What if Darwin Presumes that God Speaks to Him?
What I mean by that is I never believed in god as he was presented to me in Sunday school. My logical brain couldn’t reconcile the inconsistencies of an all loving god all-knowing god who held his own creation responsible for being imperfect.
What became very clear to me was god existed as an authority figure to lend support to the beliefs of the person speaking for him. If you believe that homosexuality is wrong, you don’t have to be the bad guy. It isn’t you – it’s god.
And because you are using an unquestionable authority, you can get other people to believe as you do. You didn’t convince them. God convinced them.
The idea of theism alone isn’t a damaging concept. If you want to believe that something created the universe, you aren’t hurting anyone.
When you work to convince people you know what that being is thinking, I think you can begin to do harm.
In the debate over same-sex marriage, there are people of all faiths who think it is right and people of all faiths who think it is wrong. They are both using the ultimate authority of god to support their claim.
But what if none of them knows what god thinks? What if no-one has a direct line to heaven? What if we need to figure this stuff out for ourselves without an authority who cannot be questioned?
I think it is a common perception that atheists are angry at god. The perception is a fallacy because we can’t be angry at something that doesn’t exist.
What angers many of us is the use of god to advance wholly human endeavors. God is introduced as a barrier to thinking for ourselves.
Mike Huckabee recently said that he can’t support same-sex marriage because the bible is against it. He genuinely believes that god cannot be questioned.
But here’s the paradox – the Bible is constantly called into question. Many people have a different interpretation for the same passages Huckabee feels force him to oppose same-sex marriage.
So who is right?
When you use the bible as your basis for drawing moral conclusions, you can both be right. It all depends on how you interpret the passage and how the passage was translated and, yes, your personal feelings on the matter.
If you feel same-sex marriage is wrong, you are going to interpret the Bible as Huckabee does. If you feel it is right, you will interpret it in your own way.
To whom is god speaking?
The conclusion for me is simple. God isn’t speaking to any of them.
I believe we need to stop looking to an authority who cannot be questioned and make our own moral judgements.
God doesn’t drive good moral decisions. If that were the case, god would certainly have made it more clear to terrorists that cutting off the heads of journalists isn’t a morally defensible act. The Scriptures would have been crystal clear on the subject of killing doctors who perform abortions. There would be no moral ambiguity around the subject of enslaving other people.
If everyone believed in god without using god to advance their own moral agenda, religion wouldn’t trouble me at all.
But religion bothers me precisely because it is used to advance the moral agenda of people and whether or not I agree with that moral agenda, I don’t think god should be part of the conversation.