I was born into a Christian family and went to church on Sundays for most of my childhood. In those days I was convinced that there was a god and that believing in that god was the pathway to redemption and eternal life.
God does not matter!
From the time I was in my late teens, I had come to the conclusion that while I might like there to be a god, there was absolutely no evidence of such a being. While I had an inherited sense of belief, I was aware of nothing supporting it
From the time I was in my mid-20s, I was an atheist. I could see nothing to support the existence of God and much pointing to non-existence – of any description. One of my lines of reasoning went as follows: if God is all knowing, all loving and all powerful, why do 10,000 children die of starvation each and every day in Africa?
I have raised this question with all brands of Christians, priests, bishops, deans and academics - not one could answer with any credibility.
I also have no fear of death and no desire to live for eternity, so I do not need the crutch provided by the belief in God. I am ready for whatever happens and cannot see why anyone would want to live forever.
Now in my 50s, I realise that the existence of God is irrelevant!
It is not God that matters, but rather, how we live our lives.
Given the evils that religion has inflicted on the world, I can understand why the likes of Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Laurance Kraus and Richard Dawkins rale against it. I no longer however see any value in debating the existence of god.
If there is a God, and I behave well in my life then all will be good. If there is no God and I behave well in life, then all will be good. If there is a God and I behave well then all will not be good. If there is no God and I behave poorly, then all will not be good.
It is our behaviour, not our beliefs, that matter. Indeed, I would argue that no one chooses their beliefs. Our beliefs are determined largely by our environment. We do not just decide to believe or not believe in anything. The belief or non-belief in God simply grows within us.
Our behaviour, on the other hand, is something we do control and can be held responsible for. We should never be held responsible for our beliefs, but we should be held responsible for our behaviour.
There are plenty of Christians and believers in general who behave poorly, and plenty of non-believers who behave very well. The idea that God provides a framework for moral behaviour is absurd given that morality existed well before any concept of God and there are many believers who display a complete lack of morality. Members of the Mafia are a case in point
God does not matter!
What matters is how we all behave and that is independent of beliefs!
Why don’t we forget about God and focus on decent behaviour?