If There’s no God . . . .

If everything exists by blind chance, then:

We’re accountable to no one.

We can set our own agenda and do as we please. If we choose to be honest and unselfish, fine! But not because a Higher Being requires it.

Without divinely-given moral standards, there is no need to be troubled by an uneasy conscience or burdened with guilt.

Why pray? No one’s listening. Why study the Bible? It’s only a human document.

However, if there’s no God:

Life has no meaning or purpose.

When we suffer, there’s no God to cry to. We’re on our own!

There’s no hell to dread, but also no heaven to strive for.

When loved ones die, we’ll never see them again. All goodbyes are final.

And when death comes calling for us, that’s it!

Aren’t you glad there is a God?

woman praising-tagged

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4 thoughts on “If There’s no God . . . .

  1. Red_Ink_Cat March 15, 2017 / 10:33 am

    Something to think about:

    If there is no God or gods, life has no purpose *beyond what we make of it*. We can choose to think there is no point, or we can choose that we will make this world better because there will always be people to come after us.

    If there is no God or gods, *maybe* there is nothing after death. Live now knowing you impact everything around you and that you get one chance to improve this place we all call home. But *maybe* we get reincarnated, so again, try to make the world a better place. But *maybe* we begin to exist in an extra-dimensional form and can travel bodiless through time as we travel now through space. But *maybe* we have no idea.

    What I do know is this: if there is a God or gods, I sure do not want to spend eternity with someone/something that is either so vindictive as to create/allow the poverty and suffering of this world or that had no power to stop it but demanded that we worship him/her/it anyway.

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    • jdavidgibson March 28, 2017 / 11:42 am

      Thanks for sharing. Obviously you have given a lot of thought to this vital subject, which affects us all.
      It is good, as you say, to try to make this world a better place for the sake of others. That’s exactly what the Bible advocates.
      Because God has given each of us free will, we are not “programmed” but we have a choice. I’ve made more than my share of bad choices, but am trying to do it right more of the time.
      So much of the suffering of this world is brought on by the bad choices we humans make. If we had done what God said, we would eliminate those hardships that are due to our own poor choices.
      Yes, God does demand worship. But again, He gives us the choice to refuse to give Him the worship He deserves.
      It’s somewhat like a parent teaching the child to be respectful to them and to express thanks. The wise parent knows that a respectful and grateful child will have a happier life than a rude ingrate.
      Our lives simply go better when we show due respect and gratitude to our Heavenly Benefactor. I don’t deserve what He gives me, but He keeps blessing. Amazing!
      Best wishes!

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      • Red_Ink_Cat March 28, 2017 / 12:17 pm

        Hello,

        Thank you. I spent years transitioning from my Roman Catholic upbringing to where I am now. The Bible advocates a lot of contradictory things, and I am glad you focus on the positive verses because the others can be downright awful.

        The problem with the parent analogy is that a parent would not damn you to eternal suffering if you did not obey. Or, they might, but we would all call them abusive for it.

        You bring up one of the major problems I have with the Judeo-Christian idea of God: it is supposedly all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving. It can not be all three at the same time, and I do not see freewill as a suitable excuse. God being all-knowing means we cannot have freewill. He would create us knowing everything we would do, basically locking us all into whatever he decided, but for some reason choosing not to make us good as well. Therefore, he knowingly creates evil beings and does nothing to stop them. Doesn’t sound very omnibenevolent to me.

        A God that allows suffering to continue is either a) not all-powerful and is thus unable to prevent the suffering; b) not loving because this God has the power to prevent suffering but is unwilling to do so; and/or c) not all-knowing because God only is aware of the suffering after it has already occurred and it’s too late to prevent it. Hence, why worship him?

        It is nice that your life is good.

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  2. jdavidgibson March 29, 2017 / 3:21 pm

    If there is no God, then on what basis could we judge the God of the Bible for His alleged offenses? If there is no God, then there is no universal standard of morality by which right and wrong can be established. We would have no basis for condemning the Holocaust, rape, murder, child abuse, or any other exploitation of others. Without God, it’s everyone for himself/herself. If we choose to do good to others and not lie, cheat, or steal, fine! But that would be based on what we as individuals think is the preferred way to live.

