I am an atheist because of many different reasons. I find the logical advancement of a species, through countless evolutionary changes and adaptations, a far more comfortable theory than a purposeful design by an unfathomable Creator. To give myself to a historically inaccurate and subjective transfer of unrecorded events seems dismissively simplistic considering the wealth of processing ability that the human brain possesses. While many of the teachings of all religions are admirable templates for a productive, socially aware and generous life, I believe that the founding principles of being a “good person” are a result of an inbuilt moral compass that is nurtured by society, but essentially a gift imbued by common sense and reasoned thought presented to, and by, the vast majority of all human beings. But these are not the strongest and most polarising reasons why I am an atheist.
By far, the strongest reason that I believe that any God does not exist is this. If such a benevolent, powerful, loving, wise and kind being existed in any of the suggested forms that are found in scriptures and beliefs, he/she/it would, under no circumstances, allow another human being to stand over my shoulder and interject while I am playing solitaire on a computer.
“Red 5 on to black 6!!! There!!! Next to the jack!”
There can be no earthly, or heavenly, reason why anything, created or otherwise, would give this power of annoyance to another person. There is no beneficial reason to allow one member of a species to exert such enormous self satisfied and smug power over another. There is no sense of relief for the victim. There is little, if any, learning principles for the solitaire player to absorb to ensure increased performance and improved skill. The act of pointing out that the 5 of diamonds will transfer over to the 6 of spades, thereby freeing up the enigmatic and mysterious value of the card below, serves one purpose and one purpose alone. To allow one person the opportunity to belittle, infuriate and undermine another.
A molecular scientist spends vast amounts of time and invests impressive cognitive and intellectual abilities dissecting the very building blocks of elemental structure that encompasses everything that surrounds us. When she takes a moment to unwind with a cup of peppermint tea, a Kit Kat and a game that involves little more that colour and shape recognition, all of the qualitative discovery that her years of dedication have built towards, all of the striving to understand and organise the complexity and composition of the tiniest particles is forgotten. In that instant, the loitering smuggard has taken the opportunity to bring the mountain of confidence crashing around her feet. Of course she would have seen the move. It might have even been within the next micro second. But it is now, too late. The smuggard can forever claim to have “helped” to complete that game of solitaire.
Solitaire interference is a one shot knock out blow to a person. You cannot go back and play the same game with joyful innocence once Connor Macleod of the clan MacSmug has hefted his sword of interjection and slashed violently at the sinew of your person, for he now has absorbed all of your power. Once his hand has touched the game, he stands proud as the glory, the Prize, rushes away from your desperate, grasping hand and flows triumphantly from the severed neck of your limp body and into his majestic being. Immortal, for now he is the giver of favour, the provider of unseen victory and is unassailable. Nothing that you can do will undo his act. He holds the Prize and you will forever know that you cannot redeem this defeat. There can be only one. And it is James from accounts.
You see his face everywhere, in every task that you do from then on. Build a wardrobe after following the hieroglyphic instructions that came in the box. Exhausted you turn to dispose of the cardboard and James from accounts is smiling back at you. He did it first. The icing upon the top of the time consuming cake you have created forms the shape of his accusing and victorious visage. Sweaty and invigorated from fulfilling your animalistic needs and expressions of love, you gaze upon your wife and her hand brushes the stray hair from James’ satisfied smile. Ok, maybe not the last one.
Try as you might, you cannot reclaim the glory that seemed destined to be yours. Of course, you could start a new game, but the spectre of your vanquisher is tattooed on your very soul. You try and complete a game without hitting the undo button, but the metallic taste of his usurping stays with you. His folded arms and deceptive “helpful” smile radiate from every corner of the room. He owns you now. He knows when you are playing. He knows when you are failing. He knows all. Don’t look! He can see that you are looking! He already knows your next move. He sees all that you see, but then he sees more, sees faster, sees deeper. “He wants to help though, doesn’t he?” NO! He knows that you will fail before you even get to work. You can feel his hand in every game that you complete, and feel his absence in every frustrated attempt that ends in heart swallowing misery.
Even though you know the futility of your quest, you continue to deal misery in the hope that you can feel some level of achievement again. The thrill of completing a game becomes an addiction. You can only finish lunch when the tiny, pixellated cards bounce mockingly across your screen. Every bounce and every exploding firework calls out your tormentors name to you in ridicule….. “James…….from…….accounts……..” Go home! Just one more game! Go home! It’s just a bit of fun! Go home. I can’t until I complete one more game.
No. I don’t believe in God. I do believe in the devil. I believe in James from accounts.