Posts Tagged ‘atheism’

I spend a lot of time on Twitter, perusing the following hashtags: #catholic #religion and #atheist. Why? Because I enjoy learning what’s going on in people’s heads and disseminating these blurbs between what is just opinion and what is fact. Right now, in the game of logic, fact and reason, the #atheists are winning hands-down.

What saddens me is the idea that atheists need to “come out” of the closet and profess their non beliefs. This is comparable to homosexuals needing to remain silent about who they are, out of fear or threat of ridicule, violence and discrimination.

I’ve been struggling with this topic for years and have always deferred my true feelings based on the need to “belong” to some group. Admittedly, I had seen atheism as something only angry, agitated, cynical people belonged to. Listening to my brother curse the Catholic church for its horrifying antics (before I investigated his claims and found them to be truthful and honestly deserved) I certainly wasn’t one of those people, therefore I certainly couldn’t call myself atheist…or could I?

After reading and learning as  much as I can about atheism, and what it is/is not, I have realized that it puts my true, authentic thoughts and feelings into something concrete. And everything that I thought about atheists was completely wrong. Ever since I started having short little tweet chats with some very smart people, I’ve realized how much more alive, deliberate, nonjudgmental, accepting and happy atheists tend to be. And those things are exactly what I am looking for in my life.

I am an atheist.

I do not believe in the existence of God or Satan.

I do not believe in the after life reward of heaven, or the punishment of hell.

I do not believe Jesus died, then came back to life three days later.

I do not believe in the bible.

I believe in science.

I believe in evolution.

I believe that this life is the only life we get, and it should be lived to the fullest, without fear of punishment after we’re dead.

I believe in treating ALL others with respect, dignity and acceptance of who they are.

I believe in being a moral person, and that morality is based on genuine human behavior, not coming from an imaginary being or a 2,000 year old book of myths, which promotes rape, genocide, misogyny, incest, infanticide, and so many other abhorrent, immoral things.

I believe in letting others believe what they want, regardless of whether I agree or not.

Lastly, I want to reach out to all the atheists who have helped me find myself during this journey: my sister, my brother (who died in June and is missed), and my many new Tweeps who have made me feel comfortable in expressing my true self. Thank you for helping me gain clarity!

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cognitivedissonance

My latest favorite word phrase is “Cognitive Dissonance.” This is the internal, cerebral struggle that occurs when behavior and belief do not align with one another. For me, that misalignment came from the years-long struggle I had between believing in god versus scientific evidence to the contrary.

I was baptized into the Catholic church as a baby. Every week, my mom would bundle as many of us up as she could and we’d trudge off to church, where I was constantly being told not to misbehave or wiggle so much otherwise “god would be angry”.  And after each mass, I would ask my mom to grade my behavior for god, to see if I was that “good little girl” he demanded I be.

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Thus began the cognitive dissonance in my head: always be good, be humble, be quiet, be sweet OR you will make god unhappy. This was the power religion held over me.

As I grew into my early twenties, and actually broke free of my parents’ house, I stopped going to church. I didn’t exactly stop believing, I just had better things to do on a Sunday. I was also starting to re-evaluate my belief system — which wasn’t aligning with my thirst for scientific knowledge and understanding. The chasm was widening as I begun to question, but not dismiss, my beliefs.

Years passed by, and I wasn’t really part of the church any longer, but still willing to believe in god. However, the internal struggle was still growing and slowly affecting who I was presenting to the world. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but religion was turning me into a judgmental “How DARE they do THAT?” kind of person. More and more this dissonance began to eat away at my psyche.

When I went into teaching, I went into it full throttle – determined to be the best, most honorable, integrity-filled teacher I could be. I was determined never to let any student feel bad about himself (or herself); and I would allow him or her to question everything that I said or taught – because that IS the true definition of education.

To accept as truth the words of an adult or authority figure without being allowed to question the validity of that content isn’t education, it is indoctrination.

That was clearly delineated and taught to me when I was in teaching school, and I made sure never to forget the difference.

