I've been a member here for quite a while and have just got round to starting my new blog which can be found here: Reasons - My new blog
My first blog is about my view on atheism, so I thought I'd post it here for you all to read, comment, discuss etc.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
This is a difficult topic to explain to some people and it is quite a task knowing where to start, so please if you can, read ahead with an open mind.
I guess a good place to start would be to explain why and how I came to be an atheist.
Firstly I think it's fair to start by thanking both of my parents for raising me free from the shackles of religion. I was always encouraged and more importantly allowed to think for myself and to discover my own way of figuring out my world view for me.
Religious indoctrination in children is, in my opinion, psychological child abuse. I am of the view, as are many prominent atheists such as the late Christopher Hitchens that the progress of the human race has been blighted by the indoctrination of children for generations.
Religious indoctrination stifles free thought, logic, reason and the sense to think for oneself. Even once into adulthood, I doubt that many ever truly recover intellectually from a religious upbringing.
Don't get me wrong, I took part in religious education at school and did my fair share of religious studies, so as to know the subject enough to form my own opinions and to also be able to debate the points I feel most passionately on.
But it was thanks in part to the freedom I was allowed to think for myself when growing up, that gave me the space to become a proud and passionate atheist today.
And passion is where I will turn next.
Some atheists, including myself are accused of having a dogmatic approach.
Definition of dogma as defined by Collins Gem English dictionary: article of belief esp. one laid down authoritatively by church; body of beliefs.
Now whilst I am intensely opinionated and passionate on many subjects, including atheism, it would be wrong to accuse me of being dogmatic.
For me atheism is about my opinions about our origin's and the origin of our universe, not beliefs or a lack of them based on a finite set of rules handed down to me.
A Christian will be heard to say: I believe in God and I believe he created the universe.
I would say: I have no belief in any God nor do I believe a supernatural being created the universe. But I am open minded to all logical explanations for our existence and phenomena, through examination and due process. I would consider myself a scientific atheist. Science does not profess to know all of the answers, but it has some of them and it endeavours to search for more and can accept when it is proven wrong. That is the point of science. That is the point of finding evidence to support something.
Religion, a man made institution of such power, force and fear across our globe offers up no evidence what so ever.
Where science will confess to not knowing everything, religion has to accept that it knows nothing.
And the argument that religion gave us morals, laws, made us kinder and more compassionate etc is an intellectually infantile and vacuous one. Morals, laws, knowing how to behave, knowing the difference between right & wrong come from human evolution. Man created religion, not the other way around.
Atheism does not behave in a dogmatic manner. It simply says: I do not believe in any God.
Atheism gives people the space to make their own minds up on the subject, without taking the route of religion and forcing it down someone's throat or asking for your money so we can build an arena from which to preach our dogma across television channels across continents. Admittedly I cannot speak for all atheists, as behaving in a dogmatic manner is simply very often human nature. We yearn to be right. Hence the attraction of religion and it's closed eyes & ears. Religion means we can assume to be right without thinking for ourselves.
I am not saying I am right. I am not saying atheism is right. I am saying it makes the most logical, intellectual sense. Saying that you disagree and with reasoned argument is not dogmatic behaviour. If a fellow who has spent his life living by a code of open mindedness, proof through evidence and rational thought is confronted by the often close minded argument of a religious thinker (Or non-thinker) then through frustration can come the appearance of arrogance. This is not atheist dogma. Simply a by-product when face to face with such belligerent ignorance as is presented by religion.
People should not be afraid to announce that they disagree with something, if they have valid reasoning for it.
Religion has been held upon a pedal stool for centuries, protected by laws, defending it from logical questioning and debate.
In an internet age of wonder, technology and unparalleled access to information and evidence, I am still astounded that anybody can hold faith in ANY form of religion, in ANY form of deity.
Belief in something for which there is no evidence is an intellectual failing and one which I personally cannot fathom in the adult mind. It makes as much sense as leaving school at 16 and still believing in Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy, The Boogie Man, Harry Potter or Jedi. Fun escapism yes. Truth about our origins and a reason to start war? No.
As I said earlier, I'm not saying I am right. We know very little as a race. But to be on any side of the fence other than the one with the vast majority of the evidence & answers so far, is lacking in common sense, hence my abhorrence of agnosticism. Yes I do not know that God in any written version does not exist. But the likelihood of his existence is so minute that to sit on the fence on the matter is absurd.
Present to me evidence of a God, any God and I shall accept it as proof until a more advanced point of view is given.
Until then I shall remain a happy, moral, loving atheist with all the respect for our planet and nature that a mind open to wonder can give.
P.s. I shall be writing further blog's in the near future on the subjects of abuse of power & position within the construct of religion and presenting solid scientific evidence to assist in debunking certain so called religious phenomena.