electronics & micro-biology - actually science in general - is a much more fruitful area of inquiry for ALL mankind to discover REAL answers than what most religions can provide.

      It's simply wrong to ask: "Who created nature?" and respond with, what seams to be your pet reply: "God did it! Who else could have possibly done it?"

      Any thinking person will right away see what's wrong with such a misleading question and maybe rephrase it to read as follows:

      "How does nature unfold herself in all her forms of matter, energy and motion so that intellect can be observed as being part of these natural processes without any man-mad gods having anything to do with it?"

      P&N - can you relate to this question?

      If you do, where and when would you like to start working with me on developing some answers in the area of applied science?

      A few things are already firmly given:

      1 - Change & transformation is continuous

      2 - Causality is just one of the basic laws of nature

      3 - Humans are just one of many life forms

      4 - There is nothing supernatural about, in or around us

      The Vatican is a great museum, art collection, etc. but an enormous unused potential to transform the world into a post-capitalist global society with a much better understanding of the human mind and our roll of being an integral part of nature.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      No problem PlanksandNails, alternative views are always welcome on my hubpages :)

      Have a good evening,

      Philanthropy,

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 5 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Philanthropy,

      I appreciate you clarifying your standpoint. I asked the questions in order to poke at your premise in order to get more diverse responses. Although we may differ in our foundational beliefs, I respect that you are willing to walk out the questions in order to give further understanding and clarity to where you are coming from.

      Thanks for the dialogue.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      "You are creating a false dilemma by limiting the alternatives. Churches are known to give to the poor. Furthermore, prayer can be done simultaneously as handing out food, without losing efficiency." It is not a false dilemma, I am drawing an example that going to church, which involves traveling, staying there and then praying each sunday, does not involve feeding the poor & helping the homeless. I never said that prayer and church is the only alternative, at which point it would have been a false dilemma.

      And if you are going to go to ridiculous hypothetical extremes like that you are still wrong, even whilst doing the actions simultaneously, praying reduces the efficiency and speed of giving out the food which could have otherwise been achieved by not praying and focussing on the motor skills necessary to physically or otherwise hand out the food. Therefore, my point remains, church & prayer are obstacles in the way of helping the poor and the needy.

      "Is there any evidence that traditional beliefs, food cleanliness, and prayers do not help anyone? Again, you are creating a false dilemma. For example, an unbalanced diet leads to malnutrition; therefore, food cleanliness is an important factor in remedying the risks associated with malnutrition." The evidence is there. Limiting the types of food that we eat will naturally require more effort and time to compensate for it. Eating those foods would otherwise provide more of it. Once again, you have confused yourself as to what false dilemma really means and I would urge you to research it once more. I have committed no fallacies.

      "True, but they are not the *only* reasons. Religion has provided support and comfort to those who have had a tough time. Many religious institutions have programs for this very reason." You are completely mistaken here. It is not religion that provides comfort for these people. Religion are the rules. Not eating pork does not make somebody happier, getting circumcised or having to spend time in church does not make somebody happier. It is the belief, the faith in a God that provides support. That is not religion. Religion are the rules and bring no comfort to a person. Like I have already stated many times, I have no problem with faith, and I think it useful, but I do have a problem with useless and time consuming rules that essentially kill people.

      "Are you saying that no person can be happy in any of these situations?" Yes.

      Please refer me to one homeless, disease ridden, starving poor person that will tell me that he is happy. You best do it quickly because people in those situations by definition do not last very long.

      Religious ideologies are far less efficient at bringing happiness and peace to our world than actual ideologies. Just because a pedophile does something good once in a while does not mean that he should stay. Religion at the moment is getting in the way of saving people's lives. How you could possibly see otherwise bewilders me.

      Thank you and have a good evening,

      Philanthropy.

      As an edit to what you said to F_Huz, I hope he wouldn't mind me answering very briefly for him, although I am aware that he may do so himself.

      You are a fan of (falsely) pointing out my "fallacies". The "God Of Gaps" is a fallacy. Not being able to answer something does not prove the existence of something else which also cannot be answered.

