Don't read my blog if you're a Christian.
OK, now that the warning is out there, allow me to be more specific. If you are religious yet don't want your religion to be challenged, you might not like my blog. I'm going to state and downright imply that you are wrong for believing what you do. If you're sensitive to that, well, you should have stopped reading a while ago.
I want to write about this thanks to our good friend Glenn Beck. In this clip, he blames Atheists for everything.
The specific part I want to discuss is at 1:46 - he talks about "filling The Void." This is something that really stuck with me from the few years that I tried on Christianity (it didn't fit). The pastors always talked about "The Void." This is some kind of Jesus shaped hole somewhere in your body that can only be filled with, of course, Jesus.
I do believe that some kind of hole does exist. I think it's what took me to the church to begin with. I did feel some kind of emptiness. There was a void. I went to church in search of answers. I did get a lot of answers, but none of those answers were absolute. In fact, most led to more questions. I couldn't quite figure out why Jesus or God (or are they the same? One of the answerless questions) wasn't filling that space for me.
So I did something that dumb people wouldn't do. I stopped going.
I really, really wanted to end the blog right there. So consider the rest the prologue.
If I tell you that you can get electricity from a dog's ass by cranking its tail, you would probably be skeptical. If you were a little gullible, you might even give it a try. But how stupid would you have to be to keep cranking? The church had no answers for me. My "void" needed to be filled with answers. It slowly became clear over the next couple years that there was an answer to every question. No God.
Let's look at just one question: Why is there pain and suffering?
Religious answer: God has a plan that we can't possibly understand. There is a heaven in which we will all be by his side. God, who is all-powerful, has a perfect plan. While it might appear that he couldn't figure out how to do it without pain and suffering, we just can't understand the plan. And while we might be tempted to wonder why a God who is all powerful doesn't seem to be able to convey his plan, it's our fault. About 6000 years this girl made a guy eat some fruit because of a talking snake, so we don't get to know. And that's part of the plan, too. So suffer, bitches!
My answer: No God.
To me, it makes more sense. The miracle and beauty of science has filled the void. I'm comforted by believing that when bad things happen it's not part of some cynical plan from above. In one of Penn Jillette's podcasts, I remember him talking about the death of a family member and feeling peace and comfort because of his Atheism.
If all of this is part of God's plan, then nothing we do matters. Pain and suffering will be here until he pulls the plug on the whole thing. We can't stop it. With science? wow - the hope! With enough advancement, science can cure disease. Science can end hunger. Will it happen? I don't know. But with science, it's a possibility. Science gives real, tangible knowledge. And that's what fills the void.