- Because I was BORN an atheist. Two people I loved unthinkingly indoctrinated me into believing in something that didn’t exist. Key word – “unthinkingly”. The state of my knowledge at birth was the correct one.
- Because religion, super-naturalism, has never explained anything. From the very beginning of civilization to the present, whenever religion has tried to explain previously mystifying natural phenomena (from lightning through mental illness to the size of the universe) it has always gotten it wrong. Always. It has not been right yet, and the odds are it will never be right, if we ever get to the point in human knowledge where we know everything.
- Because religion is an inherently anti-human phenomenon. I’m a human, not a spirit. Religion explains spirits. There are no spirits, and there’s never been any evidence of spirits. As a human, there is a natural, logical way to treat other humans, and it does not involve burning them at the stake, making them believe what I believe at the point of a blade, or flying airplanes into buildings. Religion is cruel and inhuman, in almost all aspects of its justifying rationalizations.
- Because I don’t need religion to be a good person.
No, this is not my Martin Luther King moment.
Did you ever have a dream from which you awoke that you felt was full of some monumental wisdom, something you never would have thought of in any of your waking moments, and you felt that you ought to get right up and put the dream to paper, knowing full well if you rolled over and went back to sleep, you’d completely forget it in the morning? And once you do, and you’ve had your second cup of coffee, and you analyze it, you realize it’s not only NOT a very monumental bit of thinking, it’s not even rational, and what made you even think it was so profound?
Well, technically, that’s not true. What I’m trying to say is that atheism is just one small component of what I am, what describes my worldview, my personal philosophy, my attitude towards life and how I now choose to live it. A better word, one more encompassing, though a bit verbose, would be ASUPERNATURALIST. I don’t believe in the idea, the concept of the supernatural.
Here’s something that’s been bugging me, so allow me a little rant.
It seems like every time an atheist makes a comment about some aspect of religion that bugs them, they are quite forcefully and specifically told to shut up. Religion is not a topic one is supposed to discuss in polite company (along with politics and sex, and we know how often that rule is broken). Atheists are made to feel like every time they criticize theism, they are stepping over some boundary of propriety. Due to my upbringing, I often find myself gauging the sensibilities of my listener to see if I might offend them, but I notice that never does a Christian (I don’t have much contacts with Hindus, Muslims and members of other religions) stop and think before they “thank god” or “god bless me” or otherwise inject their religious beliefs into a conversation.
One of the major lines of demarcation and a constant source of disagreement between theists and atheists is that of Life. Primarily human life, but in general, all life. How did living things get their beginnings, how did we come about as a result of creation? It’s one of the great mysteries of…ummm…life. How life began.
And of course, most theists believe that life began when their particular god created them. Christians believe the story in the Bible about Adam and Eve, either literally or figuratively. In either case, it’s a supernatural being that consciously and affirmatively decided to create that which we call life. Other religions have their own creation myths, but they all share a beginning story that attempts to explain how we got here.
“What do you most value in your friends? Their continued existence.” ~ Hitch-22
This is, according to WordPress, my 450th post. I was going to save it for an auspicious topic, but Christopher Hitchens seems to have pre-empted that, or should I say, he made it superfluous and irrelevant. Of course this post will be about him.