A Glitch in God’s System- A Happy Atheist

 A Glitch in God’s System

By: David G. McAfee

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                The science and psychology of religion boils down to a few, main pillars: faith, uniformed beliefs, and fear of the unknown. But regardless of which tradition you subscribe to, it is composed of many divine doctrinal assertions. A popular theological assertion, especially among monotheistic traditions is that a Higher Power, or “god”, controls aspects of their daily lives and gives punishment and reward based on good and bad behavior. For instance, you may hear a singer on television thanking “God” for the success of their most recent album, or see untimely deaths justified with “God’s Plan”. I was recently confronted by the claim that God might punish me for my secular writings and lifestyle. This idea prompted me to examine my life in search of these divine consequences.

                I explored my school, work, and home lives and quickly came to the realization that there must be a glitch in God’s system. I have somehow avoided his wrath of punishment that I should be subjected to for my essays and my beliefs in general. I pondered how content I was with my life and concluded that the small instances of random misfortunes are statistically rare and insignificant- and not to be blamed on an unknowable deity. I have a happy, healthy, loving family and I do what I love… In fact, I would argue that I am happier with my life than the average believer. For example, if I have a loved one who doesn’t honor the same religion as me, I don’t worry about the possibility of them being sentenced to eternal damnation in hellfire for their “sins”, as some modern religions would warrant. I have an open mind which, history shows us, could be significantly restricted if I adhered to a specific religion- trying to fit all that I learn within an established paradigm of a single tradition is impossible- yet so many attempt it for the sake of feeling more comfortable with the unknown. I find comfort in my beliefs being founded in science- and not faith; I can live my life by my own, instinctual, human morals and not worry about what a “god” might think and what type of punishment that I may or may not receive. Overall, I’ve learned that I cannot fathom a way in which the presence of a “god figure” in my life would improve it.

12 responses to “A Glitch in God’s System- A Happy Atheist

  1. Your happiness is due to the grace of God. Even though you don’t believe in Him, He believes in you! Your punishment for disbelief will come after you die. In the meantime, God hopes you will recognize His beneficence and convert. It’s never too late!

    As for “restricted” thinking, which would you rather have: a restricted mind or one burning in hellfire forever?

    Belief in God may not “improve” your life, but that’s just your hedonism talking. Artists must suffer for their art, so why shouldn’t believers suffer for their belief?

    A loving God awaits your response. You cannot disprove anything I say, so you might as well believe, right? 😉

    • Well sir,
      If you intend to play the ‘devil’s advocate’, I will gladly accept your invitation for debate.
      Firstly, you neglected to address the problem introduced in the article. That is that there are religious people- most studies indicate 80-85%- that do believe in Divine Intervention. And it is only at that point that the “Glitch in God’s System” becomes a relevant point.

      Let’s move to your second point, in which you respond to my statement: “I have an open mind which, history shows us, could be significantly restricted if I adhered to a specific religion” by asking which I’d rather have: “a restricted mind or one burning in hellfire forever?” To answer that question, I’d like to ask you a question; that is do you actually want to be a part of an institution which mandates and/or causes closed-mindedness and a reduced thirst for knowledge?

      You do say that “God may not ‘improve’ your life”- indicating that you do not share the majority opinion that God is able to (and does) intervene in our daily affairs.- But the “suffering” indicated in your next analogy seems to be lacking relevance, considering that it’s general human suffering that all face- there’s no additional suffering for Christians- there’s no additional “cross to bear”. And the theme of suffering in Christianity, no doubt stemming from the Passion Narrative of Jesus, doesn’t make sense on a larger scale. I am talking about the fact that many Christians (especially Catholics) would tell you that God sent himself incarnate as Jesus- meaning that , not only did Jesus (God) cause and plan his torture… but also his death on the cross.

      To your next point, I would argue that I can indeed disprove what you say, especially if you were to outline your beliefs a little further- For example, I believe that I can successfully disprove any sect of modern Christianity.

      Thank you for taking the time to engage us- I hope you’ll comment further,
      David G. McAfee

      P.S.: Love your work, August!

  2. Zachary Fehrenbacher

    I greatly enjoyed this David. Good work!!

    HOWEVER, August…
    You claim that because the writer cannot disprove anything you say, he should thusly believe in a god.
    This statement erks me.
    You, yourself, cannot disprove ANYTHING that the writer has stated… Does this mean you should then not believe in your god? It was a rhetorical question August. No, You will believe whatever you want to believe, because you are human. Religion is a mindset that humans will take to fill whatever it is their psyche lacks. Whether you need protection by the holy above or transformation, into a ‘new’ person to stay away from your actions with negative consequences.
    The mind, nor soul (if one believes as such), will never be whole in constant submission. Religion, is a state of whole submission. Submit thy self to the church (Which ever it may be). Repress thy thoughts if they happen to be outside of the views of the church.

    A ‘God’ would never repress THOUGHT.
    A ‘God’ would never repress his daughters [Women] as so many religions do.

    The female being literally creates life…
    What is more holy than that?

