Atheism; It Is Not for Me.
October 15, 2008 12:12am CST
I do not subscribe to or advocate any religion. In saying this I must include atheism as a religion. It has its own dogma and an egotism that matches any religion known. Atheists look at religion and say that there is no proof and absolutely no rational basis to believe in God. There may be some truth in this statement. It is he next step beyond that is the one where I start to have problems with atheists. They then proceed with the statement "there is no God". I find this statement equally egotistical, on a par with those that say there must be a God because I believe in him or her. The atheist claiming with certain knowledge that they know beyond any reasonable doubt that "there is no God” goes beyond reason and becomes dogmatic. Anyone who states that something must be true because they believe it is true is not relying on reason. When asked for proof that God does not exist they simply state that it is not necessary to prove a negative. While this statement is true, I beg to differ when making such a broad sweeping statement, is necessary to provide some kind of empirical support. The fact that "I know it so it must be so" just doesn't get it. God in one form or another has been around since the dawn of time. The idea of a God has carried the human species through a lot of very difficult times. The whole God concept has united people and allowed them to form cohesive group's larger than kin group's. I can think of no society or culture that has lasted more than two generations without having some form of God. While God, as the great sky brother, probably does not exist the concept of God in the myths surrounding God seemed to somehow be important to our survival as a species. We really have no credible evidence of anyone meeting or talking with a God. Does that mean it is time to discard the concept of God? Not yet!Atheists all seem to have some kind of idea as to why the concept of God was created. These run the whole range of speculation. Was God created for the purpose of political control or that the whole concept of God merely an early attempt to answer the question of why are we here and what are we all about? We don't really know. What we do now is that the concept of God seems to have been an important factor in the survival of our species. We cannot read the mind of a man who lived sixty thousand years ago so we have no real understanding of the origins of belief. I just cannot bring myself to jump on the; There is no God bandwagon. I do not believe in God as most people define her but I am not ready to discard the idea of God. I just don't know and I do not share the atheists’ egotism. I'm not even sure I need a God and my life but I am equally unsure as to whether I do not. What I do know is that the myths that we have created have been important to our survival. Man without myth is man without imagination. If we subtract the religions from the great civilizations of the past what do we have left. If we take the gods away from Greece how much of the art and philosophy, that is the foundation of Western culture, would we have left. Not much. Having no certainty about God is more than a little bit liberating. My thought and imagination are not constrained by dogma. I am free to seek knowledge and answers. I do not have to fit the knowledge that I do find into any preconceived belief.
15 Oct 08
You're quite correct, absence of "proof" of the existence of God does not prove the non-existence of God, which is why I and many like me are agnostic. And probably the most important point in your post is the concept of the 'idea of God". I spent some time during the nineties investigating neo-Paganism, especially Wicca, and what most attracted me was not just the strong element of the feminine in most of these religions, but the fact that you could "worship" the Goddess/God without having to believe in Her/Him. Treating the deities as archetypes allowed very healthy inner work, beacuse you could concentrate on an issue by working with the archtype represented by, say Aphrodite, or Dionysos, or Poseidon etc. To me the major failure of the monotheistic religions is that they provide such limited and one-sided models. Lash
• United States
16 Oct 08
"I do not subscribe to or advocate any religion. In saying this I must include atheism as a religion. It has its own dogma and an egotism that matches any religion known." I take issue with this, as atheism is no more a religion than theism, deism, pandeism, or any other philosophy regarding the nature of Gods. It may not seem that way, what with so many militant atheists running amok and making the rest of us look bad, but atheism is not a religion. It's a philosophy at best. I've written my thoughts on this issue in a thread of my own. So many atheists will claim that theists are irrational for believing in the unsubstantiated existence of Gods, then they turn around and positively assert that there is no God when they have absolutely no proof to back them up. Please note this isn't a reflection of atheists as a whole - there's a fair amount of idiotic atheists, just as there's a fair amount of idiotic theists/deists/pandeists/etc. It is because of ignorant atheists like this that so many atheists are afraid to label themselves as such. They prefer instead the term "agnostic", so as to distance themselves from what they view as just another baseless viewpoint. You can be an atheist without holding the belief that there's no chance of there being a God. That's hard core atheism, and it's just as bad as militant theism. Quite a number of atheists strongly believe that the existence of God can't be proved or disproved, and live their life without the influence of belief in Gods. Some view this as agnosticism, but it's atheism as well. It's just not the stereotypical hardcore atheism. I understand where you're coming from though. It's annoying to see so many people bash others for what they believe are "irrational beliefs", then turn around and commit the same offense. That doesn't mean being an atheist is bad, though - nor does that mean that atheism is some kind of religion.
• United States
17 Oct 08
If you go with the dictionary defintion, it's defined as: "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. " The definition only further supports my position. Atheism contains neither devotional or ritual observances, nor does it contain a moral code. It is a philosophy, much like theism - in which people hold a belief regarding the nature of the universe. Atheism is by definition a lack of belief in Gods, no more, and no less. Whether or not an atheist positively asserts their is no God is up to the individual atheist. ReligiousTolerance.org sums it up best on their page about atheism: http://www.religioustolerance.org/atheist.htm
19 Oct 08
Personally, I prefer an atheist to a religious fanatic. :) Yup, even I have felt many times that atheists' behavior about their non belief is just as fanatic as believers' behavior about their beliefs. While I prefer an atheist, I just LOVE an agnostic; I am an agnostic myself. Religious fanatics, on the other hand, can get really ugly and dangerous. :) Cheers and happy mylotting
17 Oct 08
I think we wont have problem here if all of us have the same religion. I mean, this topic posted because we just wanted some other's idea and their point of views. We are entitled here on our own opinion for the sake of discussions or might enlighten us which is which would be the right one. For my part, I would only have to mean my religion topic to all christians, but since we are in this community of different believers, it can't be avoided to some non-christians also to share their opinion. They are entitled on their different opinion and i respect them..no need for us to quarell. Peace be with us...
• United States
15 Oct 08
I agree with you, most atheists I know tend to be bullies with their beliefs. If you consider it a religion, I am going to go ahead and add that it is a religion without grace. I am fine with atheists in theory, I'm sure there are members of the atheist religion who can refrain from arguing against the existence of God. Certainly doesn't make up the majority for me, though. Most have the freshman in college mentality: I just read this book that disproves your beliefs and moral code, and I want you to know about it! Hmm... I should stop now. If you are defining atheism as a religion in your post, and I'm agreeing, then I think I'm committing a hate crime right now by trashing them! I've got to say though, that is among my top pet peeves. Atheists are the least tolerant of other religions as far as I can tell!
• United States
15 Oct 08
I am a Christian and I don't feel my thought is constrained by dogma either, in fact looking at religious text without previous church doctrine works well for my understanding. As far as atheism and there being no order to things but all a big accident I could never follow this line of thinking with things like Fibonacci theory or Fractal theory there is just too much in nature to all be random coincidence.