Would The World Be A Miserable Place Without Religion?

Many think it would be.  They believe without the beautiful ceremonies,  feeling the “love of god” and the moral structure claimed by religion, the entire planet would fall into misery and chaos.

Since humankind has never experienced a complete loss of religion, we can’t say exactly  what it would be like.  One bit of evidence is atheist people, they seem fine.

There are a gazillion ideas out there about what humans need.  Go to any legislative body and see the bills introduced.  Many reflect some theory of human need.

Some “imperative needs” that have been popular are experience in nature, a male and a female parent, meditation, organic food, music, hunting, football and, of course, a god.  All of these and more are thought by some group to be necessary.

When I was a Mayor, many folks, each representing some point of view, would appear explaining how the community could be improved if only we required this or that of everyone.  For a while it was “transcendental meditation”.  It was claimed this would reduce crime and other undesirable behavior.  More trees, parks, prayers, festivals, art and flowers were among the many pitched.

Always present was lobbying for more religion in public life.  It’s lobbied for in some form everywhere in the world.  Even in North Korea, the leader is worshipped.

Maybe, these religions all claiming to be the “only” one cancel each other out.  In that way, we are already getting along without religion.


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55 Responses

  1. Henry

    Jon: “One bit of evidence is atheist people, they seem fine.”

    Certainly the atheists are full of themselves. All is apparently well. Even ask Medelyn Ohair. I read somewhere she really liked going out to the movies during motherhood. At face value, that seems pretty normal. All is well.

  2. Brad

    One thing is for certain, religion is an incredibly lucrative business. The millionaire religious leaders have a vested interest in making sure religion doesn’t go away. They get rich by keeping their flock in line and growing their flock and taking their money.

  3. entech

    While I don’t feel the need for religion personally and am a 99.9% non believer I do think the world would be a more miserable place without religion and there will probably never be an end to it.
    There are many groups, Sea of Faith etc. that try to get a community feel without any particular theology or even supernatural belief. What the world would be less miserable without is the “I am right, I know everything, God talks to me (or my preacher) personally and tells me what to do think and what everyone else should do and think” that is so prevalent amongst so many religions and their various denominations. Or perhaps if the people I describe try to ease back a little and realise that if there were a creator it is not necessarily the one they believe in the world would be less miserable.

  4. Ed

    Atheists seem fine? As Henry mentioned, atheists are bitter, judgmental and insecure. Some atheists think it is cool to be different and in the extreme minority. Some have deep rooted resentment towards religion and God growing up because their parents were religious fanatics and consequently they were “turned off.” Their parents often reminded them if they sinned, they would go to hell. Rather than feeling loved and forgiven, they felt threatened and guilty. As adults, they could break free from this extremism by going extreme on the other side – becoming an atheist. Sadly, it’s very evident from many on this blog. Nobody is foolish enough to believe all is well with an atheist and they are at peace.

    1. Ed 3:11 “Rather than feeling loved and forgiven, they felt threatened and guilty.”

      Honestly, Ed, whatever your occupation or interests, I have to say your research on the inner minds of atheists needs some work.

    2. entech

      atheists are bitter, judgmental and insecure if that is what Henry thinks that is not what he said.

      I do think the lack of security comes from those who find it necessary to say such things so often. Probably projecting their own failings onto others.

      Atheists mainly find fault with your belief systems and the exaggerated claims you make for your selves and your organisations.
      Christians, at least the ones that post here are invariably personal; frequently taking the criticism of the belief as a personal attack.

    3. Jinx

      ” atheists are bitter, judgmental and insecure. ”

      Sounds like Henry & Ed are judging here……….it seems to me that those who have found religion frequently practice the above quote by Henry. Again, just my observation……..

      1. Henry

        We had a very livable country. It is uncertain what the future holds. A measure of a livable country again is the ability of the Cuyahoga River to catch on fire. That is a sign of economic well-being and industrial strength. We are heading in a direction where we could be taken advantage of against our will. The comfort of a strong industrial sector is slipping away. We need to again have a livable country that is safe from foreign interests and ignore the spotted owls. They can live in someone’s barn.