      And in any case, just as my hub is all about, it doesn't matter at all where we came from. What matters is making a difference and preventing the pain and suffering that is going on in the world. Stop thinking about the past when there are problems in the present.

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 5 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      F_hruz,

      I love the puerile commentary. Yes, a very enlightening backup lol...

      As for the "irrational" questions,

      I'm still waiting for your answers on how nothing produced everything, no life produces life, randomness produces fine tuning, chaos produces information, unconsciousness produces conciousness, and no reason produces reason.

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 5 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Philanthropy,

      (Spending your time on giving food to the poor and homeless is a much more useful & moral thing to do than to go to church and pray for them.")

      You are creating a false dilemma by limiting the alternatives. Churches are known to give to the poor. Furthermore, prayer can be done simultaneously as handing out food, without losing efficiency.

      ("When we have up to 3.5 billion people suffering from malnutrition, should we really be spending time fussing over traditional beliefs, food cleanliness and praying for people, when we could all be putting in our effort and time into actually helping them.")

      Is there any evidence that traditional beliefs, food cleanliness, and prayers do not help anyone? Again, you are creating a false dilemma. For example, an unbalanced diet leads to malnutrition; therefore, food cleanliness is an important factor in remedying the risks associated with malnutrition.

      ("Often those struggling need some support & comfort to bring them through a tough time, and that is the reason why they search for purpose.")

      True, but they are not the *only* reasons. Religion has provided support and comfort to those who have had a tough time. Many religious institutions have programs for this very reason.

      ("Yes, happiness is also subjective, but not being in a state of Poverty, Famine, Disease and Homelessness are all universal ideas of what bring about happiness.")

      Are you saying that no person can be happy in any of these situations?

      Religious ideologies can also encompass humanity and cosmology. Looking at your five reasons, they also can apply to those who hold no belief in God or any religion at all. It would be a hasty generalization that these reasons support conclusive evidence for humanity's sake.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
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      DK 5 years ago from London

      Thank you f_hruz, and it's good that he asks or expresses his views, after all if he can think of them then others will probably too. I am glad to address these simple misunderstandings in my texts if it will help spread the message better.

      Thanks for the back up, always appreciated :)

      (Have a good evening)

      Philanthropy,

    • f_hruz profile image

      f_hruz 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Philantropy, I like your reply to Planks+Nails questions.

      I have noticed that his way of thinking and his view of reality without some irrational god in it, and a church hierarchy telling him what to read into some outdated mystical story books equals the end of the world ... so, naturally, he keeps on asking the same irrational questions in the hope of getting closer to his non-existing god ... :)

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
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      DK 5 years ago from London

      @Planks&Nails,

      Thanks for taking the time and leaving a comment, on to address your points :)

      "anything takes time and effort, even giving food to the poor and homeless" That is wholeheartedly my point! Spending your time on giving food to the poor and homeless is a much more useful & moral thing to do than to go to church and pray for them.

      "Many who struggle also ponder life, purpose, and existence too. Finding purpose can result in going through a struggle." Naturally that is true, but in a much different sense.

      Often those struggling need some support & comfort to bring them through a tough time, and that is the reason why they search for purpose.

      But if you for one moment think that they do it because it's an interesting question, because it's been bugging them, I think you would be sorely mistaken!

      There is a difference between people searching for purpose in order to carry on living and people searching for purpose because they don't know why they are living.

      My argument is that the latter should aim to bring the former into their state, as their purpose before going on to try and work out cosmology.

      "Pain and suffering can have good benefits too, "No pain, no gain!"" I'm sorry, are you trying to say that poverty, famine and disease should all stay because they have a "gain" ?

      "How does good overcome evil, without any collateral damage?" Evil is a very subjective term, but for example the "evil" of disease can be overcome with vaccines, with no collateral damage but the small amount of pain inflicted to inject the medicine and the extra effort put in to make them. Whether that is "damage" is another question however. The disease would have inflicted a lot more.

