Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Choose Reality

We've all heard stories where some freak accident occurred and a person either drowned, got electrocuted, stabbed or shot and miraculously made it through the harrowing ordeal only to have everyone close to the situation praise god for it. As if he had anything, at all, to do with it.

Now the last time I checked, the definition of a miracle is that it can only come about by divine intervention, meaning that it was a really detrimental situation before and then poof! divinity intervened and voila! you have a complete restoration to your original state of health. You know, like in the movies when vampires can get hurt, but they heal right back up again. If that happened before my very own eyes, I would have to call it a miracle, but this is not something that we see occurring.

Typically, the things we see reported in the daily news always have some type of medical intervention taking place shortly after the tragic accident. I would contend that the intervention is what contributes to their eventual healing and sadly, it's not getting the richly deserved credit. At times, when I have pointed this out the usual comeback is - 'well, it was god who put those doctors in his/her path to heal the people.' Naturally, it was in god's plan, all along.
The other thing I've never understood, what is the reason why believers thank god when someone gets better. They must truly think he did something or do they thank him because it was cool that god's will was their will or do they thank him for keeping the injured person alive? I'd like to understand that because why would anybody want to thank him for actually saving the person when, in reality, them dying seems a much more logical idea based on their belief system.

If you are a believer and heaven is so grand, wouldn't it be better to be up there with daddy than down on earth with all the sinners (fake christians, non-believers and evil people)? Why wouldn't they want that for their loved ones? Isn't it a better life for them up in heaven? Seems to me the reason they are glad that they think god has intervened is because they are selfish. They want them here for themselves.

The reason for being selfish is obvious. Who wants their day to day reality to change and no longer have their loved ones by their side helping to create the memories that sustain them at times. If they died, people would be very sad, possibly for a very long time because it's really hard to let go of the ones you love if you haven't accepted the finality of death. Facing that possibility can be very difficult, as evidenced by so many people dealing with depression after the death of a loved one.
I know that if my husband or my children would die, it would be hard for a bit after the initial shock because day to day reality is a warm, comfortable blanket I snuggle deeper into the longer we are all engaged, but I understand that death does happen and I accept that. The time will pass, change will occur and a new reality will emerge. Will there be sadness when hugs can't be obtained or kisses exchanged, of course, but a different version of life will go on that engages me fully until my own eventual death. As an atheist, believing that this life is the only one we get, helps me to make good choices every day that enrich me, add meaning to it and bring satisfaction to my life. It makes the process of going through the bad times easier and by accepting whatever comes my way is just something that must be managed until there is nothing to manage anymore.
But, again, following their logic - if I knew for a fact that the place the person was going to was better than here and their pain and suffering in dealing with life on life's terms was over - I would be ecstatic for them, sad a little for me because I would miss their presence, but truly jubilant that they are somewhere better. The prospect that I will join them at a later date only adding to my joy.

Could it be possible that believers subconsciously haven't truly accepted that god is real and that, more than anything, is what is contributing to them wanting those people staying here healthy and vibrant? They know deep down in the recesses of the active but religion-suppressed brain cells, the ones that are making sense of nonsense, there is no god and when they die they are just dead. They have not yet come to terms with the fact that this life is all there is, they quite possibly haven't made the best of their relationship with this person and want more than anything for them to stay alive to make it all better between themselves. That's a wild theory, one they would deny, I'm sure.

For me, logically, this life is the only one there is and that there are trained individuals available who will do whatever it takes to fix a life and save it from death. But also knowing that in reality they are not gods and sometimes life just doesn't work out the way I want it to. There are no illusions that it would be any other way with the tools and resources available to us in this day and age. I depend on that keep my reality a relatively stable one.
Life is hard enough but add to that a belief that a mysterious figure, who they can't possibly know what motivates him to do the things he does, is the only thing they have to depend on to get them through the life and death situations of their loved ones; that must be an unsettling way to deal with the harshness that life throws their way.

Ultimately, everyone must decide for themselves what constitutes life, but removing imaginary bonds to a supernatural being are the first step to a life that is grounded in reality.

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