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 Edgar John Ilaga on January 26, 2010 at 7:24pm
Judging from your profile, I suppose that you're a Filipino just like me. Thus, you're very much aware of the oppressive stance that the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines is taking against the freedom to become self-actualized people. Coming from a leftist political background, I've learned that it's important to not separate the personal from the political. In my case, I realize that many of the social structures (such as the church via the CBCP) that oppress me and millions of others around the world are linked to religion - and consequently, the belief in a/an god/s whose existence is not justified. Ergo, our *active* (and I must stress that) disbelief acts as a bastion against the exploitation of these structures of the believing and the apathetic.
I understand how much easier simply not caring is. I realize that many an activist here in the Philippines has often escaped death by simply dropping out and blending in with the masses. Yet what good does this do in the long run? My children, your children, and your child's children will all face the same issues in the same degree we faced them, unless we do something about it. In the same way, active atheism dares one to take a stand - to not just take a fence-sitting stance on life and liberty - against mental and political oppression and for concrete social justice.
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 Edgar John Ilaga on January 26, 2010 at 8:05pm
I think I should have made myself clearer in that last post of mine. :) What I meant to say is that atheists should personally, actively and loudly continue to question the existence of god so as long as theists use statements founded on the belief in boogeymen, fairies, kapre, or god to justify persecution and oppression. Think of it this way - belief/non-belief doesn't pay the bills, feed the family, or heal the sick, but the price of irrational belief or passive disbelief is more costly in terms of how policies are formulated. For instance, several religious and gender-exclusive schools in Manila discriminate against gays and lesbians on religious pretexts. Debunking the root cause (religion founded on the active belief in a god) can change this, whereas keeping silent perpetuates this discriminatory practice.

(I realize that this isn't as immediate as your examples are, but hey, with the belief in god so deeply ingrained into our society as it is, I can only imagine a Philippines without religion.)

And yes, there's a whole community of Filipino atheists and freethinkers out here. :)
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.


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