“This one is God’s favourite” – Outreach Media

Posted by on November 1, 2010 in Thoughts | 4 comments

In April of 2008 Outreach Media posted a billboard which states this:

“This one’s God’s favourite. ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only son’ John 3:16”

This one is God's Favourite - Outreach Media

This one is God's Favourite - Outreach Media

(The image is horribly out of scale, so don’t go outside tonight and wonder why we can’t see Jupiter taking up half of the sky. It really is so far away.)

The article goes on to state that science makes us fee small and insignificant because of the vastness of space, and that this is a bad thing. They use the old argument that if Earth and all its (human) inhabitants aren’t the super special pals of God, then life is not worth living. From the article:

“Science can make a person feel insignificant. The bigger the universe, the smaller we feel. We used to think the sun revolved around our earth. Nowadays we know our ‘3rd rock from the sun’ is tiny compared to the Sun and worse, that the universe is so big that our minds can’t comprehend it.

“It’s tempting to feel irrelevant, even lost.

“But science can’t tell us what the Bible can. The Bible tells us that little old planet earth, is really, actually, the very centre of the universe.”

Really? Do people really feel lost if they are not the most important thing in the universe? If this is the case, I pity the human race, because it’s this kind of self-centredness that leads people to ignore their surrounds because, after all, if one is the centre of the universe, then ALL things are but satellites around them.

This is actually one of the points I’ve tried to make over and over in my blog. We know we AREN’T the centre of the universe, and to think so is folly. (Of course, relative to the universe, if you were to measure the distances to anywhere you would start from where you are, making you a “relative centre” point of reference. But this is not what they are implying here.) One of my greatest problems with the Bible is the implication that people are the reason for Earth to exist. The idea that God put the universe and the earth here for us, God’s litle doppelgangers, his experiment and pets, means that we owe god a debt of gratitude, and that we can feel free to run amok in our garden as we see fit, because that’s what it’s here for. Wand where has that kind of thinking got us?

But it’s the reasoning given that really gets me:

“Here’s two reasons why. Firstly, our planet is the one where God put humans: creatures in his own image who are like him and able to relate to him.

“Secondly and most importantly, this is the planet where God came to live in human form. He did it because we alienated our selves from God by rebelling against him. God has such an intense love for our planet that He sent his son Jesus to show us who he is, and to pay the price of our evil.”

And here is the crux of the whole situation. Humans rebelled against God. How? By disobeying his wishes. Why? Because God put temptation on Earth for us to test us and to see if we would succumb to it. Who did this? Eve (who never existed by the way).

Let’s say that again. God built the world for us but put in a caveat which said “Don’t eat of the tree of knowledge or you AND ALL YOUR DESCENDANTS will owe me a debt. If you disobey me, I will make you pay for your EVIL.”

A couple of things come from the early part of Genesis. Firstly is Eve. Not only is she made as an afterthought to Adam (thereby granting women second-class status as backed up by God), but she is the sinner, the one that ate from the tree of knowledge and thereby is variously blamed for lust, sex, and all things to do with lustful thinking. Also, the tree of knowledge is said to represent knowledge itself, and with knowledge comes questioning, which according to the Bible is the beginning of the downfall for humankind. Once we begin to question God’s existence, we can easily come to the conclusion that he doesn’t exist. So the whole argument falls into a whirlpool of spiral reasoning.

The upshot is “Don’t question the Bible, and it remains true.”

The whole idea of evil and sin comes down to morality, a morality that we have developed over millenia, and is different in nature from culture to culture. And blame the women for this. It’s their fault we have all this evil and sin in the world.

Right, so where does this leave us?

As children we like to feel that we are special. Our parents tell us that we are unique and that we are loved. We get all the attention and support we need, and it’s not until we grow up that we begin to realise the true breadth of diversity among people, plants and animals, geography, science, cultures and societies. The more we learn, the less significant we become in the larger scale. When we realise the true scale of the universe, sure it can be confronting, but it’s real. They even admit it in the story attached to the billboard. This real sense of perspective is much more useful, and truthful, than being told for our whole lives that we are the center of the universe. When we know we are not the centre of the universe, and that thing would get on just fine without our existence, does that make us feel insignificant?

Yes it does. And you know what? We are insignificant. Each of us is insignificant, at least on a cosmological scale. Does that make you feel small? Yes? Good. You are small. Deal with it.

So I ask again: If you are not the centre of the universe, special and loved by God, does that make your life not worth living? Really? If so, I truly DO pity you.

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4 Comments

  1. What a silly idea: “science makes us fee small and insignificant because of the vastness of space”. Science and the vastness of space for me is empowering. On the other hand when I was a drone religion made me feel “small and insignificant”. Christianity is all about remaining ignorant and the Bible starts that off with the Adam and Eve brouhaha. Get smart and I’ll fuck you over — sayeth The Lord.
    — Frank Zappa, regarding Christianity’s apparent preference for perpetuation of ignorance as a way of life

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    • This is my point exactly!

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  2. That “small” feeling I get when I look at the stars or consider the vastness of time is now my idea of spirituality. I get my goosebumps from hearing Carl Sagan talk about us all being a part of the cosmos and being the same stuff stars are made of. I only get sad when I think of all the future things I’ll never get to see, and I think that is the root of the afterlife fixation most religions have. They can’t deal with reality, so they escape into the fantasy that they can continue being involved somehow after life ends.

    You have to realize this life is all you’ve got, and make the best of it, even if you aren’t a pet of the christian god (nor any other god).

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