I ended up teaching at a religious school, comically enough, and that’s where my cognitive dissonance grew to a thunderous roar. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, because I didn’t have to teach religion for the first three years there. However, in the back of my mind and heart, I was growing increasingly uncomfortable being in that position. It seemed like any time I tried to teach a scientific principle, it was met with “But I thought god created the…?” I wasn’t able to answer the students’ very good, very honest questions, because there was no real answer to them. The dissonance I was experiencing came from not being able to do my job as a teacher (which is to cause kids to question) and having to keep from speaking out against the ridiculousness of the religion being taught in that school.

Three years into my position, it was mandated that I teach religion, too. Imagine this conundrum: in the morning I taught about the parting of the sea, in the afternoon I taught earth science — specifically rock formations and water cycles. I was now in a full-blown, cognitive dissonance meltdown – how can I handle teaching both subjects when one completely exposes the other for the fraudulent claims it makes?

The truth is, I couldn’t handle it. It began weighing heavily on my mind and the stress was getting to me. Add a couple of personal family tragedies, a total lack of support from so-called “Christians”, and this is a recipe for disaster. I really did emotionally implode.

After I left (was kicked out, I won’t sugarcoat it here), I began to research and learn more about Catholicism. Article after article talked about thousands of children who have been abused, raped and/or sold out from under their own mothers. Priests who were raping children then using the fear of punishment from god if the children spoke out were being protected by the church instead of being thrown in jail, where they belonged. Some Archbishops went so far as to insinuate that the children — the victims – led the priests on and actually asked to be molested. What a sick, twisted individual one must be to blame the victim instead of the perpetrator. Especially a perpetrator who has taken a vow of chastity and protect and guide his “flock”. There isn’t a word strong enough to explain how vile and despicable these crimes against children are.

Unpaid, forced labor in laundries in the basements of churches led by Catholic nuns. Mass migraMagdalene_Laundries_BNtions of unwanted, un-escorted poor, Catholic children taken from the UK to Australia–without their parents’ knowledge or permission. Hundreds of dead, newly born babies buried in unmarked graves on convent grounds – or shoved into septic tanks — as if their lives never even mattered. All committed by the very people who were demanding others “act Christ-like and do good works.”

Horror story after horror story – none of which I ever heard  the church denounce, discuss or even inform its parishioners. And what has been disseminated to the world has been met by Catholic parishioners with nothing more than a shrug of the shoulders and silence. I have asked several Catholics for their thoughts on all this, and nobody is willing to talk about it. They continue, however, to attend church and give money each week. Perhaps they are secretly being told to donate to help pay legal costs for the defense funds of their pedophile priests.

Now that I am fully aware of what has been allowed to happen and go primarily unpunished for decades in the Catholic church, I have denounced not only my faith, but religion in general and the existence of god in particular. There certainly cannot be an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful god if he continues to allow such evilness from his own employees. And the “free will” excuse doesn’t apply here, either. Priests wear dog collars because they consider god their master. They don’t get a “get out of jail because of  free will card” either.

It’s interesting…I just now noticed my cognitive dissonance has disappeared.

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I fanned the pages of the book out in front of her, but I wasn’t able to find the exact location in the book where it discusses him becoming a father. To be honest, after reading half the book, and not exactly liking what I had read, I decided to skip reading the second half, But that didn’t stop me from lobbing my next series of questions at her.

“Mary Ann, is your boss a dad?” I casually remarked. Her mouth slacked open and she almost spat her words at me. “Of course he’s a dad. He’s the best dad, ever. We’re encouraged to call him “Father”. What’s your point here?”

I didn’t react — I knew this topic was going to be very sensitive. I had to figure out a way to ask what I wanted to ask and get her to explain her answers without her calling for security. I proceeded very slowly.

“Are you a mom?” I smiled, briefly changing the subject in hopes of throwing her off my scent.

“Why, yes I am! I have four kids and three grandchildren. They are my life.” She softened a little.

“I take it you’re married then?” I inquired.

“Absolutely. My husband and I have been married for nearly 45 years.” she glanced at her wedding ring and twisted it slowly around her finger. “What does my family situation have to do with my boss’ family situation?”

“I’ll get to that in a minute, okay? I just wanted to know if you’ve had children. I’m assuming then, based on the rules of your organization, that you had your children the ‘normal way’, with your husband, and of course, after you were married, right?” I smiled warmly at her.

“Yes, of course, but I really am uncomfortable with all these personal questions. What in the world does this have to do with my boss’ book?” she responded quickly, almost a little too quickly.

