Why are we afraid of addressing a deity? And worried that we risk causing offence by calling him by the wrong name?
This was the thought that had crossed my mind after a fellow WordPress user posted on her blog with rebuttals to questions I had brought to the table. That’s a big problem with religious thinking. As plentiful as the answers may be to a question, a high proportion either don’t answer, or lead to further questions and ridicule.
Religion should be slammed for not answering questions more than the scientific community, primarily due to it’s supposed perfect, true and infinitely knowledgable status. Boasting to claim authority and superiority but very rarely living up to the standard it projects. So why is it so many bloggers blog on behalf of their chosen God? Maybe it is due to a deep down acknowledgment that ‘G-d’ actually isn’t present to help, or simply does not want to. Either of the two are reasons to stop arguing in his favour, yes?
There isn’t a single person on this earth who would gain my respect by ordering me to refrain from using their name, or demand a title of superiority. Sure we have Presidents, Judges, Doctors, Captains, etc. But this does not unsettle me anything close to the idea of a deity wanting special treatment. A one of infinite rule and lifespan, wanting constant praise and has a keen interest in keeping his creations out of touch with the universe we were brought into. This should be very unsettling indeed for anyone. The only conclusion I can come to as to why some find comfort in this, is the lack of thinking of repercussions from living in such a world. Down to the minor issues such as how to title the creator without unintentionally causing a mood swing. This is the fate we want? Thankfully growing numbers don’t.
‘How’, not ‘why’
Now, from ‘G’ to the‘W’ word. Something I personally hear often. Too often. Just because why is a word we can conjure up in our minds to question just about anything, doesnt mean we should. This can lead to a lot of confusion when trying to make sense of our world.
A flight goes missing in the ocean, with hundreds of people on board. Here, we can picture many scenarios of how this might have occured. A loss of power to the engines, human error, sudden and rapid changes to the weather… When considering how complicated aircraft are the list of potential causes for a disapearance are huge. But this is how it came to be. To ask why in the sense I hear from the religious is total time wasting. Why did it deserve to go missing? Why that flight and not another? Why has God made this a part of his great plan?
It doesnt need to be a why question, if why was to be considered at every opportunity the real how questions could not be answered with as much clarity. Also if ‘why’ is a question we should consider, yet we were created with an intentional lack of intellect to comprehend that answer, then why bother? Another challenge to Gods apparent morals.
The illusion of free will
Sam Harris not too long ago had a great speech delivering his idea of free will, or the lack of. At one point in his talk he simply states:
‘What is your next thought going to be?’
Simply put yet powerful. Powerful enough to give it a think over. I have added that simple sentence to lead into the next point. The talk is a little off track with this, but most certainly on the topic of free will, and definately worth a watch (a simple google/youtube search will do the trick).
How do we have free will if others can willingly decide to take our rights away? A supposed important point brought to my attention was that we have free will in this world, and any evil is brought on by our own abuses to this free will. This completely ignores the fact that this free will can be abused and used to overpower others, thus taking free will away. So no, we don’t all have such freedom.
And no matter how many times I am told that it is not God doing the harm it is ourselves, I cannot and will not comprehend the logic that the victims are to blame because they are human, and humans are susceptible to breaking the rules.
How can anyone argue that the 200 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria don’t get a chance by God because he has granted us free will as humans, and palm the blame off to certain humans doing the kidnapping. I have stated this before and will until it sinks in.
If a God has the potential to stop harm but doesn’t, he is immoral. Imagine if you were the victim in a situation like that in Nigeria, and you could see God present. He wasn’t in another realm, or in the sky, he was standing opposite. How would this make you feel. That he possessed power to change the situation with the click of his fingers but shrugs it off because we are the ones responsible, doing this to ourselves. This would be utter heartbreak to witness first hand as the victim. Yet we see this daily when trying to find logic and a correlation between violence and the existence of a loving God. And for some reason knowing God is out there but far away makes it all the more bearable that he doesn’t intervene.
Have a little patience!
Regarding the horrible idea that the duration of time unfortunate people spend in suffering is immeasurably small compared to the joy of afterlife, is a grotesque way to justify how this being acceptable. It doesn’t make it acceptable. Elisabeth Fritzl, held captive and raped for 24 years. How willing is anyone to go through this once in their life, as an isolated incident? It is not acceptable in the slightest to say this was justified because the next life will be better. It is not acceptable at all.
If I had a pet monkey, and abused it for a day knowing that I would tomorrow feed, love, appreciate, protect and improve its overall care for the rest of said monkeys life, I still wouldn’t allow or justify the abuse. Suffering is suffering regardless of the duration of time. The same is true if a police officer witnessed an attack but only intervened after a few minutes of watching the incident, purely because the officer knows that what is to come is the attackers inprisonment and the victims freedom and justice. It is still unthinkable. There should not be a need for anyone to use logic like this when speaking from a religious standpoint, and how suffering can be approved.
It is a great way to excercise our rational thinking by viewing from a different perspective. Using certain arguments put towards us and picturing similar scenarios that we may easily encounter in everyday life- it truly is a great eye opener. Like the above, a policeman instead of a God. The same logic and moral compassion are neccessary here. If we were to take the imagined scene above and see this ourselves, we would protest. Yet if it is a God with the same logic, with the suffering multiplied from a few minutes to literally decades, it becomes acceptable. And this kind of thinking being so widespread throughout the world should be a huge worry to us all.