Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why Some People Need A God: Ignorance

In conclusion of this three-part miniseries, we take a look at what is most likely the main reason for some people to need gods or god-like figures in their lives: ignorance.  I call it the main reason because it ties together nearly all other reasons.  In part one, we discussed the fear of the unknown that drives some people to seek invented and unsupported answers -- in other words, being ignorant of the causes and reasons for those unknowns.  Part two discussed companionship, bred from ignorance of the unknown future, and the need for father-figures and "soul-mates".

You Don't Need Empty Answers
Staring into the maw of the unfamiliar and trying to make sense out of it is something we humans do pretty much constantly.  It should be no surprise that there should then arise a grand answer to fill those unsettling gaps. There are those who chose to remain purposefully ignorant of scientific knowledge and understanding, and that's a shame.  But there are a large portion of moderate believers who are clinging to religious beliefs in order to not have to learn or attempt to learn the answers to life's deep questions.

But once you remove yourself from the realm of religion, you begin to see the reality of the world, and fear actually diminishes.  You start realizing that the world is what you make it, how you behave and live your life is ultimately up to you, and the way you treat others matters in this one and only life you get.  Sure, we'll all be ignorant about something at some time or another, but it's how we handle that fact that determines the course and nature of our lives.

You Don't Need A God
If you've read this series and are a believer of some kind, I encourage you to challenge yourself with the following exercises.  Think about what you would need to change in order to live without God.  Think about what God actually "does" in your life that you can't find any other way of accomplishing.  Try taking off the theist mindset and view the world -- perhaps only momentarily -- without the need for your deity.  Imagine you and your family and friends having to live and help one another through hardships on your own, with the help of only each other.  Hopefully you'll find that you do much of this already, you only give God the credit.  Maybe you'll grow closer to becoming a person who doesn't need a god.


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