Wednesday, July 27, 2016

So...What if YOU are Wrong?

atheist blog
A surprising number of adults that I know frighten themselves so much with belief in supernatural things. Demons and scary afterlives and ghosty things and evil doers. The fear of these things affects their lives so strongly that they have nightmares and anxiety and distress. And worse, these fears limit their ability to truly love people and to foster peace and connection. Belief in these things also make some beloved people seriously concerned about my complete atheism, thereby bringing themselves even more concern and vexation. I want to ask them one question: What if you are wrong?

What if there is no such thing as magical realms and spooky spells? What if the only evil is intention? What if the end of our physical life here on Earth results in our molecules rejoining the sublimity of nature and this infinite cosmos? What if all of the entities that you fear, every single one of them, is a figment of the fearful imaginings of Men? What if our species was more ennobled by pride than by guilt?

What if there was only earth and stone below us and above us only sky? What if the only one who knew the deepest contents of our heart was us? What if no unseeable spirit was judging us? What if there was no such thing as magic, luck, blessings, curses, or damning? What if we discarded the concept of sin and focused more on character? What if logic and reason were valued above faith? And, even more, what if all things were knowable and faith was not required or even praised?

What if our intentions were more powerful than any overseeing entity or church? What if each heart and mind trusted itself to make decisions based on justice and humanity and intellect? What if our species wasn't limited by age-old doctrine and dogma that seems to have no basis in reality? What if we revered and honored intelligence, kindness, effort, achievement, and innovation? What if all of the words spoken to an unknowable entity actually fell onto the ground, yet still helped you to discover answers and peace? 

What if all humans are truly created equal and no doctrine or claims could change that? What if this moment here, now, is the most important moment of your existence? What if the utter humanity of suffering was comforted and loved with kind hearts? What if the moments of your existence are utterly finite and counting down? What, then, would you change? 

What if every bit of war, rancor, divisiveness, hatred, and hostility over philosophical or religious doctrine would disappear in an instant because they no longer made sense in a secular world?

What if black cats and full moons and four-leaf clover were simply equal parts of our natural world and contained no special meaning? What if we stopped judging people on their adherence to black-and-white doctrine and started judging people on their ability to bring peace and love into their lives and the lives of others. What if we were to acknowledge the long timeline of our species and find awe in our continued survival on a frequently inhospitable planet in our imperfect carbon-based bodies? What if we were free to honor every form of life equally?


What if we were to discard the utter fear and horror of imagined existences after our death? What if we, instead, embraced the beauty and fragility of each moment of our lives and sought to elevate our selves, our community, our species? What if we broke down the limits of imaginary morality and, rather, researched, explored, and celebrated all ethical options available to our stretching imaginations and our growing comprehension of reality?

What if we stopped limiting ourselves because of our fears and we started stretching ourselves with our creativity, adaptability, experience, peacemaking, and community building? What if the millions of people killed or simply limited by religious institutions were, instead, elevated? What if you are wrong about all of the things you fear and that all of the time you spent on fear and guilt could have been used in productive and happy ways? What if thinking outside of the box rather than limiting yourself within the doctrine of a tyrant was possible? What, then, could you accomplish?

If you are wrong, Dear Believer, what, then, could your life be?


2 comments:

  1. What would one do with all the free time some spend on the pursuit of religious dogma? It's a question that crosses my mind a lot when I see how much time my husband John puts towards his religion. From near daily Bible reading to the two hours of church each week (that's just the service and does not include the fellowship before/after or occasional Bible study) a lot of time is spent on a weekly basis devoted specifically to religion.

    I have wondered often about him being wrong considering the amount of time he spends in the pursuit of that next life.

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  2. Well written. You are dead right. We need to get superstition out of our lives.

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