They think I’m an Atheist!
I “came out of the broom closet” recently, and changed some things on social networks, not to announce, but just to put the truth in the description thingies. There wasn’t any reaction to it, thankfully.
Then I started being more open and voiced more my opinions on certain subjects in a more honest, less politically correct way. Of course, people saw this as a change (though I’ve always been like this). This raised some questions in a few of them, who decided to check my profile. Among them, one of my Evangelist aunt.
I glad she bit the bait, honestly, as we are always having friendly discussion about topics. However, this is religion, so she took it a bit more seriously this time. However, funny thing, she misunderstood something. She thinks I’m a LaVeyan Satanist (even though it says Theistic Satanist on facebook…), and that I’m Atheistic at the core. So she sent me a Christian site with questions for Atheists/Materialists. I post it here:
What if the cosmos is all there is?
Before telling her I’m theist (at which point she went totally nuts and stopped talking to me since), I answered the questions from an Atheist standpoint. It wasn’t hard, I was an Atheist before anyway. Here are my answers:
1. “If all of life is meaningless, and ultimately absurd , why bother to march straight forward, why stand in the queue as though life as a whole makes sense?” —Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There
Because life is full of fun and experiences that are worth living for. I don’t march because life “makes sense”, I do it because I want to.
2. If everyone completely passes out of existence when they die, what ultimate meaning has life? Even if a man’s life is important because of his influence on others or by his effect on the course of history, of what ultimate significance is that if there is no immortality and all other lives, events, and even history itself is ultimately meaningless?
History has a purpose. That purpose is not making the same mistakes as our predecessors. There is no such thing as ultimate significance in life, nor an afterlife, so I might as well enjoy life to it’s fullest while it lasts.
3. Suppose the universe had never existed. Apart form God, what ultimate difference would that make?
We would not exist.
4. In a universe without God or immortality, how is mankind ultimately different from a swarm of mosquitoes or a barnyard of pigs?
We are not. We are a swarm of humans leeching on every other lifeform, and a barnyard of people prancing and playing in the mud with our brethren.
5. What viable basis exists for justice or law if man is nothing but a sophisticated, programmed machine?
The basis for justice and for life is simply an utility for society. Justice was created in order to keep people from doing things that could be detrimental to society as a whole. Social behavior does this not only in humans, but in every other species that has a societal system, specially mammals, like apes, wolves, and dolphins. Law is something we devised to, as a society, be more coordinated and synchronized. That way conflict is less likely. Conflict inside a society is detrimental. Conflict between societies can be useful for some.
6. Why does research, discovery, diplomacy, art, music, sacrifice, compassion, feelings of love, or affectionate and caring relationships mean anything if it all ultimately comes to naught anyway?
Why does it come to naught? People don’t do things so they can say “look at what I did, God!”. People do things because they like doing it, or make sacrifices because they think it will make someone they love live better. What does it mean to feel love? Can you even avoid falling in love? We do all of this to enjoy and get the most juice out of life.
7. Without absolute morals, what ultimate difference is there between Saddam Hussein and Billy Graham?
None, they both did what they wanted to do.
8. If there is no immortality, why shouldn’t all things be permitted?(Dostoyevsky)
All things ARE permitted. But our justice system prevents us from doing things detrimental to society.
9. If morality is only a relative social construct, on what basis could or should anyone ever move to interfere with cultures that practice apartheid, female circumcision, cannibalism, or ethnic cleansing?
Whoever has the biggest stick, or gun. If cannibalistic groups were better armed than everyone else, and wanted other cultures to adopt their customs, we sure as hell would be forced to. How is it any different in the other way?
10. If there is no God, on what basis is there any meaning or hope for fairness, comfort, or better times?
The meaning for this is whether you want it or not. Some people want fairness, some comfort. If you fight for what you want, you might get it.
11. Without a personal Creator-God, how are you anything other than the coincidental, purposeless miscarriage of nature, spinning round and round on a lonely planet in the blackness of space for just a little while before you and all memory of your futile, pointless, meaningless life finally blinks out forever in the endless darkness?
I am not. So I better enjoy while I can.
Feel free to ask my anything on this subject! Comments are more than welcome.