        1. T

          I’m not speaking of one country and its economic viability, Henry. I’m speaking of atmospheric and oceanic pollution, the availability of potable water, melting glaciers and rising sea levels, nuclear contamination, disruptions in the water table, etc. I don’t want to live in a world where rivers catch on fire, but apparently you define conditions like that as “livable.”

          1. Henry

            What thresholds make it unlivable? How many feet will the ocean rise in New York City if the ice at the north pole is melted?

          2. T

            Reports I’ve seen suggest a global rise of between 2 and 3 feet worldwide in the next century. Not just New York, but conceivably every coastal city on the planet would be affected. You ask of thresholds determining degrees of what is “livable”. Extended droughts and prolonged flooding making agriculture difficult if not impossible, the displacement of human populations because of coastal flooding, and burning rivers are three that come to mind.

          3. Stanta

            There is already supposed to be hundreds of thousands of refugees displaced by rising seawater, could you point them out to me? I haven’t heard anything about them the last couple of years.

    1. Brad

      Climate denial is also a new religion. Fueled (no pun intended) by the oil companies who have a vested interest in selling their product, they have duped an entire political party into believing that human caused climate change is a hoax.

      There is one thing about reality. It’s true whether you believe it or not.

      1. Stanta

        Newest climate claim, global warming is preventing the start of a new glaciation period. I kid you not, that’s why there has been no net increase in the last 15 years according to some climatologists.

        1. Jinx

          Actually, the melting of glaciers and polar ice caps caused by global warming is desalinating the oceans and causing changes in oceans currents. Consequently, the lower the salinity of the oceans the more easily the northern waters will freeze and stay frozen longer……triggering a new ice age. Core samples have indicated this is what has happened in the past and will happen in the future. Read this in a science journal but can’t remember which one….google it yourself.

          1. Stanta

            You are perfectly correct on the arctic ice. It barely rises above sea level and just displaces the water already there. Simple experiment, measure the height of the water in a glass with ice in it, let it melt, remeasure and record the difference. It may even be less since water is one of the few liquids that expands when frozen because of its crystalline structure, that is why it floats, there is less H2O in a cc of ice then a cc of water. That I’d not an opinion, it is a fact. If it acted like other material the ice would sink when frozen.

          2. Stanta

            So global warming will cause an ice age?????

            What happens when the arctic ice freezes again, higher salinity along with increased glaciation removing fresh water from the oceans counteracting the desalination?

            What happened to the burning deserts and rising seawater then?

          3. Henry

            Here is what we have been force-fed from the news media as far as what global warming has caused or will cause. We are doomed:

