Archive for June, 2013

If god is good, good is meaningless

June 14, 2013

I have found a serious lack of understanding when I ask religious people- Christians in particular- to tell me what “good” is.

Those who are able to give a sensible answer give one that disproves that their god is “good”.

If they just say “God is good”, then I know they haven’t got a clue what “good” might be.

The bible tells of some horrifically evil acts supposedly committed by their god. Especially by the Old Testament version of god. He is said to have drowned almost everyone in “The Great Flood”, including innocent babies. I guess he was a fan of really, really late term abortions back then. He also told his people to kill the babies themselves when he didn’t feel like getting the blood on his own hands. He suggested all sorts of slavery, murder, rape, and genocide in multiple places and times throughout the “holy bible”.  And he sent bears to kill a bunch of kids for laughing at a bald guy.  Nice.

So then, if Believers claim “if god does it, it’s good”, then I know they don’t get it at all.  There are definitions of “good” out there that their god falls far short of.  All definitions of “good” other than “God = good”, in fact.

That’s like saying “as long as Joe does it, it is frimp”: meaningless.

In that case it’s as if you explain to me that “frimp” means “any act that lowers the temperature of the house”. But when I watch Joe’s life unfold before me I see that half the time he builds a roaring fire in his woodstove, raising the temperature to very uncomfortable levels. Even if he sometimes cools the house, you can’t say that everything he does, by definition, is “frimp” without contradicting the definition you just laid out for everyone else.

God is not good unless “good” is meaningless. And it isn’t.

Okay, so now atheists are “saved,” too.

June 3, 2013

Hi. Peggeen here. Peg has kindly allowed me to participate in his blog, but I haven’t posted lately.

That’s good in a way because it means religionists haven’t been in my face or on my doorstep much. It’s been nice (dare I say it’s been a blessing) not thinking about them.

But recently, I had one of those “don’t know whether to laugh or cry” moments. Last week, we atheists were supposed to be all whoop-de-do because Pope Francis, citing one passage from the bible, opined that Jesus came to redeem non-believers, too. Even if we remain non-believers. Long as we’re good folks — free pass into heaven.

Francis seems to be a pretty good human being for a pope (historically they tend to be a scurvy lot). And I don’t know whether he was speaking ex cathedra (and therefore, according to pope-ism, infallibly, representing the Big Man In the Sky, himself) or whether he was just expressing a humane opinion. Fact is, though — who the hell cares?

For most of two millennia, the Catholic church has been eager to whack with a sword, burn at the stake, or otherwise annihilate basically anybody who disagreed with it over anything. And I seriously mean anything. Disagree on what the date of Easter should be? Whack! Believe in works over faith (or is it faith over works; I can never keep track of who’s on which side)? Whack! Point out that the earth circles the sun? Wh … oh, wait. Gallileo was famous, so he only got house arrest and was forced to recant an observable fact.

Millions of people over dozens of centuries — whack, whack, whack! Wars, crusades, inquisitions, torture, trials, murder — all over mere doctrinal disagreements, some of them blindingly petty.

Now suddenly we’re supposed to be grateful — and believe — that even the One Big Disagreement is a-okay with god. Or at least with his official representative on earth. After all those centuries of torture and slaughter!

Well, hold the presses, you folks who report that atheists are so thrilled by Francis’s olive branch. I’m an atheist, and I don’t give a damn. First of all, who in their right mind thinks atheists are supposed to hang on a pope’s every word? We’re atheists, for pete’s sake! We don’t do popes! Second thing: if some All-Mighty actually did send His Son for some specific purpose, don’t you think he could have arranged to state really, really clearly from the get-go what that purpose was, and who exactly was saved and all, then see to it that His Divine Will was carried out by his prophets and his “Vicars of Christ”? I mean, you know, that would have saved a lot of bloodshed. Little late now, Francis.

Hm. One might begin to suspect that you’re all just making it up as you go along and quoting the bible to make it say whatever suits your fancy.

Then, just a day or two after reading that I was supposed to be rejoicing because some guy in the Vatican finally (oh let us sob with joy) gave us the okay, I spotted this article. In which a Catholic theologian says … well, you just have to read it. The bottom line is that no matter how many popes say that Jesus says that we atheists are SAVED (glory hallelujah!), the church is still the church. It’s still splitting hairs, counting angels on pinheads, and eager to send you off to eternal torment for innocently following the “wrong” superstition.