Monday, August 27, 2012

On religion and personal accountability

I want to extend on my "Atheist is not a Dirty Word" blog post and comment about a problem I have with many religious people when it comes to personal accountability.  This can be summed up in three words: "It's God's will."  It can also be referred to as "He has a plan" but it all amounts to the same.  The second you say something did or didn't happen because He willed it to be means you can completely absolve yourself of all consequences of your actions if you so choose.  This isn't always a two way street mind you, and I will touch on that.

Giving Him praise for your actions:  You may have worked hard all of your life, physically or mentally preparing yourself for life's challenges.  You finally achieve some level of greatness but won't acknowledge the hard work you put in saying it was only through God that you were able to achieve these things.  If God was the one who pulled off such a feet, then no matter what shape I am in, I should be able to run a 4.4 40 and bench press a VW Microbus.  And God didn't give me my programming ability either.  I have worked hard at that over the years to improve my technique and expand my knowledge.

Giving Him blame for your failings: Let's say you are in a car accident after a night of drinking and kill someone as a result.  Some would say that it was His will to show you the error of your ways and set you on the straight and narrow.  Was God the one buying you 20 shots of Whiskey? No.  Did He put you behind the wheel? fucked up....big time.  Now suck it up and take responsibility for your actions.  I got fat because I ate too much, not because God was force-feeding me Ho-Hos.  

My favorite are the people who do one of these but not the other.  Specifically, if they are the type of person who talks up how much work they did, how hard they worked, or how much effort something was when they succeed, but the second they fail they say "I guess God didn't want me to succeed."

This blog post sounded a lot more organized in my head and made a lot more sense before I tried to convert it into writing.  I hope I am actually conveying what I am trying to convey here.  I guess I never fully woke back up from the nap I had in the MRI machine today.

1 comment:

Tad Callin said...

For me, it was realizing this conundrum existed that knocked me out of the trance I was in and made me really start questioning faith.

I wouldn't say it was "proof" of anything; just that the logic of it was inescapable, and had the benefit of coming from the same place as the "still, small voice" that our pastor told us to listen for when we prayed.