On Atheism

KnockEmOuttt's picture

 Reposted here from my tumblr as a first contribution.


So I’m thinking about this today. Don’t know why but here it goes.

So someone said to me the other day that because I’m an atheist, I’ve got no humility. I must think I’m all powerful and have no morals because I’m not humbled by any power greater than myself. Because I believe in evolution and not creation then I must believe the world must have no intelligence to its design. I must see no meaning in life and I must not see the good in the world. Ha, how wrong could you be?

I want to start with this common misconception. Now I can’t speak for all atheists but I certainly do believe in a power greater than myself. I believe in many powers greater than myself. Anyone who is a believer in science must believe in higher powers. A supernova? Definitely more powerful than me. A black hole? Far more powerful than me. Maybe closer to home, the best example is the sun. I can’t control the sun, but it certainly controls me. It controls all of us. If it ceased to exist we’d all die. I am a speck on this planet, and this planet is a speck in the universe. I’d be foolish to think I am the greatest power there is. But I don’t need to believe in God to know that is true.

Whether or not there is intelligence in the design of our world is a redundant question. The universe is a series of systems. It works because it does, because if it didn’t work there’d be nothing. Why it is the way it is is irrelevant as well, because if the rules of the universe weren’t what they were then they’d be different, but there would still be rules because rules are why things work. To everything there is a rule of how and why it is, otherwise there would be utter chaos. That’s how it goes. I see evolution as proof of this. It makes sense that beings who adapt would outlast those that don’t. It works with the rules. To say that someone just made everything the way it is and that it works by default is, amongst things, a cop-out. It ignores the cyclical nature of the world, that things change over time. If all was the way God wanted it to be, then nothing would ever change.

In fact, faith and religion are, and always have been, tools. Tools to explain things without having to do the work. Faith tells us what makes the world turn and what happens when we die, religion permits control. The truth is, as we have proven, it is not God who turns the world but gravity and momentum. We invent God for ourselves because we as people doubt ourselves, because we know we are weak in the grander scheme and so we create someone who shares our motives yet has all the power of the cosmos. This isn’t inherently bad, just generally ignorant on our behalf. Besides, faith bothers me the least because it’s personal. One’s faith is internal. God was created to assuage our own fears, but like many tools of great power it has been exploited and abused, because it was integrated into religion. Religion is the real enemy.

You see religion is not what you believe. It’s how you believe it. It’s how you make others believe it, the “I believe this and so you will do this” kind of mentality. It’s how you get a congregation under one roof and get them to chant and sing and kneel and pray, yes, but it’s also how you fill their heads with nonsense like “Jesus said this and God hates that and therefore you will do this and that and drop a dollar in the tray on your way out.” No, my issue is not with faith per se. It’s the organized religions that empower those who pay up. It’s organized religions that demean the rights of women, the LGBT community, those who don’t believe etc. It is they who cover up things like child abuse and murder, who discourage the use of contraceptives in AIDS-ridden countries, and most despicable of all, try to govern the use of the human body. For the record, I am not just attacking Christianity here. I include all of them. Judaism, Islam, Hinduism etc.

God has become a scare tactic. A reason to instill the fear of hell and damnation so that people could be controlled and made to serve not the interests of God, but the interests of so-called “Men of God.” The Christian church often uses the metaphor of the shepherd and his sheep, and this is truly a perfect analogy. Does a shepherd not ask his sheep to round themselves up? Or does he scare them into formation by subjecting them to a loud beast with teeth? It’s very much the same with religion, with any religion. Do what we say or burn for eternity. Well shit, if I’d had that ground into my psyche as a child I’d certainly bend over backwards for them. People don’t lash out at others because of faith. They do it because of religion, because of fear, and because the men at the top don’t want to lose their cash cows. Galileo wasn’t imprisoned because he was offending the faithful, he was imprisoned because he was a threat to the power of the church. It’s all about force, all about submission. Funny that the word “islam” means exactly that: submission.

So why is it that I, the one who believes in what has been proven, in what has been learned, must be subject to ridicule? I cannot run for office in six U.S. states because I am an atheist. And yet, we put our full trust in that which has undoubtedly been simply made up. That’s right, I said it was simply made up. You see if you compare the various stories of western religion, you’ll find them to be mostly similar with differing characters (as compared to the vastly different classic religions, which also were quite similar amongst themselves). Many say it’s just because different people came to the same God in different ways, therefore no matter what his name he must be real. Yet it’s more likely just cultural diffusion. The proof is in far-eastern religion. It all evolved in a world untouched by the west until about 300-400 years ago. If everyone came to the same God in different ways, you’d think they’d be similar to those of the west, but they are not. They are vastly different. I’m not going to go into what this proves, it’s self-explanatory. Besides, it wouldn’t make any difference, because you can’t get the “true believers” to understand. They’ve been fed too many ways to renounce their reason which they just regurgitate in denial every time they’re faced with the truth.

