“God Shaped Hole”.

I just read a blog entitled “Why I believe” that was little more than the line “we all have a god shaped hole in our hearts”, ie nothing but christianity can ever satisfy anyone or make them happy so you better be christian.  It went on to obnoxiously blather about how atheists are all just hateful and jealous of christians and blah blah blah.  Doesn’t bear refuting.  Anyway, I responded to one of the commenters talking about how without god they’re not happy and content and how they filled their “god shaped hole” with sex, drugs etc.  I thought my response was worth re-posting, so enjoy:

We are not built to be content all the time, otherwise we would never do anything.  Contentment in a world with suffering would mean total apathy.  Contentment in a world where eating is required would mean starvation.  And contentment without sex would mean extinction.

We feel good when we eat, have sex etc because our ancestors that didn’t enjoy these things were the ones that starved or died without reproducing.  Basic biology.

Just because your religion can make you feel content (for awhile) does not mean that you “need” god, any more than an alcoholic “needs” alcohol – though if you ask an alcoholic he might be under that impression.

We all need something, but don’t pretend there is just one way to be happy or at peace.  Most buddhists, taoists etc I’ve seen are a lot more at peace with the world than most theists I’ve seen.

It’s one thing to say “this makes me happy and maybe it wiill make you happy too” and another to arrogantly declare “nothing but this ever makes anyone happy”.


About agnophilo

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47 Responses to “God Shaped Hole”.

  1. striemmy says:

    Is it also then, one thing to say “this thing brings fulfillment and reason to my existence and maybe it will for you too” and another to arrogantly declare “nothing but this ever allows anyone’s existence to be this fulfilled or reasonable”?

  2. Like a typical atheist you define the word, “contentment” to suit your needs and then use your definition to argue against Christianity.You have just created a hallucinatory argument which is totally meaningless.Christian content comes from self knowledge and knowledge of God and his will. It has nothing to do with utopia, drug addled stupors or navel gazing.It has everything to do with self sacrifice, helping others, fulfilling obligations even though it feels terrible.Now take the actual definition, try to understand it. And then and only then try to construct your argument.

  3. agnophilo says:

    @striemmy – Um, yeah.@LoBornlytesThoughtPalace – I was just thinking to myself “what this comment section needs is some incoherent psychobabble.”  And vwala, there you are.It’s a miracle.

  4. striemmy says:

    @agnophilo – Cool, as long as we’re clear on that in perpetuity forever anywhere in the universe that our conversations may end up in.

  5. I have heard this garbage more times than I can count and it gets more offensive each time. Christian conceit at its finest.

  6. @LoBornlytesThoughtPalace –  Like a typical atheist you [agnophilo] define the word, “contentment” to suit your needs and then use your definition to argue against Christianity.http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/contentmentYou [agnophilo] have just created a hallucinatory argument which is totally meaningless.This is the sort of dismissiveness that lowers and halts meaningful discourse.Rather than address actual points of the entry and rebut it in the building of your position, you gloss it all over with: “hallucinatory.”What about doing some real work, Charlie. Actually reference arguments, rebut them in particular, and explain how their nature or construction give agnophilo’s position a hallucinatory quality?

  7. @agnophilo – You argue against your own definition and then accuse me of psycho-babble?Not miraculous at all!

  8. @Celestial_Teapot – Your comment is another example of an atheist trying to force a definition that does not apply, then create your argument around the false definition.You have done exactly what agnophilo did even though I told you what the problem is.Neither you, nor agnophilo, nor wiki gets to define Christianity. If you want to know what Christians know you have to get it from them.Christianity is already defined.

  9. @LoBornlytesThoughtPalace – Christianity is already defined.Yes!Following the Great Schism we were given the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. With the Protestant Reformation came Protestantism and all its branches.There were also minor regional variations like Armenian Christianity and Coptic Christianity in Egypt. There were the Anabaptist and after that whole Henry VIII wives thing, the Anglican Church.Yes, Christianity is defined, but it has also been defined pretty fucking variedly.

