If you haven’t already done so, it might be a good idea to read part I of this series before reading this article. There, I set out some important ideas that will help you understand the frame of reference I have for describing an awesomely godless existence.
God Has Far Too Much Time On His Hands
From a very young age, I remember reading and being told that God knows everything. He knows what you’ve done, and what you will do. He even knows your thoughts. Hell, he even knows what you will think before you do.
I’ve heard Christopher Hitchens call this the “celestial surveillance camera”. How perfect. God, with all his responsibilities for creating universes and making sure everything works tickety-boo has the time and interest to spy on each and every thought we will ever have.
The evilness of this mental torture has no equal… except perhaps for the concept of eternal punishment. Children are brought up thinking that even a fleeting bad thought is being recorded, tallied and judged. As an adult, you cannot even look at the spouse of another person without the thought that God knows that you have coveted, and are therefore guilty of breaking one of his commandments. Punishing natural, human desire is a despicable concept in my books.
Spirits Among Us?
Even ‘spiritual’ people who don’t think much about God are susceptible to the idea that their most private thoughts may not solely be their own. Because so many of them badly want there to be an afterlife, they gravitate toward mind/body dualism and, from there, invoke the supernatural idea of souls.
Unfortunately, where there is one disembodied soul, there are probably going to be others (e.g. ghosts/spirits) with otherworldly abilities who carry with them a cornucopia of surveillance possibilities.
Atheism is Peace of Mind
There is no feeling of mental intrusion in a skeptical, naturalistic, atheist view of reality. In our world, consciousness is merely what trillions of brain cells do and, since a mind reading machine will not likely exist in the near future, our thoughts are purely our own so we feel safe thinking whatever we want. After all, to us, thoughts are just thoughts.
This godless gift is truly, truly awesome, and I can say without reservation that this one thing alone was worth the price of admission. Being godless brings a freedom and peace of mind I never even came close to having when I was a believer.
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