by Stan Bennett

by Stan Bennett

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Case Has Not Been Made

I don’t think I’m going to be arguing a lot against the case for god’s existence. If people want to say that there is an almighty, loving god who is in charge of everything, that’s fine, but they need to make their case.  Until they do, what’s to debate?

Shouting belligerently doesn’t make it true no matter how many people are shouting.  Neither does being calm and intellectual.  And while I appreciate sincerity, it doesn’t make something true, either.

Making it a matter of faith can be a good strategy in the short run, but eventually there needs to be a revelation.  And therein is my problem. I’ve never had the revelation.

I’ll go ahead and confess something here, especially since people describe atheists and agnostics as being angry.  It’s true that I’m angry. If there is a god, then he, she, or it, has let me down personally.  

First, I resent the promise that a holy spirit is present to guide and comfort me.  If it’s there, it has done a piss poor job.  I’ve spent most of my life with searing loneliness, as well as plenty of confusion and sadness. I’ve tried to pretend the spirit is there, and I’ve held onto faith, but after half a century of searching, I haven’t seen it or felt it or believed anyone who told me they did.  I’m angry because I would like for it to have been true.  

And then there’s prayer. I’ve been talking, listening, and pleading, but there’s no one on the other end of the line. I wish there were, I wish there was a god who was really interested in conversing with me, who had some input for me. I wouldn’t mind if he didn’t always give me what I asked for, if I could actually hear from him. I’ll add that if he’s there but not answering, that’s fine, but I’m going silent, too

I can’t see that god is actually directing anything.  It’s ok with me if people want to believe there’s a grand designer, but they haven’t proved it.  If people want this taught in school, perhaps they should include it in sociology classes where they study cultures that insist on believing things that are not so, but not in biology or physics--those sciences deal in measurement, equations, and facts.

The claims of god’s power are not true. I’ve never seen a miracle. Oh, I’ve seen amazing things, and I’ve been glad things happened the way I wanted them to, but nothing truly miraculous.  And just because an old book said it used to happen is not proof.  Neither does someone telling that he once saw one prove it to me.  

There is no god of grace. Christianity and other major religious teach values of love and service. I think we all need to work for peace, mercy and healing, but god hasn’t done his part. If grace is so important, why haven’t we seen more of it from on high? And as many have asked, if god is so powerful, as well as loving, then why hasn’t he done something about the starving, the sick, and oppressed?

Bring me real evidence, not anecdotes or flawed statistics. Make your case and if you have something of substance, we’ll talk.

6 comments:

  1. Nothing to add, except it is so good to see someone getting it like this. You get it.

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  2. "And just because an old book said it used to happen is not proof. Neither does someone telling that he once saw one prove it to me. "

    For me, this was at the core of my de-conversion. The world looks and acts exactly like it would if there were no supernatural.

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  3. I don't know if my comment sent as I was interupted just as I was finishing it. But basically this is what I said:I have not been in the ministry as you yourself have and I have no clue what you go thru on a daily basis, but I haveattended lot of different dominations. The more "out the" the better I felt until I started seeing the "untruths" in their "truths." My husband is a studier. He has for years been looking for an answer to our "lack of faith" because of this we have been lead down a number of rabbit trails. A few months ago he run across a mans website. His words made more sense than anything we had seen, heard or witnessed. This gentleman's name is Dr. Shmuel Asher. I'm not saying this is absolute thruth but definatly worth a look before you or your readrs just totally give up hope on life itsself. As I read all the entries of your blog I see myself in every word. My family thinks I'm nuts I don't dare tell anyone at work because I work in a nursing home where "Jesus" and the "everlasting life" are pushed to our elderly in our last ditch efforts of swaying them into accepting "Jesus as our lord and savior" btw Look up Ba'al in your strongs concordanance see what suprising word pops up as an alternative word.this should be eye opening. Anyway just letting you know you are not alone in this disillusion and there are places to turn to explain why we feel like this

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    1. My deepest regrets for not seeing your comment until now. I had not returned to my blog for some time and so I didn't see it. My intentions is to return to writing for this blog. I wish you well as you continue in your search.

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    2. I just found your blog today and resonate with all that you say after being in ministry in a mainline denomination for 33 years. In my own journey, evolving out of Xn faith over the past 10 years, I have found that God...or the Divine...or whatever it is...is ME. It's up to me to BE what we've attributed to God in the NT - love, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, etc., etc., etc......Putting it in a Xn framework, I suppose you'd call it Incarnation, however, it's not the incarnation of the God of the Church as we've been taught. It is the higher things to which we, as human beings, need to aspire to heal the earth and her people. I hope I'm making sense to you and others, but I have little opportunity to articulate this to others. My sons and close friends not in the church are aware of my having evolved out of Xn faith (I like using the term "evolve out of faith" as it seems a more positive term than "losing faith". My eyes have been opened, the scales have fallen from my eyes, and life without God is good. It's GREAT!! Now I just need to leave the church. I'll miss the community in the particular church I'm currently serving for another 1.5 years until retirement, but I'm beginning to find community outside of it, too. (BTW..I know about tough, godless churches, too. I came thisclose to committing suicide in 1996 because of the horrible way I was treated in a particular congregation.) Wonderful people, solid values, and much love without dragging the whole God thing into it. Much light and love to you as you continue your journey. Please be compassionate with yourself. Please. Everyone's journey is different, but the catalyst for me was NON-Xn meditation and developing a yoga practice over the past ten years. No, yoga is NOT a religion, but it helped me find my center to know that I am God. I find so much more satisfaction teaching yoga (2-5 classes a week help to keep me sane as I still serve a congregation) than I EVER did in the church. May I suggest looking at the programs at kripalu.org to help you in your transition out of the church and into yourself. Peace, deep peace, my brother.

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    3. You and I a lot alike--I was dealing with depression and suicide around that same time as you, and I was dealing with a mean and cruel church. Not now, though. We're getting LOOSE!. And I like the word "evolved" too more than loosing faith or the other popular word, "deconstruction"

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