      "Happiness to some is doing what some define as evil. Who defines what is good or evil, or is it all relative to personal feeling and opinions?" Yes, happiness is also subjective, but not being in a state of Poverty, Famine, Disease and Homelessness are all universal ideas of what bring about happiness. There is universality to happiness much like there is universality to stomaches. The finer details are disputed, granted.

      "I have never heard of these certain rules. What religion or standard of behavior are you referring to?" In religions that adhere to a God that has made rules, they almost always include rules that protect the well being of animals. Halal, kosher and love thy neighbour are just a few examples.

      Thanks for your time :),

      Philanthropy,

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 5 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      ("It takes time and effort")

      Irregardless of religious beliefs, to do anything takes time and effort, even giving food to the poor and homeless.

      ("I see it is as unfair that some people have the luxury to sit and ponder life's purpose and it's existence whilst other people are struggling to stay in it.")

      Many who struggle also ponder life, purpose, and existence too. Finding purpose can result in going through a struggle.

      (" We would still have to set the goals of preventing pain and suffering for all of our fellow beings.")

      Pain and suffering can have good benefits too, "No pain, no gain!"

      ("Is it worth a try at the expense of countless lives?")

      How does good overcome evil, without any collateral damage?

      ("No matter which faith you do/don't adhere to, why not make humanity's happiness the key factor in your philosophy.")

      Happiness to some is doing what some define as evil. Who defines what is good or evil, or is it all relative to personal feeling and opinions?

      ("because he also made the rule of not letting humans & animals die or suffer. It is indirect murder to spend your time on leisure when you know it can be helping humanity")

      I have never heard of these certain rules. What religion or standard of behavior are you referring to?

    • f_hruz profile image

      f_hruz 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      You touched on a number of interesting points in your hub but the issue of positive social change is only in part a religious one.

      Sure, we all know there are enormous religious hierarchies which are pure dead weight and in total conflict with most of the revolutionary ideas liberation theology is trying to teach.

      It should be quite clear though to any rational mind, that it's the establishment which keeps manipulation and exploitation alive and they will use all three of the major mind polluting factors - consumerism, nationalism and religiosity to keep the people of the world from building a more harmonious, fair and just global social order.

      Starting a co-op bakery, giving work to some who are unemployed, is a lot better than making a donation at church so they will give some bread to the poor. Even better, if local community centers were to run courses in co-op business creation and management, besides other vital programs on social activism and radical change.

      In that respect, the Vatican is just as bad as the Pentagon and the mass media ... no gods are required to learn enough about the social dynamics to see how much easier most religious types can be manipulated in comparison to people who freed up all this extra mind space to expand their own critical potential and mental development otherwise occupied by irrational religious thoughts!

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
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      DK 5 years ago from London

      Thank you Seek-n-Find, I truly feel that the thought of helping others should be always conscious in our minds. Do what you must to gather the strength & energy to help others, it is up to each individual person to decide whether he is or is not able to help at any given time. It will be on their conscience if they knew they could be helping another person's lives and instead to indulge in their own.

      Thank you,

      Philanthropy :)

    • Seek-n-Find profile image

      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      P.S. I really admire your heart for wanting to help those who are suffering and encouraging others to do the same. Your passion for the hurting can be seen through your writing. This is a genuine and good and I thank you for your heart for this--we need more voices advocating for the hurting and more hands willing to do the work!

    • Seek-n-Find profile image

      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      I understand what you are saying, I think. I agree with the idea of using time in a right order and way that makes one's efforts actually useful and beneficial to mankind!

      But one of the points I was trying to make is that what you say people should be doing (practically making a difference and helping/loving others) is what God wants too. It is about a right balance. Many people get caught up in following rules or traditions and using their time to "do what they are supposed to do" (so they think) but they are not doing what God would really wants them to do. Worship and prayer in the way that you are explaining it does sound like a waste of time.

