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God Less

Sometimes writers distance themselves from religious subjects. Religion is still taboo to speak about. Read about it instead.

If life consists only of the period between birth to death there is no need for justice since once dead, nothing matters. Life being nothing more than what is now, justice is that all people die making all the injustices from mortal life vanish at death. Life ending at death changes the narrative for me.

god-less

We want what we want now--quick and in a hurry--before we move on to the next thing we believe is right.

Failure Is A Large Part Of Life

A movie inspired by true stories of refugees from Sudan in the ‘70s and ‘80s opened within me a portal to human suffering and injustices. I see the hurt of those who suffer at the hands of those seeking revenge and restitution--those who use power and might to abuse and rule, I cry, "When will the cycle end?"

We see from a mortal physically-based world, while in the midst of our suffering as did the House of Jacob discussed in the Holy Bible who could not think past the fleshpots of Egypt during the deliverance of Israel from Pharoah. (see Exodus 16 in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible.)

We want what we want now--quick and in a hurry--before we move on to the next thing we believe is right. We are not wrong for our reactions to the things that happen to us while in this mortal state. This is where we live, in our mortal reality with its pains and joys. We fail, mournfully berating our failures.

..you should do the most worthwhile thing and you should figure out what that is for you. And part of that’s definitely going to be to develop your character as much as possible to dispense with those parts of you that are unworthy.

— Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson, a known, even infamous, clinical psychologist and modern philosopher to whom I listen inspired in me with understanding:

Life is hard and ugly. In order to make meaning of life, we must look to the abilities we have, starting with ourselves, and improve. This self-improvement can eventually extend beyond ourselves as we develop the means to effect a change within our environment--no matter how big or small.

During an interview with the famed Dr. Oz, Peterson answered in part a question put to him about the meaning of life hopefully appealing to all. Peterson says

You should be pursuing who you could be. That’d be the first thing. Because you’re not who you could be...

You have guilt, and shame, and and regret and you berate yourself for your lack of discipline and your procrastination and all your bad habits. You know perfectly well that you’re not who you could be, and God only knows who you could be. And that’s what you should be striving for.
And associated with that, you should be attempting to formulate some conception of the highest good that you can conceive of, you can articulate. Because why not aim for that? It’s like your life is short and it’s troublesome and perhaps you need to do something worthwhile with it.

And if so, then you should do the most worthwhile thing and you should figure out what that is for you. And part of that’s definitely going to be to develop your character as much as possible to dispense with those parts of you that are unworthy. [1]

Not being an overly religious person, Peterson asserts that we improve ourselves because we do not know our full potential, our future selves. Without God in life, people do this daily. Life with God, someone to Whom we account for our actions makes self-improvement easier.

god-less

We always choose something into whom or which to pour our devotion.

— Rodric Anthony Johnson

Standards Bring Hope

God expects us to fail while living here. He expects us to disbelieve in this realm. He is sure we will do terrible things during our lives on Earth. He prepared a plan for those hurts and failures. The life I am presenting here, though, is one without God.

With no God, life is for the moment and we should take while we can or live with nothing. Who cares about the poor if life ends at death? Who cares if minorities live as free as the majority if there is nothing beyond death? Some people do. Some people don’t.

Life is NOT fair and will never be fair! Governments create policies and provide reparations, but those actions will not erase generations of suffering and hurt held by many of us. Some of us will live and die in pain, hurt, anger, or embarrassment because of ancestral slavery, refugee status, or ancestral atrocities. Mortal life can potentially be a living hell! Then, it ends.

Life without a higher purpose than meeting our physical needs is nothing more than reproducing. There must be a standard.

Hope comes from believing in something bigger than normal life--an idea that brings something to which to aspire. Believing in a god out of fear is not terribly good. Believing in God out of tradition and culture is a step towards eventual forgiveness and happiness in mortal life.

Some of us will believe in God. Some of us will not. It’s okay. That’s how it is supposed to be.

A Need For God

Positive religious experiences provide cathartic episodes that satiate ailing minds and cankerous vices for many of us. It works for the majority of us. Because believing in God works for most humans doesn’t make it a fact that He is real.

What religious faith provides is evidence that God might be there, which is the method He chooses to evoke faith from who those who genuinely seek to know. This faith of which I write is not faith in a magical being who will save us from the ails of mortality. This faith, born of our challenges and sufferings, produces an awareness within us of the power we have to effect change in ourselves, our environment, and our communities. Some of us will believe in God. Some of us will not. It’s okay. That’s how it is supposed to be.

No Promise of Happiness?

Life with no God or religious connections of any type can prove difficult. It is easier to commit crimes and hurt, but harder to find redemption. Of course, there are those of us who find happiness in temporary things in life without a religious Faith. My favorite quote is as follows:

Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” [2]

The part of that entire quote rests on the possibilities the phrase “most likely to be achieved.” There is no guarantee life will be happy with the Gospel of Jesus Christ or any Faith.

Trials will not disappear because we believe in God or disbelieve. Peace and joy are guaranteed for believers in God who faithfully practice their Faiths. Why? The peace comes from the acceptance that certain things will not change while our perception of those things can. The joy comes from the hope that there is more to existence than NOW.

Contemplative

Interestingly, and in conclusion, I assert that all people worship a god. The god we worship may be a god of degrees from a university, a god car, a god called relationships, and god called job or career, a god called a political stance, or a god of a combination of many of these and other things too!

In other words, life without a god is impossible. We always choose something into whom or which to pour our devotion.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Rodric Anthony Johnson

Comments

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on June 06, 2021:

Pamela, I am happy you found the article informative. I just started following Petterson. His point of view is a bit strange to many, but spot-on on much of what ails Western society. I too choose the Lord in Heaven. Thanks for commenting.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 06, 2021:

This is a very interesting, informative article, Rodric. I agree that everyone has failure at times, and. I guess we do all some type of God. I choose the Lord in Heaven, but I have had plenty of failure at times. Thank for sharing everything, and I liked reading the Peterson quote.

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