>>> Paul Kirby is rapidly becoming an eloquent voice for atheism. You might want to have a look at her piece in yesterday’s Hibernia Times, “Atheism is the true embrace of reality.“ You won’t find any new arguments here, but it’s worth reading since it’s her personal odyssey from theism to atheism. She was a devout Christian until 2003—so devout that someone suggested she should be a nun.
Then she discovered that every Christian had a different conception of God, and, miribale dictu, everyone’s conception of the deity comported with their own personality and predilections:
We all knew we were right, and we all based that knowledge on the personal relationship we had with him. How could any of us possibly be wrong?
What was striking about these observations was that those of us whose personalities led us to embrace the world and other people in a spirit of openness, generosity, warmth and tolerance “knew” that God did the same. And those who lacked the confidence for that, and consequently saw the world as threatening and evil and bad, “knew” that God saw it that way, too.
This is why subjective experience cannot tell us anything about God. Knowing what kind of god someone believes in tells us a great deal about that person – but nothing whatsoever about the truth or otherwise of the existence of any god at all.
And this brings us to something very important about atheism. Atheism is not in itself a belief. Few atheists would be so bold as to declare the existence of any god at all utterly impossible. Atheism is, quite simply, the position that it is absurd to believe in, much less worship, a deity for which no valid evidence has been presented. Atheism is not a faith: on the contrary, it is the refusal to accept claims on faith.