Atheism, and Why I Have it.

I am an atheist. I believe that there is no god. I do not capitalize the word “god”. I do not believe this because terrible things have happened to me. I do not hold these beliefs because my daddy didn’t love me enough. I do not hold these beliefs because I can’t resolve the dichotomy of good and evil. I believe that there is no god because:

  1. There is no evidence at all for the assertion of a god that isn’t self-referential. If you weren’t looking for a god, you would under no circumstances conclude that there was one by examining the (lack of) self-supporting evidence. Relevatory experience is only relevant to the subject. Scripture was written by people who said they were communicated to by god and who also had huge self-interest in supporting that assertion. Since the historical integrity of scripture has been called severely into question in the last few hundred years, there is literally no other strong evidence, at all, that god exists than the self-interested say-so of evangelists. Every religion has this in common. If Yahweh exists based on the evidence, then so do Buddha, Kali, pagan snake gods, and Odin, to name a few.
  2. God doesn’t solve anything, at all, as an explanation of a hole in our cosmology. Ultimate 747 argument, via Dawkins. Basically, if god created the universe, whatever else he is he must be more complicated than the universe, which requires explanation. “God always existed” doesn’t explain anything because if we don’t need to explain him, why on earth would we need to explain the universe?
  3. People are moral independent of their religion. Religious people are neither more nor less moral than their nonbeliever counterparts. Cultural norms and social rules are a much, much greater indicator of moral behavior than is religious status.
  4. The idea of an afterlife cheapens this one. If there is no life after this one, we must fully express ourselves in this very life. It makes it much more precious. Emily Dickenson put it beautifully, “That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.’
  5. I don’t get to make assertions like “God has always existed” in arguments for the nonexistence of God. Watch, watch: Not god has always existed. Just as valid. Again, it’s self-referential.

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I don’t believe that religion is harmful to people, at least not in any way that self-deluding behavior isn’t. I don’t believe that all religious people are insane, I believe that they are honestly mistaken. I don’t care what religious people approve of as regards my life.I believe that religion may add experiences to the lives of religious people that I would value. I believe that it may, in fact, be physically, psychologically and socially healthy to attend church every Sunday. I also believe that these assertions are in no way related to the question of whether or not there is a god. Religion can be useful without it being true. Religion can be valuable without it being true.

If you’re a believer, I wish you luck and happiness. If you’re an atheist I wish you luck and happiness. If you’re an agnostic, I wish you peace, luck, and happiness. Have a great day.

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