My Grandmother was a very devout Catholic. She prayed every morning and every night, she attended Mass regularly, avoided sin, and followed the Church’s teachings as best she could. She devoted her whole life to God and to her community. Her faith was passed down to my Mother but, to their dismay, it was not passed down to me. I am extremely opposed to believing in a God that is so imperfect, the world itself is an imperfect place, full of evil and sin, and I know I can live a fulfilling and happy life without the need of a Religious figure to sustain me.
God may have some redeeming qualities but I refuse to believe in a “jealous” God. I understand that his jealousy arises, not from insecurity, but out of sovereignty. In which case, not only is he a jealous God but also a proud and selfish God. The way I understand it, God wants us to worship him ( and him alone) in whatever ways he wishes. That brings me to eternal damnation. God, supposedly, gives us free will but if we choose to oppose him he damns us to hell. That hardly seems like something a ‘loving” and “merciful” God would do. I didn’t begin to let go of my religion until I realized that God could possibly be an evil God.
Dewey,a character from Malcolm in the Middle,once said something that resonated with me, ” God is so much bigger and wiser than us, and trying to see what he’s thinking would be like an ant trying to see what I’m thinking. Like me in my anthill. I spent days watching the ants, trying to figure out which ones were good, and which ones were bad, but they all just looked like ants, so I started smiting all of them. Those ants could have been praying to me all day, I wouldn’t have heard them. I guess all we can do is live our lives and try not to dwell on God standing over us with a giant shovel”.
I didn’t want to live my life believing in a God that was either a Bully or a God that just didn’t care for humanity. Turn on the news and you will find reports of natural disasters, murders, crime, wars, etc. It’s all very heartbreaking and disappointing. God is omnipotent. God is omnipresent. Where is God when this is happening and why isn’t he doing anything to stop it? God doesn’t exist. That is my answer. Somewhere along the way I began to think that we are punished by our sins, nor for them. I began to see that accidents and coincidences are part of our daily life. Evil exists.
Good exists. Life is full of opposites and we all have the ability to differentiate and choose for ourselves. The world is an imperfect place, full of evil and sin, we might never be able to fully rid it of that but I , for one, choose to live free of anger and resentment towards a God that isn’t doing a thing to make it better. I don’t need to believe in God to keep me going. I believe in you. I believe in me. I believe in the world. That is enough for me. If I am an Atheist then surely that means I am evil. That’s not true at all. I value ethics, I know what is wrong and what is right.
I don’t live my life in sin simply because I live according to my rules. And my life is full of meaning and happiness. I just find meaning in everyday things like the sun, a beautiful tree, or in the Sea Turtle that hatches and goes out into the Sea. My life isn’t defined by God. My life is defined by how I live and in the way I see the world. The God I believe in doesn’t exist. The God I believe in doesn’t have flaws and makes this world a better place. That is what I now know to be the truth. I can exist without a higher power, I do exist. And my existence has meaning not because someone gives it meaning but because I find meaning in it.