An excerpt from Atheism – The Case Against God by George H. Smith:
A man of self-esteem is an unlikely candidate for the master-slave relationship that Christianity offers him. A man lacking in self-esteem, however, a man ridden with guilt and self-doubt, will frequently prefer the apparent security of Christianity over independence and find comfort in the thought that, for the price of total submissiveness, God will love and protect him.
In exchange for obedience, Christianity promises salvation in an afterlife; but in order to elicit obedience through this promise, Christianity must convince men that they need salvation, that there is something to be “saved” from. Christianity has nothing to offer a happy man living in a natural, intelligible universe. If Christianity is to gain a motivational foothold, it must declare war on earthly pleasure and happiness, and this, historically, has been its precise course of action. In the eyes of Christianity, man is sinful and helpless in the face of God, and is potential fuel for the flames of hell. Just as Christianity must destroy reason before it can introduce faith, so it must destroy happiness before it can introduce salvation.
‘How can you live without God?’ believers often ask atheists. Having been brainwashed by their religion into thinking that their lives are devoid of purpose, and that they are worthless without their imaginary deity, believers find it difficult to understand how atheists can be happy.
Human beings were not ‘created’ to serve any gods, and there is no intrinsic purpose or meaning to our existence. We are a rare cosmic accident – the product of blind, impersonal natural forces acting upon naturally occurring chemical systems, that spawned the first self-replicating molecules which then evolved over billions of years through natural selection.
But this doesn’t mean we live our lives as if we have no meaning or purpose.
Far from it.
Our genetic makeup has imbued us with the desire to survive, the desire to seek social bonds with fellow human beings, the desire to mate, and the desire to nurture our offspring because this maximises the degree to which we will be successful in propagating our genes. The fulfilment of these genetically programmed desires is what gives our lives purpose and meaning – which we all experience subjectively. Our brains are constantly generating this subjective purpose and meaning that feel real enough to motivate us to be good people and try to live our lives as happily as we can.
You are therefore not worthless, as religions like Christianity want you to believe.
It says a lot about a religion – when its adherents believe that their sole purpose and meaning comes from the need to grovel before a celestial dictator, which a ‘God’ would be, if at all it existed. This tragedy is made worse by the fact that there is no good reason to think one actually exists.
- Imaginary Solutions to Imaginary Problems
- ‘Gods’, Wife Beaters and Abusers In General
- Pondering the ‘Afterlife’ (Part 1 – The Emptiness of Eternal Bliss)