The Problem With God
I’m not Richard Dawkins, so I’m not going to pretend I know how to refute intelligent design theory. I’m also not Bill Maher, so I’m not going to bash various religions.
It’s not polite.
But I’d like to explain why I find atheism, nihilistic existentialism, and Taoism insanely liberating, enlightening, enriching, and the root of my reconciliation with the seeming unfairness and brutality of this world.
I might add that I do believe in kindness as a spiritual Force, gratitude as a Power, wisdom as a Savior, and generosity as Something that change your experience on earth.
But these come from within, not from without.
Believing that there is some Thing out there, some consciousness who has a plan for my life, is a recipe for entitlement, discontentment, and resentment. Believing that there is a God out there who will find me a parking spot one day, save a person from death another, and then strip someone of their home and health the next day, is a recipe for madness.
I know people who wait to know God’s Plan before acting. They ask this God for direction, to go this way or that way, without refining skills of common sense, without relying on their intuition, without surveying all the details and all the evidence, without realizing that there are no right or wrong decisions — it’s a set-up for constant disillusionment and constant neurosis.
The idea of God might bring you peace, but it brings me torment.
If I believe, as I used to believe when immersed in Christendom as a youth, that there is some Cosmic Force who’s engineering things in my life, tinkering with this and that, what do I do when life goes haywire?
How is it that when things go remarkably well “It’s God”, as my friends will say, but when everything crumbles to pieces it’s “Not God”or maybe it’s “Satan” or maybe it’s “God Testing Me”?
This seems absurd.
I cannot reconcile with the absurdity, unfairness, and injustice of this world, until I accept it’s pointlessness, meaninglessness, and ridiculousness.
Life is a game, a joke, and a laugh.
I cannot have peace until I wear life like a loose linen garment and embrace death as part and parcel of my existence.
We’re born. We breathe. We die. The cycle repeats.
I can’t believe in God because if I believe in God I will be constantly angry.
When the universe has no meaning, when there is nothing preordained, when there is no moral constraint, I find utter freedom.
If I choose to cultivate an ethical compass, it’s not because I fear a Supreme Being, it’s because I genuinely wish to be ethical.
When things are absurd, I find huge amounts of peace.
Nothing is owed me.
The “atrocities” on the planet are no longer atrocities. My sister suffers from schizophrenia, but that wasn’t God’s fault, that isn’t some Being’s doing, it just is what it is, and in its is-ness it is wholly perfect.
That’s the stuff the Tao speaks of.
What is true, what is now, what is happening, is divine.
With all this in mind, I am free from clinging to certainties. There’s no God, there’s no plan, there’s no special place for a special Tracy among the living. I am free to create without expectation and I am free to love without expectation.
You will gain and you will lose, you will lose and you will gain.
I, personally, am grateful to be born in a developed country with clean water. I don’t need a God to provide me with a parking spot, when others have no food. I don’t need a God to find me the perfect mate, when women in the Middle East are murdered for being raped.