An open letter to a religious planet – A follow up

Posted by on July 5, 2010 in Thoughts | 2 comments

This comment below was left by J. Ratzinger in reply to a comment by Wry Mouth at “An open letter to a religious planet”. I thought it was good enough to share.

“@Wry Mouth: I don’t speak for all Atheists, just myself, but I can assure you that in stark contradistinction to your wrongful characterization of me, I feel deeply embedded in the history of mankind, and connected to all life forms on this planet more so than I suggest most Theists can ever hope to be.

Theists believe that the Gods made everything for them, and that they are separate and apart from other life forms on the planet. Theists owe their allegiance and fealty to the Gods, and not to mankind, whereas I and perhaps other Atheists fully accept that I am one of the animals inhabiting this planet along with the rest of my human, and inhuman kin, the mammals, the fish, trees, birds, plants, bacteria and others, all of whom we share genetic code with, so I have an affinity and bond with all life, not just my own. Like yourself, I have an instinct for survival, so yes I do value myself, but not as you suggest to the exclusion, or at the expense of everything, and everyone else on the planet.

Instead of the Atheist being cut off from “the rest of the world” and humanity, we know that we are deeply connected to the rest of the world and humanity at a genetic level. Atheists understand that Humanity, this one life, and each other is all we have. We can only look to human beings for comfort, and to make or break the world, so this knowledge binds us together more so than it does the Theist who looks to the gods to make or break all things. The Theist will turn upon his fellow man, and kill and slaughter, and burn, and behead, and explode his fellow man in service to the gods he believes in, and yes even do all of those and more to his own child if he believes the Gods wish him to sacrifice or punish the child.

In contrast the Atheist, upon hearing anyone either professing to be a God or a mere human being issuing such a command to kill our child, would respond not in the religious coward’s way by meekly obeying, but in a loving human way by kicking that inhuman, unfeeling terrible beast in the groin accompanied by a stern FUCK YOU!

We suffer no delusion that there are Gods to turn to who will, when given the right bribes and propitiations, save us from our mistakes, and forgive us our crimes against each other, so we must act with more caution lest we do irreparable harm, than the Theist who knows he can do any crime, or inhuman atrocity, and feel just fine after being forgiven by the gods.
We do not expect to be fast-tracked to a heaven if we destroy the world in a series of atomic mushroom clouds in support of the supremacy of this deity or that, but many Theists would herald such a global death as their opportunity to get into heaven, and too many would giggle like schoolgirls at the thought that they were getting into heaven, but all the low-life Atheists, and sinners would be forever burning in hell.

We cherish this life, our families, our friends and neighbours, the sun in the sky which fuels this planet’s life, the birds in the trees, the fish in the stream, and our relationships with each other and nature. We do not suffer under the foolish hope that we can do whatever we like here and now because all will be well when upon our deathbeds a magical God lowers some silky rope ladder for us to ascend into paradise on.

Atheists can be good without the donkey like carrot of heaven impelling them, and the stick of hell threatening them to be so, and this begs the question of why don’t Theists think they can be good without believing in gods! The theist who goes to bed a believer, and wakes the next morning with the realization that gods do not exist, does not suddenly begin murdering, raping, stealing, and stomping on kittens, but he goes on being as good as he ever was, and you would too.

You were born atheist, and have only become otherwise perhaps due to outside pressure from well-meaning but ignorant parents who merely did to you what was done to them when they themselves were small children. They passed on erroneous religious fairy-tales to you in a cycle of mental abuse which has been repeated in your family like it has in too many others, but which you, as a modern human being do not have to repeat with your children, as your primitive forbears did with you.

As you well know most life on the planet is now, and has always been, atheist so it must have something going for it. All the animals of the forest, the fish in the ponds, the blades of grass, the lilies of the field, trees, bugs, birds, on the wing, and innumerable species of bacteria, and many human beings live out their lives just fine without any demonstrable belief in the gods so don’t reject atheism out of hand just because you are a narrow minded bigot.

You know what they say, just because something is old or popular, does not invalidate it from the get-go, so I suggest you think it over and when you do disabuse yourself of your implanted prejudices against your fellow free-thinking human beings, and finally do put away your childish fantasies of siding with magical inhuman Gods instead of siding with your own flesh and blood human beings in the here and now, that you return to your unpolluted natural Atheist state. You will be a better human being for it.”

See the original post and the comments here.

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  1. Very well stated, thank you. I personally have issues with the Christian use of the word “truth.” Their use of truth either waters down the actual meaning or is nothing but a desperate need for affirmation.

    I am also very baffled by how each believer regardless of belief or dogma is certain that they are correct and everyone else is wrong. It’s incredibly egotistical.

    I will continue in my belief that I have no clue as to what is out there and more than likely I will never know. With or without a God I will continue to do the right thing as a human being simply because I believe in being a humane being.

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  2. I would love for my religious friends to read this. And yet I know, barely a paragraph in, if they could even get beyond the titles of this and the piece that inspired it, they wouldn’t read further. It’s one of the things that bothers me the most about people who subscribe to religions of any sort. I want to learn, I want to discuss, I want to read some of the things that have inspired them or have helped them to mold and clarify their beliefs. I’ve read a couple of Lee Strobel’s books, Philip Yancey’s volume discussing grace, and other titles pertaining to Christianity, mainly because, well, I live in the States and that’s the religion I deal with on a daily basis, and that to which most if not all of my religious friends follow.

    And yet if I asked one of them to read these pieces, which would take, what, perhaps ten minutes? I know one would dismiss it out of hand as just the rantings of another pissed off ex-Christian (whether that was the case or not), while the others wouldn’t really take the time to think on it. At the same time, they wonder why I have so little patience in general for religion because of the obvious lack of any desire to try and see things from a different perspective.

    I still love these people, because at heart they are good people. And I believe they would be good people without their religion. In the ways that count they are fun and interesting and awesome to have in my life. It’s just so hard sometimes to understand why, considering how smart some of them are, they choose to continue focusing on something that is both so divisive to our race and planet, and, in my view, so inconsequential in the long run.

    I may have to at least print out the above and make a poster out of it because it really gets to why I’m an atheist, and why I can’t imagine living any other way.

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