There’s this movie I rewatched recently: Deus É Brasileiro (God Is Brazilian). It’s a national comedy and it has its humorous moments, but it’s not a brilliant film by any means. The main theme is a bit intriguing to me though.
The plot is pretty much; God wants to take a vacation and in order to do that he needs to find a temporary replacement. He comes to Brazil to find this one specific dude He considers to have all the qualifications of a living saint. He finds this con-dude (aka our comic relief) and this random chick (aka the pretty face) and they go on a quest to find this living saint guy.
Only when they find him, the guy looks Him right in the eye and says “I’m an atheist” so God, you know, gets a bit pissy and gives the guy proof, absolute proof, that He is in fact God.
So, this is the point where the saint guy accepts God and all of that right? Happy ending?
Nope. He goes batshit crazy. His mind just snaps completely and I don’t blame him at all.
When I say I believe in God, sometimes people misunderstand that as I believe there’s one all-seeing, all-knowing, all-everything individual watching us and controlling our fate. That’s the ‘traditional’ concept of God; the one that crosses eveyone’s minds when they hear the word. That isn’t everyone’s definition of God though. In fact, I only use the word ‘God’ because going around telling people that I believe that there is an invisible force behind the workings of the Universe, beyond what we are and ever will be able to fully explain is a bit too exhausting. So I say ‘God’ and let them think what they will. It’s… Easier. No, I don’t want to discuss whether or not what I just stated as my belief is viable or makes sense. This is precisely my point here.
I thought this movie’s scenario the most realistic, if there ever was one, and that’s why the only thing I’ll ever preach is that everyone should have the right to believe in what they will as long as their beliefs hurt no one else.
I’ve heard a lot of atheists claim that they would change their minds if they saw irrefutable evidence of a God, but I honestly wonder if they consider all the implications of that claim. “I will immediately dismiss everything that’s true and certain for me in the world if God suddenly appears in front of me and farts a rainbow (because that’s obviously where rainbows come from, right?).” No, that’s not what happens in the movie and now I kind of wish it was… Heh… What I’m saying is: one way or another, asking someone to abandon everything that has ever given them a sense of security and self in favor of some absolute truth is cruel. Doesn’t matter which truth you’re trying to push on them.
Let me tell you what I think: if there is one omnipotent dude out there watching us and controlling our Fate He has no interest in being proven; if He had there would probably be reports of rainbow farts all over the world on a regular basis. If there isn’t… It doesn’t necessarily hurt that people believe there is.
There are hundreds of thousands of perfectly harmless people who believe in God, so is it okay to shove the lack of proof it exists in their faces and expect them to accept because of all the assholes out there using religion as an excuse for their own sadistic behavior?
There are hundreds of thousands of atheists out there who have a flawless sense of morality despite not having and angry all seeing mythical entity ready to punish them otherwise and who are perfectly capable of seeing and enjoying beauty in the world without believing it was hand-drawn by a Creator.
I can’t speak for everyone out there, but for me, regardless of what you believe; or don’t believe in, faith is something personal, private, and should be handled with care. I don’t like it when people treat my personal views on life as if they were something to be proved or disproved by science or the bible. And I think it’s only fair that I do my very best to never EVER do the same to someone else. I won’t lie; sometimes I fail, but I try.
What is mine, a part of the person I’ve become throughout my life, is not something I would EVER appreciate someone taking and using to prove a point. I’d see that as an act of douchebaggery similar to stealing an item of sentimental value and using it to scratch your butt with. I don’t care if you’re putting it to practical use, my grandma gave me that butt scratcher, it’s been on my family for generations. Leave it on the goddamned shelf where it belongs!
Writing a religion for my book has made me ponder these hypothetical scenarios quite a bit lately due to how the Gods in Stonewall are at one point cast aside and replaced by the Legendary Warriors. Because the Legendary were human warriors that are proven to have existed and lived in Stonewall, while the Gods’ existence cannot be proven even if they did exist. There are of course those who resisted change and consider worship of mortal warriors to be blasphemous and insulting to the Gods. Those people are treated as intolerant and crazy, but at the same time; what if the Gods could be proven? Hmmmmph.
Fictional worlds aside; I’m not looking for proof, I’m looking for things that keep me moving forward. I don’t need to understand absolutely everything about how the world works, I just need reasons why it’s a tolerable place to live. If for me that involves believing in rainbow farting leprechauns I don’t see how that’s anybody else’s concern.