            Agricultural land increase, Africa devastated, African aid threatened, air pressure changes, Alaska reshaped, allergies increase, Alps melting, Amazon a desert, American dream end, amphibians breeding earlier (or not), ancient forests dramatically changed, Antarctic grass flourishes, anxiety, algal blooms, Arctic bogs melt, Asthma, atmospheric defiance, atmospheric circulation modified, avalanches reduced, avalanches increased, bananas destroyed, bananas grow, bet for $10,000, better beer, big melt faster, billion dollar research projects, billions of deaths, bird distributions change, birds return early, blackbirds stop singing, blizzards, blue mussels return, boredom, Britain Siberian, British gardens change, bubonic plague, budget increases, building season extension, bushfires, business opportunities, business risks, butterflies move north, cardiac arrest, caterpillar biomass shift, challenges and opportunities, Cholera, civil unrest, cloud increase, cloud stripping, cod go south, cold climate creatures survive, cold spells (Australia), computer models, conferences, coral bleaching, coral reefs dying, coral reefs grow, coral reefs shrink , cold spells, cost of trillions, crumbling roads, buildings and sewage systems, cyclones (Australia), damages equivalent to $200 billion, Dengue hemorrhagic fever, dermatitis, desert advance, desert life threatened, desert retreat, destruction of the environment, diarrhoea, disappearance of coastal cities, diseases move north, Dolomites collapse, drought, drowning people, ducks and geese decline, dust bowl in the corn belt, early spring, earlier pollen season, Earth biodiversity crisis, Earth dying, Earth even hotter, Earth light dimming, Earth lopsided, Earth melting, Earth morbid fever, Earth on fast track, Earth past point of no return, Earth slowing down, Earth spinning out of control, Earth to explode, earth upside down, Earth wobbling, earthquakes, El NiZo intensification, erosion, emerging infections, encephalitis, Europe simultaneously baking and freezing, evolution accelerating, expansion of university climate groups, extinctions (human, civilisation, logic, Inuit, smallest butterfly, cod, ladybirds, bats, pandas, pikas, polar bears, pigmy possums, gorillas, koalas, walrus, whales, frogs, toads, turtles, orang-utan, elephants, tigers, plants, salmon, trout, wild flowers, woodlice, penguins, a million species, half of all animal and plant species, less, not polar bears), experts muzzled, extreme changes to California, famine, farmers go under, figurehead sacked, fish catches drop, fish catches rise, fish stocks decline, five million illnesses, floods, Florida economic decline, food poisoning, food prices rise, food security threat (SA), footpath erosion, forest decline, forest expansion, frosts, fungi invasion, Garden of Eden wilts, genetic diversity decline, gene pools slashed, glacial retreat, glacial growth, glacier wrapped, global cooling, global dimming, glowing clouds, Gore omnipresence, grandstanding, grasslands wetter, Great Barrier Reef 95% dead, Great Lakes drop, greening of the North, Gulf Stream failure, habitat loss, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, harvest increase, harvest shrinkage, hay fever epidemic, hazardous waste sites breached, heat waves, hibernation ends too soon, hibernation ends too late, high court debates, human fertility reduced, human health improvement, human health risk, hurricanes, hydropower problems, hyperthermia deaths, ice sheet growth, ice sheet shrinkage, inclement weather, infrastructure failure (Canada), Inuit displacement, Inuit poisoned, Inuit suing, industry threatened, infectious diseases, insurance premium rises, invasion of midges, island disappears, islands sinking, itchier poison ivy, jellyfish explosion, Kew Gardens taxed, krill decline, lake and stream productivity decline, landslides, landslides of ice at 140 mph, lawsuits increase, lawsuit successful, lawyers’ income increased (surprise, surprise!), lightning related insurance claims, little response in the atmosphere, Lyme disease, malaria, malnutrition, Maple syrup shortage, marine diseases, marine food chain decimated, marine dead zone, Meaching (end of the world), megacryometeors, Melanoma, methane emissions from plants, methane burps, melting permafrost, Middle Kingdom convulses, migration, migration difficult (birds), microbes to decompose soil carbon more rapidly, more bad air days, more research needed, mountain (Everest) shrinking, mountains break up, mountains taller, mudslides, next ice age, Nile delta damaged, no effect in India, nuclear plants bloom, oaks move north, ocean acidification, outdoor hockey threatened, oyster diseases, ozone loss, ozone repair slowed, ozone rise, Pacific dead zone, personal carbon rationing, pest outbreaks, pests increase, phenology shifts, plankton blooms, plankton destabilised, plankton loss, plant viruses, plants march north, polar bears aggressive, polar bears cannibalistic, polar bears drowning, polar bears starve, polar tours scrapped, psychosocial disturbances, railroad tracks deformed, rainfall increase, rainfall reduction, refugees, reindeer larger, release of ancient frozen viruses, resorts disappear, rice yields crash, rift on Capitol Hill, rioting and nuclear war, rivers raised, rivers dry up, rockfalls, rocky peaks crack apart, roof of the world a desert, Ross river disease, Salinity reduction, salinity increase, Salmonella, salmon stronger, sea level rise, sea level rise faster, sex change, sharks booming, shrinking ponds, ski resorts threatened, slow death, smog, snowfall increase, snowfall reduction, societal collapse, songbirds change eating habits, sour grapes, spiders invade Scotland, squid population explosion, squirrels reproduce earlier, spectacular orchids, stormwater drains stressed, Taxes, tectonic plate movement, terrorism, ticks move northward (Sweden), tides rise, tourism increase, trade winds weakened, tree beetle attacks, tree foliage increase (UK), tree growth slowed, trees could return to Antarctic, trees less colourful, trees more colourful, tropics expansion, tropopause raised, tsunamis, turtles lay earlier, UK Katrina, Venice flooded, volcanic eruptions, Walrus pups orphaned, war, wars over water, water bills double, water supply unreliability, water scarcity (20% of increase), water stress, weather out of its mind, weather patterns awry, weeds, Western aid cancelled out, West Nile fever, whales move north, wheat yields crushed in Australia, white Christmas dream ends, wildfires, wind shift, wind reduced, wine – harm to Australian industry, wine industry damage (California), wine industry disaster (US), wine – more English, wine -German boon, wine – no more French , winters in Britain colder, wolves eat more moose, wolves eat less, workers laid off, World bankruptcy, World in crisis, Yellow fever.

