Saturday, November 2, 2013

Inventing your own god

In researching religion, including chatting with family and friends about it, I've discovered something comical, and almost hypocritical about people and their gods. I am utterly amazed by how many people believe in a god of their choosing. By that I don't mean they chose the Christian god or Allah, etc.

What I mean is, when the topic of god or a higher power comes up, everyone has their own version (their own personal Jesus, to quote Depeche Mode) and just about no two are alike. To paraphrase Susan B. Anthony, I find it remarkable how everyone's god fits their needs and desires, rather than them following a deity for what something officially says it is. You'd be surprised at the answers or comments given. Here are a few:

"I don't really believe in a god, but I think there is definitely an afterlife."

"I believe all gods are the same god."

"I believe in nature and that something bigger than us created it."

"My god will accept anyone who is good."

The list goes on and on. Such naïveté. Do they even hear themselves when they utter this nonsense? Let's break these down. 

The first one says there's an afterlife but they really don't believe in a god. What led them to believe this? What proof or prior experience pointed them to this contradictory statement and belief? So it's OK to accept something as supernatural and exists without a creator, but a creator existing is something you can't subscribe to? 

At least believers have some book of myths on which to base their beliefs. Their statement is just odd. Of course I'm not saying it's not true, because we can never know, but to just come up with these self-therapeutic hypotheses with no basis in anything is immature and wishful-thinking at best.

The second statement about all gods being the same is hilarious because the second you do any research or read any holy book you learn that just can't be true. And if you subscribe to any religion and think or speak this phrase then you're a blasphemer. It's crystal clear in each religion that they have the one true god. If you look deep into the statement it's yet again wishful-thinking. It makes them feel better in case they have the wrong god. And again they have no basis for this; it's just them making up something without fact, which is irrational, irresponsible and immature.

While the third statement is pretty harmless, it cherry-picks from some sort of religious background. If there were a god, wouldn't it make sure that some sort of proof exists? If you point to the bible or koran, then saying you believe in nature is blasphemous as well. People don't just get an opinion on what deity is responsible for any of this. How are they forming this opinion? It's only because they are clueless it fits their needs and feelings. You love the flowers and trees and it makes you happy? That's sweet, but it's not a deity. You aren't religious; you're a hippie.

As for god accepting anyone who is good, that's a nice sentiment, but you first need to define which god you mean. Is it a god you've invented, because that makes you no different then any other god-inventing religion except you're not using it as a front to steal from parishioners. So, which god? Let's use the Christian god. If you've read your bible, and of course you haven't, you would've learned you can be nice all you want, but if you're gay, you're going to hell. If you're nice but have a relationship with a married person, you're frying for eternity. Get the idea? 

Many people say atheists are only atheists because they want to sin. These people have no idea what logic means. If there were an omniscient deity who could read your mind and watch your every move, does becoming an atheist turn off this god's vision and ability to know all? If there were an omniscient, omnipotent god, an atheist knows perfectly well it would be able to see what the atheist was doing, so those sins would be accounted for. 

When someone says this, it sounds to me like these people have no faith in their own god and actually believe if we don't think there's a god then we will get away with sinning. Atheists don't become atheists to sin; they are atheists because there's no proof of anything supernatural in this world. If anything, atheists do more good than any religious person because whatever good we do, we do it for the act of being good, not for heavenly reward or fear of eternal damnation.

The reason I brought this up was because when someone says god will accept anyone who is good, most of the time they are just making up their own rules to cover for the fact that they've been lazy in their own religious dedication. It's just more wishful-thinking. When they say atheists don't believe so they can sin, it's no different than saying god will accept you if you're good. On the one hand, an atheist doesn't believe to get away with sinning, on the other hand, the theist imagines an all-forgiving understanding god so he can get away with not being devout.

The bottom line is, making up opinions on what you'd like god to be is ridiculous. If there is a god, he's what he is and you don't get to mold him to fit your needs. The second you open your mouth and offer an opinion is the precise moment you show your ignorance and prove just how irreligious you really are, and if there is a god, you're likely pissing him off.

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