Carpe diem

When I first saw a link to this article I really did not want to follow it. What do I care, I thought, what Penn of Penn and Teller thinks about god? I am glad I read it. Aside from some awkwardly worded statements I think his description of why he believes there is no god is one of the best expressions of such a feeling I have seen.

Believing there’s no God means I can’t really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That’s good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.

Penn Jillette has furthered my definition, or rather my understanding of humanism and has shown me a way to discuss things with people of different faiths.

Believing there’s no God stops me from being solipsistic. I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I’m wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate. I don’t travel in circles where people say, “I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith.” That’s just a long-winded religious way to say, “shut up,” or another two words that the FCC likes less. But all obscenity is less insulting than, “How I was brought up and my imaginary friend means more to me than anything you can ever say or do.” So, believing there is no God lets me be proven wrong and that’s always fun. It means I’m learning something.

Penn Jillette is smarter than either his politics or magic shows would have led me to believe.

Believing there is no God means the suffering I’ve seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn’t caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn’t bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future.

Amen, brother! Now let us all forget about planning for what’s next and focus on the here and now. Love the one you’re with. Don’t pine for and crave something else.

  • This is really good. The hardest part of explaining atheism, is trying to get people to understand how you can have any moral values. I think it’s easy for people to understand at least the idea of evolution, or the Big Bang (even if most don’t agree with it). Morallity is a different matter. This article sums up my feelings pretty well.

  • Can you really decide what you believe? It’s true that our beliefs do not have to coincide with truth. But, to avoid madness, we must try to make truth the foundation of our beliefs as much as possible. So, can we decide not to believe in God?
    I think that we either believe or we disbelieve. We can decide which of those we like better. But, we cannot choose what is true. And, we cannot choose what we think is true. The best we can do is influence our own experiences and distort our own reason.
    That process is not scientific or open-minded. Any time you choose to believe what you want to believe you are stepping away from truth and reason.