      But think of strands of a rope that bound together are stronger than they would be apart. Here's an example from my own life:

      When I spend time worshiping God--I am reminded of His goodness. I am reminded of how Big He is. I am filled up with love and passion and energy and strength. When I spend time praying, I often get "strategy" for how I can join in what God is doing for that day and I get to partner with Him. I worshiped Him and was filled up with His goodness. I prayed and knew what I was supposed to do that day. I wrote it down. I was to find a homeless person and listen to him--look him in the eye--and buy him clothes for a job interview. I knew what this person would be wearing and where to find him. God revealed these things through prayer. I went and found the person and was able to say, "I know you need clothes for a job interview...God revealed this to me in prayer this morning. He's sending me to help you in an answer to your prayer!" That man had prayed for this very thing the night before. He cried--He felt loved. He was helped spiritually, emotionally, and physically. And I was so filled with the love of God, that I was able to demonstrate this supernatural love to one I did not know--to one that did not "seem" lovable from merely a glance.

      Worship. Prayer. Loving God--Loving Others. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to Love God first, then love others. That's because doing the first enables the second. Those that truly love God and know how to receive His love can go out and love others in a way that surpasses understanding. The more time I spend worshiping God and praying (in other words, talking with Him) the more I can love others. But this is true worship and true prayer.

      Worship, by the way, true worship, is not going to church and singing songs. True worship is living a lifestyle of loving God and loving others. It is real love. Selfless love. A love that is practical and helps others.

      Hub Pages should have a roundtable event where we can all sit around a table and dialogue these things face-to-face! That would be fun. :-)

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
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      DK 5 years ago from London

      Seek-N-Find,

      I know, there is a very large difference between religion and spirituality/belief in God, and I address this. My point remains, our God would not have wanted us to follow his guidelines and rules (religion) when there were much bigger problems at hand.

      And I'm not saying that useful religious organisations should go, I'm saying that anything that is to do with religion or God that is otherwise a handicap to our society in terms of time & effort being used, where otherwise it could have been used better, should go.

      Prayer & church visiting are the largest points here.

      Once again to clarify, I have nothing against religion or God here, but I am saying that time worshiping either should be used for something useful.

      Religious people such as christians are often very hard working and very moral people, why then do they not use these gifts and abilities for something useful when they are instead going to church and praying? I'm not discrediting their efforts or putting religious people lower than anyone else.

      I just want to stress that this time should be otherwise and more practically used.

      Thank you and have a good evening,

      Philanthropy :)

    • Seek-n-Find profile image

      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      Hmmm...I think that there is a HUGE difference between believing in God or following a religion. That can be its own Hub...I'll put it on my list so as not to use your comments section to squeeze in a Hub. :-)

      OK--here comes out my passion! I'll be as brief as I can--I must point out something I think you've missed. Many of the organizations and outreach efforts done to help those in need--to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, give medicine and care to the sick, love the unlovable, etc. are done by those "religious" or "God-believing" people. The YMCA is just one of many organizations founded by Christians to help others. Many other non-for-profits that reach out and make a difference in the very things you've brought up are faith-based. There are thousands, if not millions of missionaries in the world who have given up their own comfortable lives to go out and do these very things (and I note that some missionaries, especially historically, have done things that have done more harm than good by trying to "convert" others by force--I'm not talking about these ones).

      In the Bible, God tells what TRUE fasting is (see below). The God of Christianity calls His people to love others. It's all over the Bible. It's people that have messed it up. Basically, God has received a horrible PR job by many that claim to be followers, but really are not. Some of them know it, others don't even know that they are not really representing Him. You know a tree but its fruit. If people aren't out there demonstrating the fruit of love, peace, joy, kindness, compassion, selflessness, serving others, feeding the poor, clothing the naked, caring for orphans and widows, doing acts of justice and mercy, etc...then they are following their own "religion" and not really representing God's heart. Just imagine if people followed even just this one passage from the Bible (see below). Some people do this--more people are waking up to what it means to really be a Christian--and some people just doing their own thing and calling it "Christianity." There are wheat and tares that live together. Some are sheep, others are wolves. Don't look at how wolves live their lives and think that they are following the Shepherd!

      Isaiah 58

      True Fasting

      1 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.

      Raise your voice like a trumpet.

      Declare to my people their rebellion

      and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.

