Archive for Atheism

Belief

I’ve been poking around a lot of atheist blogs lately, hence this run of posts. I found this (Christian) comment on an old Pharyngula post and was quite surprised by it.

I know men and women who say God does not logically, spiritually, or otherwise exist for X, Y, & Z reasons… But always they struggle interally. They had to prove to others and themselves that God was not real, or active

I can see how the journey from religion to atheism could be hard; people are sometimes letting go of a behaviour pattern that has permeated every aspect of their life. But the idea that someone who calls themselves an atheist could harbour secret doubts seems pretty unlikely.

My response:

I believe in myself.

I’m pretty confident the world I live in is real. It’s necessary to believe that in order to function as part of it, although I enjoying contemplating the possibility that I am wrong.

I do not believe in any gods.

As a teenager I briefly treated the Christian god as an imaginary friend (Jungian animus?), but my prayers always started “Dear god who I don’t believe in.”

I liked going to mass and accept that churches can be beautiful, but I have never accepted the bible as gospel.

Heaven does not exist. Hell does not exist. I have not had to convince myself of this – it is my natural state. I have never wavered from or struggled with this view point.

I’ve heard that Christians can suffer crises of faith, perhaps confounded by the conflicting and confusing stories of the bible.

I have crises of brain chemistry, recreational chemistry, and sometimes my shoes don’t match my outfit. Faith plays no part in my life. I see no reason why it should.

Twilight of the gods

The existence of multiple god-based religions is a good argument against any of those gods being real.

Read the rest of this entry »

Atheist and proud

On Saturday night, I got sucked into a discussion about Dawkins with a Calvinist. It made me quite sad because for this gentleman (the Calvinist, not Dawkins) to be Christian he has had to accept a model of the world that seems frankly sickening.

How can an omnipotent god with an infinite capacity for love be responsible for a world in which the majority of people don’t believe in him and are therefore going to hell? I find this paradox very unpleasant indeed.

The answer apparently and briefly, is free will, faith and grace. Hum. That sounds to me like an infinite and supreme being that’s insecure enough to need to measure its worth (or ours) in units of blind faith. And is vengeful enough to punish people lacking in faith by sending them to a hell of its own creation.

I am very glad not to be a part of such a nasty, petty paradigm.

EDIT:

I was brought up in an a-religious household but went through a period of praying when I was about 14 and rebelling against authority. I used to (earnestly) start my prayers “Dear god, who I don’t believe in…”

Clearly an existential humanist from an early age!