“I just wanted to get a few things out in the open before my next few questions. I wanted to make sure we understand the definition of the following issues: parenthood, marriage, fidelity and child-birth. It sounds like we’re on the same page here. Is that okay?”

“That’s fine.” she answered, a bit too quickly. I could tell the ice was getting a little thinner where I was skating. I decided to just say what was on my mind and be done with this topic.

“To be honest, I have a few questions about the CEO’s paternity status and how your organization explains it. As far as you know and believe, your CEO had one son. Correct?”

“Yes, one son. I agree.”

“And did he marry the woman who bore his child before he got her pregnant? I know your organization is really against pre-marital sex, and isn’t too keen on women bearing children out-of-wedlock. I hear you can get fired for that nowadays.”

“Um, nooo…he was not married to the mother of his son at the time she got pregnant.”

“Oooh, that’s a little scandalous, don’t you think?” I pointed out.

“No, of course it isn’t scandalous! Let me point out that the woman he impregnated was a virgin at the time she got pregnant. She was completely untouched by any other man, including her husband!”

“Hold on there — are you saying that your boss impregnated a woman who was already married to another man? Is that what I heard?” I gasped.

“Well, they weren’t exactly married in the strict, wedding vows, church, flowers, way. They were just…hoo boy, this is getting difficult to explain here.” she struggled to find the right words.

“Well let me try to help. According to what you know and believe, your boss fathered a child. This child was carried in the womb of another man’s wife for nine months –”

“No, not nine months – six months. She found out six months into her pregnancy that she was carrying my boss’ baby.”

“WHAT? You mean to tell me she didn’t even know she was pregnant for the first SIX months of her pregnancy? You have kids, right? How soon after you got pregnant did you find out?” I was shocked, just shocked.

“Look, I know it sounds crazy, but that’s what it says in his book. You really need to read the parts in the book that explains how he became a daddy. And by the way, I really don’t like that you’re calling  my boss an adulterer. He never even touched the baby mama.”

“You’re kidding, right? Woo. I need a moment to wrap my head around all this. Let me see if I have this straight. Your boss got another man’s wife pregnant without the man’s or the woman’s knowledge for the first six months of her pregnancy. Then, you go on to say he never actually had sexual intercourse with her — he just, what — told her she was carrying his kid? And she was?”

“Yes, that’s what we refer to as the “immaculate conception”. He never touched her, therefore, he never actually slept with her. That’s how it goes.”

“Again, I have to ask you a personal question. This is all a lot for me to take in. But, you do know how babies are conceived and born, right?”

“Of course, I know how reproduction works. I’m not stupid.” she huffed at me.

“Well then, if you know that it takes one sperm and one egg to make a child, how is it even possible that a woman could end up pregnant with another man’s baby (which, is adultery by the way), without ever having had sex or being aware of it for the first six months of gestation? Doesn’t that sound a bit hard to believe? I mean, let’s be honest here. It sounds more like your boss is a bit of a jerk, the way he overstepped his bounds and got another man’s wife pregnant. Wouldn’t you agree?”

“Look, I’m not here to cast judgment on my boss. His behavior is not to be questioned, in my opinion. And, if it sounds  a little crazy, then that’s your opinion. I believe what he told me, because it’s in his book. I strongly suggest you read the second half of the book, as that thoroughly explains this whole subject. I don’t know what else to say. My boss is wonderful, he continues to do amazing things for us every day, and I see no reason to pick apart some of what you consider “illogical statements” in his book. He is loving, kind and merciful. What more do I need to say?”

“Oooh, glad you brought the “loving, kind and merciful” subject up. I was hoping to get to those words next. How are we doing for time?”

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Mary Ann took a quick glance at the book I dropped onto the table and practically cackled with glee. “Ooooo,” she murmured, “My favorite book! Yes, let’s talk about this!” I figured now was just as a good a time to drop my first logic bomb on her. I had to move very slowly, otherwise, as most of the employees do, she would end up getting angry, start hurling a few insults at me, and abruptly stalk off. This always seems to happen when I try to discuss the CEO and his organizational policies with any member of his organization. Either this or they flat-out ignore my questions. So much for open-mindedness, huh.

I took a long, drawn out breath and with as much calm I could muster, laid out the bait, “I’ve heard this book is the CEO’s autobiography. Is that true?”

