Would I Worship a God if it Did Exist?

For those who regularly read my blog, you know by now where I stand on evidence and religion. I used to believe in God, but no more. In order for me to ever believe in the existence of a deity again, there would have to be concrete, scientific evidence that proves its existence. Peer reviewed, according to the scientific method- the whole nine yards. This is how I know certain exotic animals exist- I have never seen them myself, but there is a smorgasbord of scientific evidence to show me that they do indeed exist. I don’t see why I should accept less than this when it comes to a deity’s existence, since the question of his existence is far more important than the existence of a rare frog or bird.

But what if that proof did exist, and it was undeniable that a God did exist? And what if this evidence also proved beyond any doubt that this God wanted worship? After all, the Bible says that even demons believe; believing that a god exists and worshiping it are two very different things. Would I give him the worship he (or she or it) seeks?

No. I don’t think I would. Why?

The character of a deity is important.

Why would someone want to be worshiped? To me, the desire to be openly adored and worshiped signifies a deep character problem. It signifies pride and ego that needs stoking, or a major insecurity problem that they are trying to overcome. It also makes me think of narcissism. To be blunt, I cannot think of a single positive reason for wanting to be worshiped.

Think about it. What kind of people do you respect the most? The people who do good things and then demand recognition for it, or the people who do good without any thought of reward or praise? Doesn’t the demand or desire for public praise kind of negate the good that the person does? It becomes a pride and status thing, rather than simply a good thing, when we do things for others in expectation of recognition or reward.

Desiring a “thank you” for a job well done is one thing; desiring worship is another thing altogether.

A good father or ruler does not demand or expect worship.

Many forms of religion view God as a father or mother. Christianity especially reveres God as a father figure. What kind of father wants to see his children prostrated on the ground in submission and humility, like servants or second-class people? What kind of father constantly needs the praise of his children and gets angry when they do not praise him in the way he wants? Not a very good one. We generally call this abuse or bad parenting, depending on the severity. It’s certainly not loving behavior that respects the autonomy and rights of others. And what about nations where ruler worship is required, such as North Korea? Don’t we usually see this kind of behavior from a ruler as extremely negative and unjust to their people?

Doing good deeds does not mean someone deserves worship.

Of course, thanking someone for a good deed is nice to do. But thanking someone is different from worshiping them. If a kind stranger helps me with my groceries, I will certainly say thank you. But I will not worship him or adore him unconditionally.

If God is real, and he created us and this world and is directly involved in our everyday lives, then he is responsible for both our joys and our pain. Why should I thank him for my joys without also holding him accountable for my pain? If a parent gives their child clothing but also knowingly allows a rapist to harm them, should we expect the child to adore their parents? Of course not! Of course, real parents are imperfect and not all-knowing and child molesting tragically happens without their knowledge or permission; but God isn’t supposed to have those limitations. If he knows all and can prevent any pain he chooses, what kind of twisted father would allow his child to be raped or their sibling murdered?

Besides, I didn’t ask to be created. It’s like a parent expecting their child to be eternally grateful for the labor that their mother went through as she gave birth. Yes, she did a great thing and it was very hard. No, it’s not fair to hold that over a child’s head in order to make them adore her. I have a friend whose mother used to always bring up her “18 hours of awful labor!” anytime she wanted to make my friend feel guilty for not appreciating her enough. That’s not love, that’s manipulation.

My freedom and self respect is important to me.

When someone has true freedom and self respect, they do not feel the need to bow before anyone else. Even if one person has more power than the other, true equality and freedom means that we still do not need to bow before them. When we live in a system where the powerful are revered and the powerless are expected to adore them, we live in injustice. I could not serve a deity who acted like this. 

In summary, I think that it’s very unlikely that I would serve a deity even if one was proven to exist. But until there is proof that one exists, it’s all hypothetical and does t really matter. I wrote this primarily because I’m often asked what it would take for me to be a Christian again.

“God is Not a Christian” -Quote

“…The idea that the truth of God can be bound in any human system, by any human creed, by any human book, is almost beyond imagination for me.

I mean, God is not a Christian. God is not a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindi or Buddhist. All of those are human systems, which human beings have created to try to help us walk into the mystery of God. I honor my tradition. I walk through my tradition. But I don’t think my tradition defines God. It only points me to God.”

http://deadstate.org/retired-priest-hell-was-invented-by-the-church-to-control-people-with-fear/

THIS.

“Suffering Strengthens Our Faith”: God Wills Suffering for His Children

 

Here is a comment I saw on Pinterest this morning:

“Suffering Strengthens Our Faith. One of the reasons that we may go through emotional suffering is that God wills it. But how could a loving God possibly want his creatures to endure suffering? The Biblical character, Job, is a perfect example of how God can get glory out of our suffering. Job 1, verse 1, says that Job was perfect and upright, one that feared God and avoided evil. How many of us can boast that we are as worthy of Gods blessing as this perfect and upright man? Job was.”

She and many other Christians believe that God gets glory by tormenting his children. There are so many problems that I have with that- but here are a few.

1. God compares himself to our father. So let me ask you this: What sort of loving father would purposefully hurt his children to make himself look good? This is the definition of child abuse; any man who did that here would be thrown in jail amid cries of outrage by the same people who believe that this same behavior is acceptable coming from their God. Ironic, isn’t it?

