I certainly don’t believe in the Christian god any more than I do the Egyptian, Norse, or Aztec gods. Yahweh and Allah are just the flavor the month. With all of their failed prophecies, internal scriptural contradictions, scientific and historical inaccuracies, and sanctioning of immoral acts of violence, choosing one of these deities would be one of the worst, most illogical choices anyone could make. And the stakes get even higher when you add science to the equation. We have no empirical proof of god. Every supernatural claim that has been thoroughly tested has been thoroughly debunked. Our understanding of the cosmos is lightyears ahead of what it used to be, even just ten years ago, and is growing exponentially every day as we gather more data, and unlock better ways to observe the universe.
“I have always considered “Pascal’s Wager” a questionable bet to place, since any God worth believing in would prefer an honest agnostic to a calculating hypocrite.” Alan M. Dershowitz, Letters to a Young Lawyer
Whether you’ve kept up with it or not, scientists, independently, across multiple disciplines have been piecing together the origins of life and the universe, from a hundred trillionths of a second after the big bang to the formation of stars, then planets, to abiogenesis and the evolution of life itself. Everything points to a universe from nothing, and the gaps for god are getting smaller and smaller and smaller. Adding an even more complex god to the mix, only complicates the equation with unnecessary and unproven assumptions. So tell me, with every god we know of being pitifully small and man-made, and as the possibility for any deity shrinks to a minuscule afterthought. Does it really make sense to take this bet?
And it’s not without cost. If following and serving one of these gods means wasting precious time in this short and singular; if it means diverting time and money away from scientific advancement and towards regressive religious institutions; if it means throwing our lives away in a holy grail-style quest for the non-existent, or allowing for suffering, division, and bigotry in hopes of an increasingly unlikely divine reward, then the cost of take this wager is far higher than anyone in their right mind should be willing to take. It would be like selling your family for an already scratched off lottery ticket from a guy in an unmarked van who swears it’s the winning ticket.
Sure, we can’t know with 100% certainty that no god exists, and for that reason we should all technically be agnostic, but due to the sheer improbability of it, I give no more credence to the Judeo-Christian god than to Odin or Osiris. In regards to how I live my life I’m an atheist towards all gods. They’re all highly improbable. As an agnostic atheist, I create my own purpose, and carve my own path.
Live a good life – there probably is no god. But if there is, and she’s just, then your humanism and sincere quest for truth, love, and the betterment of others will be enough. And if there’s not a god, it’s still enough. Do good for its own sake, because we’re good people. Let’s make this world better, because we want to live in a better world, not because we’re scared little worms hedging a bet.
Don’t waste your only life. And don’t drink the koolaid!
“What Pascal overlooked was the hair-raising possibility that God might out-Luther Luther. A special area in hell might be reserved for those who go to mass. Or God might punish those whose faith is prompted by prudence.
Perhaps God prefers the abstinent to those who whore around with some denomination he despises. Perhaps he reserves special rewards for those who deny themselves the comfort of belief. Perhaps the intellectual ascetic will win all while those who compromised their intellectual integrity lose everything.”Walter Kaufmann, Critique of Religion and Philosophy
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