          4. Henry 11:14 Many of these are probably going to happen. If there is exaggeration of the negative results of climate change, they are dwarfed by exaggerated claims about the impact of reducing carbon. That can be handled easily.

          5. entech

            Henry is right, of course, his perfect creator would never let anything bad happen too his perfect creation, no earthquakes or tidal waves, no volcanoes. This finely tuned creation will be forever perfect, in perfect condition because of its perfect intelligent design, to be dominated by the epitome of a perfect creation, people like Henry.
            Of course, perfectly designed creatures had better keep clear of perfectly designed catastrophic events like earthquakes and tidal waves lest they become perfectly designed fertilizer.

  5. Ed

    Jon 3.24… Did you grow up in a church Jon? Did your parents make you go to church? Were your parents conservative and considered religious? I don’t think Chistians have a hard time understanding atheists………most who know one saw how the story played out. I’d be interested in your story…… if you could be honest with yourself. Many of your blogs are a testament to your bitterness.

    1. Ed 4:32 “Many of your blogs are a testament to your bitterness.”

      I apologize if some of my blogs appear to have a bitter side. I am not bitter toward Christian people or the faith generally. I do become a little angry by hypocricy of the political branch of the faith that always trys to push the faith into laws and everyday life of citizens while claiming to be against more intrusive government. These are efforts to pass laws that discriminate against gays (marriage) and against women (antiabortion).

      I grew up in an evangelical denomination called the Swedish Evangelical Covenant Church, now called the Evangelical Covenent Church of America. I would call my parents “nominal” Christians, my Dad perhaps an agnostic. We were not required to attend church. My brothers and I would typically attend Sunday School and leave before the sermon. I did join two churches after I became married and attend a few times a year now when grandchildren are in the programs.

      The way you portrayed atheists in your post was one which is actually laughed about when atheists gather. Someone will say, “Has anyone been asked this week, ‘What terrible treatment by Christians caused you to become an atheist?'” The question is funny to atheists because few recall any such experience. A common answer to, “Why are you an atheist?” is, “I read the Bible. One day I realized it made no sense.”

        1. Jinx 9:34 “..should be asking,’Why are you a christian/jew/buddist/etc?'”

          Exactly. I wish I had a dollar for everytime someone asked, or posted here, “What was the terrible thing that happened that caused you to not believe?” They must here that from the pulpits or on sites, because there is not a rational reason for the question. Were they abused and that made them Christians? I want to ask what happened that caused them to believe there were talking snakes?

