God Shouldn't Have Been
There are a lot more atheists than you think, even here in Florida. I was raised by parents who were free thinkers, even though they were raised one in the Catholic and one in the Protestant faith. Occasionally I attended the local church in our isolated farm community in upstate New York. Even as a child I could not understand why god, who created heaven and earth and was all-powerful, needed people to worship him -- he shouldn't have been that insecure. After marriage to a fine woman from a religious family, I became active in the Protestant church and during the time that my children were growing was active in the church.
My education in science, however, could not long allow me to submit to professing a belief in the Christian dogma based only on faith and not supported by incontrovertible factual evidence. While my wife was dying of cancer in her mid forties, she also lost her belief in god, feeling that as a personal god, merciful and loving, there was no logic or reason to subjecting her to her anguish and suffering.
In the broader sense, considering the lives of the billions of people on this earth, would it be a better or worse place if everyone renounced their belief in god? The reasons for the bitter hatreds based upon religious beliefs of large segments of societies in all nations would suddenly be invalid.
Down through history, societies have been torn asunder and the most unspeakable outrages upon people have been committed in the name of a religious belief. In western Europe, where religions combined with the state to force their populations to accept, in some cases conversion to Protestantism, and in others to Catholicism, or to Islam, the legacy of their actions are with us still. Now we have the Christian fundamentalists in our country attempting to use the state to subject the rest of us to be subject to their beliefs.
From: "Herb Wild"
To: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Atheism
Date: Thursday, August 03, 2000 1:04 PM While for a number of years I was a church member I always had strong negative feelings about the premises and promises of the Christian faith, eventually concluding that it, and other religions, were nothing but superstitious nonsense, so I was never really converted.
The births of religions, as conceived in the minds of ancient peoples were certainly influenced by the extent of understanding these early human groups had of their world and the environment in which they existed. The invention of gods responsible for otherwise unexplainable events in the material world around them was a logical consequence of the inherent curiosity of the human race. Deification followed as the gods became more entrenched and required propitiation to avert calamity.
One might wonder what would be the shape of a religion defined by a group of philosophers today, using not the simple parameters available to early man, but the immense scope of understanding that exists of our world and universe, together with that which is currently unexplainable to us.
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