September 4, 2010
I can’t find the works of God in nature. The other day at dinner my father raised an argument that God shows himself everywhere through nature, and that those who refuse to believe are in a sort of denial. I didn’t find any weight in that argument at all.
You know, this has nothing to do with human morality. I don’t deny God’s hand in life’s creation because I’m looking for some excuse to go out and shoot up on drugs, murder babies, and live as a nihilistic heathen, regardless of what many Christians may believe. What an inane stereotype.
Think how terrible it is to go around telling everyone that if they don’t believe in your Holy book they must be stupid, evil, have no morals, and hate the world. As long as the little spiel is delivered with a smile, and ended with, “Jesus loves you. I’m praying for you!”, they think they’re doing the work of God. Give me a break. The certainty in which they make their claims is nothing but arrogance. Us agnostics and atheists deserve more respect than this.
Here’s my own examination of nature. I don’t see the work of an all powerful, all knowing creator. Let’s just look at a few videos of the world as it really is. Not a superficial glance at nature at its best, looking at the sunlight reflecting off the waters at sunset with the beautiful backdrop of trees, but a close examination of day to day life on the lake. Let’s examine the life of cuckoo ducks and their relationship to warbler birds there near the banks.
After the cuckoo raids the warbler’s nest, eating its eggs, it then lays an egg of its own which, when hatched, launches any remaining warbler eggs out of the nest like a catapult. Then its cry is set to mimic that of the warbler chicks, and the mother feeds it like it was her own.
The top comment for that video is hilarious.
MALE WARBLER: Uh, honey? Look, just tell me straight out… have you been unfaithful to me?
FEMALE WARBLER: No!! What kind of question is that to ask me?!
MALE: Look at our daughter! She’s three times my size, the fuckin’ nest is busting at the seams cause she won’t stop eating, and she’s black! Don’t you think I’m entitled to a little bit of suspicion here?! Give me that at least!
This is far from the worst instance of cruelty in nature. Do I really need to break out the serious cruelty? Should I show a tiger chewing on some goat’s head? Should I show a video of parasites eating out the inside of animals until they fall over dead? Should I show a crocodile pouncing on some innocent gazelles coming to get a drink of water. No, I’m not going to do that. You’ve all seen that.
I wonder who really is in denial. Why are things the way they are? Why does this cruelty exist? Oh the “curse”… Yeah yeah, we ate from a tree and God got mad at us. I mean, c’mon.
Maybe it’s just because I’ve spent so much time studying books, but really, just think how dumb that is. A talking snake, a humble man gathering up all the animals and loading them up in a boat, men living with dinosaurs, giants living among men… *shakes head* How can 60% of people in the United States believe this stuff?
I was raised to believe in all of it. I think it’s just people haven’t been exposed to the facts and haven’t studied science. I won’t say that people are stupid. I get tired of everyone saying the world is stupid. I don’t want to insult everyone else out there. It’s just unfortunate that people haven’t learned more and that schools aren’t doing a better job. Really though, as little as school teachers are paid, sometimes I wonder if they’re going to find the talented, intelligent teachers who are able to teach biology with passion and force. Those with the degrees in biology and genetics are going to be sucked up by private industry and offered way more money.
Many biology teachers start apologizing left and right when they discuss evolution. That shouldn’t be happening. You don’t apologize when you teach mathematics. “Kids, I’m sorry, but 2 + 3 = 5… You don’t have to believe this if you don’t want to. Don’t tell your parents I told you this.”
On one hand we have Christians telling us a talking snake possessed by the devil got Eve to eat a fruit from a tree and we’re all now cursed. On the other hand we have all the genetics evidence, faults in animal design, past vestiges in animal anatomy, the fossil record, potassium-argon dated rocks, and all the other mountains of evidence showing evolution.
And you know, this doesn’t lead you to a philosophy of hatred of the world and a life without morality. It does the complete opposite for me. It shows me how fragile life is and how much we all need each other to make it through in this place. We need love, not because our sky daddy tells us to, and will pat us all on the back when we die, but because we need each other.
I’ve became far more compassionate now that I’m no longer religious. I’ve had the opposite experience. As a young religious boy, I used to think, “Well, you’re only suffering because you don’t follow the will of God!” It’s embarrassing that I was such a nasty child, but I’ll man up to admitting it.
I feel empathy for my fellow human beings and their suffering. That’s enough for me to live a moral life right there. I want to try to live this life as best I can, and hopefully contribute toward making life a bit easier on us all. I don’t need threats of hellfire to help you out when you’re in a bind. I’ll help you because you’re in need. That’s enough for me.
It’s nice that the BBC is putting all of David Attenborough’s films on Youtube. I have them in better quality, but its neat that you can watch them online. Try jumping to time 10 mins 12 secs in the video below. Watch the coot parents beat their children to death because they can’t feed them. Watch the little ducklings begging for food and the parents beating them to death. Watch the duckling’s cute little head sink into the water when it dies of starvation. Watch the Pelican chicks kill their brother because there’s not enough food to around. Pelicans typically lay three eggs but there’s only enough food for one. The strongest one lives whereas the other two are killed off and thrown out of the nest, almost every time. The other two are only given life as a sort of insurance policy.
I can’t see the work of God in this. Christians may say, “His works are manifest for all to see”, but as for me, I think they’re being dishonest. That’s not giving the entire picture.
Nature is aesthetically beautiful and I’m glad to be alive, but I get annoyed when people try to act like nature is some blissful paradise. It’s not.
I’m not here to bring out the worst of the world and make you look at it. I’ve presented enough, and I don’t want to depress you. I’m just tired of people denying it like it doesn’t exist. Denying it won’t make it go away. We have to create medicine because mindless viruses and bacteria want to kill us and eat us alive. Parasites will infects us and eat out our insides. Rodents will infest our homes spreading every sort of disease.
I won’t end on such a dreary note. There are some animals out there which its hard to find fault in. Take a look at this sloth!
If every animal in nature was peaceful like that sloth, and there wasn’t disease and starvation or parasites, then I’d be a little more convinced by the “works of God” in nature. As for me, I just can’t see it. There’s a lot of mystery and wonders, but its far from the work of such a God. I think claiming this world the work of His hand would be an insult to His craftsmanship.