You Can’t Submit to God

James Kirk Wall makes a lot of sense: Nobody has ever submitted themselves to God:

Did the ancient Egyptians submit themselves to god? They submitted themselves to a myth. They submitted themselves to a dead man’s definition of god. They submitted themselves to baseless superstition and false authority. They submitted themselves to their own interpretations and fantasies. And how are they different than the Jews, Christians and Muslims of today? They’re not.

Nobody has ever submitted themselves to god as every word that has ever been claimed to have come from god was nothing more than the words of men put into the mouths of invisible puppets. Puppets who hated who they hated, carried the same prejudices, held the same insecurities and possessed the same ignorance of the universe that was no more and no less than what was known at the time that they lived.

Read the piece for the uplifting final paragraph!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Kellen Connor

    Not to mention an ab-squee-lutely adorable child of Muslim parents.

  • viaten

    I know the intent (quite well and good) of the final paragraph. But I’d rather it were worded something like “Submit, no, dedicate and commit yourself to [good secular principles, programs, and activities]“.

    • Edmond

      Yeah, “submit” was not a good word to appropriate.

      • baal

        I thought it was excellent (or at least unavoidable) word choice. He’s speaking to the religous audience more than us and by using it maintains parallelism to usage they expect. It makes it harder on the religious reader to zoom past it or dismiss since they are used to the form and cadence.

        • ZenDruid

          Good point.

        • viaten

          Perhaps for some, but I think many relate to “dedicate” and “commit” as words that go with their religion as well. And “dedicate” and “commit” have the connotation of something you choose and make an effort to do, whereas “submit” is more passive and something one is obligated to do.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Love it.

    I totally *love* the approach of calmly and openly dismantling the mindless phrases that believers often use to reinforce their faith.

    The taboo against critiquing others’ religions would leave them thinking that their old stock answers make sense.

    But by challenging them, it becomes less easy to mindlessly assume that the sayings are true.

    Examples:

    1) above = No one submits to god because you can’t submit to a myth.

    2) no one has a personal relationship with Jesus, at least no more than ancient peoples had a personal relationship with Zeus or Thor.

    3) WWZD bracelets = What Would Zeus Do?

    4) “God hates fags, not me, I’m just following his book” is like saying “I’m not against Jews, Hitler was, and I’m just following his book”.

    5) “The Lord is my shepherd”, prompts me ask “Why would your pastor want people to follow blindly like sheep?”

    Obviously there are MANY of these.

    It’s great to see a well written article describing some of the ways that secular morality is superior.

    • Spazticus

      I don’t disagree with what you’re saying here; and I’d refrain from invoking Godwin’s Law with number 4. A better option might be, “If your president ordered you to commit genocide against an entire nation, slaughtering every single living thing within its borders, would you do it? (Invoking instead the Amalekites here…) Why would that genocide be any more justified if the source of that order were supposedly coming from your god?”

  • Rain

    and possessed the same ignorance of the universe that was no more and no less than what was known at the time that they lived.

    Usually this is attributed to a “prime directive” type thingy that says gods can’t interfere in cultures because the peoples would have fainting spells if they found out the shocking horrifying news that the sky is not a dome.

  • UWIR

    It does depend on one’s perspective, though. Just because “God” refers to an entity created by humans, does not mean that one can’t submit to it.

    • viaten

      Perhaps, but only in their own mind, not in any real way.

  • viaten

    I think it’s more a submission to a group mentality that myth supports. And sometimes there is no choice in the “submission”, when long indoctrinated, or after realizing it’s just a myth but thinking better of saying so.

    • Agrajag

      Most don’t even submit to that. Not in the sense that they’re actually willing to let it change their behaviour much. How many of the catholics in USA are actually, in real life, willing to forego contraception ? Something like one in ten.

      • viaten

        True, but they still want to look like they have submitted themselves to something that’s “important”.

  • Pofarmer

    Unfortunately, my mother in laws favorite phrase seems to be ” just give it up to God” when there’s a problem. One of these days, I’m gonna politely explain to her she’d be a lot better off if she’d just do something, anything, about whatever the situation is.

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

    Wow! I had no idea religious people could be so easily persuaded. Quick! Let’s all contact every religious person we know and tell them their gods are mythical. I figure we can spread this simple message world-wide within a few weeks. Goodbye religion!


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