Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why I Do Not Believe In God, Part 2 (Standing Before God, Revisited was Part 1)

The other morning on the way to work, as I hurried across a street to avoid traffic and my legs just did not want to cooperate, I thought about what it would be like to be a wild animal and run my fastest to try to outrun my predator. What an awful feeling of muscle exhaustion, where I just can't keep going even though my brain has pushed me through pain and commanded step after step, mentally screaming, "Faster!," until I drop in defeat, failure,and know I will be eaten.

I cannot imagine the pain of those animals gnawing away on me.  How could anyone claim a loving god after thinking about those last moments of utter failure, sadness and suffering that animals experience every day?  What an awful, humiliating and tragically sad way to die. 

If you are a fundamentalist, how could any loving god torture innocent animals for all of earthly existence for something someone else did?  Your story says that Eve took a bite of an apple, (when she had no knowledge so she did not understand and God purposely put temptation in her way).  He then punished the animal world for her one bite by making them have to eat each other for survival.  (Have you eternally tortured your child, burned him over and over, and tortured all the neighbors’ kids because your child took a cookie without permission?  That is the equivalent of your God.)  The scientific explanation of our system of life evolving from energy eating energy makes a lot more sense, cells evolving and engulfing other cells for energy; and even though it is a cold system, at least it isn’t mean. 

I look out at a beautiful scene and I am amazed by its beauty.  Sometimes it takes my breath away.  But once I realized that death was not always instant for animals, any thought of a god disappeared.  This was the straw that broke the camel’s back when it came to ever being religious.  The day I actually allowed myself to watch an antelope taken down by a group of lions and they grabbed onto whatever part of the antelope they were closest to, and started eating, I stopped believing in god permanently. 

I was an adult at the time, and had protected myself from the horrors of life –just as most humans protect themselves from watching factory farm videos because they do not want to see the awful circumstances that are going on allover the world.  We would rather pretend we have no idea, or just say, “That’s sad”; enough to clear our consciences by making us seem sympathetic, but not enough to do anything about the situation.  We are dispassionate toward those animals,using the age old excuses handed down to us by our religion and by our culture.

I now look out at the beauty, soak it in, and am deeply appreciative, but know the hidden view as well.  My mind flits from the glory of the scene to the question of just how many tiny bugs and cute little animals and baby creatures are being killed in that patch of scenery I am gazing at.  How much pain and torture is in that picture window my eyes are taking in?  Birds stealing other birds’ eggs, trees dying from infestations, spiders killing each other – it is overwhelmingly horrendous and my mind is not great enough to imagine it all. Yet it is how our world works - the tragedy of life hidden in the beauty of life.

“Belief in the supernatural is a failure of imagination, including the failure to imagine the immense and tragic elemental drama that goes on planet Earth every day. To believe in the religious narrative one must imagine the unreal and ignore the fullness of reality.”  Pangea Progress.

"Animals are here for our use" makes no sense to me. If things were purposely put here for our use, they would be objects with no feelings. Pain from nerves means the animals' bodies are signaling their brains to get away from us - to flee for their lives - to protect themselves. Nervous systems do not make sense with animals “being here for our use.”  Animals are here to live their lives, as they are our ancient relatives and have the same desire to survive and live a peaceful life.  Nature does not allow it. 

God does not make sense. Only science makes sense with such a tragic way to survive. 

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