          1. Wanna B Sure

            Oh— I think it is a legitemate question, albiet possibly too narrow or simplistic. There are unlimited examples of and several sites dedicated to those who have escaped the JW’s, Mormons, and recently in the news, Scientology. Along with those who have left even the WBC just last week. History has shown many left, or became severely disassociated/disfellowshipped from some of the more extreme fundamentalists. Some became strong atheists, others agnostic, and yet some others joining less authoritve Christian traditions. Another grouping leaving the more traditional groups are in large part due to having simply lost interest in the lack of sensationalism, or “itchy ears”. I am sure that some left due to their specific application of “reason”, which would fit into your perameters. Then, there are those who were raised as atheists, and became believers. Mary Madaline O’Hare’s son is an example. There are an unlimited number of those that left the faith, and after a period of time returned. They had their reasons to leave, but they discovered reasons to return. I could give you many names that fit into some of these former groups, but confidentiality constraints prohibit. Bottom line; it’s not as neat and simple as you present, and one-liners are inadequate.

          2. entech

            I have a good friend who escaped from the sect she was born into. The exclusive sect of the Plymouth Brethren, although I think they just call themselves the Exclusive Brethren now. It was abusive not sexual but physically and mentally domination. They never actually became a non believer and later in life joined a fundamentalist born again church.

            Too easy to look for standard answers, to conform to a group mentality – if you are part of a church group where the type of thinking Ed displays is common you will be more likely to adopt such narrow nonsensical (pseudo)reasoning yourself, similarly I sometimes think homophobia is contagious. Peer pressure, group pressure can affect thinking but not always; abuse can drive someone away but it is not always directional, you could just as easily remain a believer and move to a denomination you found more compatible, just as you could be born into a warm and generous atheist family but move into belief later in life.

            The Hitchens brothers are a good example, same family background, same school background yet Christopher and Peter could not be further apart in religious and political views.

            People are too complicated and the simple approach such as we get from Ed, is far often far too simplistic.

  6. Michael Ross

    “Always present was lobbying for more religion in public life. It’s lobbied for in some form everywhere in the world. Even in North Korea, the leader is worshipped.”

    When public affirmation of God wains, people become insecure. They tend to gather around them, and become more vulnerable to human government. It cannot be local self government. It must be the biggest, most intrusive, incomprehensible, massive, top down, and all powerful form of government. In short, the most god-like. This is, of course, the federal government. To this mentality the Almighty warns:

    “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help And rely on horses, And trust in chariots because they are many And in horsemen because they are very strong, But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!” (Isaiah 31:1)

    1. entech

      There was a topic sometime ago if I remember that affirmed that with increasing insecurity more people turned to religion. I think one of the main metrics was unemployment, less work more church – must be more to that than more time on your hands and somewhere cheap to go.

        1. entech

          I agree entirely. Many people who do volunteer work and become involved in group activities either find full time work as a side effect or change occupations to something they find more suitable.

  7. buzz

    Definite lack of respect for authority!! Inadequate parental guidance, definately egomaniacs with low self esteem.

    1. buzz “Definite lack of respect for authority!! Inadequate parental guidance, definately egomaniac with low sefl esteem.”

      I don’t know what post you are responding to, here, buzz. Perhaps it was to Ed’s post where he made sweeping generaizations about atheists, or, mine where I took issue with his post.

      One thing I forgot to point out to Ed is that there are an unknow number of atheists/agnostics/skeptics sitting in the pews of Christian churches every Sunday. A young woman, an active member of a United Church of Christ congregation, told me a week ago of a conversation with one of the pastors. The topic of atheists came up. The pastor dismissed any problem with atheists, “We have a lot of them in this church,” she said.

      We had a local gentleman talk to Freethinkers a few years ago who had written a book ridiculing the tenets of Christianity and the Biblical version of history. He was a member of a local Catholic church and attended regularly. We, of course, asked him why he attended when he didn’t believe any tenets of the faith. He dismissed the question with, “I like the music, the atmosphere and the coffee.”

      I would reiterate, the generalization that atheists became atheists due to some unpleasant childhood encounter with the faith is a myth. It’s no more true than if I were to say the reason there are believers is because each believer had some bad encounter with atheist parents.

  8. Wolfy32

    I find it interesting that we are unable to distinguish religion from manmade churches?

