Saturday, October 22, 2005

Discussion with the Humanists

Sorry this post will be a bit lengthy.  I just wanted to quote a blog posting from the Humanist News blog and my comment to it.  I've commented there a few times before and have had some good interaction and some plain mean-spiritedness.  We'll see which this exchange brings about.

Screed #1

I am not special. The universe does not care about me. There is no big man in the sky in whose image I was made and who is watching over me or answering my hopes or telling me how I should behave. I am made from the same decaying matter as everything else. My ancestors, only a few thousand generations ago, were a bunch of flea bitten apes. I have no eternal soul, and eventually my brain will be worm food and my consciousness will be obliterated, with no hope of an afterlife.

And I deny these facts or become emotional about them because......??? I mean, imagine how much of a narcissistic, insecure, needy wimp I would be if my sense of self-worth, the entire significance of my life, and any hope for the future depended on a belief that I was created by a deity and that said deity cares about me. Imagine how bad I would feel about myself if I believed that my natural desires as a person were unquestionably sinful, and that I ought to frequently bow my head in supplication to a higher power. Imagine if, in vain-glorious hopes of an afterlife, I was unable to focus on soaking up all that my current life has to offer.

Personally, I cannot see how religious delusions do anything positive for those who believe them, and as I'm sure you can tell, my suspicion is that most such beliefs ultimately play off of and encourage insecurities and self-doubt. This is hardly the kind of thing that would lead me to flourishing or "the good life."

At least for me, I think Bertrand Russell said it best: "I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue."
posted by Ramsay Hoguet


Hurts said...

Hi. I'm Rob and I am special. I don't know if the universe cares about me, but I know the Creator of the universe does. Yes, I am made in His image and I do listen to how He tells me I should behave. My ancestors, only a few thousand years ago may have had fleas (we get them when our dogs bring them in), but they definitely weren't apes.

Hmmm...I would be much more narcissistic, insecure and questioning my sense of self-worth and entire significance if I thought I was some kind of "cosmic accident" whose ancestors were apes who came from a purposeless big bang.

I guess if I was left to myself, which we all are if we don't believe in God, I would feel pretty bad about my natural desires being unquestionably sinful. Watching the world news would tend to reinforce this belief. But because I have a relationship with my Creator, as all can, I can rest in the assurance that my sinful nature is forgiven.

As to not being able to focus on soaking up all that my current life has to offer...why would I miss that just because I look forward to an afterlife with my Creator. Jesus said "I came to give you life in all it's fullness". I guess that's just "Bible thumping" to you, but I can't think of a better person to ask what life is about than the Creator of life. Persoanlly, I can't see anything more hopeless than a universe in which I am the best thing there is to offer. In a universe without God, all I have is me. Don't get me wrong. I think I'm a great guy and people who hang out with me would tell you I almost always think I'm right. But if the only "answers" in life are the ones I know or can, now THAT is depressing. Maybe you think you have all the answers in life...that's kinda scary, too.

Personally, I cannot see how religioius delusions do anything positive for people, either. However, neither do I see how Humanist delusions do anybody any good. Delusions generally are not good. I suppose you are not-so-kindly calling Christianity a "religious delusion", but I think that is one heck of a judgement call. You can't really prove God does not exist. If you want to put the burdne on me to "prove" God does exist, I gotta be honest and tell you it has to start with FAITH. But calling everything you do not understand or agree with a "delusion" does not seem very logical, reasonable or scientific to me.

I guess you or others who reply to this post may call me "delusional", but this would not be the place to post if I were insecure or my faith caused self-doubt.

Lastly, I don't know if he said it best, but I too agree with Bertrand Russell when he says, "I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue." Must be why God offers RELATIONSHIP instead of religion.

Rob Hurt

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rob , you hit it on the head. My grandmother is an atheist and I have always said it took more faith not to believe than to believe. Thank you for taking up the cause because it sounds like it was about time for them to hear from God focused people, stan