God Damnit

My wife’s mother, quite inappropriately, bought our son a book all about god and prayer and shit like that. I got pretty pissed off when I saw it, but I didn’t say anything to her about it, because to do so would have only made both of us angry. I later told my wife to give the book back to her, and to let her know that she can keep her religion to herself.
For the most part, Mormons raise their children to believe that the Mormon religion is quite simply the truth, rather than telling their children the real truth: that their beliefs are just that–beliefs–and that the child can take ’em or leave ’em. Being an atheist myself, and being married to a Mormon, I made sure my wife understood the way I planned to raise our children in regards to religion, before we even decided to have children. I told her that anything she tells our kids, I will tell them the exact opposite, but I will make sure that they know both points of view are only beliefs and not necessarily the truth, and that they are free to believe as they choose. My wife is a somewhat reasonable person, and she feels the same way about raising our children as I do.
Mormons also baptize their children at age eight–in my opinion, entirely too young to make important decisions such as which church to belong to, especially after having contact with only their parents’ religion. “Age of Accountability,” my ass. If children are accountable for their actions at age eight, then they should be allowed to vote, drive, smoke, drink, have sex, and do whatever else they wish–after all, that is the age at which Mormons believe children become accountable for their sins. I won’t allow my son to be baptized at age eight, even if he wants to, just like I won’t allow him to drink, smoke, or do any other thing that he doesn’t fully understand the effects of.
My main gripe with religion is that it’s “hereditary,” that is, most children learn (“inherit”) it from their parents. If a child was raised by a pack of wolves, do you think that child would grow up to believe in god? I don’t think so. That’s why I don’t buy into any religion or god, because it’s something you couldn’t learn on your own–it’s something you’re taught.

31 thoughts on “God Damnit

  1. I totally agree with you, I was babtized when I was a child, and I dont believe that anyone should be forced into anything they dont understand. Unfortunatly for my parents the baptizing didnt take. I am by faith a cynicle jerk.

  2. “That’s why I don’t buy into any religion or god, because it’s something you couldn’t learn on your own–it’s something you’re taught.”
    I don’t want to sound like an elitist, but how can you discount something as fundamentally important as the question of faith on such an elementary, simplistic basis? Maybe read a book or two (C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity serves the purpose well).

  3. The way I see it, if it’s so fundamentally important, then I wouldn’t need to be taught about religion, it would simply be. Nobody taught me how to breathe, eat, shit, crawl, or walk, but these are all a fundamental part of my life. Religion and the existence of an omnipotent being are not.

  4. that simple justification precludes any bit of introspection or self-examination.
    for example, from where is the human to do good against its physical instinct derived? what has given this species the free will to choose between our instinct and our mind?
    indeed, how could an entity like the mind just evolve?

  5. I don’t claim to know the answer to how something as complex as the human mind, and life itself, came into existence, but I do not believe that the answer lies within myself.
    There are certain laws within the universe as we know it, and all matter and energy are bound by those laws (you know, all that physics shit). That we barely understand these laws is a given, yet as far as I understand, an omnipotent being such as the god that Christians believe is not bound by these rules. Why is it that I cannot see god? Does god have mass? How does god create matter and energy? These are the questions I have (any many many more), but they cannot be answered by any mere human.
    I know that faith is a big part of religion, as is trusting to certain things blindly, without seeing physical proof. I just cannot bring myself to see past these things.

  6. not in regard to all the other comments here, but dennis — you just took the words right out of my mouth. you cannot actually see the creator or that shed within it, the actual building reveals telling things about whoever contructed it.

  7. Nate, your argument is flawed.
    The actual building of the “shed” does reveal things about whoever constructed it. Where in nature do we see anything revealed as “god”? Life? The earth? The very universe? No, all these things tell us was that the “creator” (being or circumstance) had a lot of matter and a lot of space to work with.
    And specifically, where in nature do we see any “telling things” about a “god” of one particular “religion”? You could argue “life is proof of ‘god'”. O.k., which one?