    Is not religion a personal choice? It’s not an entity, an organization. Sure, there’s entities and organization that claim a “religion”. Those are the pompous rituals, rules and regulations for lemmings. So, I’m a deeply spiritual person, I don’t attend any religious entity. I don’t pay any religious entity, however, I’m a very deeploy religious person. I don’t believe in manmade rules and regulations. I do believe in God’s authority over mankind. If others believe that is none of my business. I don’t care, and I don’t care if you believe the same as me or not. that’s your choice.

    However, I see no point in living if there’s no God. No ultimate authority on life and death. If I’m just to die and cease to exist. Then why exist at all. Why not die right now? What’s there to live for? What’s there to hope for? Paying more bills? Going to the same job day in and day out? Doing hobbies. Great distractions, but what’s their purpose. Time continues to flow, and one continues to get older until one starts to lose their mind, or has a stroke and loses their mind, and becomes a burden and dependant on those around them.

    Without the hope of something more beyond the human race and something more beyond this world, beyond the here and now… What point is there to be alive? What hope is there in putting an empty faith in human society? What am I or anyone going to accomplish that’s of any singificance. My point is quite simple, as the Wendy’s lady once said, where’s the beef? I say? Where’s the hope? What’s there to look forward to other than a miserable death of growing old and decrepid and then dieing.

    1. Wolfy32 8:02 “However, I see no point in living if there’s no God.”

      I have a hard time understanding such thinking. So far as I can tell, there is no god. Yet, I never ever think there is no purpose in life. It is to enjoy and help in some small way to leave a world for others after me to enjoy. Our purpose is to keep humans from destroying each other and from destroying the ability for generations to come to live. I think of that as a serious responsibility–though my own impact is so tiny few if any will notice.

      1. Matt

        ah jon, you would make a heck of a good christian! 😉 i strongly encourage you(and everyone else on this site) to read the book Pray, Hope, And Dont Worry True Stories of Padre Pio by Dianne allan. you will find 400 pages worth of proof that there is something else out there besides us. check it out.
        God Bless

      2. Wolfy32

        It’s not that I’m suicidal. Not at all. I just see no purpose in the betterment of human society.
        “It is to enjoy and help in some small way to leave a world for others after me to enjoy.”
        That’s a great ideology and in all honesty that’s much of what I feel God has ordained human civilization to accomplish. However, without a God or some supreme being and some additional purpose unbeknownst to us, what point is there to bettering society. Why does it matter if society is better for those that go after us. It is ordained by our own scientists that eventually the sun will explode. Even the sun that keeps our planet thriving will eventually die. So, what point is there for us to keep trying to better us? Without some moral compas guiding us, why does it matter if we do kill each other in a global war? If our existence is nothing more than that of the ancient dinosaurs, just to roam the planet until something makes us extinct, and that’s our purpose in life? That seems pretty SH*TTY. pardon my french. 🙂

        Many scientists before us have studied the universe, and come away no longer being athiest but finding God for themselves. Why? Because the organization and chaos without the universe is so vast, so immeasurable, so beyond our comprehension, that how can it all be just random?

        I Feel there’s a purpose for the universe, to say that the universe has no meaning but for our puny little planet to just go on and on and on, is pretty arrogant of us as a race. That once every trillion years or so the universe(s) spit out a planet with life, then consumes it with no more purpose than the dinosaurs had? It seems so sad and meaningless and a waste of a universe if nothing else is behind it all.

        Do I believe the bible is meant to be taken at face value word for word… No, I believe it paints pictures and in those pictures is a truth beyond our understanding. No, I’m going to debate dogma and ritual. That’s for the manmade churches that serve human goals. I’m talking about the true existence about a being that actually exists, that actually cares about humanity, and actually wants to see us succeed. However, that being doesn’t want robots, and it doesn’t want slaves. So, it lets us choose for ourselves, whether to be with that being or not.. I think the concept is so simple… Be of God and be with him, or not and be separated from him. He suffers no loss, maybe mourns those that choose other paths, but, he has nothing to gain or lose by us choosing to be with or without him.

