Is there any point being an atheist when believers of God are prepared to kill you in His name? It’s rather like walking in a bomb-blasted No Man’s Land with a witty placard protesting against war, instead of digging yourself a nice deep trench to hide in.
We may argue whether the Lord is a lass or an “it” and if this magnificent entity lives in one holy city or another but He undoubtedly resides in the hearts of believers, hundreds of thousands of whom think it’s quite reasonable to rape, execute, bomb, shoot and torture to spread His word.
God may be just an idea, a human construct like time or money, but if enough big-brained bipeds legislate or murder based upon this idea, are not the objections of unbelievers moot?
It must be frustrating worshipping an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful being and He does nothing to smite, humiliate or deter those who do not. Violence or discrimination in God’s name thus seems to be the ultimate redundancy because surely the point of divine omnipotence is setting the chessboard just as you’d like it?
Sending your followers to kill unbelievers reeks of poor planning on the Almighty’s part.
Despite this, pragmatism dictates atheists must react to the world as it is, not as we’d wish it. We can hold hands and sing hymns of rationality standing against the fanatics of the Islamic State and their ransacked tanks and AK-47s but it’s abundantly clear who’ll win this philosophical argument.
Take the same stand against God in the US and you’ll never see high public office, which means every “leader of the free world” now believes in the Sky Wizard or is so fearful of a pious backlash, they lie about it in public and toddle off to church every Sunday to complete the charade.
The most powerful person on earth is nothing before the power of God.
Questions of God’s existence become somewhat indulgent if you can take two identical sets of human beings, add belief in God and one group will then want to kill the other. Tell the dead He doesn’t exist.
Remove questions of God from Israel and Gaza and you’re left with two people who have more in common than they care to realise. Remove God from the rest of the Middle East, it wouldn’t be devouring itself in a sectarian war over a 1400-year-old disagreement.
Remove God from Australia and gays can marry, penalty rates disappear on Sunday and a seven-year-old won’t be holding a severed head on the news.
Some might argue these are extreme examples that give God a bad name but that’s the standard MO of the religious. They co-opt everything good in human nature and credit God or their belief system for it, while everything bad is not “true Islam” or “true Christianity”.
As has been pointed out by many esteemed thinkers, this is the insidious nature of “moderate” religion. It makes it all so reasonable to respect and treasure “fantastic propositions” that can be believed without evidence and that it’s only extremists who distort the “truth”.
Whatever, you win.
If we judge an idea by the consequences to which it leads in action, God is very much with us and He’s coming to get me and anyone who doesn’t believe in Him.
Build your churches, mosques and temples – I’m building a bomb shelter.