Is God Relevant? Is He a Good Reason Not To Serve Cake?

by Pitt Griffin on April 8, 2015 · 0 comments

in Atheism, bigotry, Constitution, Religion

“It is straightforward—and never mind, for now, about plagues and famines: if God existed, and if he cared for humankind, he would never have given us religion” ― Martin Amis.

Atheists cannot prove that God does not exist. The religious haven’t been able to prove that he does. The atheists are stymied because you can’t ‘prove’ a negative. The believers’ position is easier. All they need is one fact of the Divine’s existence, and the case is closed. So far, however, nothing.

Believers won’t accept that. They claim there is plenty of ‘proof’ for the existence of God. But their ‘evidence’ is of the same caliber as the evidence for the existence of ET landings. Both God and extraterrestrial aliens – if they do exist – are extremely modest. It is interesting that they should both ‘reveal’ themselves in such inscrutable ways.

Religions themselves admit that proof of God is not scientific. “You have to have faith,” they say. “God moves in mysterious ways” explains the inexplicable.

As we can neither prove God’s existence nor disprove it. We should consider another question. Is God relevant?

There are two ways of framing that question. One: Is God relevant to how people view the world and how they act? Two: For the believer, does God affect the day-to-day business of the world?

In the first case, God is completely relevant. Regardless of whether he exists or not, if the idea of Him causes people to act in a certain way, He is relevant. If He gives rise to charity, He is relevant. If He inspires massacres, He is relevant. You might even argue that, in this instance, God exists because people believe he exists.

In the second case, it is much harder to say. Take a train crash that kills 99 out of 100 passengers, leaving a baby as the sole survivor. The true believer will see a miracle in the baby’s life. The gimlet-eyed rationalist will ask why God let the 99 die. The true believer will rationalize that God had a higher purpose for them; that they are now in a better place. The rationalist will ask why then did God not take the baby.

The believer will reply “God moves in mysterious ways”.

So, it turns out that the second case is no different than the first. God is relevant to the world’s daily operations because some people believe he is relevant to them.

America’s Founders understood that the capricious, unmoored beliefs of the faithful were not a good basis for law. They had also seen the evil done in God’s name. It was rational, therefore, that they excluded Him from the Constitution and grounded government in reason.

They identified men’s ‘Creator’ as the source of their inalienable rights. Not their God. These Founders were men of letters. They didn’t choose words idly. In a religion soaked 18th century, they did not give their ‘higher power’ a name.

Which brings us the present day and people of ‘sincerely held’ religious beliefs who won’t sell wedding cakes for gay weddings. The rules are clear – if you want to be practice bigotry, you have to go to your church.

bigot

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