  8. By that same argument, Nate, why do not mountains or rocks posess the same free will that I do? In what way did the “creator” leave his mark on these creations, or on even the tiniest particles of matter? Do mountains pray to a passive god that is worn away by the elements? Do hydrogen atoms pray to a fast-moving god that is highly flammable?
    You look at deism solely from a human standpoint. That you believe you were created in somebody else’s image (not physically, but spiritually or morally) suggests that you have some knowledge of your god, that you know god. You base your proof that god exists on the assumption that god exists, which simply is not logical. I base my belief that god does not exist on the lack of physical evidence, not an assumption that god does not exist.
    I know how the process of creating life works–I’ve done it myself. I can see a part of myself in my son, and I have seen the process progress from the time he was conceived until the day he said “Da-da.” My son knows that I am his father, because he can see me, and because I have told him so, not because somebody else told him.

  9. ::”my gripe was with dennis’ belief, not how he raises his child.”
    As I mentioned before…funny how so many people take offense…or “have a gripe” that another person with believing in a different invisible man than you do, or no invisible man at all.
    I’m just happy that you’re not somebody (I assume) that takes such extreme offense that you would kill somone in the name of your invisible man. We got our fill of that on Sept. 11

  10. 1. zethon is dismissed out of hand. his argument is too shortsighted to even respond to.
    2. if the creator is intelligent, the creator can make some things with intelligence and others which simply exist.
    3. i don’t think i’ve yet tried to prove that god existed. i’m simply offering possibilities that provide for the existence of an intelligent creator. i don’t need argumentative logic to offer such possibilities.
    4. what about your son?
    5. (to tyson) i’m not offended that dennis doesn’t believe in god. i don’t even know if i believe in god (bet you didn’t expect that, huh?). i’m simply intrigued by the possibility and am trying to discuss this as intelligently and civilly as i can. it’s a fascinating thing to talk about, and i deeply resent your attempt to make it confrontational.

  11. Ok….Your post: “I don’t want to sound like an elitist, but how can you discount something as fundamentally important as the question of faith on such an elementary, simplistic basis? Maybe read a book or two (C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity serves the purpose well).”
    Please…insulting someone’s intelligence by implying that their point of view or opinion on a subject was reached with no thought or research being done, by…oh, let’s say for example…saying something so incredibly condescending like “maybe read a book or two”, seems PRETTY FUCKING CONFRONTATIONAL to me, and that quote was there the day before I even joined the conversation, so I deeply resent your pathetic attempt to try and make it seem like I’m the one who started “making it confrontational” in the first place!

  12. “That’s why I don’t buy into any religion or god, because it’s something you couldn’t learn on your own–it’s something you’re taught.”
    so where did god come from? it’s obviously something someone learned on his or her own… unless you believe that god himself expressed his existence, which would contradict everything else you said. what are you trying to say?
    “I base my belief that god does not exist on the lack of physical evidence, not an assumption that god does not exist.”
    haha. in other words, because there is a lack of physical evidence, you ASSUME that god does not exist. but its not an assumption. that makes a lot of sense. (or do you have proof that a god doesn’t exist?)

  13. My whole bit on this:
    Me, I hadn’t been a christian until last year. My mother had raised me after my parents divorced, and she cared for nothing, so she let me do what I want religion-wise. [not that she let me do anything else 🙂 ] Anyhow, after being sick and tired of my mother, I moved in with my father. When I moved in, my stepmother started taking me to a church, and at first, I was moved by their passion for loving this “god”. I decided that I would become a christian, but I was not ready to be baptised or anything quite yet. I was a christian for a long time, but as I went to church with my stepmother more and more, I noticed how the preacher was FORCING people to go to the alter and get ‘saved’. This disturbed me, so I decided to try another church, because this one may have just been a faulty church. Every place has its faults. So, I went to my friend’s church, and sure enough, they were exactly alike. I tried about three other churches, before finally concluding that there was no good church, and my belief stopped. Nate, your arguments are based solely on the fact that someone told you that you should believe in this god, and going against him at all is blasphemy. You want to defend something that you’ve lived with, probably your entire life, and now you’re desperate. The christian faith evolved exactly like every other faith; muslims, jains, daoists. A good natured man got an idea of creation, and led people to believe him. That’s all religion is, an idea. It’s a nice idea, isn’t it? There is absolutely no evidence that a god exists, but there’s plenty to show he doesn’t. Let us name a few: poverty, hate, greed, destruction, september 11. In the christian bible, and most bibles, the devil does bad things, but so does god, if he wants to. He cares for you infinitely, yet he doesn’t let you make your own decisions. A pretty bad father if you ask me.
    Dennis > me

