- Published on Saturday, 11 May 2013 07:08
- Written by Larry R. Lawson
- Hits: 3307
Reading, in recent weeks, some very interesting blogs on atheist sites and the comments that get written on these blogs, one thing has gradually been borne in upon me. Odd as it may seem, I'm becoming convinced that those who claim to be religious "believers", do not, in fact believe what they say they believe. They do not believe in a god.
Many of them show little or no signs of having any clear idea just what it is they do believe; each indicating a different, sometimes much different, concept of a "god". Since their idea of what and who their god is, is the basis for their other ideas about religion and faith, it is not at all surprising that those other ideas will also show a marked difference from person to person and from church to church when their very concept of god is different.
Perhaps the first thing one notices is that each person's "god" seems to think, act, and be motivated by the exact same things that would motivate that particular person. We see that there are as many "god" concepts as there are people who claim to believe in a god. The peculiar thing among those of similar faith, such as christians, is that they mostly use the very same "bible" on which they claim to base their, very different, ideas.
The next thing one might notice is that those who actually have any clear idea of what is in their "bible", are few and far between. The vast majority of those who claim 'belief' in christianity have woefully little knowledge of that mainstay of all christian beliefs. What is so striking about this is that it doesn't matter to them! They take little time and expend little effort to examine this tome in any serious way. They may attend a church regularly or only occasionally but whenever they do, they listen to what the priest or preacher has to say and blithely accept that which they suppose that person to mean. If one asks them, on the following day, what they were told in church the day before, few can answer with any accuracy.
Now this lack of understanding of the basic tenets of what christians claim are their 'beliefs' has always puzzled atheists. It has often been noted that most atheists have a better knowledge and understanding of the bible than most christians do. Atheists are prepared to cite examples of contradictions, untruths, errors, and other problems with these writings. Most who claim to be christians are not so prepared.
It is, to anyone who has discussed these matters with christians, an astonishing thing! How can these folks claim to have such a deep and abiding 'belief' in such a god and in what they are told is the writings which tell them what that god wants of them? Indeed, how can they make such claims and still just ignore in their daily life all that they claim to believe in? And why, oh why, are they not doing all in their power to remedy this lack of knowledge? Why aren't they studying that bible?
Well I think I know why. It is because they do not really believe in a god any more than they believe in elves, fairies, Santa Claus, or unicorns.
But why claim to believe in a god if they really don't?
Because they don't know that they really don't. Y'see, they want to believe in a god. They see many benefits to there being a god. Benefits like 'answered prayers' and 'eternal life' and 'being loved' (no matter what kind of jerks they are), and explaining all sorts of things for which they have no explanation or understanding. Let's face it, understanding how the universe works is a large task; this would take many millenniums of serious study to even begin to accomplish. It's much easier just to say, "because god wants it that way". Oh yes; there are many good reasons to wish that there is a god.
So now there is a wee problem. Deep down they pretty much know that there isn't any such being - but they want there to be one. How to get one? Well, as we often tell ourselves in regard to other matters, all you need to do is to believe really, really hard and you will get what you want. This is exactly what they are doing. Wishing really, really hard and trying to convince themselves that they truly do believe. It is hoped, I suppose, that if enough people all wish really hard for there to be a god, then there just will be one.
Now this is obviously ridiculous. Which is why they would never openly admit to doing it. But they show, in so many ways, that this is exactly what they are doing. Ways that often they conveniently ignore or that even have them puzzled at times.
Look at how their supposed god requires them to behave towards their fellow man. Do they behave that way? No, they don't. According to what they say they believe, their god is watching them at all times. This god knows everything they do. This god will punish them for all eternity for their wrongdoings!
My goodness, if I thought I faced eternal hell for doing wrong, I'd pull up my socks in a New York minute!!
So would they.
The fact that they go on doing things that they know are wrong is a pretty clear indication that they do NOT believe they will have to face the music for their sins. Why not? No real, deep down, true belief in a god, that's why not.
All around them are people, just like them, who are professing belief in a god but not acting an a manner consistent with such a belief. People who are trying their darndest to believe that there is a god. Who are wishing for there to be one. Who have a need for there to be one. So, taking their cue from those around them, they too profess to believe and get fully involved in trying to make it true by wishing it to be so. Even if they are not going to church or doing all the christian acts, they, if they profess to believe in a god, are merely wishing for there to be one.
It is this "wishing for a god" that is what they call "belief".
First published August 2010