Wednesday, 9 April 2008

God Is Dead. Let Me Tell You Why.

After World War 2 there should have been a funeral. A massive funeral involving every human being on this planet. The funeral should not have been for any earth bound creature, no. The funeral should have been for God. At the time, we could never have known it had happened. But God was another casualty of the second Great War.

I believe that humanity saw such suffering, such unspeakable cruelty, death and horror during the Second World War that, coupled with the vast advances in science that continued to contradict the teachings of the church, many, many members of the species realised that there could not be a loving God out there watching over mankind. How could there be when we had just visited such absolute misery on one another?

My feelings on the matter are clear; human beings have been turning away from organised religion at an alarming rate since World War 2. The number of non believers and agnostics has risen dramatically, and church attendance figures worldwide have plummeted like a stone. The developed nations of the West have thrown God from the sphere of daily life, and so many people today that identify themselves as “Christian” do so purely because they always have done. They follow no Christian teachings, do not really bother to believe in God or Jesus, but like the idea of a comfortable afterlife that waits for them (they always seem to forget that if there is a Christian heaven, they’re damn sure headed straight for the Christian hell).

Science has obviously also played a massive part in this downfall. As we have continued to explore and grow our understanding of the universe, life and the human condition, we have continued to prove false so many tenants of the Bibles, Qur’ans, Torah’s and Mahabharata’s of history. Our understanding of our fellow man has grown, we have realised that disabilities are not punishments from up on high and that homosexuals are evil sinners. As we understand each other, we realise more and more that the God of organised faith is long dead and buried beneath the horror, misery and suffering that was committed in his name.

So where are we now? Alone, standing on the precipice of the universe, looking down into the lonely abyss? No! Far from it. We are stood as one amidst a vast sea of emptiness, united by our humanity, inching closer and closer by the day to accepting each facet of our species as one. Priests and Imams that drive division and fear into the hearts of our fellow man are marginalised and mostly ignored. A dog collar no longer equals automatic respect or a right to tell people what to do.

As for the religious, they are free to continue to believe, no one is stopping them of that, but they are no longer free to act as if their beliefs give them an automatic right to privilege in this mixed, evolving society that we live in. Many of them call this persecution. I call it fairness. No longer is a Christian held on a higher level than a homosexual because of their faith. No longer does a church have the right to discriminate. They will call out that their religion and their beliefs are being trampled on. Would we tolerate the same attitude if a member of the BNP, arrested for racially slurs against a Sikh, cried that his beliefs are being trampled on? No. We would tell him that his beliefs do not give him a right to discriminate, no matter how right he thinks he is. The same must go for the homophobes, racists and cowards that hide behind the corpse of God.

Belief has not dwindled. Our desire to hope and search for a truth greater than ourselves still stands. Our desire is healthy, uplifting and inspiring. But it is the God that ruled over this world for so long with his iron fist that is dead; the God that saw homosexuals and women murdered for having an identity. That God is dead. The God that claimed love, the God that always allegedly intervened for good in days gone by, while allowing humanity to revel in its darkest hour in the middle of the twentieth century; that God is dead.

And good riddance say I.



Eugene said...

You make some very valid points here - while I am a Christian I most certainly disagree with the abuses so rampant in the religious community. To the division and fear, the marginalization and discrimination against those who are perceived as "different", I join you in saying good riddance! I believe that believers seriously strayed in this regard.

However I do disagree with your take that the loss of God and religion equals a complete shift into reason. Certainly, numbers of agnostics and atheists out of the closet has risen sharply. BUT at the same time, the gap left by Christianity/religion in general is also rapidly being filled by fresh esoteric bullshit. In a sense, Christianity has been like the bacteria in your mouth - sure its unpleasant, but it creates an environment that prohibits the growth of worse bacteria. Similarly, with church attendance dropping, shamans, druids, alternative healers and the like are doing booming business. While science and reason is certainly on the rise, another part of society is heading straight back into the dark ages where astrology, soothsaying, drowsing and homeopathy is seen as just as valid as real science.

People will always choose a comforting illusion over a harsh truth as far as I can tell. Take away the one and they will grab another.

Dinar P. Wiria-Atmadja said...

When you prosper and rich and have accomplished a lot of things in your life, all the credit and glory is yours. You say, I did this. It was not luck, it was not fate, and even less God. I am the one who is great. Nobody else but me.

But when a war breaks out, or you go to Iraq and kill people you say... God is dead. He should be punished and buried alive! It was not ME or another human being who started the war and killed people. No! It was God.

There are people calling themselves Christians and then kill and then go around killing the Jews or the people in Iraq. They kill and start a war in the name of God and thinks he's doing it to please Him. The truth is, how can they even know what pleases Him? They don't even talk to Him!

Your problem is not about God not doing anything when things go wrong. It's you not wanting to face the truth that you and your fellow human beings are fully responsible of all the suffering on earth. Blaming God is a much easier way out.