Sunday, July 10, 2011

Giving up the god ghost

I often hear people say things like, “It’s in god’s hands now, “ or, “I’ve given it over to god,” or “Jesus is my co-pilot.” I think this is code for giving up.

People say these things when times are tough. Let’s face it; times can indeed be tough. We all go through rough patches, and some are rougher than others. In times like this, we can either look for help, or look to superstition. I’m not denying that things get hard. I’m saying that we make things worse when we ignore the problem and not take action. Rarely is inaction the solution. We need to do something, and I don’t mean pray. Nothing fails like prayer.

When things are rough, we have to be able to rely on what really helps. Friends, family, and the people we know we can ask for help. They may not actually be able to help, but at least the people are real and they will try. When we appeal to the imaginary to help us, we get nothing.

While people may not be very helpful, superstition can at least make you feel better. But is it really better? To say that the religious person is happier than the atheist is no better than saying the drunkard is happier than the sober person.

It angers me when I hear people say that they’ve given it over to god. That really means that have given up. I remember back in the day when I played sports. My coaches always told me that it’s not if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. The only real defeat comes when you give up or when you forfeit the game. But that is exactly what religion seems to encourage us to do when things are at the worst. While religion claims to have all the answers to all life’s questions, it seems when push comes to shove, the only solution it offers is no solution at all. “Give it over to god” is a cop-out. A lame attempt to solve a problem by ignoring it.

I was recently asked what motivates me. I answered that god isn’t here; we are.

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