Holy Grilled Cheeses!
Snark aside, I don’t think Jesus’ deeds, if he ever existed, are worthy of any admiration or gratitude. Jesus wasted his alleged omnipotence on some petty display of supernatural power.
Instead of bringing mankind a cure for cancer, he turned water into wine. Instead of ending world hunger, he fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. Instead of making everyone’s vision perfect, he used mud to cure a few people’s blindness.
What an incredible waste of alleged love and unlimited power.
How about using the resources available in the whole universe and solving some real problems on the Goldilocks planet? Focus, Jesus!
Chassidic literature can be inspiring. The story goes like this:
The Master teaches the student that God created everything in the world to be appreciated, since everything is here to teach us a lesson.
One clever student asks:
❝What lesson can we learn from atheists? Why did God create them?❞
The Master responds ❝God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all — the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs an act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching. He does not believe that God commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his acts are based on an inner sense of morality. And look at the kindness an atheist can bestow upon others simply because he feels it to be right.❞
❝This means,❞ the Master continued ❝that when someone reaches out to you for help, you should never say ‘I pray that God will help you.’ Instead, for the moment, you should become an atheist, imagine that there is no God who can help, and say ‘I will help you.’❞
The picture that science presents to us is, in some sense, uncomfortable because what we’ve learned is that we are more insignificant than we ever could have imagined. You could get rid of us and all the galaxies and everything we see in the universe and it will be largely the same. So we’re insignificant on a scale that Copernicus never would have imagined. And in addition, it turns out the future is miserable. So the two main lessons that I like to say I like to give is first we’re insignificant and second the future is miserable. Now that – you might think that should depress you, but I would argue that, in fact, it should embolden you and provide you a different kind of consolation.
Because if the universe doesn’t care about us and if we’re an accident in a remote corner of the universe, in some sense it makes us more precious. The meaning in our lives is provided by us; we provide our meaning. And we are here by accidents of evolution and the formation of planets and we should enjoy our brief moment in the sun. We should make the most of our brief moment in the sun because this is all we have.
And even if we’re so rare that we’re the only life forms in the universe, which I doubt, that makes us, in some sense, while we’re more insignificant, we’re more special. We are endowed with a consciousness that can ask questions about the beginning of the universe and learn about the universe on its largest scales and experience everything that it means to be human. Music, art, literature, and science. So for me it should be spiritually uplifting that we’re not created with a purpose by someone who takes care of us, like a mannequin or with strings determining everything. We determine our future. And that makes our future more precious.