Friday, February 17, 2012

What If People Knew There Wasn't A God?

What if people had proof there isn't a God? is a strictly hypothetical question. It's simply impossible to know for sure that there isn't a deity of some kind floating around out there. Even though it's rational to say that there is no reliable evidence to support the statement God exists, it doesn't mean that the idea can be thrown out altogether. (The chances of any God existing is slim. The odds that the sociopathic Yahweh of the Bible and His kid is (are?) the real God is infinitesimally small). However, let's say that suddenly the population of the world knew that there isn't a God. What kind of world would that look like? How would people act?

Yes, thermonuclear reactions will still occur
if everyone stops believing in God.

Regardless of the hype, the sun would still come up in the east and set in the west.

This will come as a surprise to people who believed that God was the superglue of the universe. Without the divine adhesive binding the cosmos together, many a fundamentalist would assume the Earth to fly off its orbit and be hurled into the Sun or into the icy reaches of space.

Without God, children would be killing their
siblings. Oh, that already was happening?

The religious would now have to choose whether or not to become sociopaths.

Would normal, everyday mentally stable Catholics, Muslims, Jews, etc. decide to go out there and start murdering fellow citizens? I'm going to predict that people who were basically moral  before the hypothetical "Great Enlightenment" are still going to use that basic piece of moral technology called the Golden Rule. On the other hand, the once religious will be able to have the psychological freedom to question the morality of denying homosexuals human rights or whether or not eating bacon is a mark of moral superiority.

Johnathan Swift: master of the absurd.

People would find new, stupid reasons to kill each other.

We are an inventive species, aren't we? In lieu of a divine mandate to crack each others' heads open, we would find important policy differences with other homosapiens that will require wholesale destruction of life and property. Johnathan Swift in Gulliver's Travels illustrated this point in the mythical state of Lilliput.

 The novel further describes an intra-Lilliputian quarrel over the practice of breaking eggs. Traditionally, Lilliputians broke boiled eggs on the larger end; a few generations ago, an Emperor of Lilliput had decreed that all eggs be broken on the smaller end. The differences between Big-Endians (those who broke their eggs at the larger end) and Little-Endians had given rise to "six rebellions... wherein one Emperor lost his life, and another his crown". 
 Personally speaking, I'm a Little-Ender.

What? The aliens are commies?

Cults! Cults! Cults!

We don't need no stinkin' God for a religion. Look at Scientology: Obviously a cult (yes, all religions are cults), that has space aliens playing a central role. Think of the Great Enlightenment as an extinction event for God(s). Something would have to fill that social/psychological space. Do you seriously think that skepticism/secularism would rush in to fill the void?

Silly Rabbit.

In a wink of an eye there would be a cottage industry of demagogues on TV cranking out reasons why you should give them all your money in order to save yourself from your own miserable life. Perhaps the aristocracy of pop psychology, ala Dr Phil, would become one of the bishops of the new moral order.

In that case be afraid.

Be very afraid.

Even if everyone stopped believing in God...

this is still Purgatory.


  1. I like your term "The Great Enlightenment."

    While I seriously doubt that will ever happen, it is a nice thought. We might actually be able to make PROGRESS!

    This reminds me of the prediction of the end of the world last year and how some people invested everything they had into warning the rest of the world. When dooms day didn't happen, they just looked dumbfounded as they stated, "I don't know what went wrong". I'll tell you what went wrong...


    Reality is a harsh wakeup call.

    Quai Gon Ginn told Anakin Skywalker, "Your focus determines your reality." If people focus on their imaginary being, that's what they will see. If you focus on reality, that's what you will see.

    To find my truth, I erased every idea out of my mind and took a good hard look. I wasn't looking for anything specific... I was just looking. And I saw reality.

    And it was beautiful!

    1. I doubt that our species will ever get rid of the Sky Fairy completely. I think of religion like any other chronic disease. Our goal should be to contain and manage the ailment/faith.


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