I troll a man on Twitter. To be fair, he trolled me first. We have a mutual trolling relationship. We don’t actually engage each other, much. Rather, we watch each other. Maybe it’s less trolling and more stalking. But “trolling” sounds far less creepy and sinister. It’s the label that feels better…
ANYWAYS… this other Twitter-er and I don’t see eye-to-eye. Where I liberal-ize he conservative-izes. Where I believe, he disbelieves. He actually disbelieves a lot. He is a committed atheist, and a majority of his tweets are aimed at convincing the likes of you and me that we should be atheists, too.
Why should we be atheists? Because if we are to believe what the Bible says then god is a vindictive, homicidal being who works magic in a arbitrary and capricious manner. To believe that a good god gives shape to an evil world means that god is either impotent (can’t clean up the world this god created) or, actually, is evil (willingly allows innocents to suffer and die).
Those are some good points.
In fact, I’m convinced: I don’t believe in that god either. I don’t subscribe to the impotent, angry, evil god.
I don’t think anybody does.
But I’m still not an atheist.
There is a spirit (or idea… notion… longing…) in each of us that envisions something better. We envision a world without humanity causing evil–a world without genocides and refugee children and human-caused starvation. That’s a spirit that unifies us in our human longing. It’s almost super-natural in it’s universality. It’s something that exists beyond the individual human. In a sense, it is a higher power. [Side note: the Bible suggests this spirit of human unity and utopian idealism is God’s will, too–see Isaiah 2, Revelation 21, etc…].
The God I do believe in is the God who has given vision for the highest of human ideals. It is the God who provides images and impulses for humanity to be both just and loving. It is the God who said “you have dominion over creation, it is your responsibility to take care of it well (because there are natural consequences if you don’t). This is not a God who wills evil–we are the ones who will evil. Nor is this a God who is impotent–we limit God’s potency when we deny the power for good with which the Creator imprinted us.
Perhaps this God is the human spirit. But the human spirit lacks detailed vision for what is to come. I have seen that vision expressed in Christian scripture.
Where do you catch your vision for the world to come?