Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Why They Believe: Revisited

If it is true that no one is smart enough to know how to live his own life and if it is true that no one else knows how to live your life either, then you are in a real fix unless there is a God who does know and is available to give you direction.

Putting it personally, I have concluded that I will never know how to live my own life, and that is exactly why I need God! As I think about it in terms of the most important learning of my life, I put it in this way "No one is smart enough to know how to live his own life and that is exactly why you need God!"
---Strengths-Based Advising: MY MOST IMPORTANT LEARNINGS: Edward C. Anderson

No one is smart enough to be able to live his own life? What are they talking about, babies? That's why we have parental instincts. If God made all the creatures of the world, he decided that some animals don't need the tutoring of parents, most do, and the ones that look the most like us seem to need the most parental instruction. A few thousand years ago, we didn't seem to need as much as we do now. A few thousand years ago, we were considered elderly at 18.

I'm not altogether certain that is what they mean, though. Help me out: how smart do we have to be to "live our own lives?" Isn't that a meaningless question, since they already admitted that no one else can live your life for you? No matter how much of a failure you are, you are still "living your own life," aren't you? If you look around, there are plenty of people who could be considered "failures." They are still living their own lives, but most of them are theists. There are also many people living successful lives as atheists. So it doesn't matter how stupid you are: a life is a life, no matter what, and it belongs only to the one living it.

If this is one of Edward's "Most Important Learnings," he probably needs a lot of help with living.

I need God. I need God to help me be the person that I know is inside me. I need God to give me a reason to clear away the cobwebs and fog, and to touch the bright space of my soul, the goodness that can't be corrupted, can't decay. I need God because I am afraid I am in danger of never seeing that goodness again. I do not want to be one of those icy, bitter people who no longer believe in anything, whether it's God or love or themselves.--Right Thinking Girl

Another example of a giant ego. I talked about this in my post about The Soul. Where does the belief that there is a perfect person, a magical potential inside all of us, just screaming to get out? It's not in the bible. We are all imperfect in the eyes of God, and it's only through God's graciousness that such dirty people are allowed in. And those dirty people are, ostensibly, our souls. Our dirty, soiled souls. Not the gleaming, shining Goodness that RTG fancies herself. The "icy, bitter people" part? Meh. Heard it all before. Seen it, wrote about it, ranted about it. All of us atheists are dark chocolate. I like dark chocolate. Good for the heart. Of course, you know I am incapable of goodness, don't you?


breakerslion said...

Yeah, we've all heard this one before. I don't believe in god, therefore I don't believe in "anything". Well then, I guess I'm dead because I don't believe in breathing, or eating, or earning a living....

I'm going to take that charge seriously for a change. What if I am just a brain in a jar, and all of this is just an illusion, caused by some kind of programming, a la "the Matrix"? (I know, but it’s the analogy that most warm bodies will understand.) Well, when I drop an "imaginary" bowling ball on my "imaginary" foot, my whole world narrows down to the "imaginary" pain I think I am experiencing. In other words, If I want to interact with my environment in a non-destructive way, I must treat it as real. Therefore, it is irrelevant whether or not it is actually real. The simplest explanation is, that I can accept at face value the apparent fact that you, the sofa, and everything else is what it seems. I cannot extend this same consideration toward god, simply because there are alternative explanations, and ulterior motives for perpetuating the lie of god. The justifications surrounding the idea that such a being is alleged to have a great influence on my life, but won't interact directly, rather needs a scurvy bunch of "preachers" to make Its will known, is ludicrous.

Still, at times, I envy the believers. It must be very pleasant to live such a chuckleheaded existence. Thinking is such hard work, after all.

Hellbound Alleee said...

I am not so sure that it's so great. I was a believer for most of my youth, and I recall it being a time of great fear. The concept of a biblical god frightened me.

Perhaps I was so scared because I was a doubter living in a household of doubters who lived in an evangelical church. Doubt+fundamentalism=fear of hell. I was afraid of a lot, like all those demonic movies they made in the 70's. It freaked me the hell out. I was also afraid of ghosts and the dark.

That's why accepting my atheism was so wonderful. I could finally be happy and stop being afraid of myself all the time.

Mike said...

