Many people fear atheists because we are seen as bearers of bad news. What bad news, though, is that one may live an honorable life without fear of consequence?
Hi, I'm Helen, and I've decided that God probably doesn't exist. This blog is in appreciation of atheist and nonreligious philosophy, as well as religious humor and natural wonders, and includes my thoughts along the way. Religious viewers might find some content insulting to their faith; to this I say I plan to express.
"What most atheists do believe is that although there is only one kind of stuff in the universe, and it is physical, out of this stuff come minds, beauty, emotions, moral values—in short the full gamut of phenomena that gives richness to human life."
- Julian Baggini in Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
You may or may not have wondered why I haven’t been posting. Some things have changed in my life. And there are a few things that I’d like to get out there, because, hey, it is a blog, right?
I’m really not sure what we achieve by posting criticisms of religion in little JPEGs all over our social media when the struggling Methodist church down the street from my house is feeding the homeless and building houses through Habitat for Humanity. Meanwhile the Buddhist temple a few blocks down is teaching mental cleanliness and inner peace and releasing all from your mind that prevents you from greatness. The Catholic church a few minutes away is soon hosting a multi-faith solstice celebration where anyone is welcome, and the nearby “Hare Krishna” temple offers an Indian buffet in a beautiful courtyard asking only a $3 donation to support their organization. Meanwhile the atheists are posting that "Religion is doing what you are told regardless of what is right." All this alongside the fact that atheists can’t be taken seriously in representation because even mature, open-minded people see the community as needlessly hateful and at times just as bigoted as the extremist Christians. Thanks, Richard Dawkins. And thank you, r/atheism.
Religion can be evil, yes, but it’s just like any massively powerful thing. Science created the atomic bomb. Food research created high fructose corn syrup. Engineering discovered oil and coal energy and now we’re thoroughly fucking up our atmosphere. We don’t say that science, research, and engineering are basically evil because certain people get a good dose of stupid or greed and create these things.
I’m now part of a movement of paganism that embraces science and critical thinking. I feel like I’ve found a happy medium between the faith that brought me community and higher peace and the love of knowledge and discovery that will never be extinguished.
Something that we believe in my faith is that phrase that always pissed me off as an atheist, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There is a chance that what we believe doesn’t exist. But most of us were without faith at one point and we know that we are happier practicing and believing this way, so we’re not threatened by that chance. What good does resigning to a lack of the Divine do for us if we are so much happier, more connected, and more fulfilled believing it?
The response to that could, of course, be “I’d rather know the truth than be blissfully ignorant.” My answer is, isn’t all we want for ourselves to be happy, or if not happy, constructive? Does feeling like an excluded member of a worldwide club do either of those things for us?
And many people legitimately need faith. I certainly don’t think most mature people need a religion to be good, moral people. Sense of right and wrong doesn’t need to come from religion. But if a convict spends three years in prison and is visited by a minister before he gets out, and he finally finds some structure and forgiveness and peace of mind, a feeling that someone, ANYONE cares, a reason not to kill next time, who am I or anyone else to take that away from him? Why can’t he have that? And for the purpose of this example, why does he have to be a convict to need that? Couldn’t he be anyone?
The other question: In a universe so dimensional we struggle to observe it, with eyes that can’t even see the full spectrum of color, how arrogant is it to close our books and say “There is no God”? Nuclear physics was born a little over a lifetime ago, and we’re already giving up and saying “Go home boys, nothing to see here.” Yet believers of any kind, even deists and people like Bill Nye, are called irrational.
If you’ve read this thing entirely and not ragequit, thank you. I think it shows strength of character not to eject something from your life just because it disagrees with you. I just wanted to explain my reasons for disappearing and try to show my reasoning with the community that I have usually seen as excellent with reason. That’s all. If you would like to discuss this maturely, have any protests you’d like to bring to my attention, please message me. I’d love to feel like I can still talk to you all as equals despite now being the Other.
"Some people have views of God that are so broad and flexible that it is inevitable that they will find God where ever they look for him. One hears it said that ‘God is the ultimate’ or ‘God is our better nature’ or ‘God is the universe.’ Of course, like any other word, the word ‘God’ can be given any meaning we like. If you want to say that ‘God is energy,’ then you can find God in a lump of coal."
vergiliusmaro asked: I noticed a post about four blogs that you followed whose owners lost loved ones. As an atheist, I find this article (just google You Want a Physicist to Speak at Your Funeral, since I can't post links) to be comforting. I don't know if it would be of any use to them, but I like it.
Thanks for sharing. :] I’ll post the link tonight.
Some would argue that as an atheist I have no moral code. This is simply not true. I have an explicit personal code in place. The full version, though, is lengthy. I’ll give the most important part—my Three Commandments, if you will.
Love, lust, and willpower above all things: Love to heal, build, and guide; lust for life and all its pleasures; and willpower to persevere us past all obstacles in our path.
This is how I try to live, and none of it came from a text.
"So the universe is not quite as you thought it was. You’d better rearrange your beliefs, then. Because you certainly can’t rearrange the universe."