Mary Ann looked at me quizzically. I don’t think she was expecting the question, to be honest. “Well…,” she averted her eyes, fussed with her hands a bit, then continued “Yes and no…, I guess.”

“Yes and no? How is that even possible? Either an autobiography is entirely true, or it is not. A biography, the same. There are rules to publishing, and truth in writing is one of them when the book declares itself as a retelling of someone’s life. Otherwise, that’s called “fiction.”

Mary Ann narrowed her eyes at me — it was barely perceptible, but I’m very observant. She opened her mouth to speak, but clamped her teeth together as she struggled with what she said next.

“Well, here’s the truth. It isn’t exactly the CEO’s autobiography, technically…”

“Yes, I know, which is why I asked. I know about writing and I know how writing works. I understand genre, literary device, plot, characters, and all the elements of writing. So, when I asked you if you believe his book is an autobiography, you answered ‘yes and no’. It can’t be both. Either it came directly from his own thoughts, pencil, paper or whatever he chose to use to write  his words down, or it didn’t. Which is it?”

Mary Ann continued briskly, “Well, if that’s how writing works, then I guess it really can’t be considered his “personal” autobiography…”

“How so?” I pressed her for clarification.

“Technically, it was written by several different authors.”

“Where they all sitting down together — you know, like a TV or movie script writing session – and collaborating on each others’ work while your boss was giving them his lines?”

“No, not really. They all wrote their own material, sometimes hundreds of years apart from each other, without ever meeting.”

“Where did they get the information from anyways?”

“Well, they ‘borrowed’ elements of stories from other stories…”

“WAIT — what? Borrowed? Isn’t that a euphemism for ‘plagiarized’?”

Mary Ann flinched. “Wait, no – I didn’t mean they stole other people’s works.”

“You just said these writers–scribes as they are always referred to–borrowed bits and pieces of stories from other cultures. How is that not plagiarism?”

She fell silent for a minute as she heard, perhaps for the first time, the logic of my argument. Regardless, she continued.

“It’s not plagiarism!” she insisted, “It’s the word of my CEO. It’s as simple as that. There is no other way to explain his auto–” I cut her words off.

“Let  me see if I have this correct according to your organization’s philosophy.”

“Okay, go ahead, I’m listening” Mary Ann folded her hands over her lap and straightened in her chair.

“Feel free to interject if I’m missing something, or have something wrong, okay?” She half-smiled, half snarled back at me. I pulled the pin on the logic hand grenade and lobbed it onto the table.

“Even though your organization claims this book is the word of your CEO, it wasn’t actually written by your CEO himself. Therefore, it isn’t an actual autobiography. Correct?”

“Okay, I’ll give you that one.” She acknowledged, “Next?”

“This book was written by several different men, from several different locations, at several different moments in time, over the course of approximately one thousand years. And they were all describing events they never actually witnessed first hand. Right?”

“Yes, correct again.”

“And The stories within this ‘autobiography’ were pieced together in some places using bits and pieces of stories from other cultures. Am I still correct?”

“Uh huh…” she admitted shyly.

“Then, if everything is as I just explained it, what does that tell you about this book being nothing more than a bunch of non-collaborated. non witnessed events put down on paper? A bunch of –dare I say it — myths? How is this book any different than all those stories about Greek gods?”

“But…it’s the word of my CEO passed down to all these men! That’s what his book is all about. It’s a guideline for behavior. This is his book, given to the world, to help us navigate through life, and tell us how we should act and treat others. It truly is the best book ever written, whether he wrote it himself, or some other men did. How are you not understanding this?”

I picked the book up off the table. I opened it to the first chapter. I read the first sentence: “In the beginning…” I put my finger on the line, looked up at Mary Ann and said,

“Okay, let’s try another approach. Let’s talk about the content itself. Maybe we can find some middle ground here…”

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After making sure Sebastian was okay to drive home, I was finally able to focus on the interview with the company’s CEO. I climbed back into the elevator and, sure enough, the CEO’s floor wasn’t at the top, but on the seventh floor. I knew this because of all the buttons on the panel, this was the only one ringed in bright yellow gold. It didn’t take a detective with a science background to figure that out.

