“You want to know there’s no God? Then you’re going to get absolutely nothing for Christmas because that’s what Christmas is about. It’s about Jesus Christ,” said the angry Catholic mother to her atheist son. As much as I wish I was creative enough to make that up, it was actually something I found on youtube.com last night.
Such collegiate discussion between theist and atheist is what gives the common “non-believer” the ammunition to state, “The most common cause for atheism in this world is Christians.” Without absolute certainty, there is some truth to that statement. Christians are caught up in knowing and proving what they believe in. The hypocrites who fill churches, singing the praises of God on Sunday while fighting the hangover they still have from the Saturday prior. Both are lifestyles of insincerity, and what purpose is there in speech if not to be sincere?
Outside of the common cockroach, nothing in this world frightens me more than the religious zealot. The man (or woman) who claims absolute certainty about God’s existence, and that their religious interaction with God is the only correct one. These are the people who crusade and call it God’s will, the people who blow up abortion clinics and fly planes into buildings. If you require a more local and recent example, look at Brother Jed Smock, a man so drunk on religion that he lost sight of the purpose of religion.
Religion, if anything, should not be a tool to exert control over others, but to demonstrate universal goods like altruism and compassion. Religion, much like a loaded firearm, can be used for great goods, and equally great evils.
The religious sloth is a far more insincere relationship with religion. The person who describes them self as Christian, and regards the bible as the most important book to in the world. In addition to this public display, they do their best to avoid any of the tenants supported by this religion.
Should they possess the intellect to refute attacks of their hypocrisy, they will give every passage or verse about ‘grace’ and ‘forgiveness.’ Despite their awareness of this grace and forgiveness, they make no effort towards working for it, and simply consider them words hung on a cross. I believe this to be one of the highest forms of insincerity.
And we are brought back to the atheist. A person who truly believes that God does not exist, either because mankind is so terrible, or because God is something beyond proving. I will confess, mankind is terrible, and God is most certainly impossible to prove. However, if these arguments persuade you to become atheist, than you are the most insincere of all. At best, the rational person might use these premises to become agnostic, but never atheist.
Nothing can be found or understood to prove or disprove God’s existence. Any effort to ‘prove’ that God does or does not exist through beauty or evil, virtue or vice, creation or Darwinism will be made in vain. In addition, mankind’s shortcomings and displays of evil by no means suggest that there is no God. All it suggests is that people are crappy.
At the end of the day, faith is believing in something, even though it can’t be proven and sincerity is being honest with yourself and others. If you are a devout Christian, then be sure that your strength comes from your faith, and not your certainty. If you have no desire to live as a Christian, then do not label yourself as such. And if you are an atheist, then faith is the only thing you’ll have to not believe in God.
The sincerity of your beliefs is infinitely more important than what you believe…