Tuesday, August 21, 2012
If there were a God, we’d have to kill it.
Readers of The Atheist Camel Rants Again! will be familiar with the chapter on “Faithicide,” a term I use to describe the gradual destruction of superstitious religious belief by reason and rationality in the scientific age. In that chapter I dismissed “deicide,” the act of god killing, because it makes no sense since you can’t kill what does not exist.
But what if a god/God did exist and proved itself to be real? How would we react?
I’ll proffer that it depends on the god’s persona. If it is a hands (or trunk, or tentacles) off god, who created us and lets us live out our lives as independent beings unfettered by its irrational threats and demands; perhaps a fun loving kind of being that finds our behavior amusing or disgusting, but nevertheless nonjudgmental- perhaps asking only for an occasional acknowledgement and thank you now and then I’d have no problem with it. Acknowledge and move on.
But if the supreme being in question was the Judeo-Christian God, and its persona is accurately portrayed in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments - what then? That’s something else altogether.
Then we would know this God’s personality in its entire minutia. Its jealousy, its rage, its unpredictable nature, its sadistic side, its propensity for genocide ... mass extinction even. We’d know about the lies it has told, the cruelty of tests of allegiance, the punishments for supposed wrongs that it knew we would commit.. We’d have hundreds of examples of inconsistent behavior and contradictions. Indeed the thing killed its own child to make some convoluted point of some sort and to placate itself.
If that wasn’t reason enough to feel disgust and revulsion for it, worst of all is the threat of an eternal punishment so horrific that it exceeds all human experience... eternal torture by fire. Oh, not necessarily for the worst among us, for those people have an escape clause readily available to them. No, they can opt out before they expire and live for an eternity among the righteous and God loving, or those who confuse fear and terror for love.
No, this irrational God would punish the best among us, the most intelligent and productive: the peace makers; those who have made our lives better and longer; people of conscience and rational ethics; even those who have opted to abide by this God’s earliest edicts, from five-thousand years ago and not his updated ones. All of them are in for a never ending world of hurt.
If it were true as written in the god thing’s second edition that all those who do not love this God of vengeance and horrors; all those who see it as a tyrant and an oppressor of unimaginable power, with a psychosis that would make humanity’s worst mass murderers seem petty by comparison will face eternal excruciating unrelenting pain - then we would have only two choices: Acquiesce to its tyranny, or fight it to the death.
Where scientists never before bothered to contemplate the supernatural, many of them, and our freethinking brethren, would now kowtow to this God’s demands. But many more would turn their attention toward one objective...find a way to destroy it. An underground movement, an army of partisans, dedicated to freedom of thought, rationality, fairness and conscience battling not only for the freedom to live life free from omnipotent oppression and irrationality, but for the freedom and right to die and fade into oblivion without pain and fear.
If there were a proven God of the Bible in all its horrendous glory man would be compelled to stop killing each other. The thinking among us would turn our undivided attention to find a way to kill this God monster ... once and for all. I’d volunteer to come up with the secret hand shake and motto. Maybe “Death to the God Thing: Live Free and Die Like a Human.”