Stop using God as an excuse

I don’t believe in religion. I will openly admit I question the existence of God. I have concluded that I am too ignorant to  finitely decide whether God exists or does not exist. As a human, my knowledge of the universe and its mechanisms are limited. I realize that even proven facts are still a matter of opinion.

2+2=4, because mathematical formulas tell us that is the correct answer. 

Sky is blue and grass is green, because color and noun definitions have defined those images for us.

God exists, because…? Because a holy book of worship told us so? Because we heard it in church? Because the name and image has been passed on for generations? 

Interesting that we find it acceptable to debate and question most all forces BESIDES religion. In most settings, it is still considered uncouth, vulgar, and even unacceptable to challenge the dogma and institution. Skepticism is dangerous; if you ask questions, you must not “truly believe.” And, if you do not “truly believe,” you are poorly representing your religion; you are sinning or acting disgracefully or face potential punishment. 

Here’s my philosophy on God: The notion of God is a little like the notion of happiness or the notion of love. Intangible, complex, and different for every individual. To some, God is an almighty force watching over the Earth and taking care of everyone living on it. To others, God is more of a presence. God can be in each of us. God may be dictating what we do; he may be giving us freewill. Some hear him; others seem him; some talk to him, praying and kneeling and begging for his mercy. Others will never believe in God’s existence. 

Who’s right?

Everyone.

Every definition of God is right, because every definition of love is right. If I believe love is a combination of A, B, and C and someone else believes love is a combination of X, Y, and Z, who’s right? How can we know for sure? Isn’t it all just a matter of careful, subjective opinions? How can we know what’s wrong when proof is still a matter of bias? How can the God you pray to in your church be any better than the God someone across the world prays to, in a separate language? In the middle of the field? 

People have tremendous pride in their religion, which is absolutely beautiful and worthy of all respect and tolerance. There is nothing wrong with having utmost faith for what you believe in. What is wrong is when people believe their religion is “the right religion.” Why? Is your perception of love the only “right perception of love?” Is your car the “only right car to drive?” Is your definition of happiness the only “right definition of happiness?”

THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF RELIGIONS IN THE WORLD? And yours is CONVENIENTLY the right one?

This is not your fault. Unfortunately, most religions are designed to be righteous and influential. Challenge is dangerous; skepticism is often discouraged. Why is your religion the right one? Because, your society tells you it’s the right one. Your church or your family or your religious leaders tell you it’s the right one. Your book of worship tells you it’s the right one.

Let’s say, hypothetically, you were born in a jungle, without the access of human interaction or the knowledge of reading, writing, and speaking. Would you still “find” that religion? Would you find it without any awareness that your religion existed? Without any churches or holy texts? Without any ability to read or write or interpret its meaning?  Would you still pray to the same preconceived image of God that you have now?

And, for goodness sakes, can we end the dispute between believers and atheists/agnostics? Why the tension? It comes down to this: why should YOU CARE if your fellow citizen doesn’t believe in your same God? It can really go two ways from here. Either there is a GOD and that GOD will rightfully decide what to do with that individual. Your opinion will not affect the decision, nor will it make you a “better” person. Or, there is no God and you wasted your time.

No matter what the conclusion, why does it affect you?

If you love and believe in God, please enjoy his love to your fullest desire. Enjoy and relish in God’s spirit. But, don’t use God as an excuse to promote hatred. If God exists, would God want that? Would the force who supposedly embodies true, unconditional and unwavering love WANT the people to be fighting over him, to be using his name in such vain, to be using his force as an excuse to cause war, strife, and hatred? Do you believe that is what your God intended? 

Oh, and if God doesn’t exist, again, you’re just wasting your time channeling all the anger.

I realize this post will offend some. I understand the complexity and controversy that arises whenever religion is discussed. But, why does there have to be such discrepancy? Why can’t religion just be a matter of accepting differences, the same way we accept different favorite foods or colors or brands of cars? Yet, people are afraid to challenge religion, afraid of the tension it may invoke.

We need to stop that. 

My religious choices do not affect yours. Yours do not affect mine. Those who believe in God are no more worthy or “better” than those who do not. And, if they are, then their God will act appropriately. Again, if there is a God, doesn’t that God make the final judgment call? 

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4 responses to “Stop using God as an excuse

  1. -I disagree on the idea that facts cannot exist independent of human opinion. No matter how many people disagree with the idea that the Sun is 93 million miles away does not change that distance. Some concepts of proof and truth are not a matter of bias. The scientific method is one of the greatest achievements of mankind – but it was developed as a method to take the problem of bias out of discerning knowable facts. It delineates what claims are provable and what proving them means. The scientific method makes a convincing claim that certain facts are knowable.
    -I would also argue with the idea that everyone is right regarding their concept of god. While many define god with a vague, undisprovable hypothesis (eg. “god is love”), most people are extremely specific with their definitions of god. They make specific historical and predictive claims about god and the nature of god.
    -Dawkins has this argument he often cites when confronted with the idea of why people have their specific religion. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mhh4NVhOv_E ) Where you are born is the strongest determining factor of what religious ideas you accept as truth.
    -If you want to get into why people have these ideas, why they developed, and why they are so readily accepted I’d highly recommend a book by the developmental psychologist Bruce Hood, Supersense: Why We Believe the Unbelievable. He gets into how the brain naturally tries to organize information out of stimulus and how that leads to developing the concept of god.
    -I care whether my fellow citizens believe in god because my fellow citizens vote. And because the representatives that enact laws are practically scientifically illiterate due to their beliefs. These irrational beliefs are why we are still debating over creationism in education, women’s reproductive rights, and whether gay people should have basic human rights. What people believe has an enormous effect on the lot of us.
    -God commands hatred and violence: Deuteronomy 20:13-18. Even in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus endorses this position Matthew 5:17-18. That looks like what god intended, yes.

      • If you don’t know about it, I recommend you look up apatheism – your arguments seem related to the basic concepts espoused by apatheists.

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