Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Luck Versus Religion: I'll Take Luck Any Day

One of the truly damaging aspects of religion is that takes away our pride and belittles our accomplishments. God gets all the credit, we get all the blame.

I was contemplating in bed this morning, enjoying a lazy morning, thinking about how I should be in here blogging, but instead watching the sunrise, talking lazily, listening to the birds singing their springtime songs, and enjoying the beautiful lagoon out my window with the beach and ocean in the distance.

A religious person might wake up on a beautiful day like this and say, "God has been good to me," with an undercurrent of, "... even though I'm an undeserving sinner." That's sick. It takes away our pride in our accomplishments. Even on the very best days of our lives, religion (especially Christianity) tries to knock us down, tell us we're flawed sinners, and convince us that in spite of our awfulness, God has begrudged us a nice day.

Luck didn't come to me. Sure, I was born in the twentieth century, in California, to a family of well educated, hard-working people. That was luck. But lots of people in my exact circumstances have ended up unhappy, with broken marriages, drug and alcohol addiction, unsatisfying jobs and financial difficulties. I've had my share of bad luck, but each time something bad happens, I pick myself up, figure out what went wrong, and make my life better. I don't look back, I don't lament the past, and I don't make the same mistake again.

Random stuff happens. Some people meet their true love by random chance, or win the lottery. Some people get killed when a beaver cuts a tree down as they're paddling by in a canoe. There is no meaning in these events; they are simply random good and bad luck.

I've been pretty lucky in life, but not because of any magical guy in the sky who looked down on me and declared, "There's a good man, I'll reward him!" In fact, if you believe the Judeo-Christian doctrine, an atheist like me should have a pretty sucky life. There's certainly been both good and bad luck in my life. But I worked hard, took opportunities that came along, and when bad things happened, I put them behind me through hard work and hard decisions. THAT is why my life is good, while other people have bad lives who have had the same opportunities as me.

Religion teaches that God is constantly twiddling with our lives, that everything is for a reason, and that good and bad are the rewards and punishments for how we conduct our lives. The reality is that random stuff happens, and it's up to us to either make the best of it or not. And it's also up to us to take pride in the good, take responsibility for our mistakes, and to not feel like it's our fault when random bad stuff happens.

Nobody is watching. You are on your own. Make the best of it.

1 comment:

  1. Hey I really Think God should Receive all Glory because he is awesome! You need to have a better relationship with him to see how beautiful and precious he is. And You need to read the Bible to see everything God did for you and me when he died for all of us in the cross.


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