I pushed the button and leaned back against the back of the elevator, “Oh boy, what am I getting myself into?” I muttered aloud. I really had no idea what my interview plan was. I knew I had a few sound questions written down on some note cards, but I was hoping that most of this interview was going to be open ended. I would ask a question, then let the CEO just “talk”. I was certain I’d learn more about him than ever before. Plus, if my suspicions rang true, letting him “talk” was exactly what I needed in order to prove how completely full of crap I felt his organization has become. I looked at it as a way to give him just enough rope to hang himself. If everything went according to my plan, that is…

The seventh floor button rang– it wasn’t so much a buzzer or a ding as it was more like a bell — and I smoothed my skirt down one final time before I exited the elevator door and walked up to the receptionist. The receptionist looked swamped — the panel of lights indicating callers was blinking continuously. How anyone could keep up with the call volume was beyond me.

I raised my hand in a friendly wave, gave a slight smile and said “Hi, I’m here to interview the CEO…” Without missing a single step (and with her phone firmly attached to her cheek), she pointed to the hallway behind her and said, “His office is back there. His assistant will be with you momentarily.” Good, I smiled back. I’m ready to begin.

Expecting a well-dressed male figure to come out to get me, I was a bit surprised to see an older, gray haired woman dressed in a sharp suit and sensible, black flats heading directly towards me. She was only slightly smiling – more trepidation than friendliness. Something told me she already knew why I was here.

“Hello, I’m Mary Ann,” she smiled wryly at me, “We’ve had a bit of a mix up here. I know you’re here to see the boss, but I’m afraid we can’t let you do that today. He’s been called away on some very important business. Humanitarian work, so we’ve been told…” She continued to apologize for the CEO’s absence, and as I listened to her, I recognized her voice as the same one that had just told Sebastian – the gay man from the elevator – to get the hell out. My eyes slightly narrowed at this realization – already I knew I didn’t like her, and that I would greatly enjoy what was just about to happen. Regardless, I bit my cheek and fought back the impulse to tell her what to go do to herself for being such a disrespectful bitch to that poor guy downstairs.

“I had a few questions to ask your boss, ” I smiled back, showing just the slightest tips of my canines -controlled anger boiling just beneath the surface of my words, “May I ask you them instead?” She stared at me silently for just a few seconds, trying to read the expression on my face as I stood there, arms down at my sides, trying to be as inviting and nonthreatening as possible. I was going to need to go very slowly here, or I’d risk getting kicked out of the building myself.

“Sure!” she smiled back, “I’d love to discuss my CEO’s job with you.”

We walked back to the conference room and she directed me to sit directly across from her. As I made myself comfortable, she went over to the mini fridge in the corner and took out two water bottles for us. She handed me one as I was reaching into my satchel. I muttered a quick, “Thanks” and took out the object I was looking for. I placed it down on the middle of the table and, with a look of half disdain and half curiosity, pointed to it and said,

“Let’s talk about this book your CEO has supposedly written. Who wants to start?”

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Dear Christians:

Well,  you’ve lost another one here. After years of believing in God, going to church, taking communion, and all the other things that revolve around Christianity, I’m giving up. I’m done.

I was raised a Catholic, but am now in recovery. I’m not willing to declare myself 100% atheist, but I am certainly leaning that way. And yes, I’m sure many of you Christians out there might respond: “Well, I hate Catholics too, so don’t give up ALL Christian religions just because you hate the Catholics. That’s not fair to God and Jesus, right?”

That right there is the crux of the issue: the absolute refusal to accept the possibility that “God” may actually NOT exist. You seem to insist on it, and use the bible as your back up proof/evidence. But this is my response: the bible is NOT proof of the existence of God. Just because it is written down does not make it so. If that were the case, I’d write a short story that says I’m rich. Then I’ll show it to people when I go to purchase that really expensive car I’ve always dreamed of but could never afford: “Hey, it’s written down, so it must be true, right?”

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I have a challenge for all Christians who read the bible regularly (I have never read beyond the Old Testament – something I’ll get to in a second). Are you ready for the challenge? Here goes:

Find a verse (or two, if you want) in the bible you do not agree with and/or support. Draw a line through it as though you wish it were removed from the bible permanently. Women, is it something you read about how you’re supposed to be subservient to your man? Colossians 3:18 How he should be allowed to beat you if you misbehave? Beat your children? Proverbs 23: 13-14 (Because, it’s in there, you know). Men, are you a Christian with a tattoo? You might want to read Leviticus 19:28 then – because that’s what the bible recommends. No marking of the skin, no tattoos.

doubtful scriptureHave you found the words or sentences you don’t agree with? Good! Now ask yourself:

If the bible has imperfect wording, how can it be the word of God, who is – according to you, perfect? Perfect people don’t write imperfect words.

