Last week I did a series of five posts about our need for deep questions, and things that challenge us. One of them was about how religion can cloud your future. It ignited a fascinating discussion. But one question that arose really intrigued me…
Robert commented, “Sounds like you might be an atheist or have had bad experiences with religion. However, if there was a God, would you be willing to obey Him?”
I have no problem answering his question, but I was captivated by why he would ask that. It doesn’t really apply to the topic of the post. My intuition is he was asking it for disqualification purposes. My belief is that if he could safely categorize me as an atheist or someone who wouldn’t obey god (or perhaps discover that I was actually Satan deceiving him), he can easily discount the difficult questions I was challenging him with. Can’t be sure, because as I write this, he didn’t respond to my question on why he asked.
But the question certainly is fascinating, so I gave it some serious thought. And the answer is…
First, yes, I am an atheist. Due to my prosperity work, I have been studying the world’s major religions for many years. And after some deep introspection on my two-year sabbatical, I came to the conclusion that no rational human could believe the underlying premises of those religions. For the most parts, I view those premises as remnants of sky god superstitions from the Stone Age.
I don’t see my work is to “prove” that god doesn’t exist and that is not the purpose of this post. If believing in a supernatural entity helps other people live their lives, I remain happy for them. It’s just a concept I can no longer believe.
Which brings us to what I think is the most fascinating part of Robert’s question (and the part that I pondered the longest): If there was a god, would I obey him. And the conclusion I came to was, no, I would not obey a god.
First if there was an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent entity that created the human race (and all the other species here on earth), I believe that entity would do so for only one of two possible reasons:
- The benevolent possibility: To create us in his/her/their image so we can practice self-determination and evolve into the highest possible versions of who we could become. And if this was a benevolent god, he/she/it wouldn’t want us to be mindless drones following orders, but free-thinking entities with the ability to learn and grow – to create our own destiny.
- The malevolent possibility: This god created us in his/her/their image to train and use us for entertainment, as humans might place dolphins and whales in a theme park and make then do tricks. Or see us as slave labor to accomplish some goal. In either case, I would be the equivalent of John Conner, leading the resistance.
To me, obeying and fearing god would be an insult to that god, if it was a benevolent one. I’ll explain more in the next post. But in the meantime, would love to see your thoughts below.
How is it you don't believe in God, when you know exactly who he is? You explained his purpose for us on earth and his endless love for us perfectly, yet it confuses me how you can still claim you don't know him. I will love to hear what you have to say in your next post.
It's relatively easy to make such statements when we live in countries where people don't face a death penalty for their beliefs. But how about this: If you were born in Pakistan, would you obey Allah?
God: an abstract concept created by humans to exploit other humans, nothing more nothing less.
As a Christian, I believe that you handked the question well. If it were me 8 years ago, I would have posted something different.
Thank you fir this.
It's called FREE WILL.. We all have choices.. Mankind was created by the good Lord in his image with beauty, love, and intelligence!
Randy, when did you become an atheist? I thought you were an upstanding member of the Unity Church. Does that make you and atheist? I thought that Unity is someone Christian-based.
I was a member of unity for more than 20 years. But as I stated in the post, after a lot of reflection, I because an atheist during my sabbatical.
What made you move away from the Unity concept of God, which is quite different than the traditional Christian view, as far as I understand it?
Unity doesn't practice all the dogma and doctrines of Catholicism for example, but the concept of a god is still the concept of a god.
"To me, obeying and fearing god would be an insult to that god, if it was a benevolent one." BOOM MIC DROP thanks for the clarity of what I was feeling but could not put into words! Awesomeness!
So if God told you not to go into a den of lions you would do it because you don't want a god telling you what to do? Unfortunately this is what most of mankind thinks God is all about-Taking the the fun out of their life--don't to this don't to that-But what if He was telling us certain things for own good? Things that we couldn't figure out on our own or refused to even think about? Don't kill? we sure tell God where He can stick it Don't steal ? well not us for sure-that's for the other guy to obey Yes their are some religious people out there but they don't pay attention to God either-Yes God wants us to be prosperous
interesting reflection and different god scenarios trickle down and are obervable through us. like we are always looking for the thing thats higher on the food chain than us...and eating it if edible.
Fascinating that the "god fearers" only seem to appear when their unthinking interpretation of their deity is challenged. Mind you, if you really want to have a belief in a deity challenged, search for Stephen Fry debunking god and argue with him...
In some of your other blog posts, you mention "the infinite intelligence that created you". Is concept similar to a God, or has your thinking moved away from that concept? In the blog "3 keys to prosperity" it made a lot of sense when you wrote that not using your gifts was an insult to that intelligence.