        So far no one has told me how large the universe, the last I’ve heard is it’s relatively infinite in size. If there is something that can be infinite then is it not possible there is a living being that’s infinite? And if there’s a chance there’s a living being that cares for us. what’s there to lose by believing in it? I’m not saying go to church and pay your tithes and start following a list of rules and regulations. bleh. I’m saying, I guess in that master artwork of the universe, there is a much higher chance of something greater than us, than there is of nothing greater than us out there.

        And physicists are attempting to prove there are multiple universes… Which implies there’s something even bigger beyond the concept of the universe where universes reside… What if something lives beyond any of the universes? Outside of space and time?

        Is it really so impossible for something to exist beyond our little mortal human comprehension?

        Well, that’s my take, I’d rather take my chances of hoping for something better to have something to look forward to, then just be satisfied with existing for 70-90 years. (If I’m lucky.)

        1. entech

          Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
          Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
          And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
          The Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light.

          Dreaming when Dawn’s Left Hand was in the Sky
          I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
          “Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
          “Before Life’s Liquor in its Cup be dry.”

          And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
          The Tavern shouted–“Open then the Door!
          “You know how little while we have to stay,
          “And, once departed, may return no more.”

          Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
          The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
          Where the WHITE HAND OF MOSES on the Bough
          Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.

          Iram indeed is gone with all its Rose,
          And Jamshyd’s Sev’n-ring’d Cup where no one knows;
          But still the Vine her ancient Ruby yields,
          And still a Garden by the Water blows.

          And David’s Lips are lock’t; but in divine
          High piping Pehlevi, with “Wine! Wine! Wine!
          “Red Wine!”—the Nightingale cries to the Rose
          That yellow Cheek of hers to incarnadine.

          Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
          The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
          The Bird of Time has but a little way
          To fly—and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.

          And look—a thousand Blossoms with the Day
          Woke—and a thousand scatter’d into Clay:
          And this first Summer Month that brings the Rose
          Shall take Jamshyd and Kaikobad away.

          But come with old Khayyam, and leave the Lot
          Of Kaikobad and Kaikhosru forgot!
          Let Rustum lay about him as he will,
          Or Hatim Tai cry Supper—heed them not.

          With me along some Strip of Herbage strown
          That just divides the desert from the sown,
          Where name of Slave and Sultan scarce is known,
          And pity Sultan Mahmud on his Throne.

          Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
          A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse—and Thou
          Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
          And Wilderness is Paradise enow.

          Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam 1st FitzGerald Translation.

          You want more?

        2. Demosthenes

          “Because the organization and chaos without the universe is so vast, so immeasurable, so beyond our comprehension, that how can it all be just random? ”

          So therefor, if you can’t possible wrap your head around it, it has to be your god?

          “So far no one has told me how large the universe, the last I’ve heard is it’s relatively infinite in size.” <—— http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NU2t5zlxQQ&list=PLED25F943F8D6081C&index=2

          Instead of spamming us with everything you don't know…therefor god. Try learning.

          "I’m talking about the true existence about a being that actually exists, that actually cares about humanity, and actually wants to see us succeed."

          Love to see how you came to this little nugget of truth, how are you proving your god exists?

        3. Wolfy32 8:47 Thanks for posting your considerable thoughts on the meaning of life. I remember as an undergraduate student hanging out in Methodist Student Center discussing the meaning of life off and on for four years. There were visiting speakers at conferences about this. That is probably at the heart of the faith/no faith discusssion.

          The facts, as we known them today, are that there is no purpose to our lives other than what we enjoy and how much we work to preserve the earth for future generations. There is a dark side to your way of thinking. It is that we do not need to work at preserving the earth for future peoples because we will all be in heaven or hell.

          I think the notion we are somehow more important than we actually are comes from some built in need for ego among humans. There is some kind of need to be important. The often referred to “humbleness” of Christians is not humbleness at all. It is, “I am so important the Great Father knows and really likes me.” Those of us who do not believe in the Great Father are, in this sense, more humble, seeing ourselves as small and quickly passing through the life of the planet. Speaking for myself, I am quite happy with this because it is the truth so far as we know. If you come up with some other information that can be verified by a nonreligious source, I’d like to know about it.

