Think of a topic or issue about which you’ve switched your opinion. Why the change?”
Writing Prompt from WordPress.Com year prompts
I recently came across this poem I had written ages ago about a conversation I had had with “god”. It was a most sincere poem and even after I abandoned my faith in religion and in a god, I still want it to stay online rather than erase it because it really came from deep within. When I wrote that poem, I didn’t understand suffering (I still don’t.) but because I believed god to be good and all-knowing, I felt like he must have a pretty wise reason for why every single thing- good and bad- happened as it did. At the time, I was hoping that leaving it all to god would make life easier for me because whatever happened to me, I could always depend on some greater and powerful being out there looking out for me and my needs.
But then, I later made the following hypothetical argument about god:
A generous daddy gives you everything you ask for and on top of that, you have a billion dollar estate to inherit when you turn 22. Occasionally though, in the mansion you live in, you find a dead child in the freezer that he keeps hidden. Each week it’s a different baby and there are parents on TV each day asking after their missing babies.
You think of asking your old man but you fear he will get angry and refuse to give you the billion dollars he promised you- so you just shut up about it. Besides, he uses his money to take a million kids to school and build homes for the homeless. And he loves kids! Surely, there must be a plausible explanation…
…And it struck me, that it was extremely important to question the morality and goodness of his actions and non-actions, regarding all suffering he was allowing to happen with the promise of some reward afterwards.
I realized that I wanted no praise after walking through fire; I would rather just not walk through the fire at all. Fuck the applause! Also, I didn’t care about some reward after a lifetime of abuse. I just didn’t want the abuse at all. I don’t want the gift after the suffering; I want to avoid the suffering in the first place.
And that is where I changed my view about god knowing what’s best for me and the notion that he was always looking out for me. That is how I stopped trusting in god’s absolute goodness.
When I was still considering leaving Christianity, time and again, I used to ask myself : What if judgment day actually came to happen? What if Jesus really did come back and Christians went to heaven while the unbelievers went to burn in hell fire? What if Christianity really meant the difference between ending up in heavenly bliss, or hellish torment for all eternity?
And about that time, I wrote a short story about me making it to heaven and not finding my sister there. And when I asked god about her absence, he said that my sister was in hell. I was devastated and asked him what I could do to save and bring her to heaven, and he told me that I could do nothing; that she had chosen her fate and she was to suffer forever for whatever wrongs she had done.
And it was after writing that story that I realized, I had no interest in a god who couldn’t even save people from hell. I had no interest in living forever, in a place without my loved ones and I definitely had no interest in singing hymns, wearing white robes, taking milk and honey for all eternity and doing nothing about suffering that was still happening.
That’s how heaven became utterly useless to me, and I lost interest in whatever all-powerful god there might be in this universe. If on earth he does nothing to alleviate suffering and in the afterlife, he is equally unwilling, of what use is he? Even in a story, if a character exists that has the power to do things; yet he does nothing with those powers to change course of the story from beginning till end, there is really no use for that character in the story and he/she should be written off.
So I wrote god off.
If there truly exists a god and his magnificent heaven, I still have no interest in spending any of my life with him. I don’t know if the devil exists too, but I don’t care much for him either. God and the devil can fight their own ego duels and as long as they keep me out of it, may the stronger person win. And if any one of them tries to take a hold of my soul or mind or whatever my existence is, I will absolutely fight them off to whatever death or end there is. My existence is my own and I belong to no devil nor god.
P.S- I watched a low-budget flick called THE RAPTURE which I really resonated with. While the visual effects were pretty crappy, the movie provokes a very important god question i.e. if you didn’t think god was a good person and he were still all-powerful and shit, would you still follow him to heaven? (Spoiler alert : the woman doesn’t!)
P.P.S- I am still agnostic- but I am not searching for proof of god. Whether he exists or not, makes no change to how I live my life. However I find myself entangled with atheists who are hell bent on explaining to theists all the million reasons why god does not exist. And while I agree with many of their sentiments, god is no longer a subject I am interested in so I don’t quite blend with atheists either.
In the process of finding a term that will make people know at once that I am irreligious and not interested in arguments about the existence of god(s), I have stumbled upon the term “apatheism”. The term describes people who do not care that a god exists and while some may be atheist in nature, I still insist I am agnostic. And so please refer feel free to me as an Apathetic Agnostic; I don’t know whether gods exist and I really don’t care even if they do. (Feel free to share god memes still though! I love those :-D)