      2 For day after day they seek me out;

      they seem eager to know my ways,

      as if they were a nation that does what is right

      and has not forsaken the commands of its God.

      They ask me for just decisions

      and seem eager for God to come near them.

      3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,

      ‘and you have not seen it?

      Why have we humbled ourselves,

      and you have not noticed?’

      “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please

      and exploit all your workers.

      4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,

      and in striking each other with wicked fists.

      You cannot fast as you do today

      and expect your voice to be heard on high.

      5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,

      only a day for people to humble themselves?

      Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed

      and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?

      Is that what you call a fast,

      a day acceptable to the LORD?

      6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:

      to loose the chains of injustice

      and untie the cords of the yoke,

      to set the oppressed free

      and break every yoke?

      7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry

      and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—

      when you see the naked, to clothe them,

      and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

      8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,

      and your healing will quickly appear;

      then your righteousness[a] will go before you,

      and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

      9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;

      you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

      “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,

      with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

      10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry

      and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

      then your light will rise in the darkness,

      and your night will become like the noonday.

      11 The LORD will guide you always;

      he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land

      and will strengthen your frame.

      You will be like a well-watered garden,

      like a spring whose waters never fail.

      12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins

      and will raise up the age-old foundations;

      you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,

      Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

    • profile image

      jenubouka 5 years ago

      Ah, thanks, I woke up early and happened to find my soapbox, but I did/do enjoy your aspects and bravery for writing about this touchy subject.

      Look forward to the next....

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
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      DK 5 years ago from London

      Spot on Jenbouka! You seemed to have summed up my hub better than me! :'( As well as answer the comment above too S: I'm shamed!

      Thanks ^^

      Philanthropy :)

    • profile image

      jenubouka 5 years ago

      For the one of the comments above the hub is religion not spirituality for these are two great opposites.

      maybe this should be a hub subject: the difference between religions and spirituality, I think there is a big difference among believing in something versus following a "guideline" of rules to live by.

      I thought the hub covered the topic quite well. When it comes to aiding a culture for relief of suffering you must acknowledge and accept their beliefs no matter the cost of their existence ie, choice of birth control and such. If you are a spiritual person or even religious there should be no set guideline to judge a culture's way of life. Think how they view us, we consume our efforts on money, wealth and material things that only promote ourselves.

      I think if one wants to make God or (a god) responsible for death and those things alike is a short sight of the bigger picture. I think that Philanthropy nailed it with we should all be a little more aware of our humanity toward others, promote a worldly well being first before we allow our religion to over step the cause of something deeper.

      As far as I am concerned we get one shot at this life, make it work not just for yourself but for all that share the earth we live on, no matter if they use rubbers, no matter if they are poor due to their own dismay. If you died today what would you be remembered for?

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
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      DK 5 years ago from London

      @borsia,

      I agree with you about the condoms and african populations. There are times when certain religions abuse their power and seem to make terrible decisions for the sake of mankind. The Pope is a prime example but I did not want to include him and catholicism or any other racist/homophobic/sexist religion because I thought it was too extreme to mention. Hard cases make bad law of course and I want the readers to realise it's not just the extremes that matter, it's church and prayer and all of that time that is wasted on what is supposed to be "moral actions".

      Your number 3 response was very interesting, I did not think of the many poor people that put so much effort into building religious structures and reading religious texts when they could have been educated in that time or building better homes.

      As for number 4. I said more than 2000 because I wanted to be careful with the facts. 2000+ was a safe bet I thought because in the BCE, there was no Jesus to worry about so I was wondering whether a lot of effort and time was put into thinking about cosmology or whether everyone just went along with it.

      But you do mention 5000 years ago which is of course the time of the egyptians and I think that I will change it to that number because that was a major religion. I imagine there was a lot of thought and time spent on defusing that religion first so I will take your point and change my hub :)

      Thank you

      Philanthropy,

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
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      DK 5 years ago from London

      @zzron + @randslam

      Zzron, I agree with you, every human being does have the right to believe in God or not as they choose. My hub nor I will dispute that, please do not misunderstand me!