    Former atheist C. S. Lewis put it this way, “Of course God knew what would happen if they [humans] used their freedom the wrong way: apparently He thought it worth the risk. Perhaps we feel inclined to disagree with Him. But there is a difficulty about disagreeing with God. He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes: you could not be right and He wrong any more than a stream can rise higher than its source. When you are arguing against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on” (from the chapter “The Shocking Alternative” in Mere Christianity).

    While God is all-powerful, He has chosen to grant us free will. He will not use His power to force us do His will. It’s always our choice. That God’s being all-knowing does not compromise our free will is evident throughout Scripture. Otherwise, why does God appeal over and over with His people to turn from their sins so He they can enjoy the best life. That makes no sense unless they can actually make free will choices. Here are just a couple of many passages that clarify this: Joshua said to Israel, “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).

    Nearing the end of His life, Jesus lamented, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!” (Matthew 23:37-38).

    With both atheism and Christianity there are questions for which we may not have ready answers. Norman Geisler and Frank Turek authored a book titled I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist. Neither do I. Christianity, taken as a whole, makes a lot more sense to me than atheism. I just can’t wrap my mind around the idea that all the obvious order and complexity in the universe came about by accident without a Creator.

    Even though I don’t like the doctrine of hell, I must accept it because I trust God to do the right thing in all circumstances. If God deems hell necessary, who am I with my finite understanding to object? I trust that He has good reasons for it. He can see the Big Picture; I cannot.

    God does not want anyone to go to hell. “‘As I live!’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’” (Ezekiel 33:11 NASB). “The Lord is . . . not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

    Because He is a just God, he must punish sin (Romans 6:23). If it’s wrong for judges in our courts to let dangerous criminals go free with a slap on the wrist, then how could God be just if He allowed all kinds of evil to go on without ever punishing it? One of the things that angers God the most is seeing the vulnerable being exploited by those with more power. On Judgment Day all impenitent sinners will be judged by a just God.

    But He is also a God of compassion and mercy. He would much rather forgive. That’s why He sent Jesus, who took the punishment we deserve so we won’t be separated forever from God. On the cross both God’s justice and His mercy are satisfied. Because sin was punished, grace can be offered. But it is an offer. God will not force His grace on anyone unwilling to accept it.

    As Charles Spurgeon said, “God is too good to be unkind and He is too wise to be mistaken. And when we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His heart.”

    More than anyone, Jesus shows us who God is. Jesus chose to become one of us. He suffered far more than we: rejection by His own people, even to the point of execution as a common criminal.

    “The turning point in our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is” (Patrick Morley, in The Seasons of a Man’s Life).

    Yes, as you say, my life is good. But that doesn’t mean I’m exempt from suffering. God never promised Christians that their lives would be smooth sailing. In fact, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).

    We have a 32-year-old daughter with four children, ages 3 to 10. She is in poor health and suffers from pain and extreme fatigue. She needs a lot of help from us and others to get through her days. This has been going on for years. It is hard. But neither she nor we are angry with God just because He has not as yet granted our petitions for her healing. We believe He is perfectly capable of healing her, but if He chooses not to, we trust He has His good reasons, even if we don’t know what they are. We realize that suffering is part of the human experience. Suffering has numerous causes, and we often do not know in a given situation why we or someone else suffers. But God can bring good from suffering. I’ve seen it time and again. In the meantime, our suffering is a test of our trust in Him.

    Our daughter has gained a perspective from her suffering that enables her to connect with others who suffer. Her suffering has enabled to appreciate the small things. She says, “On the rare occasions I get a reprieve, I appreciate life so much more—what I used to take for granted.” Her faith, she says, is what enables her to deal with the pain.

    John Clayton, a former atheist with a strong scientific background, wrote a booklet “The Problem of Human Suffering.” He tells about his son whom he and his wife adopted, only to discover later that he was profoundly limited mentally and had other major problems. John had a hard time accepting this at first, but gradually has come to see the good that has resulted from this difficult situation. He discovered he had a gift for helping others with similar problems, because he could understand what they were struggling with. For the last 45 or so years he has been lecturing around the country. Some in his audiences are skeptics who challenge him. His website, doesgodexist.org, offers a lot of free materials on a wide variety of subjects, including his personal journey, “Why I Left Atheism.”

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