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Relevant To All; Interesting To a Rare Few
On Facebook, I read through part of a painfully long and heated debate about Christianity and atheism on a photo on the page for Jesus Christ. I spent several hours writing this comment, and achieved nothing by posting it. Now I'm passing it on to you few who may have a coherent thought or two in that noggin of yours.
I promise you it gets inspiring, so try to stick with it.
This is arguably the most fundamental and prevalent controversy of our time. What's more personal to a being than its own existence? To anyone with a bit of curiosity, the answer is nothing.
The problems in humanity's past have been predominantly of race and equality--of trying to make society just and safe for all peoples. But at the heart of it all is our beliefs. The way you look at the world defines the way in which you'll live your life. So it's understandable that we get heated in these debates. And as Carl Sagan once said, "Life is merely a glimpse of the wonders of the astonishing Universe, and it's sad to see so many people wasting it away on spiritual fantasy."
Mark Tolbert, LaDonna Robinson, Lance Oltmanns, Tim Needham, Eric Backer, Mark Simmons, Thad Gifford, Susan Blum--ALL OF YOU
I pity you for your lack of meaningful cognizance. You are unable to have thoughts uninfluenced by the tyranny of emotions. This means your thoughts are fettered, and therefore, you are not a freethinker. And in a world where we can have all the explanations we desire within a few clicks of a button... such ignorance appalls me.
All of you are frightened and disheartened by the notion of being mortal. You have a dependency on your ignorance--without it, you feel that you cannot be happy. Everyone reading this, define yourself as either an atheist or a person of faith. Now ask yourself: If there was no heaven, no sort of afterlife whatsoever, would you still be content with life?
Every true atheist will answer yes, and every true believer will say no. The reason for this disparity is sheer knowledge.
If you have a viable comprehension of the explanations science puts forth (the theories of abiogenesis, evolution, etc.) then you cannot help but question the existence of a creator, and be utterly enthralled by our existence.
IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO BE UNHAPPY WITH YOUR LIFE IF YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT LIFE ITSELF TRULY IS.
These are facts: The world is approximately 5.45 billion years old.
Scientifically supported evidence of organisms dates back nearly four billion years. That means it is a SUBSTANTIATED FACT --a truth you cannot dispute with a rational mind-- that life is much older than the age religions claim it to be.
Greater than 99% of the organisms that have ever existed on the face of the earth are now extinct.
If you were to take the age of our planet and scale it down to a twenty-four hour clock, then humans would only have come into existence in the very last minute of the day.
If you acknowledge and understand the information I just shared with you, then you must question whether or not a creator whom was written about by goat herders living thousands of years ago truly exists. All of the information you base your ENTIRE LIFE on is a series of writings created by ancient people who didn't even understand that the sun was no different from the tiny speckles of light they witnessed in the night sky. AND YOU ARE BASING YOUR LIFE OFF OF THIS.
You are mentally unwell if you trust what ancient goat herders wrote down thousands of years ago instead of what educated guys in lab coats who get paid six figure salaries to make sense of the world around us are telling us.
What you religious people don't understand is that YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. I went to a Catholic grammar school for nine years. I attended mass twice a week. On any standardized test I take, I range above the 90 percentile in nearly every category. I am a firm believer that a person's ability to express thoughts through language, in respect to eloquence, effectiveness and proper grammar usage, is an accurate reflection of their intelligence. That being said, I don't render it unreasonable to say that I at least seem intellectual.
Now: Through all my experiences with religion, and all the intellect I've acquired through endless hours of extensive research --through sheer curiosity-- I have concluded that there is no reason to believe God, as envisioned by those affiliated with organized religions, exists.
But you shouldn't take this to be true just because I said it. You should never take anything to be true simply because somebody said it.
You should get interested. You should do research and try to gain firsthand experience. The primary difference between atheists and everybody else is that we DO do the research. We are infinitely curious and fascinated by our own existences and the world around us (at least the well-rounded ones are). And if you were, then you would be an atheist too.
To all of you speaking on the behalf of rationality (Eric Knight), the world thanks you.
"No need to argue ^_^
After death, we'll have a pretty good answer as to if God is real, won't we? If nothing happens...then the atheists are right. If you end up in heaven or hell, than Jesus was right. We'll all fing out in a few decades anyways...so why argue lol."
I beg to differ. I side with Richard Dawkins in that we atheists need to be militant. For the good of the world, we have to be outspoken, passionate and convincing, all the while trying not to become frustrated and begin to sound arrogant.
Religion is an enabler of the destruction of our world. It's inhibitory to the progress of human beings as a species. Our world is ancient. The history of life is ancient. Humans are the ephemeral by-product of BILLIONS OF YEARS of natural processes; to a logical mind with a scientific perspective of the world, the fact that we exist is absolutely mind-blowing!
Here we are, a population of organisms living on a ball spinning through a seemingly boundless expanse of stars, planets and galaxies. We are so small! We still have so much more to accomplish, and so many more mysteries to shed light on. But at the rate we're going, we're severely jeopardizing our chances at a bright future.
