On Religions and the Religious
Christians have the Bible. It tells them that they are blessed of God. It tells them that God is on their side. It tells them that God will help them make decisions. And it tells them that God opposes those who oppose them.
Jews have the Torah. It tells them God blesses them. It tells them that God is on their side, even though sometimes it seems the whole world is against them. It tells them that God will help them make decisions. And it tells them that all who oppose them are therefore against God, and therefore opposed by God.
Muslims have the Koran. It tells them they are blessed of Allah. It tells them that Allah is on their side. It tells them that Allah will help them make decisions. And it tells them that all who oppose them also oppose Allah, and so Allah will oppose their enemies as well.
Other religions have various books, stories, legends, and beliefs that mirror those of the Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Peoples and tribes the world over have ancient legends that speak of their own blessedness of whatever deity they believe created them, and the assurance that their creator will sustain them and support them against their enemies.
I have none of these things. I am a non-theist. I don’t believe in God, or Allah, or any other deity. I believe that no such gods exist.
Since I don’t believe in such a being, I cannot believe I am blessed by such a being. Therefore I must believe that I am no better than any other person.
Since I don’t believe in such a being, I cannot believe that such a being is on my side. Therefore I must believe that I am on my own. I must believe that my actions bear consequences for me, here in this life, in this world. I must believe that if I am right or correct, that good will result, but if I am wrong or incorrect, that I might suffer for it. The result is that I am more careful and considerate in my decisions, especially as to their impact on other people.
Since I don’t believe in such a being, I cannot believe that such a being will oppose and strike down my enemies. Accordingly, I must select my enemies and my battles based upon facts, knowledge, and my abilities to win battles I may enter into.
Because I don’t believe in God, or Allah, nor in the holiness of the books their believers carry, I don’t have to hate anybody. If you do believe in God, or Allah, or Ra, or any other supreme being, that is okay. My god’s feelings aren’t hurt, because I don’t have a god. So I can love you, like you, appreciate you, and respect you, even though I don’t believe in your supreme being. It is no challenge to my supreme being – because I don’t have one.
My nonexistent supreme being doesn’t take offense that the concept that we might have evolved from lesser beings, nor that they did not create our world/planet/solar system. Accordingly, I can enjoy and appreciate the sciences of paleontology and archaeology, and the discoveries they bring.
One of the things that all the “supreme beings” seem to have in common is their maleness. God, Allah, and all the others I have heard of seem always to insist that males are stronger, smarter, more blessed, and the only sex capable of making important decisions. Females in all religions seem to be subordinate to males in all aspects. But, since I don’t believe in these supreme beings or their teachings, I can fully appreciate the female of our species. I am not bound to believe that they are genetically inferior, nor incapable of excellence. I even believe that they are capable of making life decisions without the help of fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons.
Because my non-existent supreme being does not validate my opinions through daily prayer and study of their words, I must be open to new ideas. Since I know I am not always right, I must therefore be sometimes wrong, or at least not totally right. I am now free to explore new ideas, and even to cast aside old ideas and paradigms. I can even admit I WAS wrong, without impugning any supreme being. I am not bound to the written and often translated words of men written hundreds or even thousands of years ago. I can explore new ideas, new theories, and new scientific datum.
Because my non-existent supreme being has not promised me eternal life and various benefits if I obey their commands, I must believe that this world is all that I will have, and I must decide, on my own, how I will live. If I decide to do right (and I have) I believe that I will do right because it is the right thing to do, not so that I will have eternal life. In other words, I will do right just because it is the right thing to do. Without promise of reward!! What a rewarding, mature revelation that is. I do the right thing, live the right way, just because it is right. How adult and mature that makes me feel. Children and animals do things for the reward. Mature individuals do things because they need to be done. My reward is the knowledge that I am doing the right thing!
One of the immediate benefits of this realization is that I no longer have to beat my kids. The Torah, the Bible, and the Koran all advise parents to wield weaponry against their children in order to make them obey the Torah, the Bible, or the Koran. Since I don’t believe – I don’t have to beat my kids. I can teach them to act correctly, to behave correctly, and to be correct. I can do this by talking, by reasoning, by mentoring, and by modeling the good behavior I want them to emulate.
In short – I am what I am because I want to be this way. I do it without fear of eternal damnation, and without promise of eternal reward. I have determined that being honest, treating others (regardless of their beliefs) with respect and honor, and supporting and loving my family and being a good neighbor are the right things to do. And I do them. And I am rewarded for that by the knowledge that I am doing a good job.
In short, I am glad I am a non-theist. I am freed from the chains of “faith based” thinking, of decisions based on doing “what Jesus would do”, and of the impact on my eternal soul.
Thank god I am a non-theist. (That is a tongue-in-cheek joke).
If you are a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a believer in one of the native American religions, or a member of any other recognized or unrecognized sect or religion – that is okay with me. I do not belittle you or disrespect you because you believe what I do not. I just feel sorry for you, because your God will not allow you to respect me. You are so cheated.
Hey, philosophically we do have Science and Reality on our side!
Though physically, reality never takes sides.
Nor does theists pseudo-reality.
They only want to believe it does.
So ends the Gospel of Gus.
That was awesome.. well done
I'm very happy that you liked this.
Obviously I didn't write this on the spur of the moment. I have had it in my files for a few years.
It is nice to be validated. Thanks. I hope it helps some body in a discussion, or with their personal thoughts.
By the way - nothing I write is copyrighted. I hope any who read anything I write, and can use it will do so.
I even give my name, Gus Heist, for use - it is a psuedonym.
Gus Heist is short for Augustus Theodore Heist, or A. T. Heist. I have been writing under that psuedonym for some time, and offer its use to any others who want to (or have to) write anonymously.
Have a great day!!!!!
Loren already said it, but I was thinking it too. You are not all alone, you have people like us!