I get a lot of email from college students – on a wide variety of subjects, anthropology, psychology, political science and philosophy. One time I was even alerted to this brain-stabbing, and military-backed ‘angel healing’ college. This time, I’m visited by a young college freshman in a comparative religion’s course.
Hi, my name is Siara. I am a 17 year old girl from Georgia. I am currently taking a Worldview college course and my current assignment is to interview 3 people all with different worldviews. If you could please answer 4 questions for me I would completely appreciate it! I haven’t interviewed an atheist yet so PLEASE take a few minutes out of your time. I am in a bit of a bind because all interviews are due Wednesday! I am going to enclose the questions for you, they are not questions to in any way offend or direct a point to prove one thing or another. It is simply to get the opinion and worldview of another to contrast how differently people think.
I’ve actually gotten this assignment quite a few times. I’ll be linking any further students here.
1.) Does God exist and what is God like?
The gods of all Earthly religions past and present can safely be discarded – in the same manner that each of them recommends towards the others. It’s impossible to know if the ‘philosopher’s god’ or the ‘deist’s god’ or the ‘Last Thursdayism’ god exist – therefore one should reject giving them any serious thought or credibility.
God is like dividing by zero. It doesn’t mean anything to ‘know’ anything about a creature that by definition exists outside of the natural world. It’s undefined. Human societies have (multiple, overlapping) systems of ethics that exist outside of the atheist / theist debate. There is no moral action that a theist CAN do that an atheist can’t (good, bad, and the ugly). Unfortunately, people’s actions carried out in the name of a particular god are often gruesome. On the contrary, agnostics and atheists have never carried out atrocities in the name of atheism / agnosticism.
2.) What’s wrong with the world and what is the solution to the problems of this world?
The world is not perfect, but it’s beautiful. If you want advice on what to do about problems of the world, it’s simple: do whatever you can do.
3.) How can a person become right with God?
Since god is a concept, and each person makes their own ‘god concept’… get right with yourself. Then get right with your fellow humans. Improve upon the golden rule, use the platinum rule when you can.
Karl Popper: “The golden rule is a good standard which is further improved by doing unto others, wherever reasonable, as they want to be done by”
4.) What happens to a person after death?
Their heart stops beating. Their brain stops making electrical chirps. The machine ceases to function. Other people start saying all of the things they really should have before the person died. Later, those people die too and the cycle begins again.
Whatever you imagine happening to an animal, insect, tree, bacteria etc. after their deaths… that’s what happens to humans too. That doesn’t trivialize life. We’re fucking amazing – and I’m a huge fan of being alive. The molecules in our bodies are made of atoms that were forged in the furnaces of supernovae from alien suns that exploded billions of years before the first multi-cellular life-forms evolved on Earth. The particles in our bodies will continue their cosmic journey until protons decay.
To put it in more aesthetically pleasing way, I’ll have to borrow from singer/songwriter Jeffrey Lewis – ‘To Be Objectified’.
I left a trail of myself every place that I’ve been through/
And going bald is the most manly thing that I’m ever gonna do /
I tell the earth, “thanks for the hair, thanks for the skin, thanks for the bone”/
Though I now slowly give it back I still appreciate the loan.
MelodySheep – Science is the poetry of reality:
How would you have answered?