Posted the following ramble to a thread over at NPR Blogs entitled “What if atheists were defined by their actions?” but as of this writing “the comment is awaiting moderation” which I take to mean “it’s never gonna get past our religious censors so don’t hold your breath” so I decided to copy paste it here for safekeeping just in case.
Many Christians I’ve spoken with tend to shy away from the parts of their bible they personally don’t like, and they have all kinds of explanations and caveats and apologies. I did too, back when I believed. Oftentimes it whittled down to this, “if you ask Jesus to enter your life and accept him into your heart, you are saved. Everything else is gravy.” There are religious leaders who will explain that then one has to make an active effort to “walk in the path of righteousness” and “be right with God” but that gets kinda subjective and wishy washy as people go along. For others it’s very cut and dry, but for the individual it gets kinda situational and apologetickey.
Someone who lives their life fair and honestly and never does anything wrong but doesn’t ask Jesus into their life? They go to hell. Someone who breaks every commandment, sometimes on a daily basis but on his death bed asks Jesus into their life? They go to heaven. What if religious people were defined by their actions? They’re not. They’re defined by one action, whether or not they forego their existence and give it up to a fictitious character, whose dogma science has repeatedly proven can’t possibly be anything aside from fiction.
An omniscient, omnipotent, pan-dimensional, benevolent being cannot exist in this universe, because this universe IS governed NOT by Abrahamic dogma, but by the laws of physics. We didn’t make up the laws of physics. We have described our observations of them but they were already there. And no. Existence doesn’t prove Creation. It especially doesn’t prove YOUR alleged Creator did it. Perhaps sometimes we learn we observed details wrong but by now we’ve got the gist and are pretty much just hammering out the kinks.
Meanwhile, human blood sacrifice still doesn’t have magical powers that absolve anyone of the consequences of their actions. By the way you can’t live three days in a whale, crackers and grape juice do not magically turn into flesh and blood, you can’t put that many animals on a wooden boat which can’t be built to be seaworthy for forty days and nights, genetics proves “Eve” existed long before “Adam” perhaps around the time of dinosaurs or maybe even marine life before that but they were SO not humanoid when gender first happened, and even if Abe’s god was just kidding when he asked him to kill his son Issac, that was still a jerk move on that supposedly benevolent deity’s part, not the mention the countless deaths he’s either done personally or ordered done by his followers so you can even dismiss “benevolent” in that description, much less “omnipotent” or “omniscient.” Your god didn’t know about audio books? Only contacted his people centuries ago in a couple books. Couldn’t bother to call us on cellphones? Did he even know about abacuses back then? Cuz they did over in Asia already, long before arabic numerals were even conceived. So. Some omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent deity you got there.
We shouldn’t have to call ourselves atheists. In the entire history of mankind, no one has ever been able to prove their god exists in any rational scientific way. So we didn’t have science a long time ago. We do now, and your god doesn’t cut the mustard. Sorry. Even if someone like your god showed up later, he wouldn’t be your god cuz you can’t prove he exists now. Besides, science wouldn’t call it a god. That word has unscientific connotations. We’d come up with a descriptor that conveyed what it actually is not what some people hoped it would be.
Maybe Science would start by asking it its name and “I AM THE GREAT I AM” would be met with a polite chuckle and, “no really what’s your name dude?”