Continued from Part 1
In reading the comments on several blogs and websites (such as YouTube) that deal with this subject, I find it rather disconcerting that many of these unwavering Christians propose that “faith” is the defining and irrefutable justification in their deductions, that the Bible has the last word on the matter, and that their own personal “knowledge” of God’s “existence” is sufficient for them – without any regard to reason or logic, or apparent evidence (in fact, all too frequently, their method of contention reveals their lack of intellect). Also, the suggestion that they might just be imagining this “divine” relationship simply does not occur to them.
Yet, is it not reasonable to deduce that just because someone believes that they have a special rapport with, say, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, it does not, however, beget the existence of said monster. If any such thing does exist, it is only in the mind of the person who believes in it. Otherwise, how does one account for the fact that everyone has a different interpretation of “God” or “Jesus” (or whoever), even going as far as constructing a persona that is beyond the Bible’s portrayal of these characters? The most likely reason is that they feel so comfortable with the idea that, for example, Jesus is their personal friend, that they formulate their own required representation of him, essentially meaning that all who believe in him will have a different version of him (seeing as no one alive today can claim that they actually met him personally). In the same way, I could claim to have a personal relationship with George Washington, and that I have interactive conversations with him (implying that he responds with his own thoughts and opinions) – but considering he has long been dead and that his personality is no more, this would be a rather tenuous and suspicious claim, and would most likely be seen as a little absurd, even by Christian folks; and it would no doubt be concluded that I was creating the persona of Washington myself (or speaking for him, as it were).
So, in short, if we take this rather zany supposition of the biblical “God” out of the equation, we are left with, quite simply, a life that consists of a multitude of wonderful and logical components that make sense to us, but without the assumption of this “God” character. And despite believers’ attempts to outsmart the non-believers by asking them, “well, then, who created everything, if not God?” one could just as easily respond by asking, “well, who created God?” Their response might be something like: “God was never created,” or “God’s creation remains a mystery,” which in turn means that if the creation of a postulated being remains a mystery, then why not just remove the hypothesis of “God”, and agree that the cause of EVERYTHING remains a mystery! That way there are no assumptions – there is just the realisation that everything that cannot be explained remains a beautiful mystery (and what can be more profound than that?).
And that is really what, I believe, sums up atheism. It is not an evil threat to society, or a belief in nihilism, or a pointless existence that embodies ignorance, indifference, and unethical behaviour. Atheists are NOT the anti-Christ, or even anti-theists (for how can one be against something that is not confirmed to exist?). Nor are they evil-doers destined for hell, or lost souls leading empty and unfulfilling lives filled with perpetual predicaments. On the contrary, many atheists are seekers of the truth, passionate about knowledge, intelligent and open-minded, virtuous in their actions, and appreciators of life’s magnificence and beauty, who, quite simply, do not accept these outlandish religious tenets.
Hopefully, through understanding and education, the term “atheist” will not be seen as a bad or dirty word, as is evident by the many that bandy it about as such. Besides, as some have pointed out, we are all atheists by the mere fact that we do not accept the gods of other religions, whether we believe in only one, or none at all.