Is Atheism real?
It is possible to believe in nothing … or “not believe”?
The immediate, opposing argument to atheism is this:
“In order to believe there is no God, you must first understand what God is and accept the possibility that there is a God. Then, you can reject it.”
To combat this, true atheists prefer this definition: “Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.”
Ergo, given this alternate definition, it’s possible to believe in the solely, scientific principals of the universe and evolution without having to face the ever-difficult question about God. In some ways it’s a cop-out, in others, it’s a very pragmatic distinction. Of course, we must be true to the more sincere values of atheism, as dictated by atheists, and not “popular” society (that’s driven by theistic principals), and draw from sites about atheism such as this one.
In the most simplistic terms, atheism believes it is, because it is (except .. that it doesn’t “believe” …?). Moral values are a self-interest born of self-preservation to avoid consequences. The desire to propagate the species is a “built-in” function of our natural instincts to breed. And, atheists protest that their system of actions do not equate to a “belief” system, like a religion, but rather, an equal, universal knowledge shared through genetics and … whatever other “non-mystical” source they can define. Which is still … a belief system … even if atheists deny that it is.
But … what is religion?
Do religious people act noble because they believe God is a vengeful creature who shalt smite them?!? Look toward the middle-east, the dark-ages of Catholicism, the murderous, anti-LDS rampages of Christianity, and other examples throughout history. Religion, has not, provided a very strong sense of moral righteousness in people, at least, historically. And, many atheists do believe that it isn’t God that gives religious folks cause for good behavior, but the inherent kindness within each person. But, there’s a flaw in the atheistic approach:
Leave a baby to itself and what will happen? God will not lift the baby up and care for it simply because parents abandoned it. The infant won’t walk and start ministering the gospel. In fact, if left to themselves, children’s propensity toward curiosity is very self destructive … and can lead to hurting others. Children are selfish and self-serving, still learning to relinquish their survival of the fittest instincts for a higher plane of thought. Atheist act upon the principal that it is in human nature to love, create, and prosper.
Apparently … they haven’t spent much time researching history. Human nature, outside of Biblical context, is fraught with rape, incest, murder, war, terror, pain, humiliation, guilt, and other destructive behaviors. Atheists believe that their reward, the one that keeps them on the straight and narrow, is that immediate gratification from just being good people. Or … um … long term gratification (because we’ve all seen how children LOVE to be educated so that when they’re older they can be super smart!). Atheists believe that selective breeding and evolution have conspired to give us a desire to be better people!! Of course … that would be a belief in something that not even science can pin down to “molecules,” and would simultaneously illicit images of deities like “mother nature/Gaia,” but I digress … lest the atheists protest!!
In actuality – they only reward system an atheist would have – is immediate gratification (because long-term … is much longer than a single life has to offer). But, what’s not examined in many of the atheistic arguments, are those good and joyful acts (for some), that involve incest, rape, and murder. And, to an individual whose moral values are based on natural selection and a desire to community wholeness … murder’s a really, good thing. The weak, the mentally handicap, and the elderly, for example, are a burden on a community that looks to itself for support. But, an atheist will tell you that their self-interest is enlightened, and therefore sees the happiness in others as a part of the suckling bosom for the masses.
But, outward acts of kindness for self-interest, are not genuine acts and do not illicit a true return on happiness. Enlightenment, would never utilize the words, self-interest. For those who are truly enlightened would find no interest in the things of this world and seek for a higher state of being. Of course, you would have to first believe that such a higher state first exists…
Next, let’s look at what it means to actually “believe” in a God. Why do people believe in a God (or Gods)?
Generally, other than those who have it beaten into them, recognize it from birth, understand it genetically, or some other internal inspiration, one thing that gives meaning to the belief in God, is death. The need to find a meaning at the end is a life-pressing task. Even Buddhist Monks who do not have Gods, believe in a system of life, death, and rebirth that mitigates the hereafter. And,in the Buddhist system of reincarnation, there are consequences to those in the next life, who have not lived well in this life. A purpose, in believing in God, is to have that small glimmer of hope, that all of humanity’s existence spent harming one another can be met with small amount of forgiveness .. because, let’s face it – if there’s no such thing as forgiveness … would you really want to move on into a world with all of the hatred, anger, murder, and death, amplified? Nothing is as permanent, frightening, terminal, finite, and concise, as death. Unfortunately, in all the mysteries of the universe, nothing is as mysterious, as death.
