I’ve started actually calling myself an atheist now, rather than an agnostic. The reason is, no one describes themselves as an agnostic about the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. The reason? There is not a shred of evidence for either. It is insane to be agnostic about the Easter Bunny. The same is true for the biblical God. There is no proof whatsoever that there is a Yaweh out there. Faith is dumb. By that I mean, there is no more reason to have faith in God than there is to have faith in the Easter Bunny. Note I am not calling people with faith stupid. Most people with faith are upfront about the overall irrationality of it. They simply choose to put aside this irrationality. That’s fine. For me, I see no reason to set this irrationality aside.
So I’ve reached the point where I do deny the existence of the biblical God because there is no reason not to. The Bible is mythology, it’s inconsistent, contradictory, vague and largely incorrect on many issues. There is no reason whatsoever to use the Bible as the basis for faith. You may as well use any mythology. They are all equally valid in their invalidity.
Now I do acknowledge (and have written about) the fact that science cannot answer where this universe came from or why. We don’t know where the energy came from. We don’t know why we are here. I don’t think science will ever be able to answer those questions. But neither can religion. Religion brings us no closer to understanding these questions. God did it? Why? So he could love us? Why? Who created God? Why did they? Religion does not get us any closer to understanding this, the biggest mystery of our existence.
Atheism, as I view it, is not about claiming there are no answers to these questions. We came from somewhere for some reason! Atheists are people who have decided that worship of a mythological deity is a shallow and fanciful answer to these questions. Fear of such a deity is silly, pandering to them is silly and believing they care who wins a football game, gets a raise or decides arbitrarily who lives and dies is silly.
So, yes, religious folks are silly. I suspect that many of you know this and are in denial about it. I also know that many of you really believe, in your heart, that Jesus, God, Allah or whomever is there, loves you, and cares deeply for you. You think somehow this gives your life hope and meaning. I completely respect your right to do this. I do question it, though.
Atheism is not about losing hope, it’s about rejecting your parent’s dogma, it’s about being open to other possibilities, it’s about accepting the mystery of our existence instead of clinging to the mythology of our ancient ancestors.
Not scary at all.
16 thoughts on “What Atheism Means To Me”
it seems when i debate folks like you, you just attack my style or go off on some tangent without ever directly answering the gist of my post.
i question your assertion that to mention a thing, anything, easter bunny, santa, god, etc. is somehow proof of your belief or acknowledgment of it’s existence.
this is absurd and make no sense.
The ancient philosophy of our ancestors is not only NOT proof of God, it hurts the overall argument. They also believed in all sorts of ridiculous, irrational things. It is not surprising, at all, to me, that we took the polytheistic history of the ancient past and evolved it to a monotheistic deity. Christianity, taken by so many as “true” is not very different from the Greek pantheon that we all dimiss as mythology.
The Easter Bunny is to emphasize that things without proof are not generally believed. Simplistic, ancient thinking is not proof. The God of the Bible is mythology.
That is not to say that there is nothing more than this. It is to say that saying you “believe in God” is not really saying anything at all. If there IS something more, we know nothing about it at all.
ok, how about this then…
To compare God to the easter bunny or santa.
God: believe or not believe,but, 2000+ years of scholarly writings, poets, philosophers, sculptors, playwrites,composers, artists, authors. Old Testament, New Testament, Apochrapha,etc… 2000 years of all of this and I am supposed to disscuss the comparison to the Easter Bunny? who was mostly invented by Hallmark about 40 years ago?
So my metaphysical point is lost, but I should draw metaphorical conclusion that yes indeed God is on the same plane as the Easter Bunny?
If there is logic therein, I am a complete fucktard.
bsherwood’s metaphysical point is lost on me as well. A majority of people “believe in God” and, I believe, a majority of people have no fucking clue what that actually means.
A better definition of an atheist is one who is not a theist. I am not a theist. God does not answer any of these metaphysical questions, she just creates more of them.
Hey Micadelic! welcome back.
it’s Mr. “let’s make everything personal rather than discuss” I’m not sure where I made no sense, but then again I have read so many of your, inane, posts, that I will take that as a compliment. I figured you might chime in and agree since I dance a bit towards the right on this particular issue…I am happy you still don’t agree with me, now I don’t have to kill myself.
