When Tragedy Strikes
Blunt Ain’t Just a Cigar
People who believe in god lack the strength and courage to face the tragedies of life [pay close attention] on their own terms and accord, especially when they are (or fear they may be) responsible or culpable for those tragedies.
Nope, they don’t.
I’m terribly sorry if this offends you, and doubly so if you can neither see nor accept it.
Kick and scream if you’d like, but even casual observation of Christians (and other theists) who are grappling with grief is more than enough proof to back up my claim.
And irrefutably so.
Now of course, godless bastards like myself deal with all the same tragedy that Christians do, but that same casual observance will likewise prove our ability to face the worst that life throws in our face without clinging to a silly god fantasy, so there’s really nothing to debate here. You require the god sanitizer to cope when life beats you down, we don’t. Res ipsa loquitur. The things speaks for itself.
Tragedy in life is not limited to death, but I think that most people would agree that the loss of life is the ultimate pain – a pain that affects all of us, theists and atheists alike. So well set death as the yardstick by which we’ll measure the worst that life hands us.
Theists must necessarily wrap themselves in the god/afterlife crap in order to cope with the death of a loved one simply because they can’t cope on their own. If they could, they would, but they don’t because they can’t.
They know they can’t fathom even the mere possibility of having to reconcile the ETERNAL LOSS of a loved one – never to see them again in this life or the next – without the god fairytale to hand them an upside. The deceased are in a better place. They’re with god. They’re free of pain. They’re having a big-ass party up there with Jesus and the Saints and all of their departed loved ones…in bliss…forever! And the best part is, we’ll get to see them again someday!
Atheists have no such sanitizer. We’re forced to confront reality and the ultimate and unstoppable finality of life with logic, common sense, and acceptance. This can only come from our innate courage and strength. We have it, you don’t.
If you can’t see how yours in an inability to cope with tragedy on your own terms and accord, then there’s nothing I can do to help you. And if you can’t, don’t fight it. Just accept accept that fact that you’re weak and a coward and be done with it.
Are my words mean? No. Not at all. They’re honest. We have these words for a reason, and you most certainly fit the bill. Nothing personal. It’s just the way it is.
Are atheists immune from weakness? No. Of course not. We’re as weak and as frail as any Christian. Moreover, being weak doesn’t make one a bad person, and it certainly doesn’t even speak to one’s relative intelligence. We grieve as you grieve. We hurt as you hurt. However, the difference is found in the way in which we cope. Atheists face tragedy on their own terms and accord; Christians don’t and can’t.
Denial Ain’t Just a River
One day back in 1995, I spotted a young woman driving a Volkswagen Bug with a custom license plate frame that read, “My Emily is an Angel in Heaven.”
I didn’t know this woman. I didn’t know where she lived or what she did for a living. I didn’t even know her name. But it didn’t take much more than a little common sense and some simple intuitive reasoning to figure out her story.
Her daughter Emily most certainly died at a very young age. She died tragically, probably due to disease or complications during birth. Maybe she died as the result of an accident. Perhaps she was abducted and murdered. It’s possible she may even have committed suicide. At any rate, she died young and tragically.
Emily’s mother is weak because she cannot accept what happened to her daughter. She needs to believe that Emily is in heaven, an angel, walking hand-in-hand with god. She must believe this to soothe her grieving heart and, most importantly, to protect herself.
Because she feels helpless and guilty. No doubt about it.
She feel helpless because there’s nothing she can do to bring her daughter back. Ever. And she feels guilty because she’s either culpable (in whole or in part), or because she didn’t or wasn’t able to stop it.
Maybe Emily’s mother wasn’t attentive enough. Perhaps she was too busy with some trivial activity that distracted her and kept her from watching Emily close enough. Maybe Emily fell into the pool and drowned or wandered into the street and into the path of a speeding vehicle. Maybe Mommy waited too long to take Emily to the Emergency Room despite her 105 degree fever. Is it possible that Emily’s mother didn’t hide the loaded shotgun well enough? Did her mother use crack cocaine while little Emily grew in her womb? Perhaps Mommy shook Emily too hard. Maybe she had a bad day at work, had too much to drink and hit Emily just a little too hard.
Or perhaps Emily just got leukemia and died, which is obviously not her mother’s fault.
What I am suggesting is that this woman cannot accept what has happened – not so much to her daughter, but to herself. By believing that Emily is with god her mother can go on with her life knowing (remember, believing isn’t good enough) that her daughter is in a better place and that her own grief and pain will diminish over time.
Know that I’m not suggesting that this woman brought any harm to her daughter or that she was a bad parent in any way. She might have been a great parent. I’m just painting a few pictures to illustrate my point.
But one thing is clear; she’s in capable of coping with the loss of life without a silly god delusion of convenience. I think it’s sad. I think it doesn’t bode well for us as a specicies. And I think it hurts us all in the long run.
Christian’s have license plate frames that foster avoidance and denial:
My Emily is an Angel in Heaven
Atheist’s have license plate frames that embrace and accept reality:
If only mommy were an atheist…