WHY GOD IS DEAD.
Part 1. Having GOD on your ass.
The last time I went to church, I cam home with a wacky feeling in my stomach of somebody spying on me. When I went home to use the bathroom, I’d feel like an invisible Jesus was standing next to my toilet, watching me go, and I couldn’t squeeze a drop!
Few weeka go I was asked to imagine what it’s like for somebody to create you, to bring you into this world, and then to follow you around wherever you go, watch what you do, and tell you what you should be doing all day every day from the moment you are conceived until eternity. He watches you when you are eating, jacking off, showering, having sex, reading, sleeping, and he reads your mind and knows all of your intentions and private thoughts, he remembers everything you ever did in the past, and has a plan for everything that you are going to do in the future. Not to mention the fact that he still won’t get off your ass after you die .
But for a Christian believer, this is the kind of life they believe they have, and that’s a kind of life they want to have. Or do they?
Whether you are a believer or not, ask yourself if you really want this to be true: Do you really believe in a life like that? Do you really want a life like that?
I think it’s this type of life is the ultimate form of enslavement
Most people say they want to be free, since we live under doctrines and ideologies that guarantee freedom of this and that that encourage people to think freely for themselves and have control over their actions etc. But I think deep down inside, nobody, myself included, truly wants to be free because we just don’t have the balls to handle freedom.
People have an intrinsic fear for freedom because there is just something frightening about being on your own, making your own choices from the endless possibilities and not having somebody there telling you what to do. That’s a lot of hard work, it’s very scary, and it takes a lot of thinking and a lot of efforts.
Most people live their lives in routines after routines because they afraid to break out of their chains of routines and patterns, to step out of their comfort zones and try new things and think in new ways.
Here is an analogy that I’d like to use, and it has to do with caterpillars. There is a type of caterpillar that travel in a straight line from head to tail when they search for food. The lead caterpillar spits and spins out a tail of silk as it crawls along, and the next caterpillar in line walks along this silk and produces his own silk for the next caterpillar to follow and so on. These caterpillars can form a train up to the thousands, clinging persistantly and idiotically on to the silk ribbon for long distance, and will continue to do so even if they are starved, cold and distressed. As long as their leaders crawl, they follow.
Most of us find ourselves a part of a procession like those creatures, going through our days like a parade without realizing it because it’s just easier that way. We follow the same patterns, go through the same routines and tasks that we are comfortable with and used to and we lack the sparkle of reason that would advice us to abandon this mundane lifestyle. We want to wake up each morning knowing what their days are going to be like, how their lives are going to unfold because it’s the way to play life safe. People are drawn to repeat old ways of doing things, old ways of seeing.
I can’t help by think that this inherent fear of freedom is one of the reasons why a lot of people became religious in the first place, and stayed religious. That and the fear of death.
Religion is the ultimate radification for this fear. I mean, what better ways to guarantee your ‘enslavement’ than to have somebody watching over your shoulder 24 hours a day, telling you what to do 7 days a week and to live your whole life according to one little book made out of myths?
A lot of religious people simply wish to be enslaved by living the ordain life. They think that praying everyday, going to church every week, reading a chapter of the bible every night is going to give them that security they desperately seek after. They with and follow the people and crowd who think like them, who reads the same book that was written 2000 years ago as them, along with billions of other ‘like-minded’ people, who believes and live the same lifestyle as them so they can bully and threaten outsiders who refuse to share their beliefs.
They are, and wish to be depended on an invisible man in the clouds to look after them so they can be told what to do and how to think. They fear that, without this all powerful babysitter to guide them and take care of them, they would be lost and unable to find meanings in lives. So instead of thinking freely for their own sakes and doing what they really want to do, they take the ‘easy’ route by looking up the Bible, or up to the sky for directions and guidance.
I mean how different is a religous mass compared to the line of hundreds of caterpillars? Creatures (or people) mindlessly follow the path are laid down in front of them. Mass leaders, or messengers pass on the bible and the same old messages from generations to generations like caterpillars spinning that same fine silk.
Having God on your ass is a lot like having a dad who follows his son everywhere, telling him what to do, what to say, and even reads his mind. And the pathetic son, who has no will choose freely and do otherwise, follows his father’s every foot steps, listens to all his advices and does whatever he tells him to do without questions.
The dad tells the son to kill his best friend and he does it. The dad tells the son to rape and he does it. The son calls up daddy before he eats anything, and thanks him for the food with the same words everyday even if he didn’t pay for it. The dad tugs the son to sleep, the son tells him that he is the greatest dad in the world and that he loves him by using the same line everyday. I don’t care how much the father and the son loves each other, It’s a sorry life for both of them.
To me, the thought of having somebody who knows my thoughts watching over my shoulder until eternity is more fearful than freedom itself, not to mention it’s discomforting and repulsing. I think life is much more liberating and relaxing without a divine surveillance camera that’s turned on all the time, if you can get over your fear for freedom. Religion is the biggest and longest bandwagon people can jump on, and it radificates the fear for freeom, discourages individual thinking, not to mention it justifies genocides, rape, child abuse and murder, and insults human dignity…but that’s worthy of another note.
