But, what if…

I’ve been getting this a lot lately in regards to my atheism.

What if there are things you can’t understand about the universe that God does?

What if you go to hell for not believing?

What if “such and such predicted biblical event, like the rapture” happens?

What if a lot of things. What if a meteor falls out of the sky and hits me? What if I was switched at birth and don’t actually live with my family? What if I walk outside and see Big Foot (not trying to be offensive, because I guess that this comment tends to offend religious people, but I don’t believe in God nor do I believe in Big Foot so I can’t think of a better comparison)? My point being, you can say what if about anything, but it doesn’t actually support your cause.

But I can’t just ignore all of the scientific research that points to your theories being wrong and mine being right. I can’t ignore all of the logical arguments that make far more sense to me than the arguments that religion presents to explain the world or where we came from. I feel if there were a just God in any case, certainly not the God that is worshiped, he would care more about my morality anyways – regardless of whether or not there was an afterlife. I feel it would be incredibly unjust to take one measly lifetime, however, to use it to judge where a person’s soul would go for an eternity. That’s not exactly “fair” not that I’m claiming life is. You’d just think a trial for something so important would be… well, better thought out.
I also can’t ignore that religion itself is just something that’s evolved with humanity and only existed in the first place because people had no idea how to explain the world around them. We now laugh at early religions and don’t even give a thought of validity to Gods like Zeus or Athena or creatures like Chiron – all once regarded as very real. Religion changes with the world as we learn more things, it adapts to keep up with logical, scientific findings in the world. Right now it’s the Judeo-Christian religions that rule the world, before them it was Paganism, and after that who knows – it’s been an obvious trend that the numbers of atheists, agnostics, and a more vague group of “nones” have been rising steadily. I can’t ignore that even when some very good philosophical points are made when speaking with intelligent people of faith, they can still offer me nothing in the light of proof. The bible proves nothing. Hearsay proves nothing. I, on the other hand, have mountains of evidence that is testable and observable and that hasn’t failed the test of logic (if you actually understand it, that is) once for me. I spent the first 16 years of my life as a Christian until one day, for no particular reason, I just wondered if there were better answers to explain the universe because religion just wasn’t convincing to me anymore. I don’t know what changed, honestly, I just decided to start reading about evolution and accounts of people from both sides of the argument. I talked with my parents. I talked with other atheists and even with people at church. Eventually I stopped going to church, and one day I realized that I couldn’t logically accept that God or heaven or hell or anything in the bible was real at all. And I kept reading, I kept talking, and I’m still learning. I have a thirst for knowledge that wasn’t there before, and a want to do good in the world that I (strangely) never felt as a Christian. The world started to look better to me, my life seemed more meaningful rather than just a test to please a very confusing God. It scared me at first, to think of life in terms of being all I get, but it isn’t anymore. I suppose it would be nice to have more time, but an eternity of anything seems boring to me. What’s the point of living if there’s no incentive to appreciate that I’m alive and here at all? That is just a personal thought though.

I suppose what sparked this post was that I decided to come to this website at all, and only having been a member for I think 3 days (?), I’ve already talked to people who really made me think about religion. But I come back to my atheism every time, having carefully considered their words.

Maybe some of them are expressing concern or their own personal fear of hell when they ask me what if I’m wrong, but I simply cannot feel fear for something that I believe to be imaginary. Humans imagine great things all the time, just look at J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, or any of Van Gogh’s paintings. The bounds of our minds just may be limitless – so why is it so hard to think that we imagined God back when we were just barely intelligent creatures because we wanted a way to explain the world?

Science may not be able to answer every single question I have (yet) but it does a lot better job than religion ever did for me.

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About thatcatkatie
I came to this site to discuss my beliefs, and yours too, and hopefully learn some things from my fellow human beings.

12 Responses to But, what if…

  1. (e)m says:

    My answer to “What if an omnipotent God does exist?” is that then that asshole has a lot to answer for.

  2. marksackler says:

    What if the universe is a lot more interesting without an omnipotent god? That’s my view, and I’m sticking to it!

  3. slrman says:

    All of this “what if” questions are nothing more than a rehash of Pacal’s Wager. That simply works out to, our god is so stupid that he can be fooled by someone pretending to believe, “just in case.” If not that, then he has more care for the pretenders

    • thatcatkatie says:

      Excellent thought. Pascal’s Wager is really just selfish, anyways – it’s saying that you don’t necessarily believe in god (which is something that he supposedly requires of you to get into heaven) but on the off-chance heaven exists, you want in, so you’ll just pretend to live your life his way so that just in case we don’t simply die, you get to go on in eternity getting what you want.
      The logic is just well, actually not logic at all, because any all-knowing, all-powerful being would know that you didn’t really believe in the first place and are just going through the motions in order to gain something (eternity in heaven).
      You either believe something, or you don’t. Simply going through the motions can’t accomplish anything.

  4. atheistslut says:

    I really enjoyed this post. Your very thorough and logical way of presenting why you don’t believe would be helpful when I’m trying to respond to all those “what if” questions from theists. Its difficult because often times I feel like they don’t actually want answers to the questions, they just want to vent their frustration at me for not being religious anymore.
    *sigh*
    excellent blog! Glad I found you!

    • thatcatkatie says:

      Exactly, and I can’t think of any what if questions that present any sort of proof along with them. They’re always questions that present a philosophical idea or ethical issue – never anything that would shake any amount of proof that I have. Sure, it makes me think about the world, but it doesn’t actually change anything.
      Thank you!

      • slrman says:

        One question I use that I combine with a challenge is this. “If presented with undeniable evidence on religion or anything else, I would change my position on the issue. What would it take for you to change your position?”

        • thatcatkatie says:

          I’ve brought this up as well, and I think more than justly so being a former Christian. I’ve considered both sides of the argument. If there were evidence for any religious claims or the ‘word of God’, I would believe it, but there isn’t, so I don’t – that and the overwhelming amount of evidence the other side does have.

      • M. Rodriguez says:

        i also really enjoyed this post.

        What if all the Unanswered questions are just that…Unanswered questions waiting for someone to answer them

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