If there were a god he/she/it would be giving the same message to each nation on every continent. The imperative would be to live in peace with justice for all. The purpose would be to create a world of people making the decisions in the interest of the health of individuals, tribes, communities, and nations. There would be no fight over doctrine. There would be an emphasis on community building. Voluntary population control would be part of the litany. The focus would be on cleanliness to prevent disease spread and an emphasis on problem-solving and conflict resolution. The highest value would be win/win with each one having a valid right to contribute and consume.

What does exist seems to be an appetite for the accumulation of wealth and treasure, especially some churches. There are hierarchies that create class systems. 

A participatory structure based on need and availability of food and resources requires discipline to manage. If god existed, he/she/it would guide in setting limits. Sexual appetites based on desire would provide birth control instructions that work.

If there is no god, any gods, and there is nothing listening or answering prayers, and there is no savior to redeem us, and there is no heaven, hell, nirvana or whatever, then Homo sapiens have to take charge of their lives. Stop depending on imaginary powers to solve problems.

Begin to think in terms of taking responsibility for ones' safety, security and stability. Provide food for all and teach our children how to be self-sufficient. Provide work in maintaining our infrastructure. Develop strategies for access to life-long education and health care. Create the means to care for elderly through the aging process until death.

Because there is no god, and Homo sapiens evolved from the great apes, and because Homo sapiens have the ability to see what is real, and identify problems, they can search for options, develop action plans and evaluate progress. We, unlike great apes, can manage our lives.

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Comment by Mojo on July 2, 2015 at 6:24pm
Unfortunately, Joan the foundation on which Christianity rests is a disjointed and illogical work of a petty, sociopathic God that appends what amounts to a death cult built around mankind killing his Son.

Even worse the Jew as murderer of God's son leads to the ongoing obsession for the genocide of the people he first tried to save from the impending Apocalypse that was supposed to happen in the generation in which Christ supposedly ministered to them.

Think about it. If someone tried pitch this to you as a movie premise, nobody would touch it because it's so sick and evil.

Finally, the idea that a benevolent, loving and positive God exists is exactly how deluded many Christians are. As a case in point Obama stated emphatically at the eulogy for the people that were gunned down by a racist in Charleston was part of a grander plan by God to bring about a dialogue on racism. That is so pathetic as to be embarrassing.
Comment by Gerald Payne on June 30, 2015 at 1:43pm

Before attempting to build a society based on rational open-minded thought, we must, in the words of Bertrand Russell ''Slay the dragon''. In Brittan secularism is well founded yet religion still maintains it's historical privileges with unelected bishops in government, faith schools segregating children and breeding distrust, and a hugely over-representative religious lobby in parliament, and this when 75% or more of the population claim no religious inclination at all.

The church, so long the occupants of the moral high ground, has to have the ethics of their creed exposed and tested. How that will be achieved with so many apologists in positions of power is hard to figure out, but I don't think mere indifference to religion will be enough. Religious. conviction will always inspire people to take up positions of influence; political and religious influence seem to go hand in hand. The only real game-changer could be the internet, , the information age supplies the anathema of the church; knowledge.

Comment by Grinning Cat on June 30, 2015 at 12:27pm

Related: Victor Stenger's book God: the failed hypothesis: how science shows that God does not exist. He posits several characteristics of the conventional god concept -- including a creator who has a special interest in the welfare of us human beings, and who doesn't hide from sincere seekers -- and shows along multiple lines that the universe, our planet, and our biology and behavior are exactly as we'd expect without such a god existing.

I've written online elsewhere that Christians can't prove that their devil character (supposed to be nearly as powerful as the other character) didn't plant all known scriptures and church teachings in order to make people miserable with false hopes, wasted lives, divisions, wars, and bloodshed. I add that we are quite capable of lousing things up on our own -- and, hopefully, of making the world better on our own. (See Partnership Culture, and this call to create a "heaven on earth".)

Comment by Loren Miller on June 30, 2015 at 11:30am

I would insert one word into the title of your piece, Joan: "RATIONAL."  A rational god who had the best interests of his creation at heart would want to see transparency and consistency characterize the administration of the reality he created.  Such a god would be as discoverable as the laws of physics and nature which he had caused to be, perhaps even more so, and there would be no question as to the identity, nature or intentions of this being.

An irrational god would be far more like what we see of the god of the Old Testament: suffused with human characteristics, flawed, angry, jealous and most of all, INCONSISTENT.  He would be the "spoiled child" Robert Heinlein described and the "capriciously malevolent bully" Richard Dawkins despises.  He would jerk his creation around any way he pleased; his word would be more like multiple words from multiple sources, conflicting, contradictory and highly impractical, never mind failing to align with reality.

Thankfully, there is no such evidence for either one of the above-mentioned deities.  Fourteen billion years ago, a singularity went BANG because the conditions were right for it to.  Four major forces asserted themselves on multiple subatomic particles, which coalesced into atoms, drawn together into stars which burned hydrogen into helium, then exploded to create most of the periodic table of elements and make possible some very interesting phenomena...

... like humans who wonder if a god did all of this, only to discover later that what could have happened DID ... all on its own.

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