Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Is the Real Question Whether God Exists or Whether Humans Matter?

We know that God isn't a thing.  Everyone agrees on that.  Your not going to run over God when you back out of your driveway.  You aren't going to find God on sale at the supermarket.  In that sense, he doesn't exist, that's true.  But I don't think that anyone can be so naïve to believe God was ever thought to exist in this way.  The idea of God in the Christian sense of the concept developed from Greek philosophy and philosophers lived the contemplative life.  If God does or doesn't exist it's really a referendum on Plato and idealism, rather than the beliefs and practices of a particular modern religious denomination. 

When Nietzsche said that God was dead his point was to draw attention to the inherited social concept of God in his age.  That idea is so dead we don't even talk about it any longer.  The churches have long since stop being the tombs and sepulchers of God.  They've been converted into dance halls and condominiums.  We live in an age where all idealism is dead.  The one thing that lives on man's self-importance.  Funny how that never gets called into question by any of these 'truth seekers.'

I have a difficult time with people who describe themselves as 'atheists' because I've always had a problem egoism.  I think I inherited this from my father who was an atheist but a very quite one.  You know, the way atheists used to be before the movement settled in America where everything has to be loud and brash. 

I don't know whether we human beings have much choice in what we like or dislike.  Some people just think they matter and I don't get it.  Other people put forward the importance of the human race and I still don't get it.  I like individuals.  I like my family, my dog, some of my friends and associates.  But even with all this I can't say that I think that humanity as such 'matters.' 

I think that when I die it will be a sad day for some people who knew me.  I sometimes think that the biggest reason I want to keep on living is to prevent people who love me from being saddened by my loss.  Seriously.  I've done everything there is to do.  I've had a very good life.  I think I am very blessed in every way.  But I still don't think I matter. 

Of course people might argue - you think people you love matter otherwise you wouldn't care so much about making them sad.  But I say - no, I am just a slave to love.  I was conditioned by my mother to have strong feelings of guilt and an even stronger drive to make other people happy.  There isn't much personal thought involved except that I have learned to use my brain to figure out how to make other people happy. 

In fact I think it would take a profound sense of self-importance and egoism to resist the pattern that was established in my personality from the very beginning.  So I 'go with the flow' rather unconsciously and passively take note of the continuing manifestation of the same behavior patterns from my youth - over and over again. 

Of course none of this means that I don't feel emotions.  I mean, there is nothing special about 'feelings.'  Once you know yourself they all manifest themselves quite predictably in the right (or wrong) situations.  But do any of the things that make up 'me' really matter?  No.  Do a hundred billion other 'me' people, all living their predictable lives change that people don't matter?  No.  So why don't people focus on this sure nothing rather than the existence of God which is a 'maybe something'?  Because human beings - above all else - are predictably stupid. One can make a very convincing argument that developing positions against the existence of God is merely a distraction from the obvious reality that we don't matter. But then again, whose going to join a mass movement that has as its core doctrine that the movement is completely pointless?

The bottom line is - in whatever dogma develops, 'ego' always wins. And I don't like ego. It's just a matter of personal taste, I guess.

Email stephan.h.huller@gmail.com with comments or questions.

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