Class Warfare Blog

April 6, 2013

We Are All Atheists

Filed under: Philosophy,Politics,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 8:55 am
Tags: , , ,

You are probably expecting the argument that because each of us does not believe in some of the gods (Odin, Mithras, Ka, etc.) then we are all atheists to some degree. Nope, not this time. That argument is clever . . . and specious, so let’s not go there.

The God Log
Where I want to go is to challenge one and all to do what dieters do to see what their actual food intake is; they keep a food log. Every morsel of food they eat is logged/written down to show them exactly what their reality is. Almost everyone doing this exercise is shocked by the difference between what they actually eat and what they think they do.

So, I would like to challenge theists of all stripes to run a God Log for a week or more. In this log, when you are moved to do something motivated by your religion’s morality or dogma, you write an entry in your log.

Now, some of you will think “On Sunday mornings I go to church, I can log that.” No, you cannot . . . unless you are motivated by some aspect of your religious morality or dogma. If you go to church services out of habit/inertia, that doesn’t count. If you go because it is a social event you enjoy, then you cannot count that. If your minister or priest inspires you to actions appropriate to your religion, then that should be logged.

Get the idea?

I may be surprised at your outcome, but I think not. I think we all lead vastly secular lives. We get out of bed in the morning and then we do things associated with staying alive: we eat breakfast, we drive to work, we do our jobs, we drive home, we eat dinner, we watch TV, we go to bed. Or we get up, fast and meditate on our religions values, we go out into the community to positively affect the lives of strangers, we donate time at the homeless shelter, etc., etc. I imagine most of us fall in between those two patterns, but closer to the first than the second.

If you do your God Log and find out that 99% of your life is lived in a secular fashion, then there are some questions one may legitimately ask, such as how much impact does your religion have on your life, your decisions, etc.

One might argue that the decisions that draw upon one’s religious values do not come that often. One might, but then one has to ask how relevant those mores are. If you walk past a panhandler without giving alms to the poor, do you log that or do you even notice? If you receive a request for charity via mail or email, how do you respond? (Delete, delete, delete?)

Too many religious discussions are based on something other than our own reality. In the Middle East, people are acting on their religion on a daily basis. Why right now I see where Saudi men are buying young Syrian women in record numbers. The Syrian young women and girls are sacrificing for their families, who get the money, and the Saudi men get a young woman to cuddle with. That could be logged.

Such a log could tell you, really tell you, what role your religion plays in your life.

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13 Comments »

  1. Steve, the vast majority of theists have never even read the bible! They know not what they do 😉

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    Comment by john zande — April 6, 2013 @ 9:08 am | Reply

    • It is more important to get them thinking about what they are doing. When they can’t find a biblical admonition to do something, they may start wondering. The fact that they are ignorant of the 600+ requirements in Leviticus alone isn’t so iportant as their mental landscape: they think they are motivated by Christian morality but in large part it is just empathy (positive) or irritation (negative).

      I would really like to see some of those logs. I suspect most would be blank as we live largely secular lives, not religious ones. Now, those Saudis … they are good religionists!

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      Comment by stephenpruis — April 6, 2013 @ 9:12 am | Reply

      • I’d love to see the logs!

        The test i like is this one: Ask a theist “Would you kill me if your god told you to?” They’ll dodge the question. It puts their belief face to face with morality that is innate. They’re forced into the awkward position to either say they would kill me (which is sociopathic) or admit that they have a sense of morality independent from their religion.

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        Comment by john zande — April 6, 2013 @ 9:17 am | Reply

        • Of course, it is no sin to lie to infidels, so they could say “yes.” And the quibble is they would be meting out God’s justice which doesn’t conflict with “thou shalt not murder.” Actually, that particular “commandment” applied only to God’s Chosen people, so today it should be stated “thou shalt not murder Israelis.”

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          Comment by stephenpruis — April 6, 2013 @ 9:57 am | Reply

          • Being a Queenslander I’ve traveled through the south Pacific and i’m telling you, if there ever was a “chosen people who a god really, really, really liked and wanted to reward with gorgeous scenery and abundance” then its the Polynesians.

            If you look at the slither of dead dirt that’s Israel you’d have to conclude god hated those people 😉

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            Comment by john zande — April 6, 2013 @ 10:44 am | Reply

            • That’s why the joke is on the Israelis. I mean nobody took a look at the “promised land” and said: “What the fuck? I’m going back to Egypt.” Really? My guess that is why they had to spend 40 years wandering in the wilderness to make the Jordan Valley look like a land of milk and honey. They were thoroughly lost, barely could find their asses with both hands, couldn’t relocate Egypt if they had to, and just settled for something better than they had. Nasty prank that. And they are still fighting over that miserable scrap of land. Claudia thinks we should just tell the Jews that Montana is the promised land and then give it to them. That would leave Palestine to the Palestinians and solve the problem. I told her that the Jews wouldn’t settle for less than Florida and we both agreed it would be worth it, just to make their issues go away.

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              Comment by stephenpruis — April 6, 2013 @ 10:57 am | Reply

              • Amen to that. Did you know that post-WW2 a part of Australia (up in the Kimberlies, WA) was offered to the Jews for a homeland. They said, No.

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                Comment by john zande — April 6, 2013 @ 11:00 am | Reply

  2. That’s actually a really good idea. I think its ironic how surprisingly secular most religious people are.

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    Comment by Robert Nielsen — April 6, 2013 @ 11:44 am | Reply

  3. “Whether you eat or whether you drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
    Behaviours are not so much secular or Christian. It’s motives that you are seeking.

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    Comment by thesauros — April 6, 2013 @ 4:09 pm | Reply


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