Help me out: how smart do we have to be to "live our own lives?"

My take: it gets down to the dom/sub dichotomy, and where you fit into the natural order. I'm a dom, and I think you are too; we're big boys and girls, and we can think for ourselves. My slaves, on the other hand, need someone to do their thinking for them, to figure out their sexual needs, and to keep 'em in line. My vision of nature is an endless hierarchy, leading from animals up to my slaves, who are little better (but awful cute), and then on upwards to dom masters like myself. But then we have to move onwards to God, who alone is self-sufficient, and just as I have to beat my slaves from time to time to show 'em what's best for 'em, so too does God make us suffer the delicious pain of fate in order that we may approach closer to his divine altar.

That Bible says that the fool has said in his heart, "there is no God." I don't have time to waste on that sort of foolishness, because I've got mouths to feed and cocks to stroke. My sense of responsibility towards my social inferiors leads me to turn my heart to a higher authority. We're never smart enough on our own -- God is always stepping in to let us know when we've fumbled. I feel closest to God when I'm acting out, in my humble way, His divine role -- when I'm beating my slaves to a pulp, or pounding their asses, or alternately when I go easy on 'em, and let them take a look at my beautiful cock. So too, after a fraught and anxious time on earth (and maybe in Purgatory), God will pull back the cloud of unknowing to reveal His precious and holy countenance. To reach this happy bliss, we need only to obey our God, and our divinely appointed masters here on earth.

I hope this makes some sense to you. Let me know what I can do to improve my message. I'm new to the blogging world, and my tough masculine approach may not come across so well in writing. Without my mitre or my chaps, I feel kind of naked.

Francois Tremblay said...

Mike is really a sub, and he's just pretending because he`s too much of a pussy to do it in "real life."

The point is, S&M is in a wider genre of sexuality called "role playing." That's very important to remember. There's a difference between an S&M game and in real life. And any dom that has half a brain knows that it's the submissive that always runs the show. It's the dom's job to pretend it's the other way 'round. The religious submissives are in charge of their own fantasies, not a god.

So basically, Mikey here is telling us that god is imaginary, and so is his...."big".....cock.

Hellbound Alleee said...

To continue role playing...that was me, not my husband, who just made fun of the size of Mike's prosthesis.

bleedingisaac said...

[Sorry if you've seen this (I'm fairly new to online atheism), but I thought it was funny and related to your topic.]

God wants to thank you for your belief and patronage. To better
serve your needs God asks that you take a few moments to answer the
following questions. Your responses will be kept completely
confidential and you need not disclose your name or address if you
prefer not to have a direct response to comments or suggestions.

1. How did you find out about God?
___ Newspaper
___ New Testament
___ Torah
___ Book of Mormon
___ Koran
___ Other Book
___ Television
___ Divine Inspiration
___ Word of mouth
___ Dead Sea scrolls
___ My mama done tol' me
___ Near death Experience
___ Near life experience
___ National Public Radio
___ Tabloid
___ Burning Shrubbery
___ Who?
___ Other (specify): _____________

2. Which model God did you acquire?
___ God of Israel
___ Jehovah
___ Allah
___ Higher Power
___ Just plain God
___ Krishna
___ Father, Son & Holy Ghost (Trinity Pack)
___ Zeus and entourage (Olympus Pack)
___ Odin and entourage (Valhalla Pack)
___ Gaia/Mother Earth/Mother Nature
___ None of the above; I was taken in by a false god

3. Did your God come to you undamaged with all parts in good working
order and with no obvious breakage or missing attributes?
__ Yes __ No
If no describe the problems you encountered.

