If there is no god, whose name will we use in vain?
Dennis Prager’s latest column has 14 consequences of a universe without a god. You’ve heard them all before. Also, the first and the last ones are the same thing, basically. I like these:
3. Life is ultimately a tragic fare if there is no God. We live, we suffer, we die – some horrifically, many prematurely – and there is only oblivion afterward.
I take this to mean that Prager believes life with a god is horrific and tragic…but we get stuff at the end, so it’s ok. I’m not buying it.
5. If there is no God, the kindest and most innocent victims of torture and murder have no better a fate after death than do the most cruel torturers and mass murderers. Only if there is a good God do Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler have different fates.
I’ll give him that they’re quantitatively different, but fleecing the poor, cozying up to dictators, and providing intentionally sub-par “hospitals” and mass murder are both condemnable.
Being serious, this is true and is definitely a sad state of affairs. On the other hand, a God who forgives creates the same problem. If Hitler had been “born again” or something and prayed for forgiveness, wouldn’t he have been forgiven? Wouldn’t he have gone to heaven? My blood-lust wouldn’t be satisfied.
10. Without God, there is little to inspire people to create inspiring art. That is why contemporary art galleries and museums are filled with “art” that celebrates the scatological, the ugly and the shocking. Compare this art to Michelangelo’s art in the Sistine Chapel. The latter elevates the viewer – because Michelangelo believed in something higher than himself and higher than all men.
What? My music and movie collections are filled with inspiring art, a good chunk of which was created by non-believers. I think contemporary “art” is quite alright.
14. “Without God,” Dostoevsky famously wrote, “all is permitted.” There has been plenty of evil committed by believers in God, but the widespread cruelties and the sheer number of innocents murdered by secular regimes – specifically Nazi, Fascist and Communist regimes – dwarfs the evil done in the name of religion.
In what universe were the Nazis and Fascists secular?