Black, sex-positive, fitness enthusiast, NPC Bikini Competitor, artist, and a nonbeliever. This is where I sound off and ardently gadabout my life.
*Edited as of 6/7/2012.
A recent tweet exchange with a Muslim cat on Twitter has sorta spurred me to create this entry. I ran across a tweet from this person, who said that the “funny thing about Atheism is that for as much as their *beliefs* are rooted in reason and logic. They are quite…ignorant.” When I asked him for evidence to support such a baseless and biased claim, he replied:
It is MUCH more logical (and beneficial) to live as if there WAS a God then to live as if there isn’t one.
When I asked from where did he get this idea from, he then said:
your question literally doesn’t make sense. the essential question every human encounters thru life is what is one’s purpose.
Was my question hard to comprehend or something? Because I’m sure I made a quite simple request: where or how did he come to that conclusion? I also asked him if he was implying that we, human beings, need to believe in a deity to lead a better life. to which he said:
no that is not what i’m saying. Think abstractly. Think out side of the scientific method box. I am speaking in concepts.
To his credit, he did say, “live as if there was a god”. Yet, why should one act a certain way if they don’t BELIEVE in something? And why say that it’s “beneficial” to live as if you believe in a concept if you don’t think a person will live a better life from doing so? I never received a straight-forward answer to any of my questions, which led me to believe that he HAD no proof or evidence to render to back up his claim, and he was therefore, talking out of his ass.
I going to go back and address that “live like there is a god” line, because it’s a concept that I’m surprised people still use these days. The concept that this pseudo-intellectual douchebag tried to use on me is a philosophical principle known as “Pascal’s Wager”. Developed by French mathematician and theologian Blaise Pascal, in it he postulates:
- One does not know whether God exists.
- Not believing in God is bad for one’s eternal soul if God does exist.
- Believing in God is of no consequence if God does not exist.
- Therefore it is in one’s interest to believe in God.
To summarize, if you believe in god and you’re right, you gain everything. If you believe and you’re wrong, you lose nothing. But, if you DON’T believe, and you’re wrong, you lose everything. So, even if you’re unsure god exists, live your life as if he does. Sounds pretty simple and sweet, right?
You don’t need a PhD in Philosophy to see the flaws in this concept. Firstly, to accept this wager, you’re assuming that your god of choice is THE correct god. What about all the other religious beliefs? Are THEY all the wrong ones? So, if “Judgment Day” comes, and your god is the right one, that means everyone else will be damned to hell, even those who did good in their lifetime; they would be subjected to burning in hell for all eternity because they believed in the “wrong” god. How is that right or fair that those people should suffer because they didn’t know YOUR god was the “right” one?
Also, what happens when you find out in the end that YOU’VE been serving the wrong god, won’t that mean you’ll go to hell, too? Or, even scarier, what if there WAS a god, but is not the god of all known mono and poly theisms? Pascal contended that you “lose nothing” in this case, but I think he’s wrong. We all know that depending on whether you’re a fundamentalist, moderate, or liberal believer, the tenets by which your god and savior of choice has you live by can cause anything from slight to great cognitive dissonance in other facets of your life, from relationships with your family, to your sexuality and feelings about the act of sex, to how you treat other people and view the world. Where does that leave one then?
How would one feel if, some point in their life or at the end of their days, one finds out that the god they’ve served for their whole life never existed? How would one feel, if at some point in their life or at the close of their life, it was revealed that their deity of choice was the wrong one, and that there’s a big chance they’ll be punished for their ignorance? Can you fathom how damaging, dehumanizing, and cruel that is?
With all this to consider, why should one live as if a god exists? Why should a person live their lives by the tenets of that god as if it exists? What led that Muslim guy to believe that acting in such a way is more logical and beneficial? Is it because he assumes that we need an invisible dictator to command us in how we should live and treat each other? Do we need a god to tell us to be compassionate, good, moral, and ethical? Does he believe that as humans we need to believe in a deity to give our lives purpose, (since he bought that up)?
Such a claim—or an ideology— is utterly fallacious, baseless, and denotes a substantial lack of confidence in one’s own species. I shouldn’t be surprised with this, because self-hate is a basic tenet ingrained in people once indoctrinated into religion in general (specifically the big three monotheisms). And I find it insulting, not only to myself but to others who DO good works, who ARE good people, and hell, it’s insulting to the intelligence of ALL people to hold the belief that we as a species couldn’t have gotten to where we are now if it weren’t for an invisible man and his patriarchal, misogynistic tenets that he wrote on two stones with lightning. Missed me with that BULLSHIT!!
I think I’ll stop here for now. There will be a part two where I delve more into our innate need for purpose, and address whether or not we need a deity to give it to us. There’s a wealth of information on the net regarding Pascal’s Wager and the fuckton of holes in it; I’ve referenced info found here and here.
Moral of this story? Don’t tell me to think outside the box and that “you can’t think for me” and then throw a thoroughly debunked philosophical concept like this way, then have the nerve to act like YOU’RE trying to educate me on something on some assumed, pseudo-intellectual high ground shit. Don’t make baseless claims about a certain demographic of people and not back up your claims, or at the very least, elaborate on them, and then lecturing ME about not “thinking outside the box” and being biased. Don’t come for me like that, yo.