Believing There Is No God
Today’s Sunday Stumble comes from Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller. Back in November of 2005 he wrote a thought-provoking piece for NPR that really puts the God question a little bit differently. Many Atheists say they don’t believe in God, but he frames it a bit differently. In Penn’s words, he believes that there is no God.
So how is believing there is no God any different from not believing in God? Jillette points out that not believing in something in easy, but believing is where the work comes in. When you believe that there is no God, it opens up a lot of doors. Take all of the sorrow, pain and suffering in the world for example. Believing that God is all-powerful then means that God is responsible for the suffering, since God is responsible for everything. Believing there is no God, however, implies hope that these problems can one day be fixed, or at least be improved.
I think I’m going to take a paragraph out of Jillette’s NPR piece and believe that there is no God. This means we’re responsible for our happiness, we’re responsible for making the world a better places, and the only safety nets in this existence are those we create for ourselves. I can’t sit around for the rest of my life waiting for God to come and fix things when there is so much suffering on the Earth. Who’s to say he’s going to fix my problems? Believing that there is no God, and that these problems aren’t undoable, means that I can change them for myself.
So bring on the joy, the pain, the suffering, and the peanut butter & strawberry jelly sandwiches. I love it all. I love my wife, the child I’m hoping to be a Father to in the coming months, the new home I just bought, and all the work I’m going to have to put into it. I’ll believe in all the wonderful things that make up this world that I do believe in. Just like Penn.