Part 2. KISSING GOD’s ASS
Religious people often ask: “Without God, where would our morality come from?” If there is no God, does that give people the right to do anything they please? Aren’t things deemed as evil permitted? Will there be chaos?
But if you think about it more carefully, this is an insult to innate human dignity. Are these individuals stating that the only reason that they don’t rape, kill, and commit other wicked acts is due to the fact they are afraid to go to hell? Which translates into a reward from God and gaining entrance to heaven? Are they stating that without an invisible surveillance camera in the clouds, human beings aren’t able to tell the rights from the wrongs?? Are they stating that before Moses passing down the 10 commandments from Mount Sinai that it was ok to kill and rape?
To say that without God there would be no morality is an extremely impertinent thing for a believer to say to a non-believer, and alluding to what physicist Steven Weinberg said, it is an “insult to human dignity”. It seems that the reason why a lot of religious people do good deeds is to grovel to God, to avoid divine punishment, and to be rewarded by God for following his set rules. That, my friends, is not morality.
I mean, do we really need somebody to watch over our shoulders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for us to be compliant with moral behavior? If that is the case, God’s creation was flawed to begin with.
Human beings are innately ethical; it’s rooted in our genes as a result of natural selection to behave in a moral manner that serves our own interests as well as the interest of others in a functioning society. It’s unnecessary to have an invisible and intangible force blackmailing and threatening us.
Looking back at history, some of the things that individuals did in the name of God are absolutely horrible things that nobody would ever think of doing if it wasn’t for the name of religion. Only blind and unjustifiable faith could lead good and sane people to commit wicked and evil acts such as: biting the foreskin off of a newborn’s genitals and sucking up his blood, sewing up pre-pubescent girls’ vaginas, terrorizing children, directing airplanes into skyscrapers, killing homosexuals, women and countless other acts .
Aren’t our intentions, motivations and actions more moral if we do the right things on our own behalf instead of doing it to to kiss God’s ass? Think of the following scenario.
A girl who doesn’t sleep around and chooses to do so based on her own rationality, health, and free will is more impressive in a moral sense than her next door neighbor, who really wants to sleep around, but restrains herself because of her Christian upbringing. This is because when this neighbor was as a child, she was raised with the false belief that such actions would cause her to go to hell.
Another thing that bothers me is the “believing in God” non-sense.
Why do you have to believe in God to be rewarded for the good things you do?
Is God really that bitter and insecure about his own existence that he becomes jealous if you believe in other deities other than God himself? That he has to threaten everyone to believe in him or go to hell otherwise?
Why does God care so much if we believe in him? Shouldn’t people who do good things be rewarded regardless even if he isn’t a believer?
Say I spent my entire life helping starving children in Africa, giving out donations, and saving countless of lives but I happen to be a non-believer. On the other hand, my unemployed neighbor who hasn’t helped a soul in his life, has nothing better to do than to bum around in a church, reads the bible and mutter prayers 3 times daily. According to Christians, I would end up in hell and my neighbor would probably go to heaven. How is this fair or logical?
Individuals for the most part, act either morally or immorally with or without religion. In fact, religion is considered a main source of hatred in history, and that more innocent people died in the name of religion and more crimes were justified in the name of blind faith than anything else.
Religion hasn’t made people behave, and even if you oppose this notion, individuals who try to do good in the name of religion are just sucking to God to gain entrance to heaven, or that they are scared of hell.
Physicist Steven Weinberg sums it up: “Without religion you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
Part 3. FLOWER on a CHAIN.
As self-moving beings who are constantly in search of what we need, we recognize that the thought of our own non-existence is inconceivable; since the sense of personal survival of a being is always bound up with the first person perspective – namely the “I”. So naturally, when we contemplate of our own death, we project the subjective “I” beyond Earth as we attempt to conceive and comprehend the inconceivable and the incomprehensible – what it is like to be deceased? Since we cannot think without viewing through the framework of the first person, the feeling persists in us that our own death cannot, is not, and will not be the end of us. Where will I be? What will I look like? How would I feel?
Eventually, our imaginations allowed us to become so creative to conjure up answers to these questions that we invented an intangible world so that we could continue to project our consciousness above and beyond our non-exsistence to secure our identities across time and space. (But since our non-existence is inconceivable to us, and that we simply cannot even begin to think of a world without thinking of our subjectivities within that world, the notion of thinking of my non-existence merely means thinking of my own current existence).
I think the fear of death is one of the motives as to why people turn to religion in the first place. Human beings are the only species who are cognizant of their own death; so religion was invented for humans to seek comfort in their fear of death and to draw individuals away from earth and the life they have in front of them. This blind devotion to religion turns individuals away from living in the present world; which was initially prompted by their dissatisfaction of life, their suffering, their lack of identity and sense of true reality and humanity, and the fear of death.
Which leads me to wonder: Do the individuals of faith who preach daily about the suffering of life, and how life in this world is a rest stop to heaven truly embrace what they claim to believe? Do they really believe that an afterlife is really the solution to their problems?