  10. Valid point.I was looking at your playlist and it’s like Metallica, Metallica, System, Seether, metallica, Whitney Houston. …..? How did THAT get in there?

  11. agnophilo says:

    @Celestial_Teapot – The irony here is that she’s accusing me of making up my own definition of words I didn’t even give a definition for.Honestly this nonsense is not coherent enough to even bother with.

  12. agnophilo says:

    @howsaboutsomemilk – Heh : )  There’s also classical, oldies, even a country song somewhere.  It’s an eclectic list.  Enjoy.

  13. I need hugs 🙂 Without hugs I would cry 

  14. musterion99 says:

    It’s one thing to say “this makes me happy and maybe it wiill make you happy too” and another to arrogantly declare “nothing but this ever makes anyone happy”.Believe it or not, I agree.   @LoBornlytesThoughtPalace – might be referring that the happiness of an atheist, according to Christianity, is temporary. While the happiness of a Christian would be eternal.

  15. agnophilo says:

    @Kristenmomof3 – : )@musterion99 – That is a belief, not something anyone has ever actually established.  And loborn could be saying anything, it’s hard to tell.

  16. bakersdozen2 says:

    Mark, I was trying to remember if you had said you were once a Christian but then abandoned the faith. I ask this for no other reason than pure curiosity. 

  17. YouToMe says:

    “It’s one thing to say “this makes me happy and maybe it wiill make you happy too” and another to arrogantly declare “nothing but this ever makes anyone happy”.amen, brother.

  18. YouToMe says:

    @agnophilo – it’s nice that you attempt to, but you can’t reason with attention-seeking narcissists. @gottobereal64 – I’m a christian, but i really hate condescending speech, superior-acting behavior towards atheists /non believers.  i almost wonder if some on here are satirical characters b/c it’s so hard to believe people are actually so hateful and unkind.

  19. agnophilo says:

    @bakersdozen2 – I was christian – wasn’t militant about it though.  I believed in god and heaven, prayed at times, wrote a religious poem or two, went to a religious school.  And when I got old enough to start questioning, stopped believing.  Took awhile for it to even occur to me that there might not be any god at all.  I stopped believing in the bible long before I stopped believing there was some kind of god.@JulieDeer – If all christians were like you, kristen and others you’d never hear a peep from atheists.  Seriously.@JulieDeer – : )  Btw the comments I told you about were on the original blog.

  20. TheBillion says:

    That is one thing about monotheism and moral absolutism that I’ve never understood. Like WIlliam Blake said, “without contraries there is no progression.” Without Judas, Jesus couldn’t have died. there HAD to be a bad guy (Judas) for there to be a successful good guy (Jesus). Religions that try to argue evil can be wholly subdued and good can triumph don’t make sense to me in the long run. I’m not trying to condone bad, harmful behavior, but just saying that the only religious systems that make sense and actually seem to address the world as it really is are those with figures like Dionysus, Kali, Sekhmet, and Loki, those religions that give chaos and disorder a place in the universe, because it’s an inexorable part of our existence.At least, that’s how I feel today.

  21. agnophilo says:

    @TheBillion – Eastern philosophy is big on that, yin and yang and all that.  And I agree.  As a good friend of mine is fond of saying, “hunger is the best sauce”.  You can’t have the good without the bad, or visa versa.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to mitigate the bad, but eradicating it entirely would be suicidal in terms of meaning.

  22. jmallory says:

    I’m sure Peter was just so content as he was hanging upside down on a cross… or Paul was content when he was about to be beheaded.Contentment is not what Christians are supposed to be looking for. Those whom are content with Christianity will be sorely disappointed one day.The “God-shaped hole” is a myth. I do agree that since we are created in God’s image, we have a longing to be connected with the Almighty, but Christianity was never made to make us comfortable and leave us with a warm feeling. It’s meant to reveal our God who is love. That means Christians are to be vulnerable, not content.

