A political satire show jokingly presented an overlapping issue by belittling a politician’s belief in God, along the lines of “he believing that the world is around 6000 years old, and he believing in a God that is powerful enough to create the universe in 6 days but not powerful enough to NOT make paedophiles”.
Many sceptics hearing these sorts of comments on an otherwise mainstream news show would gleefully laugh at said man with his seemingly, by modern standards, conservative beliefs, the insinuation being: how can we (citizens) allow such a man with such (ridiculous) beliefs to govern a state or country.
The bigotry here is pretty palpable and intentional.
What so often frustrates me, is when intelligent people fail to really think.
This ultimately comes down to choice, and what we choose to believe based on the evidence at hand. As we know, good lawyers are very capable of getting guilty men off the hook, and it happens more often than we care to admit. The evidence for or against God’s existence is the same for all. To myself, the evidence is overwhelmingly convincing (For), but I acknowledge that there is just enough of an element of doubt to fuel the ‘un-believer’. As to why this doubt exists, well I encourage you to read another article I wrote exploring this very issue. [Why do you need faith to believe in God?]
I must also add that much of the bias against God is fueled by man’s own ignorance and pride, and that other thing listed among the notorious 7 deadly sins, that of ‘Sloth’ (or laziness/apathy/indifference). Many are content to live without truly knowing, because to know or to seek to know would mean disturbing their status quo. It means (via their misguided perception) perhaps living a devout life of celibacy and going to church every Sunday and helping thy neighbor, and generally being accountable, and gasp, reading the Bible - that outdated and thick book of many tiny words written in some ancient languages that’s mostly confusing and filled with parables… and who knows what to take literally and what not, and how is something that apparently contravenes modern scientific theory going to help me today? Not to mention all the “fairytales” with talking animals and bushes…
So, instead of going through all that hullabaloo, why not skip it and just go on with my life, “as you were” minding my own business, and being generally (by the world’s standards) a good and law abiding citizen, because if being a good person isn’t good enough for whatever god may or may not exist, then maybe he/she isn’t a god worth knowing.
The issue arises: Are you earnestly seeking the truth?
If not, then don’t bother continuing with this read.
- We are imposing our will on God saying what we think should be the criteria for getting into heaven. This is also highlighting our pride… and is a thinly veiled way of saying that we know better than God (or are more intelligent than God – the creator of the universe).
- We take the issue of morality very lightly – and have bypassed the objective/subjective debate, that being “how do we know what the absolutes of good and bad/evil are?” – Meaning we’ve predetermined our own status or assumed our own definition of what it means to be a “good person”. But on what basis can we do this? So who’s standard are we living by here…? Answer: Our own.
So that means that we have to relinquish power or concede that we do not (and will never) know everything.
At the heart of this, is submission… to submit to a greater power than ourselves, an entity that knows better than we do and that has the ability to, and has, outlined a particular way in which we should live our lives…
But we don’t want to be told how to live our lives. This is essentially crux of the matter, like a rebellious teenager not wanting a parent to interfere and tell them what to do… so we choose our own way, and in a world where we’re free to exercise our own free will, evil will exist.
- and this is the choice we all must make
- – its simple [the original sin of Adam & Eve was disobedience]
There are many more issues and questions that this raises, but essentially, we need to confront or entertain the issue of ourselves and our relation toward (a potential) God. Once we accept the simple dynamics of this relationship, then the state of play is made more apparent, and the consequences we live with are put into a little more context… this is also when the answers become more complicated and even messy, and we must first be prepared for answers we don't like, or are uncomfortable, before we even earnestly ask the hard questions.
“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
“If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning.”
“… the Christian view… that this is a good world that has gone wrong, but still retains the memory of what it ought to have been.”
--- C.S. Lewis - ‘Mere Christianity: The Rival conceptions of God; The Invasion p. 39-44’