This notion of “if there is no god then there won’t be morality, we will all end up as savage sinners and society will crumble” is fairly widespread among religious believers. What I really don’t get is how some people literally seem to crave a celestial authority figure that watches their every move, their every sexual act, one that listens in to their every secret thought, just so they don’t give in to the tempation to, well, what actually ? Commit mass murder, fuck the neighbor, cheat on their tax return ? I don’t know ! For example, check out this painful writeup by some religiously challenged numbskull on Christian Today Australia :
For centuries, men have lived with the knowledge that whether or not they knew Him, there is a God… That a divine presence watched over them day and night, nothing hidden from his sight. And that knowledge informed their very existence. Things done in secret mattered.
But the rise of secularism saw men and women move away from the knowledge of God, challenging even the notion of His existence. In our minds, the One who witnessed our everyday lives, and in doing so lent meaning to the mundane, dissolved. And when there is no one to notice the details of our lives, we live them very differently.
We do ? I do ? I go around murdering and pillaging because I don’t think that a celestial Judge Judy is watching my every move ? No, I don’t, actually. The prisons on this planet are full with god-fearing religious people, while atheists make up a tiny fraction. The only thing that makes people live their lifes differently is the affliction with the virus of religion, and the delusion that there is an all-knowing supernatural voyeur in the clouds who keeps track of all the occasions you touch yourself down there, just so he can present you with your tab when you enter the gates of heaven. Or something.
With a knowledge of a divine audience, we live our lives in the light of eternity – without it, we live our lives merely in the light of today. Our omnipresent witness saw the things done in secret, he made them count. Without him, only what is seen counts for something.
So we go out of our way to be seen, to create our own audience. We take pictures of ourselves, orchestrated to create the impression of a glamorous, or a successful, or an artsy and down-to-earth person. We try to create an image of who we want to be perceived as, even if it’s far-removed from our true selves, and in doing so we become our own spin doctors… and if we do it for long enough, we believe our own hype.
If more people would live their life “in the light of today”, and not postpone contributing to society to an imagined afterlife, this planet would be a better place. It’s all the religious nutjobs thinking of their only life as a transient phase, just before they go on to join the celestial dictator they so love in his private heavenly North Korea, that cause so much pain and suffering in the world today.
This knowledge, the knowledge of our divine witness, is what anchors our lives. Without him, we’re just ships at sea, tossed and moved with every passing fad and trend. With him as our witness our lives may move but they always revolve around a central point: God our witness. God, the anchor of our lives.
Grace Mathew needs to get a life. Literally.