          1. Matt

            oh come on jon…you dont honestly believe you have as much humility as st. pio or st. francis or st. therese of lisieux(just to name a few) do you…..honestly you cant even say anything about how these and many others view their existance or humility for that matter because you apparently dont know anything about their lives. i will say from what i see you are more humble than some christians….but not (all) christians in general. sorry….

          2. Wolfy32

            Science can prove nor completely disprove there is something greater than us.

            I do not see your outlook as being humble Jon. It is the fake humility that you speak of about Christians. I’m proud of my beliefs, my accomplishments in life, and I’m proud of my existence. Not because of some grandiose belief in God. He’s a very close friend, not one who worships me. I’ve been through hell and back in life. Some dark times I barely survived, and I don’t say that to be dramatic. It’s what it is.

            The fact I’m still here to talk about it and I’m at peace in life now, is the result of my accomplishments in working on myself. Yes, doors were presented, but, I had to have the courage to walk through the doors. I don’t feign humility. I also don’t pride myself in believing I’m the center of the universe.. I believe the universe(s) are full of life way beyond our imagination, and we’re but one tiny planet amongst many.

            The bible indicated there were 100 billion Angels. (if that can be any type of assessment).. Our planet has but 6 billion. And if one is to assume some type of heierarchy that angels are like governors, militia, and political construction, then, there could be ten times that in the amount of life and planets that the angels support.

            I know my place, it’s a very tiny one even if there is a God.

            I do agree that there is a dark side to both our thinkings. With no purpose, comes no point to accomplish anything. The whole world could sit around and drink beer for all it matters. As well, if we all just die and go to heaven / hell anyways, why not just die? Skip this life and go to the next one..

            I acknowledge both are equally disturbing. Is there an answer to either methods of thinking? I don’t believe there is.

            I, for one don’t believe the universe is as empty as we think it is. I find it hard to believe that even if everything is random and there is no supreme being, that Earth was the only planet blessed with life throughout all the galaxies, throughout all the universes, etc. We can’t prove there was no life, nor can we prove there was life. So scientists are at odds with whether other life existed. Yet, we can neither prove nor disprove there is a God therefore the assumption is that there isn’t one…

            I find it interesting that one can accept that life beyond earth is debateable in the scientific communities, yet, as soon as a God is mentioned, it’s not provable so it must not exist.

          3. entech

            Science can (neither) prove nor completely disprove there is something greater than us.

            We can’t prove there was no life, nor can we prove there was life. So scientists are at odds with whether other life existed. Yet, we can neither prove nor disprove there is a God therefore the assumption is that there isn’t one…

            Wolfy, when atheists accuse creationists and other fundamentalists of invoking a God of the Gaps, of making it a deafault position that if science can’t explain it it must be God, do you think they are taking a fare and reasonable position. Actually I think this is actually quite a common argument and belief, but it would be quite wrong to extend this to Christians in general, there are many I know that would be very upset at being classified in this way. Yet what you are doing here is an exact parallel, when you scientists use the lack of proof as a basis for saying that there is no God you are just as wrong.
            Science can only have an opinion on what can be seen, measured and tested, often something can only be ‘seen’ from its effects. If observation and measurement can’t make a prediction that can be tested, if the test fails or is so constructed that it can’t be repeated then that something can’t be accepted as a fact or theory. As religious hypotheses can’t be seen, as “God won’t be tested” science, as science, can have nothing to say about the existence or non existence of a creator God. That some scientists, because of personal conviction, will use the lack of scientific evidence (or more correctly the impossibility of scientific evidence) makes them just as wrong as the likes of Ken Ham, it is not a scientific position and I would not want to be associated with it than many Christians would want to be associated with the literally true and inerrant people.

            The reasons for my own disbelief have little to do with science, although the irony is that science in its search for truth may ultimately be more convincing than blind acceptance of words in an old book collection.

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