2. God (through Jesus) also calls himself the husband and the church is the bride. Picture this: a man beats his wife, tells her it’s for her own good, that it makes him look stronger and more manly, and threatens her with torture if she ever leaves him. The man tells her that he is good, and he can do nothing wrong; that she is broken and worthless on her own and he is the only one who could possibly love her. How long would you stay with this man? Wouldn’t you encourage your friend or your sister to leave such an abusive husband? Of course you would. So why is this behavior ok when it comes from God?

3. The assumption among believers is that God is not held to the same standards as humans. Why not? Why is it ok for him to say “Do as I say, not as I do?” At the very least, he is a hypocritical liar who expects his people to follow rules that he himself will not follow. At the worst, he is a manipulative deity who has managed to convince millions of people that his atrocities are acceptable.

4. Basically, the pinner was saying that God’s pride is the most important thing there is: it’s ok for him to hurt people as long as he looks good. Isn’t pride supposed to be a sin? Shouldn’t God be more humble than all of us? Why then is his image so important that it’s ok to hurt others to maintain it?

What do you think? Comment below!

-Lilly

God, you’re fired!

I LOVE this! 😀

Question With Boldness

Over on her blog, Astreja asked this question:

Armed only with a vivid imagination, assume the persona of a god and come up with one or more god-like responses….We hear about gods who hear the *thud* of the sparrow when it hits the living room window, chirps feebly and staggers off muttering rude things about the idiot who left the drapes open.  Then there are the gods lurking “outside time and space,” wherever the Sam Hill that’s supposed to be, supposedly controlling reality without actually touching it.  Finally, there are the gods who do things like wandering into the Inn and starting a riot, or arguing with a tree…. Where do you fit on this continuum?

http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/2013/07/think-like-god-day-2013-hiding-in-plain.html

So that got me thinking, if there actually were a god, and I could fire him and take his place, what would I do?  And could I do a better job?  So here’s…

View original post 766 more words

Asking For Verifiable Proof

Asking For Verifiable Proof

Why is it unreasonable to ask for verifiable proof of God’s existence? If I said that Zeus was the one true god, you would be asking me for evidence of my claims. Why is your religion any different?

For any Christian who has ever said or thought that atheists are stupid: SHOW ME PROOF. Until you do, you’re laughing at me for not believing in your mythology- because without hard evidence, that’s all it is.

Blaming God… Heresy or Rational Thinking?

Blaming God… Heresy or Rational Thinking?

I have heard many people say that they do not blame God for various things. I don’t believe he exists- but if he did, I would certainly be blaming him for a LOT of things! Here are a few of the ones I hear a lot and my rebuttals:

1. Their family and friends may be going to hell for eternal torment, leaving the person without their loved ones forever. But they don’t blame God for this.

Answer: Why WOULDN’T you blame God for this? He made the system, he gave you an immortal soul and then created the rules that would send your loved ones to hell, separating them from you. Regardless of why he made these rules or what part we have to play in them, he made the rules and he made the system- he could have made another way that didn’t require torment and separation of dissenters- so it IS his fault.

Picture this: A dictator makes a set of rules. “You have to follow all these rules perfectly or swear undying loyalty to me. If you don’t, you go to the concentration camps.” Some people can’t follow the rules but don’t want to serve him either because they don’t think he has the right to treat people this way, so into the concentration camps they go. Would you blame the dictator? After all, it was technically the peoples’ “choice” and “rebellion” that sent them there. But wasn’t it an unjust situation to begin with? Isn’t any suffering that results from this unjust system the dictator’s fault? And shouldn’t people have the right to leave that country if they want, and live somewhere that is less violent? But of course you don’t have that option with the God of the Bible… it’s his way or the highway, and screw anyone who doesn’t fall in line with his twisted system.

2. Suffering in the world is not God’s fault.

Answer: I’ve heard it before- sin entering the world is what causes bad things to happen, it’s not God’s fault, free will can’t be interfered with, etc. But that’s not really good enough, because he allowed sin to enter the world and he says he will answer prayer! So why does he ignore prayers to end world hunger but answer prayers to help you find your lost keys? Why would he interfere with free will to help you pass your math exam, but let free will reign when priests molest children or women are raped? It doesn’t make any sense. Either God is not capable of answering these prayers, or he is ignoring them. So yes, the suffering in this world IS his fault!

Even if he only answered prayers and didn’t fix anything that wasn’t specifically prayed for, the world would be a much better place within a few moments.

But it isn’t- so it’s his fault for not sticking to his own word. He is either a liar, impotent, or unjust in how he determines which prayers to answer. Or, maybe he doesn’t exist and it’s all random chance and the results of our actions. That’s what I believe- because it makes the most sense.

3. Evil came into the world through Adam and Eve’s sin, so the results of sin aren’t his fault.Answer: I could go into how silly the whole Adam and Eve story is, about how the tree was made to be very enticing instead of gross and he put it right in the middle of the garden with a tempting serpent as though God WANTED them to eat it and was setting them up- but let’s assume that he really didn’t want them to eat it and all of that is just silly coincidence. Here’s the problem:

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.n—Isaiah 45:7

It’s pretty hard to get around that verse, although I’ve heard some pretty impressive verbal gymnastics making an attempt; I did it myself during my time in Bible college. But there’s not really any way around it- God made evil. He created evil, he knew beforehand that Satan would rebel, he knew about all the suffering- and yet he made evil anyway. And then he has the AUDACITY to PUNISH people for being evil?? What kind of sick being is this?!?!

So yes, if he exists, then he is FULLY responsible for any and all suffering that results from the evil he knowingly created. He is 100% responsible for every single person that he killed in the Old Testament or torments in hell for being evil because evil being in the world is HIS FAULT.

-Lilly