      I have nothing against believing in a god(s). What my hub is trying to say is that it is more moral to keep your faith and use your time & effort to help humanity instead of going to church or praying with your time. Do you honestly believe that by going to church every sunday, you are helping people from starvation? More so than buying bread and taking it down to the homeless for example?

      As for "you would think that God was the most important thing in the world" . I would disagree, the people are the most important thing in the world. Would God not have wanted us to focus on the 6 billion people who are treated unfairly instead of appeasing him?

      To conclude once again, my hub is saying that religion should wait (belief in God(s) should stay) and moral people of the world should put their efforts into fixing humanity first. I stress again that I am not trying to say that people don't have the right to believe in some things and not others. It is moral however to not let that belief kill or inflict pain on other people.

      Sorry for the misunderstanding and thank you,

      Philanthropy,

    • randslam profile image

      Rand Zacharias 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

      Zzron has it down...freedom of religion is one of the most basic tenets of our democracies. We need to respect these freedoms, however, for many who are persecuted by religious fanatics--they require freedom FROM religion--because Jesus has no part in those cults, sects or false faiths.

    • zzron profile image

      zzron 5 years ago from Houston, TX.

      Not to be rude or anything and I respect your opinion but I have to say this must be the most ridiculous hub I have ever seen! Every human being has a right to believe in God or not as they choose. With all this pain and suffering that the world is experiencing, you would think that God was the most important thing in the world.

      Religion is not important. In the Bible Jesus Christ even said," Don't concern yourself too much with religion, but rather follow me". Being a Christian myself and believing in God has made it easier for me to accept that not everyone is going to believe in God, and that is certainly your choice. The Bible says in John 3:16 " Whosoever believeth, in Jesus Christ, shall not perish but have everlasting life." You can take it or leave it but the choice is yours. But either way we can still be friends. Common sense tells me that God does exist, but that's just me.

    • randslam profile image

      Rand Zacharias 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

      No God...so what.

      Rules...were made to be broken.

      No Religion...no worries.

      No Heaven...never been proven.

      Evolution=Truth

    • Borsia profile image

      Borsia 5 years ago from Currently, Philippines

      OK; I agree with most of what you are saying.

      1. It is worse than what you are pointing to because it is also the basis that theists use to try to restrict birth control.

      The #1 reason for poverty and starvation is overpopulation. Look at reports coming out of places like Somalia. They are frequently talking to people who have 5-25 children. If they had one or two they might be able to feed them and educate them. The land they are living in couldn't support them even if there was no drought. African fish harvest is down by 70-80% compared to a decade ago. Vegetable production is also down significantly.

      But rather than setting up education centers and giving out condoms the theists are screaming "multiply!!! Birth control is a sin

      2. I have to say that this one always astounds me. When and where does anyone come up with the idea that life is somehow fair?

      Forget it; there is no such clause.

      What bothers me equally about religions is the unbalanced way they equate their gods. If something good happens they want everyone to praise their gods; but when bad things happen is that not equally the doing of their gods?

      To avoid this little embarrassment they came up with the "plan". So just how does this plan work when a family with no means of support has a handicapped child?

      3. Practicality. This is something else that becomes more evident in poorer regions. In a tiny town nearby there sits a HUGE church. It is really a rather impressive edifice but the town that built it can be circumnavigated on foot in less than 2 hours, far less if you don’t stop to chat. Crazier still is that it isn't the only church in town, of the same religion. I have never been there when there wasn’t some kind of construction going on. The padre told me that they started in 1934, “Of course there is still much to be done.”

      4. 2,000 seems a rather random number. It would have to be at least 5,000 for the Christian gods and we can’t say for certain about the ancient gods, so why not say 20,000 or 200,000. No god has ever been proven in the time of man.

      5. Nobody will ever have the slightest clue what a god wanted.

      Just like we don’t have a clue as to what Jesus ever really said. The first writing about him was 40 years later.

      Any doubts to that can be put to rest by asking one’s spouse what they said last week, or last night.

      You are correct the greatest fear of religion has come to pass; they are irrelevant.