If somebody of faith vehemently holds on to that idea dearly and believes it sincerely with his heart, shouldn’t the news of death be comforting? Shouldn’t there be ceremonies at churches whenever somebody about to meet their maker?
But that’s not usually the case. I recall while attending church a couple of years ago; there was a pastor who was diagnosed with cancer. Every member at church made much commotion about it and was treating it as if it was ominous news. Shouldn’t they have all been singing hallelujah and said, “Good news pastor Hong, Congratulations, I wish I could come along!”
But the church members didn’t say that. In fact, the church members were donating money for medication so he could live longer and ultimately delay the inevitable. The funny thing is, many of these church goers are opposed to the notions and practices of modern science by stating the negative effects they have on religious faith and how modern science does not comply with the Bible. But what’s the first thing these people turn to delay their death? Ironically, they turn immediately to doctors and modern science.
Why don’t they just rely on faith healers or their own prayers alone? Why aren’t they accepting the fact that their illness were part of God’s divine plan like they are taught to believe?
Maybe deep in the recesses of their minds, these individuals don’t really believe what they claim to believe in. Or maybe people simply choose to blindfold themselves from the truth. People are unable to come face to face with the suffering of life and are utterly mortified of death, so they turn to religion and use as a defense mechanism, or a vessel to project their own human essence into the sky.
These above observations lead to the notion that people created God out of their own imagery, not the other way around. Humans take what they hope for and their own essence and project them up into the sky – into an imaginary being called God. God is perfect love, perfect power, perfect this and that. All of these attributes are human qualities. We take what we hope for, what we lack – imperfection, and projecting and jettisoning it into the sky – an alien power, which really is ourselves.
Religion thus becomes a consolation for what humans have lost – for example the workers in capitalist society who are forced to give up their possession, goods and creations to the capitalists who enslave them. Since the impoverished are discontent with their true reality, they have to live in and look forward to and come to a realization in an imaginary reality – mainly heaven and the Kingdom of God, where their humanity could be realized in imaginary way. Religion becomes a hope for the restoration of humanity, a psychological fulfillment for their lack of true reality, and an expression of both suffering as well as a protest against suffering.
Religion is a sign of repression. Why do you think Christianity sprung out of the oppressed Jewish society? Being weakened and suppressed by the Roman Empire and others, they dreamt up a religion for the purpose of self-identity and justification for their suffering. They find power in religion by turning all anger and aggression inward, to feel content in their lowly position, and hoping that God will reward their poverty and suffering by granting them power in the after life.
Marx called religion “the flower on the chain”. Workers who are chained up and enslaved by economic production imagine a flower on their chains as a metaphor for an imaginary consolation in order to make their miserable lives somewhat bearable. The elimination and the critique of religion then is meant to pluck the illusionary flower off of the chains so that the enslaved could come face to face with the reality of their true humanity; thus allowing the workers to break out of their chains to pluck the living flowers. So by getting rid of religion, men can possess themselves, think for themselves, be in control of their own lives, and revolve around their true humanity; instead of basing their life around an illusionary God who blinds them from the truth of reality.
Sigmund Freud, the great psychoanalyst looked at religion as an unconscious and neurotic force. Religion is a type of neurosis – an obsessive compulsive activity that serves as a disguised expression to suppress and compromise the instinctual drives of sex and violence. He called religion a “universal obsessive neurosis”.
I used to be obsessive compulsive, and I would wash my hands and do certain things in a ritualistic fashion. If you look at religion, it’s pretty much a ritualistic, obsessive compulsive lifestyle, conformed and expressed in institutions such as churches and temples. Why do these people feel the need to pray during certain times of the day, attend church during the same time each week at the same location, read the same scripture and repeat the same patterns over and over again in an obsessive and neurotic fashion? It must be that they are experiencing and expressing deep, inner anxiety in their subconscious. Perhaps some of the famous stories in the bible can be a manifestation of this anxiety. Stories of Jesus being crucified by the hands of his Father, and Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac might be a disguised enunciation for the Oedipus Complex, where you developed a hatred and anguish towards your father, who stands in a way of you and your sexual desire for your mother.
Come to think of it, if you really love life, what’s there to escape to? Why not accept that there is only one life and live it to the fullest instead of dedicating your whole life to another life that you aren’t sure exists? Why are all religions dedicated to the afterlife and celebrate it? Why not celebrate and this life and this life alone?
Taking into consideration the chain of events that have to take place exactly the way they did since the beginning of the universe, all the possible outcomes of evolution, all the different ways our genes could be propagated, and the number of people could have taken your place, it’s sickening how lucky you are to be here. We have the ability to die, and we should be proud of it because people who don’t have the privilege to die don’t have the privilege to live either.
We should see clearly our own mortality, and not flee into the fantasy world of the afterlife. Death is just another side of life, and only when it can be viewed without clouded judgment is when we can really live. Accept life and its absurdity, sorrows, chaos and entropic nature while remaining tolerant and compassionate toward everyone else and yourself, not for the sake of an illusion, not for the sake of divine reward or punishment, and ultimately not for the sake of a man made God