Ok, I admit it. I'm becoming more an Apatheist rather than an Atheist. The more I live my life, the more that I realize just how irrelevant the question of whether or not a deity really exists plays a role in my day to day life.

Do I believe that a 'god' exists? Probably not. But then again, answering the question doesn't really play much of a role in my life when you compare it to the mundane things that I still have to do in my life--like work, pay my bills, pay taxes, and spend time with my family.

Does believing in a 'god' win you a prize? No. You still get entitled to shovel the same amount of crap as any other non-theist out there; on the other hand, if you don't believe in a 'god', you still have to work, pay bills, pay your taxes, and if you're lucky, you'll still get to spend some time with your family.

So apart from being able to pat yourself on the back for siding with the scientifically rational people instead of believing in superstition, is there really an immediate tangible benefit for even caring that there is/isn't a god at all?

I'm still an Atheist in many ways, but now I'm starting to realize that Atheism only defines what I don't believe, not what I believe, and perhaps in the end, my Atheism really doesn't have an immediate impact on my own life.

Views: 19

Comment by Doug Reardon on January 26, 2010 at 7:05pm
Nothing in the universe has any more meaning than what you put in it.
Comment by Nate on January 26, 2010 at 7:23pm
I understand your point, Philip. My response would be that what I gain from my "faith" (or lack thereof) wouldn't be tangible so much as a glorified "pat on the back" as you put it, yet I feel it's significant none the less. When Newton studied gravity, he got to a point where the math to calculate the gravitational pulls of all known planetary bodies was too much for him to want to deal with. He chalked the rest up to "God." His reasoning was that anything on that big of a scale had to be God's work. However, with modern technology and math, we can explain what he couldn't at that time. Where would we be if Newton chalked the apple falling from the tree up to God? Or if Galileo didn't ask of himself whatever convinced him to gaze upon the universe? I believe the meaning of life for us humans is to challenge ourselves to find tangible answers for what for so long has been chalked up to "God." It seems each time we do, we find something groundbreaking. Each of us has a different point we're willing to go to, and the sooner one chalks what cannot currently be explained up to "God," the sooner one stops learning. I get a great deal of enlightenment from learning about the history of these types of discoveries, and the possibilities they can lead to down the road.
Comment by Philip Laureano on January 26, 2010 at 7:35pm
@Edgar: Actually, I don't care because of anything that the Catholic church does in the Philippines. I'm not apathetic because I'm jaded. I'm apathetic because believing in a god (or not believing in a god, in my case) doesn't get me any special awards or have any say in my life. I firmly believe that god does NOT exist, and therefore it's irrelevant to ponder on whether or not something is actually there. If I certainly don't ponder on the non-existence of the 'boogeyman', then why should you?

The same principle applies to any non-existent entity, much less a non-existent deity. I care about the things that do exist and I do care about the things that will make a positive impact on the lives of others. What I don't care about are things that don't exist because life is so infinitely finite that we only have so little time and resources to worry about things that really matter, and that's the whole point of this post.

p.s. It's good to see another Filipino Atheist out there. :)
Comment by GodlessBoy on January 26, 2010 at 11:48pm
I totally agree with you, Doug Reardon. I think the real good atheism is the one that you can see in the book of Daniel L. Everett, Don't Sleep There are snakes. I think you could find some help/answer.
May the force be with you! LoL....
Comment by girlatheist on January 27, 2010 at 11:01am
I work with several Filipino women (I'm a nurse), and a common thread among all of them seems to be their staunch Catholicism. How amazing that you are an atheist!
Comment by Philip Laureano on January 27, 2010 at 3:52pm
@girlatheist: 80% of the people in the Philippines are Catholic. I'm part of the other 20% who want nothing to do with the Church and their nonsense.
Comment by Philip Laureano on January 27, 2010 at 10:18pm
@Matthew: I have no disagreement with you there. FWIW, I don't care if god doesn't exist or not, but I still care about the stupidity of his so-called followers, and my opposition to their superstition remains unquestioned, fellow heathen. :)
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on February 21, 2010 at 11:20am
I would prefere to be an apatheist. I was an apatheist for many years after I finally decided that the Christian religion was superstitious nonsense and that it was extremely unlikely that any supernatural power existed, especially one with human-like emotions who cared a crap about me or other humans.

The reason that I am an identified atheist now is that I moved from Australia to the USA where the influence of religion is flamboyantly pernicious. This was stamped in by eight years of living under the Bush Regime. I saw Dawkins interviewed by John Stewart when he began his OUT Campaign in the US. I was so fascinated by what the guy had to say that I bought and read The God Delusion. The rest just followed naturally.

As long as Christians, Muslims and other fundamentalis and evangelical religions seek to push their religions and their values onto other people and to legislate them into the nations laws and politics I will remain an active and voiced atheist. Should I live long enough to see these groups marginalized and forced to toe a higher moral line (which is rather unlikely at my age) then I will thankfully subside into apatheism again. It is much more restful.
Comment by Eric VanDeGenachte on February 21, 2010 at 2:10pm
I could not disagree more. You sound intelligent (if a little selfish & self-centered), but you baffle me when you think that because YOU can do those mundane things (e.g., pay taxes, and spend time with my family) that everything is fine. Consider for a moment that others can not. I cannot even have a legally-recognized family with my boyfriend & the core reason is largely religious. When I die, my possessions don't go to him tax free. If I'm in a hospital, he is not recognized as family. Moreover, don't you think for a moment that your personal tax-burden would be less if the mega-industry of churches paid their fair share? And don't you dare doubt for a second that non-belief fails to get you any real prize. Spend a little time in a theocracy, then get back to me about the value of non-belief. No, you don't get a 'cookie' for failing to believe in the boogeyman, but you sure as hell do when you fail to believe in Christ, Allah, etc. The 'cookie' you get is logic, reason, science, progress, connection to reality and not having to kowtow to capricious dogma. While it may have been a mistake, I'm still quite thankful that you brought this up as it highlights what we take for granted. Why should I bother defending against racism? What does it get me? I'm a white male. What do I care if you are denigrated as a slit-eye, yellow-bellied, China-man, gook, lemon, foreigner, "Oriental," ching-chang-chong. No, I won't tolerate it. Indirectly, I get A LOT out of the act of defending against derogatory and degrading behavior against Asians and Asian-Americans or other ethnicities. For that very reason, I expect you to continue to be an Atheist over an Apathetist. Otherwise, you can expect the religious to come and change your world.
Comment by Eric VanDeGenachte on February 21, 2010 at 2:40pm
Could I have made my point without? Perhaps. Could I do it with the same memory-searing power that emotional effrontery can afford? Probably not. It was intended to be harsh AND personal. Clearly *I* don't feel that way. A large part of my job actually involves increasing diversity and inclusion. If we stop actively defending against bad behavior, we can expect racism, sexism, and religious intolerance to swell and gain prominence. We need you and him to remain Atheists - in your own way - and not lay back on apathy lest it bites us in the butt. Remember that we wouldn't have to go back far in American culture and politics when such commentary would have been acceptable. Heck, we still had ridiculous 'literacy tests' for voting for African-American citizens in the mid- and late-1960s. If you're not familiar with them, they had nothing to do with literacy - they were designed to be exclusionary. These kinds of social attitudes and government policies would return if we became 'lazy' again.

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