"Wouldn't you rather live like there is a God"
"Wouldn't you rather live like there is a God and find out there isn't than the other way around?"
That was a question asked on my college forum on myspace a few days ago. I just saw it today and wrote the following response. Anyone else have opinions?
I LOVE it when people ask that question "wouldn't you rather live like there is a God and find out there isn't one?" It's so ignorant it's cute.
First let me point out a morality argument I have here. If you live a good life purely because you feel as though you will get rewarded by the big guy in the sky after you die, then you are (in my opinion) not being very moral.
If you live a good life because on a human, basic level it feels right, then you are being moral.
I mean, come on, that's like saying "I'm going to give starving children in Africa food so they can eat but only because I know I'll be on the front page of several world news papers because of it." Uh... anyone else see a problem here?
"If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul." ~Isaac Asimov, I. Asimov: A Memoir
Now, you have a right to believe whatever you want, but I must also point out that just because the issue of God itself is unprovable, there is a probability factor that I don't feel gets enough attention. I saw a joke yesterday where a father asked his son to ask his mother, sister and brother if they would sleep with Brad Pitt for 1 million dollars. The son went and asked them and then went back to the dad and
"The boy replied: "Yes. 'Potentially,' you and I are sitting on three million dollars, but 'realistically,' we're living with two hookers and a future Republican congressman.''
Potentially there is a God up there, watching everything I am doing, knowing every thought I possibly have before I even have it. He gets to choose (holy shit there is even a gender assigned to this person that is too big for most religions to even define fully) what happens to me after I die, and knows me better than I know myself and on and on the list goes. Oh, this God, who is bigger than definition, refuses (because it is personal choice, after all) to "prove" he exists.
I love the whole "free agency" argument too. If you DO what God tells you to do, then you get to go to heaven, but if you DON'T do what God tells you to do then you go to hell, which is a place that is defined by eternal fire and brimstone. It's horrible, awful and miserable. So you have free agency IF YOUR WILLING TO BURN.
The intellectual leap backwards astounds me.
I have studied religion and spirituality for a long time, and this isn't even good enough of an argument to be considered skimming the top of why I think that question is the most ignorant thing I've ever seen in a long time, but I will, however, sum my answer up in one last paragraph:
I prefer to live my life the way I choose to without having an emotional or moral crutch to support me, or tell me what to do. I don't need a 2,000 year old book which is filled with contradictions to make me feel "special" and I for sure don't need some intellectual gap defined as God in my consciousness to make me feel like a good human being. I am a good person because of the way I live my life, not because of what I believe in or don't believe in. I do not, have not, and never will need, or desire an undefinable, contradictory mind crutch to make my life worth living.
So wouldn't I rather live my life like there is a God and then find out that there isn't? No, and I never will.
Now, with the thought that I have probably pissed off, personally insulted and belittled most of the religious people on here, I need to go write a paper and get to class.
Prayer: How to do nothing and feel like your doing something.