    Is god jealous perhaps?
    (Again, rhetorical question)

    August, I do not judge you for your beliefs.
    Though I may not believe in any specific religious doctrine, I am a very spiritual person.
    However, I would never degrade myself, mentally or spiritually, to believe in religion.

    p.s. I’m sorry for the rant. The article was great David. I’m loving each one. 🙂

  3. August, if you say that David’s happiness is due to the “Grace of God,” then you are saying God is a sadist. He is just sitting up there loving it:

    “That David is just sitting down there on earth having a great old time. Boy did I really set him up good: I created a planet where lions eat poor defenseless deer and parasites cause butterflies to fly into flames thereby making David think that life is based on survival of the fittest. Boy did I ever fool him! Little did he know that I gave him that mind to fool him. Really, I am that jealous god (self proclaimed) that promotes the murder, rape of young girls (Numbers 31: 17-18) and incestuousness of the Old Testament. I made it appear as though the bible were a retread of ancient Babylonian, Assyrian, and Egyptian religions. Now, because he does not believe in this apparent book of fairy tales, I am going to send him to hell for a trillion+ years of burning in a flame with no relief.”
    “So, David, enjoy your micro-second on this planet, while you can, because I am going to punish you good for using what I gave you and I am going to have a good laugh for about a billion years, because I am a jealous asshole of a god and I got you good. Boy this is fun!”

  4. David, I loved your article. I like the overtones of your non belief. That is so much more refreshing than the more militant approaches of others. Thanks for sharing.

    Rudy; you are cracking me up. I think these things to myself sometimes. Nice to see them presented in writing by another!

    Nice to “know” you both.

    August, while I do appreciate your being civil in your refutation, I do think your entire first paragraph is condescending, utter nonsense.

    Peace, out.

  5. While David immediately understood that I was playing Devil’s Advocate and was satirizing standard Christian responses, he was up for the game in the spirit in which it was offered and responded accordingly. Bravo! Apparently, shockingly, though, some people thought I was serious (despite the winking emoticon at the end)! Don’t worry: David and I will be in the same hell.

    But, to address David’s points (in order to show that religious thinking can always come up with an excuse for belief):

    You state: “A popular theological assertion, especially among monotheistic traditions is that a Higher Power, or ‘god’, controls aspects of their daily lives and gives punishment and reward based on good and bad behavior.” I guess the implication is that this punishment or reward will occur while they are alive, as opposed to the standard “after death” scenario, which I originally offered.

    So, I could say that the premise is wrong, that the punishment or reward does occur after death, which is why you detect no punishment for your atheism now. But (speaking of postponing things so they can’t be examined), I can also say that you WILL experience punishment LATER in life, but that for now God, by His grace, is giving you a few more years to repent and reform. Doesn’t that strike the fear/love of God in you?

    You ask me, “do you actually want to be a part of an institution which mandates and/or causes closed-mindedness and a reduced thirst for knowledge?” Well, no, I don’t want to be part of such an institution and way of thinking, but if the alternative is truly eternal hellfire, then the former becomes the lesser of two evils.

    God improves the lives of Christians in that they have joy in their hearts that atheists just cannot understand. THAT is their reward from God. The additional cross that Christians must bear is critique and ridicule from atheists.

    Yes, Jesus/God had a choice in what he did, which makes it all the more impressive that he did it anyway. What a guy/god!

    Christianity comes in so many varieties that I ought to be able to find one that you can’t disprove. Ready to convert yet? 😉


    • Really now?
      When someone threatens your life aka Jesus to force you to do or face eternal hell you call that a *choice* in a sense of true free will?

      You sure have a strange idea of freedom!

      As to if I believe in God? I sure DO! But not as an onipotent!
      For threatening to burn people in hell for the slightest resistence he sure made/earned an enemy today!

      You have to remember when the people who wrote the bible wrote it they didn’t really understood what they were seeing. They were just told to write everythign down without understanding the modern physics we did!

      They also saw events out of order due to being outside the fourth dimension temporary.

      Scientists has proved that once your outside of the 4th dimension there is no (cause and effect) during an expirment with speedig up photons.

  6. As God has no referents as Primary Cause, Grand Miracle Worker as science indeed shows and He as incoherent, contradictory attribute, we ignostics perforce have to note then that He cannot exist! Thus analysis, not dogmatism warrants us the right to maintain that. God thus means no more than a square circle or married bachelor and has then no more claim to existence than Lord Russell’s celestial tea pot or the unicorn.
    and thus He cannot act in our favor anymore than a rabbit’s foot!
    To know God = no God!
    Here there is that gnostic sense- certainty ,yet I’m epistemological I’m an agnostic and atheist ontologically.
    Other wise no place exists for gnosticism as our knowledge is provisional- the best until now.
    Here are blogs for inquirers:
    Ignosticmorgan’s blog @Word press.com and
    thales-ignosticmorgan@blogspot.com and for those who read French or Spanish, teres also Carneades in those two language. Bggers.
    David, you might checkout on e of them and comment here as well as there I value rational comments.
    Honest inquirers might thrive there as I encourage them to maintain what they find true whether pithily or long-winded, in simple or baroque language as mine has been for the most part. Enjoy!
    Good will and blessings!

  7. Morgan-LynnGriggs La

    Oh, those typos!

  8. Good article!

  9. I DO however believe in Karma which in reality is negative energy stored when you do bad choices that violates the rights of others no matter how small.

    If done enough times the numbers will all add up and you will wind up having negative experiences in life that tries to get you down.

    Sometimes being aware of it isn’t enough.

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