[The Listserve] There is no god.
There is no god.
God is an idea, created by humans to explain and comfort. Early humans couldn’t comprehend the idea of lightning, so they envisioned a powerful bearded guy up in the sky angrily tossing down lightning bolts. They didn’t understand what lay beneath the earth’s surface, so imagined volcanoes atop dragons belching up fire. Gods today, including the Judeo-Christian version, are no different. People don’t understand how the universe began, so they imagine a powerful being creating it.
But as humans have evolved over thousands of years, our ability to understand the universe has also progressed. We have incredible knowledge about how our world and our species came to be. Our understanding of our universe is increasingly based on science, on evidence gathered through our senses instead of superstition invented out of thin air.
We’re in a transition period right now, which is natural because most of us still cannot fully comprehend the vast universe and our place in it. We still live in societies in which the culture of religion predominates, where our children continue to be taught from an early age to believe in a mysterious being in the sky.
At some point in the future, God will follow Zeus and Odin and countless other examples of deities into the history books. Future generations will correctly see us as a primitive and superstitious people, who absurdly spent vast amounts of money on churches and temples, who gave great amounts of power to priests and other religious leaders, who fought each other over competing made-up notions of what our god or gods want from us.
Sadly, religion frequently operates as a construct by which to limit and control people around the world, particularly those less educated. How unfortunate that some poor and oppressed people attempt to comfort themselves with a vague notion of being rewarded in the after-life instead of being energized to make this world and this life better. How shameful that rather than fight injustice, some people accept it as “God’s will.” How utterly tragic the number of people who spend their energy warring and murdering each other over disputes about the interpretation of an ancient text written by our relatively primitive ancestors.
Some of you no doubt find the idea of an atheist universe sad, somehow devoid of meaning or greater purpose. For me, it’s both freeing and inspiring. I have the liberty to live whatever kind of life I want, and I’m inspired to make the most of my life because it’s the only one I have. Do great things. Be good to people. Not because a fairy tale ghost orders it, but because it’s the right and moral thing to do. In an infinity of space, we only have each other. In an infinity of time, we only have these few years. Make the most of them.