There are so very many issues being discussed in this string that it is hard to get a point fully accross….
Belief systems and religion
cults identified and cult-like behavior…
How about that we are comparing God to the Easter Bunny or to Santa. I am interested in the logic of that metaphor. We are holding Santa to the same standard as God.
The other interesting discussion would be what is your vision of God….an old bearded man in a robe that lives in the sky?
and of course, given time, we would have to move towards Jesus. Does he exist for Atheists? Paul?, Peter?Matthew? where do connections no longer connect.
One could also argue (for micadelics sake) that Santa to a philosophical extent does exist in the hearts and minds of millions.
I looked up Atheism: noun the theory or belief that God does not exist. So we are not talking about belief really, we are talking about existing…
wow. exactly why i stopped trying to rebut mr. bsherwood. he makes no sense.
this is too tempting though.
if i say i don’t believe in santa, does that mean i’m actually wrong because my mentioning santa proves my acknowledgment of his existence.
so, anything i can name, exists? is this your logic?
as i remember, you’re a teacher?
that’s scarier than the notion of a godless universe.
CS lewis argued against atheism thus
“To Know a line is crooked, one must have a perception of a straight line”.
(I may have screwed up the actual quote, but it was something to that extent)
you have a tidal wave of humanity leaning against your point. I applaud you for being stoic,and other than the burning in a hell that may not exist part you have nothing to loose…and of course nothing to gain if you happen to be correct.
the better argument is how you say you deny something that you name….for me tree’s for you God…and you can perform all the tests you want to try to get me to believe that tree’s exist but if I do not have the ability to percieve your discussion I will still not believe….and short of “hitting me in the head” with a tree…and maybe even then…I can still deny.
ie… I live on a dessert island on the equator…I don’t believe ice exists…prove it to me…..ie.. where you live God does not exist
it is a great discussion…I have no problem with the questioning of God/religion etc… as long as that person doesn’t preach science to me….it was not that long ago that you could sail off the edge of the world.
The super nice daddy in the sky was invented by christians…the Daddy in the sky of the old testament was not so nice…Nor was the “daddy in the sky” so nice in the koran….
I find it interesting that there are so many similarities between Jews, Budhists, Muslims, Hindu’s, Christians, etc….
Dude, that is gibberish.
I can perform all sorts of experiments to confirm the existence of trees. I can make all sorts of quantitative and qualitative assessments. You can verify my analysis and I can verify yours.
My point with the Easter Bunny was, it is not up to me to prove that God does not exist. I can’t prove the Easter Bunny doesn’t exist. But no one can prove that either does exist. So God and the Easter Bunny are in the exact same category, neither one more likely to exist.
I saw that really bad movie…”the gods must be angry”…where the coke bottle fell out of the airplane and hit the african native on the head…and then what he “thought”…..I am no religious guru by any stretch….what makes you or I different than that native? where you can not prove that God does not exist, a more devout/religous person than I can not prove that he does…so the discussion should be something else….the system of belief or faith or truth or …..
your discussion should be about belief in general rather than focusing on the theological.
What is the basis of belief systems. Rather than gamble with your immortal soul discuss belief first.
I think we would find that it all is foolish.
I can choose to not believe in anything and validate that belief. In this case tree’s.
a much more philosphical debate. Not all things are concrete. 2 + 2 does not always equal 4, in fact in only equals 4 once.
and then of course there is the gimme…the sheer fact that someone claims to be an atheist immdediatly tears down their own argument. for sake of discussion lets use tree’s again.
I don’t believe in tree’s…the statement makes no sense. If I truly did not believe I would not even make the statement…the meer fact that I say the word contradicts what I say is my intent.
true atheists would not discuss the issue at all, as they would have nothing in their heads or hearts to deny. Logically the sheer discussion shows your belief.
Hmmm…is this a riddle?
So God is as obvious as trees? That is, of course, nonsense. Why is God more likely than super powerful aliens? Or how about the whole notion that we are WhoVille — our whole universe is a mote of dust in some bigger universe? How about this is a dream I’m having and you’re not even real? I’ll wake up in some other reality? There are a lot of possible explanations and the super nice Daddy in the sky is not at all the most likely.
really? because that was the same response I had to your post.
I have no freaking idea what that means…
I’ve decided to stop believing in tree’s