Did you know that portions of the Old Testament are compiled from 50,000 year old Sumerian stone tablets? The same group of people also had world-maps and even solar system maps, long before they are “supposed” to be in existence. It’s not a conspiracy, just an annoying mystery that we can’t yet solve. Still, it doesn’t make it any less true.
But, God, does not represent a weakness, as it would appear to be subtly, even if inadvertently, hinted at in atheistic texts. Self-preservation is great, but if you truly understand religions such as Christianity, self-preservation’s actually not the highest goal humans can achieve. The belief in God represents hope. Hope is, amongst all other feelings, the greatest of all things. And, the greatest of all hopes is that the love humans have … the love atheists believe is there … will endure. It will endure through death into the next life after this. It is the hope that someone out there, in a Universe that operates on principals of chaos and destruction, would preserve that one, single emotion, so we can continue on, into the dark, with the strength and courage that our love will bind us to those for whom we care. Is it a bad thing? Really … ask yourself … is it so bad, to live your life on the principals of love, that you may or may not do now, that you may or may not do as an atheist, with the hope that your love will continue for eternity? So, in this regard, atheists are wrong in their interpretation of faith. It is worthwhile, to act in righteousness, for the promise of a life hereafter filled with joy. For those who live in destruction in this life, will find no happiness there, so what good would a Heaven do them? Their guilt will not permit them to pass the phoenix’s feather.
See, one of the differences between atheism and non-atheism, as is subtly clear in their texts, is that while both groups might have love and good will, if an outwardly, useless idiot were to fall in a river and start floating away, an atheist, by the sheer definition of enlightened self-interest, would not save them.
There is no goodness, self-reward, or benefit, in sacrifice. Sure — every atheist will tell you right now, that I’m wrong.
So, let’s up the ante. The idiot is going to fall off of a 500 foot story building into a bottomless chasm and they have never contributed to the life of any other person. They have no friends or family. They have no ties. No one knows them. Their loss will not affect the economy or be seen in the news. The only way to save them is to throw yourself off first, so they can see just how painful their decision would be.
There’s no other way to save them.
Now – while almost every God-fearing soul would tell you that the person is an idiot and the situation is sucky and they most likely wouldn’t jump to their death – those who feel as if the Spirit has spoken to them and asked them to sacrifice, might. An atheist – would not. Their sacrifice, is meaningless. Thus, so is their existence. If existence holds no value, and one life is expendable, and one soul is not worth the energy, effort, or self-sacrifice to save – then there is no purpose in existence.
I cannot tell you to believe in God, or which deity to even believe in. I cannot suggest that you support atheism or not. That’s something you have to do for yourself. But, it may be possible, that the reason people choose not to believe in a deity comes down to control. To believe in an all-powerful creator, you have to accept that you’re a pretty small chicken on the great, big, farm. But, equally, those who believe in a deity, know there’s a farmer watching over them!
Atheists are guided by the principal that they have some sort of profound effect on the world around them. You see – populations continue to grow because people have sex. The Earth continues to survive because in the randomness of existence, an apocalyptic event just hasn’t happened yet. And, the world stays in a basis of worthwhile living harmony because atheists say it’s so (not trying to be derogatory … but there’s not really another good way to say that).
But, sitting here on the beach, looking over the waves of stars that make up the waters above, the silver-grey light that floods the dimly lit, eternal sky caught between night and a glimmer of day …
I see what you don’t. I hear what you won’t. The laugh of a single, small, child. It’s a memory, trapped in between worlds. It’s a persistent thought that you can barely hold onto. But it reminds you – that what you have here – is amazing. Just think of how much more amazing it will become, when the bonds have lifted. It is that space between wakefulness and dreams … and if you move on, that is the space where you will be.
(Note – this essay is based solely upon opinions developed after years of interaction with those who are true atheists. Nothing said here is fact … only possibility. To truly get the full effect of this article – you must educate yourself … for only knowledge will set you free)