Of all the oil reserves that exist on the surface of Earth, we've used approximately half within a hundred years. HALF. And this finite fuel that our relatively newborn global civilization is dependent on also happens to be toxic to our world. Global warming kills hundreds of species every year. Scientists are saying that the earth is transitioning into a sixth major extinction event--the only one caused by a single species. And don't tell me global warming is a myth, because if you think that, then you're grossly misinformed. Global warming is not debated by any major national science academy of any industrialized nation. It is real and it's happening right now. And overpopulation, the energy crisis, global warming-- all these problems are intertwined. One at a time, I believe humanity could overcome with relative ease, but simultaneously? It's a recipe for disaster.
The reason I believe this controversy needs to be verbalized, the reason for me writing this, the reason for my frustration, is because if people believe that the Judea-Christian god created the world, and that humans are biologically distinct from other creatures--if people believe scientific falsehoods, and they have no grasp of their true origins, the true immensity of the Universe, and the absolute rarity and preciousness of both our planet and our species, then they have no reason to be concerned about the future of the world or humanity. To them, life is a simple phase. You work through it, you do what you're told, and in the end, you're rewarded with paradisical immortality.
That is wrong. Religion is unspeakably malevolent for what it has done. My loved ones, my friends, my mother--they live their lives with inhibitions. They don't do certain things because it goes against their religious beliefs. They are oblivious to the fascination I feel and the contentment I have by simply being alive, which are both due to my understanding of what humans really are in the light shed by science. I get to experience the pleasures of being an intelligent, self-aware being on a beautiful planet for what seems like an incredibly long lifetime. I get to have sexual and intellectual stimulation. I get to experience this world from the perspective of the rarest and most advanced form of life we know of in the entire Universe.
And I want individuals in the future to experience it like I have. I want people with minds similar to my own to be alive in the year 3000. I want my descendants to explore the galaxy! I want humanity to continue advancing at the wonderful and frightening pace it currently is. I want people in the future to look back on the 21st century and see it as an inspirational period in history. The 1800's entailed great societal and technological change, the 20's were about feminism, and the 60's were about civil rights. Yet none of those revolutions even compare to what we're going through now.
People are now abandoning the beliefs their ancestors have stood on for the last few millenniums and adopting logical, scientific perspectives of the world. Humanity is overcoming its oldest dependency: the need to believe that we are loved and watched over by a higher power, that life is not a mere coincidence, that the world is organized and the human essence is of something that transcends the physical realm.
But in spite of our hope, all of that is unfounded. The only reason to believe any of it is you simply WANT to believe it. It is supernaturalism. Believing in these blatant falsehoods is detrimental not only to humanity's progress, but also to the satisfaction and happiness you can find in life. How can it not make you feel stupid?
Do you think atheists despise the idea of a god? Do you think we LIKE the thought that once life is over, we will simply cease to exist--that death is no different from what it was like before you were born?
No. I would trade anything to be immortal. I would trade ANYTHING if it meant Heaven would be real. I would give anything for you to be right about us.
But there's no evidence to logically infer that you're correct, while there's an overwhelming abundance of evidence to infer that you're wrong. And from what we can physically perceive, death is the end of life and consciousness. So I fail to understand why people want to squander what is ostensibly the ONLY life they have by sacrificing quality of life and intellectual stimulation for the mere purpose of having hope of an afterlife.
EXPERIENCE LIFE TO THE FULLEST. Why would you possibly want to diminish the amount of fun and enjoyment you can get out of life for HOPE of another life? It's nonsensical, it's detrimental, it's saddening, it's infurating--It's religion.
You faithful like to ask atheists a question rather frequently: What if we're wrong? What if God exists? How are we going to explain ourselves?
I'll tell you: I will tell God I was merely putting my faith in the world He created, rather than in the writings of ancient, uneducated people. I based my beliefs, and ergo my life, off the indisputable evidence He designed and brought into existence.
I will tell God that I was merely using the brain He provided me with.
There is always a chance we are wrong. There is always a chance that I will die and come face to face with the god I've denounced for all these years. But there's also a chance that I won't.
So I base my decision on which chance to take by doing research, by listening to what educated, informed sources report and by putting my trust ONLY in what can be consistently proven.
You may take the other route. You may disregard the evidence and blindly base what you believe off words and faith alone, for fear of judgment from the imagined creator ancient goat herders wrote about--but mostly, from reluctance to accept that one day you will no longer exist.
And when we're sitting on our deathbeds, and I'm fondly reminiscing about all the wild, meaningful, pleasurable and obscure experiences I've had, and STILL feeling awed at the fact that I even exist at all, while you're on your knees worshipping an entity that, for all intents and purposes, was invented by people who assumed Earth was the only world in the Universe... We will see who's happier.
So finally, let me ask you a question from my perspective born of intellect, reasoning and substantiated knowledge. Let me make an inquiry to you atop your flimsy pedestal of ignorance, fear and ungratefulness: What if you're the one who's wrong?