Gratitude arises when you get something not because you deserve it but because it is good for you.  It is a trait.

You thank the car when it starts.

Religion lies that you cannot be grateful if you don't have a creator God of love to be grateful to. 

This helps make it seem that atheists are twisted and sour. It has real discrimination consequences.

Gratitude presupposes that the source of the good can harm you, or leave you suffering, as well as be of benefit to you.

So it does not fit God at all.

Religionists are virtue-signalling and using God to do it.

If good falls into your lap you are glad it happened and benefited you.  You will still be happy even if it is not about you.  God has a complex plan and your gain could be part of it.  It does not mean it is about you at all.  So if you thank him, who gives you the right to presume what is going on in his mind?  You think it is about you after all don't you?


Even believers and unbelievers who feel that God is not influenced by prayers can and do feel grateful and their feeling grateful for feeling grateful increases their joy more and more. To be able to be grateful you need a firm belief that good and bad come around more or less randomly most of the time. The good that isn't random in itself comes from good that is random.

If there is a God then nothing is genuinely random. Even when we sin we do it because of him not in spite of him for he creates all things. So if there is a God feeling grateful to him makes no rational sense. Any version of God that is not creator and in control of all things is not a God.

And as he is the origin of people who are good to you you cannot feel grateful to them either!

The gratitude we feel when we are lucky is actually consistent with atheism and inconsistent with belief in God. Religion says that God has a purpose. If he saves your life, it is not for you it is for the purpose. So if you thank him you think you know better than him what his purpose is and that it is about you!

If you get something nice from God, you don't care if it is given as part of a purpose or not. Gratitude to God would actually depend on opposition to his plan.


Thanks and gratitude are only possible if generosity is possible. Generous means giving people and God what you do not owe them so the good done is over and above what is necessary.

With God no good you do is necessary. So no good is generous. 

The Church likes to appear as generous and to have a generous God to warm people to its doctrine and to get their money and their children in baptism. But when God was generous to us and we owe him alone all the good things we have and he has generously given us the gift of eternal life in Heaven which we cannot deserve something very unattractive follows. It follows that we cannot be generous because we owe God all the good we do and are meant to do all we do chiefly and solely for him.  Whatever is done for us or others is really for him.  So there is no such thing as generosity.

If all we have is from God then all you are giving to others is his not yours so you are not really giving.  No good done for others is generous or unnecessary.  All the good we do for others is necessary for we must see only the God in them and do it for him. 

Generosity then is a scam for getting people into the Church. And it blackmails them to attend worship.  It is a very serious contradiction in Church dogma and exposes how unattractive the religion really is. Even if there is a God, the God people worship is just a fantasy playmate version.


Let us suppose we have free will.

The huge majority of the good things that happen to us, virtually all, are down to how somebody used their free will. The rest is down to benefiting from the indirect results of how others used their free will. When you thank God you are thanking him for how others decided. The things that others do for us freely are the things that are most significant to us. Even if God gives you the faculty of free will that does not mean he can take the credit for what you do with it. Thanking God not people is ingratitude and superstition. It is failing to see that most of the good that happens to you is an unintended result of actions. You don't want to see that for you want to feel blessed and more blessed than others.

It is churlish when somebody does you a kindness and you are more interested in thanking God for it than the person. Do not degrade a person by putting a faith hypothesis first.


You may not be able to feel grateful for what somebody does for you but if you would return the favour that counts as being grateful in the sense that you recognise the good they have done.


You have to do something. Either complain or be grateful. Complaining recognises that you feel you should have something to be grateful for. Gratitude is a default. You do not need or anything else in order to feel it or practice it. It is a faculty.


Be grateful for being able to feel grateful. You don't need faith in a God for any of that. The natural response when somebody thanks you for helping them to become happier is to say, "You did this yourself. It was not really me." God cannot say that so we cannot really relate to God.

APPENDIX - "Grant me the gratitude".

Think of a serenity prayer like this, "Grant me the gratitude to accept what I can't improve, the ingratitude to try to improve what I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

I'd change it to, "I can and will grow the gratitude to accept what I can't improve, the ingratitude to try to improve what I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

Instead of thinking there is a God and that we should be grateful all the time for when evil happens we should be grateful like we would be to the poor woman who can only give us a dreadful and burnt crust to eat we should cultivate a virtue of ingratitude. Serenity would be inappropriate then. And stupid!


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