My response to ‘Why Did God Create Atheists?’ @ AlterNet

Why Did God Create Atheists? | Belief | AlterNet.

…and my comment posted as a response:

I believe Jesus answers some of these questions when he says that “the kingdom of heaven is within you,” but that many do not yet have the ears to hear or the eyes to see what this means. Of course God is not falsifiable, but nor is God a scientific hypothesis. God is the eternal “I am”–that within each of us which grants us identity and self-consciousness, not to mention the ability to love one another unconditionally (because after all, in the depths of our souls behind all our personal idiosyncrasies, where the light of the “I am” shines forth, we are all already one in God). Let’s all please get beyond silly literalism and acknowledge that it is human nature to be spiritual, in whatever form that spirituality might take (one can be atheist and still deeply spiritual). Fundamentalism is a very recent invention, mostly an unfortunate but inevitable reaction against the moral depravity of the modern, industrial world. Our species’ religious traditions are themselves full of wisdom, if only we have ears to hear it. It is only those with political motivations that distort these teachings to suit their own desire for power. It is misguided to blame religion for the world’s problems. We could just as easily blame science and technology for building nukes and fueling the industrial makeover of our planet that is responsible for climate change and mass extinction. Instead, let’s take a look at ourselves and start taking responsibility for the only earth we’ll ever have. Science tells us how, religion tells us why. It’s up to us to live peacefully in light of this knowledge.

6 Replies to “My response to ‘Why Did God Create Atheists?’ @ AlterNet”

  1. Very nicely written Matt but I have to admit that I cannot agree with you on “offcourse god is infalsifiable”

    Believing in God is just like falling in love with a girl whom you never met, whose name you dont know, whose colour of skin you dont know, whose voice you never heard and whose dwellings you dont know.

    1. I don’t know, Bharat… whatever or whoever God is, I don’t think we can easily ascribe particular properties to him/her/it. God seems to me to be more of a universal presence. God is present in every girl, or boy, or woman, or man, or animal, or tree, or mud puddle, or street lamp, or sunset, etc., that I have encountered or could ever encounter.

  2. I like your response Matt. No matter how hard humans try to hide behind manufactured identities, we are still people, doing what people do; using tools for war and peace.

  3. Your argument some up to, “Your heart just isn’t open to the existence of God,” which the writer explicitly commented on and discounted as an answer to why atheists don’t believe in God. If you’re going to offer an explanation for God to an atheist, maybe try having evidence to back it up.

    And no, the bible doesn’t count as evidence. It’s anecdotal at best.

    1. Kent, what counts as evidence depends upon what your conception of God is. Based on many atheist’s understanding of “God,” I am also an atheist. I don’t believe in some sort of a bearded man in the sky, or in an all-powerful Creator deity completely separate from and beyond the created universe.

      Based upon how I relate to the divine, the evidence I would offer you for God’s existence is your own self-consciousness, your own immediate experience of “I-ness.” If you believe in the presence of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in the world, the only way you can experience them is through the active participation of your own self. Only your own conscious desire to know, will, and feel them allows them to show up as real. There is no such thing as evidence that doesn’t also require a certain injunction of the observer. If you want to know what “The Brothers Karamazov” is about, first you have to learn how to read. If you want to know if cells have nuclei, first you have to learn how to use a microscope. Similarly, if you want to know God, first you have to cultivate spiritual organs of perception. Claiming one must “open their hearts” to know God is no different than saying one must open a book on Riemannian geometry (and study it!) in order to know Einstein’s field equations. Reality isn’t always just there waiting for us to know it. The knower must be adequate to the object of knowledge before it shows itself.

  4. Matt:

    I want to respond to, “The knower must be adequate to the object of knowledge before it shows itself” in relation to the spiritual organs of perception. The meaning of a moment is a perceptual inclination influenced by one’s inherent, idiosyncratic perceptual equipment, a mixture of hormones in the blood stream, past experience, and the extent of knowledge to which one is aware. But there’s something deeper than that. For instance, the theist and the atheist can look at the same thing, as a friend and I were both enjoying a sunny afternoon in a backyard, and both drew support from this same experience for our very different concepts. We were both in awe, but one felt it had to be created, while the other saw no indication of a creator. While one saw a spiritual God, the other saw a natural G*D.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s