Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Are believers better than atheists?

I think most people would say believers are better than atheists. There's something comforting about a person who believes in God. It's certainly a must for all presidential candidates. But are believers better people than atheists?

This is where I think most believers would say 'yes' and most atheists would say 'no.' Human nature really. Everyone thinks they're a good person—believer or atheist.

But does believing in God set a person on some kind of higher, better, moral plane? Doesn't believing give them a higher moral authority than atheists since they have the connection with the Divine? And doesn't that Divine connection transform them into better people, if only by osmosis?

Or maybe atheists are better. They see the world for what it is. Eyes wide open. Not following the comforting myths and fairy tales of belief.

Atheists often look at believers as deluded, as people looking to get something for nothing, people with blinders on to the reality of the world.

Believers often see atheists as cold and hard-hearted.

So who's right? Who's better?

To me, there's no easy answer but I know one thing—the most important thing is what people do. Good intentions are fine. A wonderful, perhaps even mystical, connection with God is great. A clear-headed open-minded rationalism is fantastic. But what are those people doing? That's the question.

And you'd be surprised sometimes by who does what.

I've seen "holy" people do some amazingly heartless things, and I've seen atheists do some amazingly caring things. But...I have also seen holy people do some amazingly caring things and atheists do some amazingly heartless things.

So where does that leave us? It leaves us with the truism—people are what people do.

Like the guy who beats his wife. The wife says, "Oh, it's terrible what my husband's doing but I know he really loves me."

No. He doesn't love you. People who love someone don't beat them.

And that logic goes across the board. It applies to everyone.

Want to know what someone's like? Watch not what they say, think, intend, or promise. Watch what they do.

So who's better, believers or atheists?

Neither. Whoever is better is whoever is doing better things.

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