I am an atheist.
Now to some that may be a disgusting thing to say, but I have learned not to hide what I am. As the saying goes, “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”
I don’t murder, rape, steal or worship Satan. I just have no belief in any god or gods.That is the literal definition of an atheist. It does not descibe my world-view in any other way. It doesn’t say what I find funny, what I find sad, what I love or what I hate. I could be a fascist atheist, or a fascist Christian. I could be a monetarist theist or a monetarist atheist. Some religions, such as Jainism, don’t even profess belief in a god in the sense that it is understood in the West.
In fact, although I have taken the time to make a website about myself and include some stuff about my views on religion, I’ll bet that there are many atheists who couldn’t possibly care less about telling the world what they think. You might therefore decide that I am “religiously atheistic” because I choose to air my views on a website.
For one thing, whilst I think it might be possible to be religiously atheistic if one chooses to stick firmly to one’s disbelief in the face of solid evidence or well-constructed argument, this is not what I am doing. Rather, I have failed to find anything but weak evidence and crafty argument from my encounters with theists. We can all too easily become the worst in those we oppose and I have certainly become as passionate about my beliefs as many theists are.
I am passionate about my beliefs because I love people. Yes, I know it sounds a little bit American New-Age, but it is true. I get very upset when I see what harm religion has done to people I love. I know someone who is scared to go out on a Saturday night for fear that his accrued sin for the whole week will leave him in purgatory if anything happens to him.
Now although I do not think that all Christians are this psychologically dependent, belief in “Original Sin” is a splinter in the mind. As I have an interest in ideological motivations for suppression of human happiness, I developed a morbid fascination for Communism, which although ‘godless’, also had an ultimate, intangible goal for which human happiness was sacrificed.
I grant you that religion has inspired many beautiful things. Church architecture is often breathtaking. The art and music created by believers is incredible. The enegry and devotion they symbolise might prove that religion ultimately promotes human happiness? The church sponsored the arts for centuries. It set the permissible boundaries for expression and determined what earned money and what did not. As such it influenced the direction of art to an enourmous degree. How better to convey the emotions you want to convey in art than through Biblical myths? That way the drama of the story is conveyed in a manner that is acceptable to the one buying the work. In any case, for all the beauty occasionally inspired by or arising from religion, should the question as to whether or not it is demonstably true be ignored?
If you follow any monotheistic religion, remember this: You and I are both atheists. I just believe in one less god than you do.
Please email me with any comments you might have.