Don’t get lost in the arguments and accusations about religions or Atheism. There are many, many people that are accusing the religion of Islam of horrors. There are many people that accuse Christianity, and there are many people accusing “any and all” religions and even the non-belief in God of being the source of the horrors we humans inflict on each other.
And don’t get confused about Atheism or the “belief in No God”. As strange as it might be to think —- we can very easily argue that Atheism is also a religion. It is a system of beliefs with its central foundation being “a relationship” or in this case – “Non-relationship with a non-God” with the only difference being that the relationship is a with a God they believe doesn’t exist. Whether Atheists believe God exists or believe God doesn’t exist isn’t the determining factor of whether Atheism is a religion. It’s the fact that there is a relationship. It’s just that in this case it’s with a deity to not-believe exists. All the tenets are still in place in the same way tenets for every “belief in a deity” based religion are in place. Atheism wouldn’t exist without the debate of whether God exists or not. Atheism centers around a God to not believe exists or to believe doesn’t exist, but it still centers around “a God” and another argument could be made for that “God” to be human beings, ourselves.
Because of all of this, we can easily argue that efforts made by atheists to change certain things related to religious references become efforts made to impose their “religion” onto others, and many times, in order to “save people from something” and in many cases, save people from other people of other religions from imposing their religion onto others. Sound familiar?
So many *people* adhering to a certain religion say, “Don’t believe in that other religion’s God because our religion’s God is the one in which to believe.” (Notice I said – ‘people’ and not ‘religions’?) Atheism is merely saying “believe in our non-existing God.”
But, it really doesn’t matter at all, !!! whether Atheism is a religion or any of the other religions exist or not. And if you don’t read the remainder of this article, you won’t understand why it really doesn’t matter at all !!!
By itself, no religion, belief system, government system or any “system” is responsible for the horrors of mankind. Mankind and what we each – of our own freewill – choose to have in our hearts and minds, and then inflict upon others – mankind is responsible for the horrors of mankind. Religions, psychologies, philosophies, sciences, mathematics, type of government, ignorance and any and all ways of thinking in the brain, and ways of feeling in the heart, are tools which we human beings, who choose of our own freewill to have the hatred in our hearts, and violence on our minds, then put to use to further our agenda of hatred and violence. The hatred and violence doesn’t exist outside of us, it exists within us.
A person – any one of us, who has kindness in our hearts cannot have it legislated out of us. A person who is patient, gives forgiveness, shares their love, demonstrates mercy, compassion and understanding cannot have it forcefully and without permission removed from their heart by an outside force, a government or a religious organization. This is true of all of us. This person – any of us – can hold to any and all religions or belief systems and NOT bring about horrors when we choose to relate to others via this kindness, love, patience, mercy, and brotherhood.
Of our own freewill, we can choose to throw out the patience, forgiveness, love, mercy, compassion, etc from within our hearts and minds, and choose of our own free will, hatred, violence, revenge, selfishness, and self-aggrandizement instead. No outside force or way of living can put kindness or hatred inside us or take kindness or hatred out of us.
So many times all of us, at some point or another, have done just this – of our own free will – thrown out forgiveness, tossed aside mercy or compassion. We have then justified it and rationalized these choices by using religion, philosophies, types of government, sciences, ignorance and any and all ways of thinking in the brain and feelings in the heart. The horrors of mankind don’t begin outside of us, they begin inside of us – in our own hearts and minds – of our own freewill – if we’re willing to have horrors within our hearts and minds. We then choose these horrors within us to motivate our actions towards others.
But, in the very next moment, we can change our mind. We can then take hold of our own desire to bring kindness into the world. We can hold onto our love for God and our love for anyone or anything, and with our freewill bring forgiveness and mercy into the world. Of our own freewill, we can choose patience or look for understanding, or any of the other fruits of the spirit. We can step back from our seemingly automatic bitterness and instead, be willing in our hearts to trade it for some quality which will help bring healing and peace into our relationship and our world. In that moment that I’m talking about, we can change even our heart – if we’re willing to hold on and if we’re willing to change our hearts.
Every day, of our own freewill, we make choices that impact how we are in the world – how we relate to all other people. Each day we choose. And regardless of what we chose yesterday, today we can change our mind and change our heart to choose better than hatred and all its horrors – if we’re willing.
Each day we choose life or death – we choose violence, hatred and revenge
or we choose kindness, love, patience, forgiveness, mercy and healing.
“No one speaking judgement and condemnation, speaks for God. No one speaking punishment or retribution, hatred or war, speaks for God. The one speaking love, forgiveness, kindness, brotherhood, acceptance, patience and mercy –
this one speaks for God.” (The Rainbow Cards, ©, 1999-2015, Jodie Senkyrik)
I wonder how you define freewill, I’m a bit theologically curious. I don’t think God is as non judgemental as you seem to, and I think you are giving him a get out of jail free card on some things. And my bias is Christian…