If you fail to see the logic here, then perhaps I can offer another challenge:

If you really do want to live your life according to the bible, then you must also do what it tells you to do in the Old Testament too, right? Let me list a few of the immoral acts mentioned in the Old Testament:

Incest

Raping of slave women

Polygamy

War

Slaughtering of innocents

It appears as though the God of the Old Testament was pretty revengeful, and a complete megalomaniac. Sure you want that for a leader?

Ah, but it’s really only the NEW Testament you read and learn from, right? If I remember, Jesus took the general stories of the Old Testament and used them as teaching tools for his followers. Since I never read the New Testament, this is where it gets cloudy for me, and I can’t speak to it, to be fair.

And nor do I want a bunch of bible scripture thrown out at me – remember, if you scratched out at least a line of text or two, that renders the bible “imperfect”. If you believe the entire thing to be true, word by word by word, then you better start living the biblical life, and not get upset when you start getting beaten (women) or your husband comes home with numerous wives because “the bible said I could and it is THE word of God”. Right?

But, I have read the Old Testament, I even taught the Old Testament to children. And, believe it or not, they were more curious and critical of the content. They wanted to know how people could live hundreds of years. They asked me how brothers and sisters could legally marry, and  how can a man marry his wife AND get a slave girl pregnant at the same time? How could someone be so willing to chop his child in half? They were all very good questions, in my opinion. And, to be honest, I wasn’t able to explain away the behavior. All I was allowed to say was, “that’s just how it is stated in the bible – go ask your parents if you have further questions about morality”.

And this is why I no longer care for religion or care about what the bible says. It doesn’t teach people to think, to wonder, to use logic and question the how, what, where, when, and why of the world. All it does is tell them WHAT to think, and HOW to act. That’s not education, that’s indoctrination. If I wanted that, I’d move to North Korea.

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I was raised a Catholic, but am currently re-evaluating my entire belief system due to several recent incidents that have made me absolutely repulsed by the Catholic church.

I have struggled for years, vacillating between believing in an all-knowing, all-powerful ambiguous cloud type thing who is able to manipulate us like puppets on a string, and scientific theory and evidence.

Does this make me an atheist? No. It makes me an agnostic atheist, with a lot of questions that no one involved in religion can accurately answer for  me.

Waves-Ufo-Visit-Alien-Asgard-Concept-Craft-Forest-Sci-Fi-Ship-Space-705226First Question: Why wouldn’t there be life forms on other planets, if God truly exists?

Think about it, if God truly created the whole universe, but ONLY restricted life forms to ONE planet out of….billions, wouldn’t he be selling himself short? And, if scientists can prove there is life on other planets (via the existence of water, the sole supporter of life), then all humans who worship him need to put away their existing beliefs that only God is the creator of earth, man and all contents on it and accept that something else created all life forms. That also contradicts the arrogant assumption that we humans are the only life forms created in God’s image.  (Personally, I have found more God-like, unconditional, accepting love in the body and heart of my beagle, Lilly, than in some humans I’ve met.)

R730039-Supernova-SPLSecond Question: When the sun explodes, and it will, will God die too?

Here is the number one head scratcher question I’ve posed to religious followers, and their answers have always been ridiculously vague and incomplete. Follow my logic as I lead everyone through this thought process:

1. The sun is a ball of gas with a time limit on it. One day, the gas will be used up and the sun will expand, turn into a red giant, and once the gases are all used up, shed its outer layer and become a white dwarf. This is scientific fact which cannot be disputed by any religious organization.

2. When this happens, the Earth will be obliterated in its path, and all forms of life will cease to exist. Which leads to my second point: God will cease to exist once humans cease to exist. I can explain.

As mentioned all over the bible, God created man, in  his image, to serve him. If there are no more humans, than who will serve God? No one. Therefore, God will no longer have a purpose to exist, and he will blink back into oblivion, just as quickly as humans blinked him into existence.

What a fascinating conundrum, huh?