Jeanne writes …
“Atheism is not government. Atheism is ONLY the lack of a belief in a deity. Codes of behavior, law, community standards are not religions either, but they place rules for theists and atheists…general rules about societal conduct.
Do you understand the difference?”
Neither Athesim nor Christianity are government; at least that’s the way we try to manage belief or non-belief in our now times this part of our world. I’m confident that you’re aware that the Holy Roman Empire was a Christian theocracy (government) and that the Soviet Union was an Atheist theocracy. Right now, in Pakistan, a man is being tried for the crime of converting from Islam to Christianity. If convicted his penalty, according to Islamic LAW, will be death. So, while it may be clear to us what is government and what is religion it has not always been clear in our history and it isn’t clear in other parts of our world.
By the way, this has nothing to do with whether God is or isn’t. It’s a religion thing.
We do agree, Jeanne, that WHO and WHAT God is poses a big problem with deity beliefs and belief systems. I think it is a question too much neglected by Christians. Atheists avoid the question by denying that God is. I appreciate your effort to respond to my question who or what God should be.
Jeanne wrote …
“We..atheists…are NOT “a people”..we could not agree on much, because we are all very different people. I can tell you this much, we would not design a deity such as the God of Abraham.”
Again we agree. The “God of Abraham” doesn’t work well at all for me either. I can’t picture God cutting a deal (covenant) with Abraham that “if you trim your foreskin I’ll give you this land. You can take it from the people who live here now. I didn’t like ’em anyway.”
I love your answers, Jeanne.
Answer #1 …
“If earth was created for humans, then this deity would have created a human friendly planet.”
One of my favorite humor comments about God is: “If God really wanted to do it right he would have made it so it rained only at night and never on weekends.”
Considering the success of the human specie on planet earth it looks to me like earth is a mucho friendly planet for humans. It’s us humans who are unfriendly towards humans. Does that work for you? It makes big sense to me. We have heaps of evidence from human history. That nasty natural stuff like tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, blizzards, bitter cold, et al, keep our planet alive and forever changing which is a perfect environment for challenging the human spirit and intellect. It gives us a role that is more substantial and influential than any other life form on the planet. I think it’s great.
“If humans were the most beloved of all creations, then humans would be designed in all ways to be snafu free.”
If humanity were without flaw we would be boring as hell. There is a special charm to flaw. So long as we have flaw we can do things to improve upon ourselves. I love it, and me being a deity believer I think this is God’s ultimate expression of His love for us. I take this seriously, Jeanne. If God merely wanted us to behave we wouldn’t need to be snafu free, He just wouldn’t have given us either choice or intellect.
Answer #3 …
“If an afterlife existed and such a thing as souls went there when the body wore out….no, this makes no sense. Souls should be recycled after a heavenly vacation, memory swipe and visit with recently deceased loved ones.
Recycled souls do not require punishment…stupid concept. Instead move straight to the memory swipe, do some retraining during vacation.”
I confess that I do hang a hope on reunion with loved ones on the occassion of my death, but the best part of your answer, or rather question, is the retraining. I rather picture our now times life as the very best environment for retraining. We get a chance to do, to make mistakes, and to hopefully learn from them. The memory swipe business is kind of nifty. It gives us the opportunity to learn from scratch — anew.
Answer # 4 …
“Lets have the deity get rid of really bad illnesses and diseases..life is hard enough.”
Better yet, what say that God gives us a chance to fix these illness and disease problems for ourselves? This really gives our minds and ouor intellect a workout, and it challenges our faith whether it be in God or in oursleves and our abilities. And all the while we can work together to make our planet a better place for future generations.
With my counter-responses, Jeanne, I have described some of how I perceive God, Who I believe God to be, and what I think He hopes for us. My deity, at least from the beginning of civilization, has endeavored to challenge us to struggle towards happiness and minimize, but not eliminate, suffering for future generations of humanity. He doesn’t want us to do it perfect because there wouldn’t be anything for the next generation to endeavor towards. I think it’s kind of nifty.
What the point of this “cosmic game?” Who or what is or would God be. Rather than “cop out” with a simple deity denial, you have given some wonderful answers that describe your hope for our humanity. You have given me opportunity to think on those same who and what questions and share with you, and others I hope, how I think we struggle to accomplish God’s hope for us.