Ever wonder about the world? Adam and Eve, the Big Bang? I know of many Atheists (or they claim to be) tell me that believing in God is stupid. They say that the theory of evolution, the Big Bang, and all those scientific theories that modern man has come up with are better answers, and then they try to persuade me to be an atheist; and they also say they hate people who preach — something they don’t realise they do a lot as well (whether preaching for or preaching against, it’s still preaching).
Everyone whom I spoke to about religion (not many, as Singaporeans generally favour talk about movies), have asked me, “If God created this world, what was before him? And if he loves man, what is the sense of human suffering?”
The first question at first seems/appears reasonable and correct. But upon deeper thinking, it appears a bit odd. To show them the answer, I first ask them, “If God didn’t create the world, how did it come into existence?”
Most of the time, they reply that the Universe started with a Big Bang. I then ask them what (or Who) created the Big Bang, and they cannot answer. Then (more often than not, as they have got no answer) they change the subject by bringing me to the second question, “then tell me, if God loves us all so, why do we have to suffer here on Earth? Therefore I think that it’s a stupid idea to think of God as a loving God, or even of his existence.”
Well, I didn’t really know how to answer this one. I don’t know why HE does it, create Wars, Famines, Poverty — wait a minute, it’s by man. Okay, natural disasters, I don’t know why HE does it, create earthquakes, forest fires, floods etc. Here is a quote that best sums up why not believing seems so bad, taken from the book Waking Up Just in Time, by Abraham J. Twerski, on the question, “Why? Why does God allow these things (suffering, natural disasters etc,) to happen?”:
We are not alone in asking this question. The greatest theologians and philosophers have grappled with the question of why bad things happen to good people, and no one has yet provided a fully satisfactory answer. Some have been so upset by this problem that they have denied the existence of God. However, it has been wisely said that if God exists, human suffering does not make any sense; if God does not exist, nothing makes any sense.
So what if people aren’t sure how the universe came into being? Why do people ask unnecessary questions and pretend that they know all the answers? Just so they can say, “My religion has all the answers!”?
Why don’t people care more about solving current problems? I’m an atheist (which simply means that I don’t obey supernatural/imaginary authority figures) b/c I don’t need to fear supernatural punishments (ex: hell, God’s wrath) or to seek supernatural rewards (ex: heaven, God’s blessing, nirvana) in order to behave myself. Regardless of how nature came to be the way it is, the fact is that there are perceptions/sensations that organisms like/seek (happiness) and perception/sensations that organisms dislike/avoid (suffering). I want to minimize suffering and maximize happiness (esp. of humans), and I’m able help do so. So are you. The contentious debate over the existence of supernatural things is a waste of time, making people forget about or ignore more urgent problems.
Being an atheist actually means you deny the existence of God. An agnostic doesn’t believe in, nor deny, the existence of God, as he requests sensual (of the senses) proof before making that decision (to believe or deny).
I do not wish to disagree with what you said about your ability in self-control, but your tone reeks of smugness.
What I have found quite disturbing is your saying that debating the existence of supernatural things is a waste of time. It is not. It is a debate that helps clear the air, which helps people seeking understanding of this strange world.
Beliefs in religion or the supernatural are very real occurences in people who are religious or superstituous. Your saying, “it’s a waste of time” is akin to saying that feelings don’t matter — they do. Urgent problems don’t get solved when the very basis of our humanity is in doubt.