I didn’t just wake up one morning and realize that I was an atheist. In fact, I am not sure there was ever a concious decision to become an atheist. I wasn’t angry, nor did hate god. I think it was a process that took place over time. The only conclusion that I could reasonably come to is that I was in fact an atheist.
Realizing this fact in my life was not a cause of celebration, nor did I run around the neighborhood, or at the office, and declare to everyone, “Hey, guess what? I’m an atheist!”. I was just unable to reconcile religious teaching, in this case, Christian teaching, with my science education.
Trust me when I say that I tried to make what I read in the bible with what I knew as fact. It just didn’t work for me. Over time, I gave up trying because nothing in that book actually makes any sense. Certainly there are some beautiful sentiments in the New Testament concerning the treatment of others, but beyond that, there ws nothing there that would convince me that some all-powerful, all knowing, all-loving god was looking out for me and taking care of my every need.
Christians don’t want to recognize the nose on their own face. They look around the world snd see “Gods Creation”. They cannot imagine that that all of this beauty and wonder we all see everyday was not magicaally created overnight. I look around and see the wonders of science, the evolutionalry process of how life devloped on this planet.
Science does not have every answer to every question, in fact some times the process ends up raising more questions than answers. The beauty of the scientific method is that there are times when decades old research, accepted by scientists around the world, is called into question by a new discovery.
Leaving science aside, all anyone has to do is look at all of the war, disease, starvation around the world. Millions of people suffer daily. Why would any diety, a supposed loving one, allow that? Christians always seem to have an answer for that; they call it “free will”, or “Gods will”, but then cannot go on to explain how their god punishes those same people, after death, for exercizing their free will or why gods will would be for any of his creation to suffer such horrors.
These same people believe that atheists are just broken, unfulfilled, and angry. I can’t speak for every atheist, but I am none of those. There wasn’t any particular incident in my life that turned me away from god, I have found my life to to be very fulfilling, and as I mentioned, I’m not angry with god. That’s not to say my life is perfect in any definition of the word, but it does mean that I make choices based on what I believe is best and not because some gods arbitrary dictates.
I’m not attempting to convert anyone here. Atheism, despite what some may say, is not a religion. No one goes around ringing doorbells, or passes out tracts on the street corner, trying to convince any other person to become an atheist. Yes, there are several atheist organizations around the world, but these organizations mission is not to convert, but to stand up to government that attempts to legislate by orthodoxy. Everyone, at least in the U.S. has the right to believe what they want; they don’t have the right to force others into their specific belief system.
Religion is about faith. Faith in a better world to come, not of this earth where all of the troubles of this life will disappear and every believer will be showered with the eternal love and generosity of god.
I want to live in the here and now. I want to enjoy this life without being forced to be a good person for fear of some kind of ethernal damnation, or because if I am a good boy, I will have ice cream and white chocolate, macadameia nut cookies (my favorite!) for eternity. I choose to be the person I want to be. I choose to make my life decisions based on the world around me and not what someone else tells me.
This is why atheism is “a conclusion and not a belief”. It’s why I concluded I am an atheist.
9 thoughts on “Atheism: A Conclusion, Not a Belief”
Great post! I was just thinking back to the time when I used to be one of those people looking around at “God’s creation” as I had been taught. Try as I might, I cannot see any way that slowly abandoning this belief system diminished me feelings of awe or appreciation for the beauty of nature. If anything, I think that letting go of the god-belief and learning something about science probably enhanced these experiences.
That is very well put. I’ve been trying to put those thoughts into words for a long time. Thank you for the elegant statement.
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Atheist organizations are here because George H. W. Thousand Points Of Light Bush once said that Atheists should not be American citizens, or patriots. 😦 😯
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How can an atheist hate god, a concept to which does s/he does not subscribe to?
You say that you cannot reconcile Christianity with science. Not to be a troll, but what effort did you put into refuting the other belief systems?
I don’t recall saying that I cannot reconcile science with Christianity – although that is basically true. It’s more the ‘Good Christians’ who cannot reconcile their Christianity with science.
There are many Christians who accept that the Earth is a globe, not flat, that it has existed for 4.5 Billion years, and that Evolution (perhaps God-guided) is the best explanation of why we are here.
Science has questions that can’t (yet) be answered. Religions have answers that can’t be questioned. Science looks for facts that can be proven. Religions are full of unprovable opinions that must be taken on faith.
I push back against Christianity most, because it is the religion most likely to affect me in the socio-political section of the world that I live in When I started questioning blind faith and unprovable claims, I quickly found that all religions are pretty much the same. They have two basic aims. First, they are a mechanism for the guys (and they’re most often males) at the top, to control those at the bottom. Also, they are designed to give false comfort to the masses, so that they do not disturb their betters. 😦 😯
Fair claims. My ‘beef’ (as it were. Do people actually use that term any more?) is that religious beliefs get codified into laws, so I (or anyone) has to live with the effects of someone else’s religions, and the issues are almost exclusively moral cliches. If it didn’t affect me and encroach on my personal rights, I wouldn’t care if someone wants to pray to a head of cabbage. But people’s freedom or religion armed with freedom of speech means that they can badger me with their nonsensical beliefs instead of being locked up in an asylum for delusional thoughts.
In many places, one cannot hold public office as an atheist. This includes many states and municipalities in the US. Hardly freedom of religion. As atheists, we need freedom from religion.
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