I saw this on a Christian’s Facebook and it got me wondering. There’s several things going on with this statement and I think the implications are quite interesting.
I believe in a Creator God who chose me before the beginning of time to Love
I think that bit has a slight problem. The disturbing lack of proof for the existence of a ‘Creator God’ aside, questioning what comes before the beginning of time is a bit pointless since the concept of ‘before’ is meaningless without time. I also think ‘chose’ is pretty much the wrong word to use: if there was a ‘creator god’, he didn’t ‘choose’ you out of a set of options, he invented you, put you together from scratch. In other words, you are now exactly as he decided before you existed. Also, the word ‘chosen’ in that context is actually a bit annoying. It implies you are important; more important than somebody else who was not chosen. Why were other people not chosen? Indeed, why were the Israelites ‘chosen’ and nobody else? Not the Chinese, not the Australian Aborigines, not the Eskimos, not the Europeans… and the list goes on. Why do you think your god plays favorites and why are some people more deserving of his choosing than others?
to Love and know Him
A great many passages in the Bible contain horror and terror actually. Fear is what your god wants most. Love should be earned, fear is demanded. Love should not be demanded yet that is what your god does. Love me or I will torture you forever. Sure, you’re free to not love me but you will be tortured for eternity if you don’t. Love? How do you love something that not only invents The Worst Thing Ever(tm), eternal torture, but then goes on to bestow that privilege on most of humanity – that he personally designed and created by the way. And know Him? Really? Through one terribly badly cobbled together, self-contradictory, reality contradictory book of dubious origin and not a damn thing else? If he wanted you to know him, he’d be talking to you unambiguously and you’d be able to prove it simply by getting verifiable information you didn’t have before. Which you don’t.
who sacrificed much
Well, no. You see, here’s the thing. You can’t have an omnipotent, omniscient, immortal super being on one hand and then claim that 72 hours of temporary loss of human existence is a sacrifice of any kind. Do you even need me to equate that to something? Ok, let me try. Let’s assume that at the time of the alleged crucifixion the world was just 4,000 years old and lets just work with that, discarding that this god had allegedly been around for a trillion trillion years before that and will be around for another trillion trillion years after that. God, being omniscient and omnipotent knows perfectly well that he will be ‘dead’, in other words, lose his earthly mobility – because he KNOWS death is not the end of existence, merely a change – temporarily. He will ‘die’ and be ‘dead’ for 72 hours and then he will be ‘alive’ again.
If he was only 4,000 years old he ‘sacrificed’ the minuscule equivalent of about 100 minutes of a human life. That’s a sacrifice? Are you kidding? Do you know what people who die of AIDS or cancer or Ebola go through? And they know the end is the end, there is no coming out the other side after a quick, temporary, 72 hour episode of death. People suffer heinous deaths every day, suffer for months even years before they die and you want to call giving up a pathetic fraction of a fraction of a percent of a never-ending life a sacrifice? I don’t think so.
to have you Love and know Him too
Yea? Me too? Well that’s pretty simple and since he knows everything and can do anything he knows how to get me to get to know him. He just has to start talking. It’s so incredibly simple – just give me some of that divine knowledge. Tell me the proof for Goldbach’s conjecture. Put the mathematical equation that shows how to fit gravity into the standard model in my head. Tell me how to prove or disprove M-theory. No? The requirement is that I have to believe in something while all the evidence points to something else? That’s a bit strange don’t you think? Why is this god trying to trick me?
He is amazing
Really? Which part of him precisely? The genocidal part? The infanticidal part? The bit that invented eternal torture and suffering? The misogynistic woman hating part? No, the stories that contain this horrible character were amazing to bronze age goat herders. What’s amazing is that you, a modern, educated, thinking person can ignore the truck load of problems, horror stories, gross injustice and just plain terrible shit, happily, to carry on sprouting this idiocy.
the best thing about my life is He is in it
And here we get to the crux of it, as it were.
Imagine for a moment, what it would take to convince a person, who repeats this kind of statement to themselves every day, that this god they think is the best thing about their life is a figment of their imagination. I think this is one of the main things that keep people in religion. Having to think that you’ve gone around for years and years saying things like ‘He is amazing and the best thing about my life is He is in it’ and having that sentiment reinforced once a week by people that you trust and then to think that the ‘he’ part of that statement doesn’t actually exist must be pretty disconcerting.
All other things aside, I think it takes a hell of a lot to get over the sheer embarrassment that the realisation that there is no god brings and I think this is why the realisation builds over time instead of just arriving like a ton of bricks all at once (usually). The knowledge that this god you carry on about is a figment of your imagination must be a profoundly uncomfortable thing to realize when your entire life up to that point essentially consisted out of ‘the best thing about my life is that he is in it’. How would you feel if you had to find out the ‘best thing in your life’ was really a shitty horror story and nowhere near even resembling the truth. And a lot of people around you know it. And you’ve been saying this really stupid shit and rubbing it in their faces at every opportunity you got… for years…
I think this is also why it is so difficult to get a person who is religious to take an objective view on what they believe, just for a moment. To take that objective view involves having to look at that statement and the thousands just like it, made repeatedly over years and consider that it was all nonsense. The thought actually has to enter your brain and I think it is kept out by sheer embarrassment.
I don’t think Christians or religionuts of any other description seriously consider what it is that they say or do. I don’t think they can. If they could, I think they’d understand how profoundly stupid and ridiculous it really is and they would stop.