When I am forced to do things like taking care of my house or even myself, my mind tends to wander to the furthest reaches of my brain and imagine odd and sometimes wonderful things. This week, I imagined a world without G-d.
Yeah, yeah. Far from an original thought in the grand scheme of things, but I've never considered myself an atheist. I do have faith or as Kevin Smith might say, an idea. An idea that something (non terrestrial being, nonhuman, alien, otherworldly entity, whatever) out there made the universe. But I think that being is tired and frankly done. At least with this world.
I argued with a friend years ago that the idea of a savior was ludicrous and downright selfish. That all of the bad things you do don't just go away because someone laid their life on the line and then transcended to where their creator resides to watch all the little people scurrying about. I just can't make myself believe it, and I've tried. Hard.
Religion is an anchor to which many cling (sorry for the mixed metaphor) for many reasons. Marx (Karl, not Richard or the brothers) said that "religion is the opiate of the masses." I think. At any rate, communistic though it may be, religion is comfort, it is safety, it is a tether.
(I shouldn't have to caption these)
But, as we've seen, particularly during this election season, it's also very, very dangerous. I hope I can look back on this in 20 years and giggle, reminding myself of those ridiculously self-righteous individuals that thought that oppressing the rights of others would get them the presidency of America.
I had another conversation earlier with BBC Tosha about rights and such:
No, no, no. I wasn't raised religious, but my sister is the biggest bible thumper there is and she feels it is her duty to make sure that anyone wrong knows that they are wrong. Not in an overbearing way, but her opinion is rarely kept to herself and it's always because she thinks she is doing what's right. [Name redacted] is a dick. I'm sure he is a nice dude on the surface, but underneath, he is (pardon the hyperbole) dangerous. Constituents like him are what keep the right wing bullshittery in America going: he is calm and cool and everything on all issues because they are so thoroughly ingrained in him. He cannot be wrong, and there is no other way. He is like the opposite of us but the same in the way that we know we are right. The only key difference in the belief structure is that we know we are right because we know we are a part of the issue we are trying to protect: women and the entire human race, not to mention the LGBT community. He is a part of the Christian pro life community. That might be admirable to ensure that life on earth continues to grow and thrive but it has been proven time and again that oppression of others is NOT the way to rule the people.
Let me get back to the point. Religion serves a purpose, and I get that. Sometimes I even take part in those beliefs, ideas, and rituals. For instance, I always leave a glass of something (usually water) out for Elijah and Miriam during Passover. I've only done one Seder and it was... disastrous. But it makes me feel happy to keep these little (and big) traditions going.
However, science serves an even greater purpose. If I were to completely bear (bare?) my soul, I would state that deep down, I think G-d gave us science to keep us busy, to help us make sense of the things around us, and to appreciate what was given to us. But I don't think that all the time; only sometimes.
If I were to ask a deeply religioius person to imagine a world without religion or a god of any sort, most would tell me that such thoughts were blasphemous or that it was impossible. The odd duck might entertain the thought and tell me that the world would be a worse place for it.
Ask me what a world would be without gravity. We'd all float away. Probably. We reasonably understand the tenants of gravity.
What of science? What if science didn't exist? There, I can see the world from a deeply religious person's perspective. Science is everything. It is proven. We (again, within reason) understand things by means of science. There cannot be life without science. If you cannot imagine a world without God, I understand. I cannot imagine a world without science.
I'd like to say, though, that I have an advantage. I have science in front of my constantly. What has G-d given us? Possibly life and peace and blah blah blah... But you have to wait a lifetime to potentially meet your deity. I can see and hols science in my hands every day. You say you feel and see G-d everywhere? That's fine. I still hold that it's science.
That atheist isn't bombing your hospital birthing suite, not blocking your right to proper healthcare, not banning your right to have free thoughts or ideas. That atheist is quietly shaking his or her head and moving on with their daily routine.
I don't intend to change anyone's religion here. I simply intend to share my thoughts. that's why I have a blog.