Posts Tagged ‘Mormons

26
Sep
13

God to Me is Like a Ghost or Space Alien

I was accosted waiting for a bus by a clean cut, well-scrubbed, polite and earnest young man doing his Mormon missionary work the other day.  In response to his solicitation, I nicely informed him that while I appreciate his effort, I am an atheist.  He asked, “Can you tell me why you’re an atheist?”  What follows is my response:

“I’m an educated, well-read person who has studied a lot of world myth, legend, and folklore.  I operate from logic and reason, and religion always comes down to having ‘faith’ which just doesn’t cut it with me.  As far as I’m concerned, while the Bible is entertaining, it is not the word of God.  It was written by men for other men and subject to their interpretations, not to mention translations-and as the saying goes, you always lose something in translation-and is representative of the customs and society of the people in context to the area and times in which they lived.

I understand and agree that many people lack an inner moral compass and need some sort of outside influence or institution to provide them with guidelines on how to live.  It can be a useful tool to keep masses of people in line and mostly extol good and virtuous rules for living harmoniously with others.  It can provide solace and comfort in a crazy and cruel world.  Religion is the opium of the masses as Karl Marx said, and many need something to hope for and believe in.  Believe me, I very much wish there was a judgement in the after life where the wicked were punished and the good rewarded, but it’s a hopeful fairy tale at best to me.

The way I look at it, belief in “God” to me is like believing in ghosts (and not the Holy one) or space aliens.  I don’t completely discount the possibility they exist, but I have yet to see any resounding proof.  I’ve actually seen a ghost, but I can’t say what it really is.  It’s possible that it could be the spirit of the dead.  It could be a psychic echo of something that happened.  It could be a rift in dimensions that allows an opening to be seen.  It could be a time loop, replayed and stuck in one moment.  I don’t know, but I don’t believe definitively that it’s the soul of a dead person.

Same goes for space aliens.  It’s not only possible, but probable they exist, considering the vastness of the universe.  Are they the bug-eyed gray creatures depicted in popular culture that abduct you?  Or are they a type of life form indiscernible to the human eye and not in any form detectable to our senses?  I know that many scientists actually believe in God which seems counter-intuitive.  But the more they learn about the intricacies of life, creation, the universe, they feel that there has to be some divine spark or creator because it’s all so miraculous that just the right circumstances and chance came together to create life and matter.

I resent that many people believe in God and abide by religious tenets out of fear of Hell, rather than love of virtue.  I respect and admire someone who acts and lives morally and conscientiously because he wants to be a good person, not because he’s afraid of punishment in the hereafter.  That actually takes more courage, when you don’t believe there is any end reward but still live a righteous life because it’s the right thing to do.

Ultimately, I can’t put my faith in anything or anyone that would be so petulant, spiteful, childish, unjust, and well, human, to send someone to an eternity of torment for not believing in him despite living a blameless life.  A higher being has to be just that- transcendent and flawless, not a reflection of ourselves, albeit a better one than most people, to earn my worship.”

Poor guy, he was just trying to do what he thought was right and got an earful and then some.  I’m sure he was more than relieved when my bus came and I had to go.