  14. And by the way, what happened to “Don’t judge others, because that’s god’s place”? Follow your own rules.
    I don’t mean to quote Green Day, but…yeah I do. I think I speak for the rest of us here when I say
    We do what we want, and you do what you’re told.

  15. >1. zethon is dismissed out of hand. his argument
    >is too shortsighted to even respond to.
    If it’s so short-sighted, wouldn’t that make it even easier to contradict?

  16. nick: i’m not even christian, you fucking bonehead 🙂 :). way to assume the world. by the way, i’ve read a great number of books on the theology of the christian faith and been educated in a jesuit institution for nearly 4 years now, and your critique of christianity is atypical and, well, shortsighted (to say the least).
    ty: you’re starting a fight, and i won’t bite. grow up quick.

  17. I knew you weren’t a christian…you uh..”fucking bonehead”…yeah…right…well.. where I come from, it doesn’t matter if you’re a christian if you’re a COMPLETE AND TOTAL ASSHOLE. So, even if you’ve been in a jesuit institute for four years, that doesn’t mean you are better than anyone, so why don’t we all just forget this BUDDHA-GOD-LAOTSE-DAMN argument, and get on with our half-assed peice of shit fucking lives for SHIVA’S SAKE.
    and stop saying ‘shortsided’, bastard. jesus.
    jesuit. bohahah.

  18. Oh please….. starting a fight with you is damn near the bottom of the list of things I would like to do with my time. But I’m not just going to simply back down when one is picked with me. Who’s the one who needs to grow up?

  19. i smiled after calling you a bonehead, nick 🙁
    i was trying to be nice. i swear 🙁
    ty: come on. give it up. i told you i won’t bite.

  20. Nothing for you to bite, because it’s obvious to everyone except you that I wasn’t “trying to start a fight”…
    unfortunately for me however, I did bite, and yet again it got me into another pointless stupid time-wasting discussion with you.
    I’m done with this.

  21. jesus christ. can you say anything that isn’t completely fueled by virtriol?
    this was a nice discussion, and you ruined it. way to go.

  22. you know what, I don’t think anybody is trying to start a “fight”, which can be defined as a very small argument between people on a website. I think we’re all misunderstanding each other, and I also think that I’ve made a complete retard out of myself on dennis’s site.
    sorry :

  23. Nate: Nor am I trying to prove that god exists–I simply offered my reasoning as to my non-belief. That I see a lack of proof (or even evidence) is no more “elementary” or “simplistic” than your offering of possibilities. My reasoning need not be “deep” or well-researched. If a god is out there, he/she can come to me–I’m not out looking for one. =)
    To stoopid: Where did god come from? I don’t know, why don’t you tell me? I don’t believe in god, so that’s a stupid question to ask of me. And you completely misunderstood that part about making assumptions based on assumptions. That I see no proof of god is not an assumption, it is a fact–a fact upon which I base my assumption that there is no god. Get it now?
    And Sugartune2000: That’s nice.

  24. holy shit man. my brother thinks the same way as you dennis. he’s dating this chick that is going to be a missionary (another way to force religion). he told her if he was raised in the woods with a family who’s main thing to do was to feed the family, and didn’t know about god. would they be sent to hell or excepted into heaven. the way i see it religion is a fucking joke. church is like going to school for 6 days.

  25. What the fuck…??? is this what the americans spend their time doing, other than starting wars? i’m just sad enough to be on this site as i’m doing my chemistry homework, (long story). not my favourite subject so i dont know why im doing this. Also another REALLY annoying thing is , why cant you lot put a “u” in colour or favourite and change the “er” round the right way e.g. centre, theatre.
    Just stop this really pathetic fight.

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