Indicate all that apply:
___ Not eternal
___ Not omniscient
___ Not omnipotent
___ His Will conflicts with my will
___ Finite in space/Does not occupy or inhabit the entire universe
___ Permits sex outside of marriage
___ Prohibits sex outside of marriage
___ Makes mistakes eg: Geraldo Rivera, Jesse Helms
___ When beseeched doesn't stay beseeched
___ Requires burnt offerings
___ Requires virgin sacrifices
___ Plays dice with the universe

4. What factors were relevant in your decision to acquire a God?
Check all that apply:
___ Indoctrinated by parents
___ Needed a reason to live
___ Indoctrinated by society
___ Needed target for rage
___ Imaginary friend grew up
___ Hate to think for self
___ Wanted to meet girls/boys
___ Fear of death
___ To piss off parents
___ Needed a day away from work
___ Enjoy organ music
___ Needed focus on whom to despise
___ Needed to feel morally superior
___ Needed to feel Mother Superior
___ Graduated from the tooth fairy
___ My shrubbery caught fire and told me to do it

5. Are you currently using any other source of inspiration in
addition to God? Check all that apply:
___ Self-help books
___ Tarot, Astrology
___ Star Trek re-runs
___ Fortune cookies
___ Annie's Mailbox
___ Psychic Friends Network
___ Dianetics
___ Playboy and/or Playgirl
___ Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll
___ Biorhythms
___ EST
___ Television
___ Mantras
___ Jimmy Swaggart
___ Crystals not including Crystal Gayle
___ Human Sacrifice
___ Wandering around in desert
___ Burning shrubbery
___ Other:_____________________

6. Have you ever worshipped a false God before? If so which false
God were you fooled by? Check all that apply.
___ Odin
___ Cthulhu
___ Lottery
___ Baal
___ Beelzebub
___ The Almighty Dollar
___ The Conservative Right
___ Eric Clapton
___ Bill Gates
___ The Great Pumpkin
___ Ronald Reagan
___ A burning cabbage
___ Mushrooms
___ Other: ________________

7. God employs a limited degree of Divine Intervention to preserve
the balanced level of felt presence and blind faith.
Which would you prefer:
___ More Divine Intervention
___ Less Divine Intervention
___ Current level of Divine Intervention is just right
___ Don't know; what's Divine Intervention?

8. God attempts to maintain a balanced level of disasters and
miracles. Please rate on a scale of 1 to 5 God's handling of the
1: unsatisfactory 5: excellent:

1 2 3 4 5 Flood/Tsunami
1 2 3 4 5 Famine
1 2 3 4 5 Earthquake
1 2 3 4 5 War
1 2 3 4 5 Pestilence
1 2 3 4 5 Plague
1 2 3 4 5 AOL
1 2 3 4 5 Republican Congress
1 2 3 4 5 Jerry Lewis
1 2 3 4 5 Dubya
1 2 3 4 5 My last relationship

1 2 3 4 5 Rescues
1 2 3 4 5 Spontaneous remissions
1 2 3 4 5 Crying statues
1 2 3 4 5 Water changing to wine
1 2 3 4 5 Walking on water
1 2 3 4 5 Stars hovering over towns
1 2 3 4 5 VCRs that set their own clocks
1 2 3 4 5 Clear and competent statements by the President
1 2 3 4 5 My present relationship

9. Rate the following on a scale of 1 to 5.
1: unsatisfactory 5: excellent:
1 2 3 4 5 God's Courtesy
1 2 3 4 5 Answers to your prayers
1 2 3 4 5 Are your spiritual needs being met?
1 2 3 4 5 How are your shrubs doing?

10. Do you have any additional comments or suggestions for improving the quality of God's services?

Aaron Kinney said...

LOL where do I submit my completed form?

Reverend Jeremiah said...

Sheesh. People arent smart enough to live without God. What a moron! This theist doesnt even act concerned that maybe his specific God out of the hundreds of thousands that have existed throughout history that he is worshipping might not be real. His argument is slam full of holes. Such as; Does a worshipper of zeus have the same guidance? And if not, then explain how Alexander the great conquered europe and thereby starting western civilization? If Christianity is such a great guiding light for people, then why did it cause the dark ages for the first 1000 years it came into power? Explain how I (an Atheist) am doing such a great job raising my two children specifically to be Atheists? You would think that a God would be offended by that, nope. My children are healthy and intelligent.

If this is Mr. Edwards strength, then he is sorely weak. Nobody 'needs' an imaginary friend (god)to live their lives, regardless of the number of people who 'want' the imaginary friend to be real.

P.S. The next time you presuppose that everyone in the world is as dumb and gullible as you, do us intellectuals a favor by beating your head into your monitor instead of posting ignorant drivel such as this. You are giving otherwise intelligent beleivers a bad rap as well.