Exercising my right of Free Speech and also your right to leave this site if you disagree.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Recurring Issue

Once again, my boss has tried to get me into a religious conversation and convince me that Christianity is the wonderful root and source of all good and morality. I try to not be overly dogmatic in my refutations because he is my boss but I do grow tired of the same old arguments from the religious. There are a few things that get trotted out over and over and over.

First, it is asserted that without God there is no basis for morality and people will be free to do whatever they please. This is a load of non-sense. The fact that a single non-believer (not to mention the millions currently in existence)behaving morally and ethically destroys this argument. Furthermore, human ethics should not be based on aping the behavior of some worshiped entity or from fear of retribution from the same. Why is it not sufficient to base your ethics, as I do, on a desire to make the people around me happy and minimize their suffering? Why is it not sufficient to base your actions on love and respect and an expectation of the same in return? Why do religious people need to inject the threat of punishment?

Secondly, Pascal's wager. This irritating and shallow bit of non-reasoning (I like to think Pascal was being facetious) really gets under my skin. It assumes two things. One, that you can choose to believe and two, that God, if he exists, can't see through the positioning (an insult to deity on the face of it). If you aren't familiar with Pascal's wager, it goes something like this; if you believe in God and he doesn't exist you have lost nothing and gained everything, if you don't believe in God and he does exist, you have lost everything. So you should surely believe in God on the outside chance that if you are wrong he will get you.
To this I only have a rude gesture and the offer of two equally rude words juxtaposed one atop the other in quick succession. I will not live my life in fear and pander to that which has no basis in logic, reason or evidence. I cannot choose to believe in anything. If it is true and I can see that it is true then faith is unnecessary. As for the bet hedging, let us assume there is a God, fine; if he/she/it is worthy of anything called worship then he/she/it would appreciate honest unbelief to dishonest pandering. (Personally, I thing that any being worthy of the name God would despise worship and praise and avoid the faithful like the plague... maybe that is what happened and why we have no signs of god anywhere we look)

Finally, there is the whole immorality of the very premise that God is going to get you. There is no crime capable of being committed in the span of a human life that is worthy of eternal damnation. There is no justice worthy of the name that could write such a sentence. If a human being live for 100 years murdering and raping and burning churches and beating children until they held every record for villainy conceivable, they still would not deserve eternal torture. Even if it could objectively be determined that for each crime, 100 years of torture was just and right, there would be a terminus. Any god so perfect as to not be able to coexist with imperfect beings, firstly shouldn't have created imperfection, would be better served with simply annihilating the condemned. If this god is incapable then they are not the omnipotent being imagined and if capable but unwilling then they are simply sadistic to a level unimaginable to anyone with a shred of morality.

I am sick to death of having to go back over and restate these things only with kidd gloves...

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About Me

I am a husband and a father of two. I work as a network administrator. I am interested in religion and philosophy, though mostly from an external perspective.