Live and Let Live

One of the most valuable things about being an atheist is that I know my life’s purpose is decided by me alone.  My life is not cluttered up with some “plan” or “higher purpose” imposed by a “God”

This reflection was part of a post made by a blogger that identifies as Infidel753. And I loved it! While I don’t label myself as an “atheist,” I felt what he wrote was spot-on.

I think many of us will agree that (in most cases) believers are convinced they are living a “blessed” life. In truth, they are living a controlled life in which they allow an unseen force to direct and regulate all their thoughts and actions.

What’s interesting is this is actually a dichotomy since it’s an innate desire among humans to be their “own person.” We can see this very early in life when parents try to correct wrongdoing during the “terrible twos” … and it’s amplified during the teenage years. Yet for some strange reason, this inner longing becomes dormant when individuals turn their thoughts and lives over to the “Christian Savior.” From that point on, all that they are and all that they do is dictated by rules and regulations determined by individuals who lived many, many years ago and in a world much different than today.

(It’s actually rather sad that so many Christians feel they’re incapable of living “on their own” and instead must depend on some “higher force” to monitor and direct their lives.)

Some would say the reason atheists reject the Christian Way is because they harbor desires to do “sinful” things. Nothing could be further from the truth because to an atheist, there is no “sin.” Instead, they believe their actions are determined, not by adherence to the laws of a centuries old book, but by society’s mandates and personal responsibility. If they choose to ignore one or both, they will suffer the consequences … and they know it.

Live and let live is a practical, loose-and-easy life philosophy that allows each of us to determine our life’s path … without it being cluttered up with some “plan” or “higher purpose” imposed by a “God.” 

18 thoughts on “Live and Let Live

  1. (It’s actually rather sad that so many Christians feel they’re incapable of living “on their own” and instead must depend on some “higher force” to monitor and direct their lives.)

    I’m not so sure that’s right. I’m more inclined to say they believe that we (everybody but them) are incapable of living on our own, and therefore they must force us to obey their rules.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s true in practice, yet they would insist that they too are ruled and bound by God.

      Someone being “ruled” by a figment of his own imagination, and also demanding that you be ruled by that same figment of his own imagination, are two quite different things, yet he can claim that they are the same.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Actually if you think back to being parented, there was (or should have been) this feeling of security associated with the position of “child.” Someone else took care of your food preparation, laundry, housing costs, etc. and watched over you to protect you from harm. Becoming an adult is scary in that we have to do all of that for ourselves and then provide the same for our spouses, children, etc.

      I can understand the protectiveness that people associate with their beliefs. I can also recognize them for being delusions. How many billions of humans have prayed to some god when they were threatened and then actually received help? I suggest none. But since those who survive think their prayers were answered and they talk to their neighbors a lot more than the dead people who didn’t survive, prayer and the gods they were sent to has gotten a much better reputation than it warrants.


  2. :In truth, they “think” they are living a controlled life: is how I would put that. But then, from a different angle their life is CONTROLLED by their own beliefs WHEN THEY WANT IT TO BE. Too many christians are actually Sunday christians, and horrible people the rest of the week.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Living around many Christians,and some smaller number of other faiths, I’m struck by how desperate for guidance they are and how much time they spend seeking out guidance. Shuffling through ancient texts that were never really written about their situations, torturing the stories they know to seem applicable, and ‘looking for signs’.

    It reminds me of a story my family tells about an aunt on the phone. Living in a rural county there was always noise on the line. Sometimes you could faintly hear other conversations. My aunt used to call a friend, I will call her Mable, and have long conversations. One day a tree fell on the lines ending the communication. My aunt, used to lousy connections and hearing the faint noise of other calls, failed to realize that she was no longer talking to Mable. She thought she was still talking to Mable for almost an hour when Mable, who had realized the line was down and worried about my aunt, showed up on her back porch (only salesmen and the preacher went to the front door) to check on her only to hear that she was coming but was unable to come to the door directly because she was ‘on the phone’ with Mable.

    A whole lot of people claim to have ‘talked with God’. Perhaps direct and unambiguous conversations with deities was a thing in the ancient past. I don’t know. I do know that people who hear voices now are widely considered mentally ill. Seems the ‘conversations’ have changed to a more personal, internal and far more nuanced form.

    One popular explanation, I agree with Dawkins in that it is ‘either rubbish or genius’, is bicameralism:

    Essentially the argument is that human brains have changed over time. Originally, or perhaps just a subset of people, humans experienced half of their brains as foreign and external. The logical and rational half would produce a thought and it would be experienced as an external agent. One that was omnipresent and all knowing, because it came from inside the person.

    Religions are still seeking that external guidance. Often neglecting their own ability to think through issues as they comb the Bible and seek signs. Worse than neglecting their own reason they often make connections that are not there. Pareidolia and free association can lead us down the wrong path even as the religious assume that the information misapprehended is ‘the word of God’. A God that must be obeyed, placated, feared.

    One wonders what my aunt might have done if the whispers she heard seemed to be Mable telling her she was coming over to kill her. It is the danger of listening to static and assuming that there is meaning, and further assuming it is God talking to you. If everything is a sign then nothing makes sense. If everything is context and commentary then there are no objects. Bastardizing Freud; No cigar is ever a cigar.

    A cigar can be a phallus, the lingus, the Godhead, a symbol of God’s intercession into reality, a symbol of potency and the origin of all things. But also a commentary on the observer’s context, present situation and difficulties. It is an inspiration and instruction, judgment and condemnation. It is all these things and more. The one thing it can’t be is rolled up tobacco suitable for smoking.

    In that state of mind we are all spinning out of control in a universe of meanings and supernatural forces we can’t begin to fathom because none of it is fixed in meaning or context. Is Abraham a loyal follower of God, a hallucinating madman, a sociopath and potential murderer, a brainless stooge for authority figures, an example of pure faith, a loose cannon … yes. All of it. And it can be so because none of it is rooted in reality. Eliminate all references to God and angels and the story gets a whole lot easier to understand.

    The first step to reason and understanding is to eliminate unnecessary categories. Start with the supernatural.

    Liked by 2 people

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