Writings

Why did god create atheists?

Fort Robinson at sunrise.

Here is something to think about on this Easter day.

In “Tales of Hasidim,” Martin Buber tells a story addressing why god created atheists. It is considered one of the more famous stories of Chassidic literature.

A Rabbi is teaching his student the Talmud and explains god created everything in this world to be appreciated, since everything is here to teach us a lesson.

The clever student asks “What lesson can we learn from atheists? Why did god create them?”

The Rabbi 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 who is 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 he can bestow upon others simply because he feels it to be right.”

“This means” the Rabbi 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.'”

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1 Comment

  1. i love this, thank you!

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