This is the last post that I am planning on this subject. Because I think after this I will have said everything that I need to say. And if I were to go any further I would only be listing off a litany of reasons why god doesn’t exist. That wasn’t the point when I started and I don’t think it would be right. Of course if anyone has any questions I will be more than happy to answer them or at the very least point you to where you can find the answer.
I have 2 final topics:
1. What do I believe
2. Myths about atheism.
What do I believe?
This will be by no means an exhaustive list, rather a sampling of the things I feel most strongly about.
1. I believe…
...that the universe and all life came about through natural processes, independent of any divine creator or higher power.
...that life has just as much meaning without a god as it does with one. Life is about friends and family and making the world around you a better place. You don’t need a god to do that.
...that love means the same thing to me as it does to a theist. We know that love is nothing more than a chemical reaction in the brain, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful or wonderful. Just because we know it isn’t something magical doesn’t mean it still isn’t beautiful.
...that the existence of God is just as probable as the existence of the Tooth Fairy. Neither can be disproven but that doesn’t mean that their existence isn't so improbable as to cause me not to believe in either.
...that an afterlife isn’t necessary. Sure the idea is nice and comforting, especially because life and loss can be so painful, but that doesn’t mean I have to invent a magical place where everything is wonderful when I die. To me what I do in this life is far more important than having a nice place to go when it’s over.
...that my son has the right to make up his own mind about god. I want him to be able to make an informed decision on his own when he is ready, without any undue influence by myself or anyone else. If he gets all the facts, I can stand by whatever decision he makes.
...that I shouldn’t be expected to pledge allegiance to god when I pledge allegiance to my country, anymore than you would want to pledge to Allah. This country wasn’t founded on god and we should never forget that.
...that a world without religion would be a safer more peaceful place. And yes I know it is human nature to fight and hate people who are different than you. But love of a god is about the best excuse out there for hating someone for not loving that same god. The Twin Towers would still be standing if there were no religion.
2. Myths about Atheist…
Atheist believe in nothing.
I hope, (while I obviously don’t speak for all atheist) I have proven that this is false.
Atheist have no morals.
Morality is not derived from any god. Morality is common since. It doesn’t make since to rape, murder, slander, hate or to do anything else that hurts a fellow human being. Society couldn’t and wouldn’t function without morality.
Atheist are threatened by religion.
This is only true in the since that I don’t want my personal rights trampled on by someone who believes differently than me. I don’t want my son to be indoctrinated by someone else’s beliefs. I think this is just as true for believers in god.
Atheist refuse to believe in god.
I for one would be happy to believe in god if there where any compiling evidence. That is quantifiable, verifiable, empirical evidence of a miracle or some other supernatural thing that could only be attributed to god. Or, if god would simply come out of hiding and say “here I am”.
Sorry cousin Larry, but I have to pick on you for a second. Truly nothing personal toward you, it’s just that you brought this to my attention. This is a quote from him but he is not the first person to say this to me. In regards to having been a Christian before and making the conscious decision to choose atheism...”you cannot return to what you have never truly experienced. And if you truly had experienced it, you would not want to leave.” My first (and probably worst reaction) to this statement is… Do you know my heart? Did you not read my previous posts? Did I not try hard enough to seek god?
In truth I guess he is right, I suppose I never did experience what he’s talking about, but not for lack of trying. And that is my final point.
I believe that belief in god is an emotional thing. It is soothing. But that is all. It is a way to explain the unexplainable, a coping mechanism for all the things that are out of your control. And I’m okay with that, where I have a problem is when that turns into thinking there is something wrong with those that don’t feel the same way. Or feel the SAME way, but about a DIFFERENT deity or none at all. Then take it further and think that the entire country or world should feel the same way. And tell me that because they believe in god I have to sewer on a Bible or allow prayer into my son’s school or insist that he should learn the Ten Commandments, ect. That is when I have a problem. (And no I was not saying that by any means Larry does that)
Please, believe what you want, but don’t expect me to do the same. I don’t believe in your god or your Bible and I’m sorry if that offends, but it is what it is.
I’ll end with this little tid bit…
If, however unlikely, the world were ever bombed back to the stone ages and all writing and language were lost, all the current gods would also be lost. Of course humans would learn language again and gods would return as well. But not the same gods we have now. Science would also eventually be rediscovered and atheist would return with the same exact beliefs we have now.
Point being, gods are not eternal but observable truths are.
I submit to you that you and I both have already denied the existence of thousands of gods. I simply go one god further.
That’s all. Of course there is much more, but were I to continue it would be nothing more than a diatribe on how I’m right and you are wrong. And that’s just not right.
As always I love all of you and hope I have not committed any offence that will keep us from loving each other.
I hope you can take from these posts a better understanding of who I am and what I believe. But more than that I want you to take away the knowledge that I am not your enemy. We all share very similar morals and values, let’s not allow a disagreement about God weaken the love and respect we have for each other.