  23. agnophilo says:

    @jmallory – I agree with pretty much everything, though I don’t feel any longing to commune with god.

  24. jmallory says:

    @agnophilo – that’s understandable. Although I don’t think it’s a feeling, but a deep longing that hides itself in many different ways.

  25. agnophilo says:

    @jmallory – We have needs and wants and impulses, but we can fulfill them in many different ways.  And though I’m not christian, I don’t think contentment is the ultimate goal of humanity either.  To quote the tao: “The Master doesn’t seek fulfillment. For only those who are not full are able to be used which brings the feeling of completeness.”

  26. explosive says:

    Anyone who says they’re happy all the time is lying. We feel good when we eat, until we eat TOO much. 

  27. TNLNSL_PRN says:

    You make a very valid point.  Though for me, my beliefs go MUCH deeper than contentment.  Anyone who says Christianity is about contentment doesn’t know their own religion.

  28. agnophilo says:

    @jmallory – : )@CrystallineFigurines – It is my experience that people who tell others they’re happier than them all the time tend to be miserable anyway, but yeah.

  29. “Do unto others as you would have done unto thyself”To each their own I say

  30. @JulieDeer – @agnophilo – “If all christians were like you, kristen and others you’d never hear a peep from atheists.  Seriously.”right on.

  31. agnophilo says:

    @William_McGonagall – : )@complicatedlight – I’m not sure if you’re saying “right on” to christians being nice or atheists shutting up, lol.

  32. heheh. mostly to nice christians. 

  33. I enjoyed the comment conversation as much as I did your blog.  You are well written.It was a pleasure to stop by.Thanks!Post Script:  I read this to ‘Chop Suey’  Freaking Priceless!

  34. agnophilo says:

    @kailidreams – Thanks : )  Glad you enjoyed.  And enjoy the playlist as well : )

  35. anaraug says:

    On one hand you’re completely correct, it’s an arrogant thing to say, but on the other hand it’s just a stupid catch-phrase. I’m sure there are lots of christians who roll their eyes ever time they hear it, just the same as with “WWJD” or any time someone does something because they “felt led”.To me it makes the most sense in relation to the “total depravity” aspect of reformed theology, which while you might call it arrogant is at least relatively consistent.  The problem is that most of these “god-shaped hole” talk-abouters completely reject reformed theology. The wishy-washy in general love to steal imagery without bothering with substance.

  36. agnophilo says:

    @anaraug – The comment I was responding to didn’t actually use the phrase, I was paraphrasing.  Same concept.  But yeah, I don’t mean to paint all believers with one icky brush.

  37. CoderHead says:

    @LoBornlytesThoughtPalace – First, an effective tactic here would be to actually define the word and then discuss why the original argument was faulty, as it pertains to that definition.Second, nobody can know the will of god except god himself. To suggest that a Christian would find contentment in knowledge of god’s will is nonsense.Third, self-sacrifice, helping others and fulfilling obligations are all things that atheists do everyday, right alongside Christians and Muslims and Hindus and Satanists. For example, I went to the blood bank yesterday and donated platelets for no other reason than I wanted to help the blood center save lives and I’ll do it again in two weeks. No god required. 

  38. agnophilo says:

    @CoderHead – Thanks, though it’s lost on loborn.

  39. BobRichter says:

    My first thought at this post’s title was of the Nick Cave Song “There is a Light”.”Hey there, sugar, where ya gunna go? I’m going downtown Daddy-OWhat ya gunna do when you get there, girl? I’m gunna get messed up in a God-Shaped Hole”Yeah. Love that song.

  40. BobRichter says:

    By the way, I now have a content-related reason to hate your playlist. Marilyn Manson? Seriously?No standards…

  41. agnophilo says:

    @BobRichter – Sounds pornographic, lol.@BobRichter – It’s basically the only song of his I actually like.

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