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Meditation 86

by Aaron Brown

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Gather yourselves about me, my followers, and listen to the uneducated babblings of a naive man.

Is there a God? How should I know, and for that matter, how should you, you omnipotent self-righteous individual, how should you know whether or not there’s a God? There are over 4,200 religions in the world, each with their own dos and don'ts. Are you brave enough to even dream that you might be right?

I’m sure many of you have pondered the alternate possibilities for the origin of religion. It’s a scary and cold thought, but I know you’ve thought it. Early in your childhood you learned that one day you will die, just as all humans know they will. You also know that you’ve endured heartbreak, shattered dreams, and physical pain in your life. Furthermore, you know how much you hate the thought that this is all that there is; that this mixture of pain and happiness is all that there is to your existence, and that once Time licks His bony fingers and pinches out the flame of your life, your existence will be no more. Is it all that unlikely that primordial man shared this thought with you and, out of abhorrence of that thought, created a hope that there was something more? And maybe that hope blossomed into a god-like figure, or essence, or several figures or essences, as a way to describe the events that occurred around them. After all, that’s what the ancient Greeks did. Doesn’t that seem like the most logical explanation? There isn’t a single shred of hard evidence that a god exists.

True, we no longer need a god to explain the rising and setting of the sun or the ebb and flow of the oceans, but we still like the comfort that there’s something after death. We also enjoy the thought that those who have done us harm in life will be justly punished, or even unjustly punished, in death. For example, many of us, at least those of us in English-speaking countries, see the justice system of eye-for-an-eye as being rather barbaric. Isn’t the concept of hell several times more barbaric and unjust than that? Something along the lines of brains-being-sucked-out-through-a-straw-for-an-eye?

Now, dear readers, at this point you’ve probably pegged me as a staunch atheist. Not so! What a hypocrite I would be if I weren’t open to the possibility that I’m wrong! All one has to do is look at a blade of grass, the night sky, or in a mirror to see an argument for the existence of a god. Science is very good at answering the “Hows?” but it still has a long way before it answers all the, “Whys?”

I won’t try to tear apart any particular religion. That would be unfair. I’d have to tear apart all 4,200 religions, and that, my all-knowing readers, is a task I’m unprepared to undertake. Whether you believe in the argument for god or against him is up to you. Should you chose to support a god, the means by which you do it are also yours to decide – as long as said support doesn’t subtract from my happiness. Dear readers, that is a very important point worth stressing again. Don’t let your beliefs subtract from my happiness! How can you avoid bringing me unhappiness, you ask? First, you chose your religion so let me choose mine. Wouldn’t it have a much greater impact on me if I see the light of your religion on my own, rather than have my eyes taped open as your propaganda is hurled at me? Second, you can avoid being a sonovabitch. Don’t look down on those that don’t share your beliefs. Remember, there’s at least 4,199 other religions aside from your own, so NEVER be so arrogant as to think you’re right. Don’t think that everybody that believes differently from you is evil because if the person that you’ve targeted has a different religion and if they’re as shallow-minded as you, then they probably think you’re pretty damn evil as well!

Before, however, you choose to start worshiping the deity of your choice, allow me to briefly interject a thought. If there is a god, what has he done for you? You could, if the religion you chose agrees with such a statement, say that he created your soul, and for that, he deserves your praise. Outside of that, however, has he ever done anything for you? How many of your prayers have been answered, and of those, how many can’t be explained by science or chance? You might say that his creating you is enough to justify his worship, and maybe it is. On earth there’s a name for fathers who have as much involvement with their children as god has had with you. They’re called sperm donors. I don’t suppose the vast majority of fatherless children are especially thankful for their father’s lack of presence in their lives. On the other hand, maybe the religion you chose practices forgiveness, in which case, you can forgive your god for not being there for you.