Wilma talked to me about religion today. She called up “a father” on the phone, did a confession and the whole thing. She said that this person “knew everything” about her and especially me, without her giving him any information.
Now she intends to pray for a month in the hope that god will tell her what to do. And, she added, I should also start to believe. Because belief in god would be good for me.
I asked her to forgive me for being sceptical.
I don’t believe in (the Christian) God, nor in any deities whatsoever. I do not believe to know for certain whether such a being exists or not. I usually call myself an agnostic. I tolerate all religions (except the really dumb cults, like Scientology and their Xenu nonsense), but I do not tolerate all believers. Some are just overdoing it. This goes for suicide bombers who blow themselves up to get a dozen heavenly virgins just as it goes for presidents who consider themselves on divine missions.
Anyway, let me back up before this derails. I am certainly not going to pick up a faith just because some woman tells me it’d be good for me.
“I will believe in a god when he drops by for tea,” I told Wilma. “I’d even get cookies for the occasion. I’d have a lot of questions for him, too.”
“Ask me your questions and I will help you receive answers.”
“No, I have to ask them directly, and not to any human. That’s the whole point.”
“Well, you can ask directly, but you must sit in a corner and meditate and you will get your answers. But you have to be patient.”
Well, right. Wilma is making the same mistake that believers all over the world are making, every day. To attribute to divine intervention that which has perfectly plausible, normal explanation is, well, I hesitate to call it “silly”, but it certainly strikes me as not very prudent. If you hear voices in your head, is that really a god or is it more likely that you need help from a professional psychiatric?
And then there is the question whether it is even worthwhile to worship a god who isn’t using his omniscience to do good. Were the existence of god definitely proven I’d have to become an Antitheist: Why should I follow a good who does not use his powers to prevent all the suffering the world over?