For a long time, I wasn’t particularly vocal about how I see the world. I was always part of the “agree to disagree” crowd. Eventually, when I started paying more attention, I realize that those words are the biggest cop out and hindrance to progressive discourse in existence. So, like so many others, I stopped being silent.
This of course led to countless friends that I had known for years to exit my social media pages (and my life) in droves. People don’t like being contradicted when they hold a belief. They don’t like their closely held beliefs questioned. I have, however, managed to reach some of them. I can live with that ratio.
This brings me to the thing that is on my mind this morning. You see, I’ve recently returned to hometown. The funny thing about a somewhat small town is that you tend to run into….everyone. Even after years, they feel this strange need to justify their leaving your life. The most common reason is this:
“Well, you’re against my God!”
Now, my stock, pithy response has always been “I’m not against your god, because I don’t believe in your god.” It’s good, effective, and allows me to wander off while they’re still trying to understand it. Lately, however, I’ve been thinking about that response, and it isn’t an honest one. Of course I don’t believe in any gods, but the idea of being against their god requires far more than a quick one-liner.
My response now needs to be more like this.
“I don’t believe in your god, but, let’s assume for a moment that the Abrahamic God exists. If so, in the bible alone, he was responsible for millions of deaths. He tortures people for eternity for the thought crime of disbelief. Today, every minute, innocent children suffer and die from starvation and malnutrition. If he is all knowing and all powerful, then he knows it is happening and can stop it…but chooses not to. His own followers violate children, and he does nothing. So, if the Abrahamic God does exist, he is responsible for innumerable crimes against humanity, and by moral necessity, I would be obligated to not only be against him, but actively work to bring him to justice for his crimes.”
Contributor: Robert Sacerich
Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.
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