The worst part of it all is that I must be “wrong.” If we’re all entitled to our beliefs, why must I be “wrong.” Why am I the one who is portrayed as a threat? I am not the one knocking on your door to bother you with my beliefs. I am not the one coming to your campus to incite a riot. Why is it that I who believe in science and knowledge and facts must be wrong and they who believe in mysticism and supernatural power and divine intervention be right? Where is the logic here? Because I am an atheist I am called immoral and doubtful. I do believe in a difference between right and wrong. I believe that we must do right by each other because it is the only way for us a species to progress. I am doubtful of the things I have deemed worth doubting, and for everything I doubt there are many things I don’t. For example, I do not doubt that the Earth revolves around the sun. I do not doubt that gravity keeps me on the ground. I do not doubt my mortality. To be labeled these things is absolutely insulting, and what’s worse is that if I were to say this about the faithful, I’d be vilified. Again, I beg to know where the logic is. Where is the reason?

Or have we renounced it?

Jenkins, chap with wings there, five rounds rapid!

ex-minister's picture

I like how you have

I like how you have demonstrated the religious who "know" god are just the ones in need of humility.
While I was out today a JW left a tract at my door. Would have liked to have handed him a tract with the above.
The cover was "do you wake up happy every morning?" Which implied if you bought their bullshit you would. I could have even used the bible to blow that away as a lie.
Truth in advertising doesn't apply to religion. They get away with just about anything.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/

Brian37's picture

I hate that stupid either/or

I hate that stupid either/or false dichotomy that if you say there is no god then humans are gods themselves.

NO, the third option is humans are not gods and gods don't exist.

If one were to(DO NOT DO THIS, IT IS FOR EXAMPLE ONLY) if one were to blow the head off an atheist or theist with a shotgun, the same damned thing is going to happen. BOTH WILL DIE. And in addition if this was to happen either way, the death would be caused by the climate, and life experiences and mental state of the individuals involved, as a product of evolution, not some stupid comic book battle of a man in a white robe vs a man with a pitchfork fighting over the neurons in one's brains.

Humans can be power hungry, but that is not a label issue, that is an evolutionary range and both the theist and atheist can become power hungry. No magic needed to explain our mundane existence.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

harleysportster's picture

Brian37 wrote:I hate that

Brian37 wrote:

I hate that stupid either/or false dichotomy that if you say there is no god then humans are gods themselves.

NO, the third option is humans are not gods and gods don't exist.

If one were to(DO NOT DO THIS, IT IS FOR EXAMPLE ONLY) if one were to blow the head off an atheist or theist with a shotgun, the same damned thing is going to happen. BOTH WILL DIE. And in addition if this was to happen either way, the death would be caused by the climate, and life experiences and mental state of the individuals involved, as a product of evolution, not some stupid comic book battle of a man in a white robe vs a man with a pitchfork fighting over the neurons in one's brains.

Humans can be power hungry, but that is not a label issue, that is an evolutionary range and both the theist and atheist can become power hungry. No magic needed to explain our mundane existence.

I am like you Brian. I totally hate that dichotomy. I have a family member that used to throw that shit at me when I was first having doubts about my faith. They woukld say " Either god is everything or nothing, either god is or he isn't".

Well, I say that he is not and that does not mean that I ascribe to the believe that I am my own absolute authority. That's one of the theists arguments that really pisses me off. Right up there with that one about : Without a god there is no morality.

I always answer that one with : " So if the camera is turned off your telling me that you would commit a  bank robbery ?,"

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno

Atheistextremist's picture

Given

 

human brains provide the template for conception and god is a concept, there is no other way to approach a 'relationship' with a supernatural being than by becoming god oneself. Theists conceive of their own version of god, colour it with their own experiences and cognitive abilities and then have that god 'speak' to them in their heads as a plug-in to their own first person consciousness stream.

Likewise morality is personal. You pray, think about it and follow your instinct as to what is right. There's no god leaning over your shoulder pointing the way. There's just yourself. Like the OP and you others I resent the endless and moronic insistence of theists that they somehow use different methods of knowing than I as they consider the big questions. This is the fruit of the morality cult. The belief that those who do not agree with your dogma cannot possibly be good.

This same thing is being played out on TWD's Kind God thread where a theist poster cheerily supports the murder of an entire population because god says it was right. All who are 'evil' deserve to die this poster says. Twd provides no measure of evil and no proof of crimes, no transcript of trial. On the basis of an appeal to circularity, people can be murdered and we are the evil ones for not agreeing TWD is right. 

 

P.S. Welcome to the site! 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck