I’ve always been an atheist. I say that with certainty for one reason really. At no point in my life have I ever looked skywards, when alone, and asked for anything. There have been mutterings, sure, but they haven’t really been aimed at anyone, or anything else, rather it was me telling myself off, or urging myself to get something done, or to get myself out of a quagmire. I never went to church, (at least with the aim of praying, or asking for guidance. I was normally found in church during one of those voluntary masses that got you out of a dreary math class, or one of those bloody PE lessons).
I do, however, find the thought of a supreme being incredibly interesting. Not so much for the supreme being itself, rather the people who blindly believe, (any faith is implicitly blind), and will spend their lives with the thought that in the background, watching over them is this thing, of unimaginable power. I never could figure out how people could do that, after all, if the being was always watching, and always aware, then how do they relax? How on earth do they live their lives knowing that there are eyes watching, and judging them. It sounds to me like religion has more in common with North korea, than it does with democracy.
The power this being has over their lives is indelible. What you eat, who you fuck, who you speak to, who you see, what you watch, etc, is all, seemingly, jotted down in some celestial personnel record, and stored away until the moment where your life ebbs away. It is only then, apparently, where the adventure starts. It is then that you are either adjudged to be worthy, and enter a kingdom akin to Paradise, or a place called Hell. The only issue I find with these two choices is that we are talking about religion here. What exactly do they consider Paradise? Nuns, Monks, and unleavened bread, and a place where you can’t have a fap, swear, eat meat on certain days, and so on and so forth. It hardly sounds like fun. Hell, on the other hand. That sounds like it will be the place to be. All the ‘experienced’ ladies will presumably be down there, as well as all the interesting characters from history. Sure, the thermostat might be a bit high, but I can imagine it would be a better prospect that an eternity in a priests house.
So here I am, and atheist amongst what seems like a sea of people who believe in a supernatural force beyond our sensory range, (and yes, that includes scientific sensors!). Why do they do it? What drives them? They talk about this Faith thing, but I fail to see how, in a civilised society, they can believe such superstitious guff. We don’t get this worked up about ghosts, or fairies at the bottom of the garden. I wasn’t aware of people taking umbrage whenever people discussed ghosts either. For some reason, and only those who actually believe in Gods can explain, why is it so guarded? Why is it my belief, or lack thereof, is seemingly a sub-standard stance to take? It’s not because I am an atheist either. They are equally superior when it comes to other religions as well. Why is religion such a taboo subject?
I like science. Not in a weird, ‘I-have-braces-and-never-go-out’ type of way. I like the way the way that anyone, and I mean anyone, can go out, and challenge the world on a subject. You can, should the need take you, grab a microscope, and question the theories on biology, or grab a telescope, and argue that the moon is actually made of Cheshire Cheese, NOT Cheddar, as was previously thought. Science may feel cold, and out of reach to many, but the fact it is so open, and accessible makes it an inherently beautiful setup. Religion is different. Speak out, or question the religious documents, ways, teachings, etc, and you suddenly have a name. Heretic, blasphemer, infidel, and unbeliever. From the get-go you seem to come up against a wall. It is not hardened nutjobs doing the blocking. It seems almost every religious person out there that seems to think that their beliefs are more important than my own on the subject. You come up against people who will spout verse at you, despite those verses meaning very little to me. They will proclaim my doom, and that judgement will come at my end. Well, I’ll wait and see about that fact. On the international scale, we have religious fanatics going nuts over drawings, and bonkers because their creation story isn’t told in the science classroom. The science classroom, for goodness sake! What part has science had to play in creationism? Essentially it comes down to the fact that they do not like their beliefs being what they see as ridiculed, or cheapened. Well, unfortunately we live in a free society, (actually, I’m beginning to doubt that in the UK), so if I fail to see the truth in what you say about your God, I will point out the fallacies, contradictions, etc. I will not instigate the debate, however. I will sit here, as quiet as a mouse, but as soon as I get a knock on the door, or someone approaching me in the street, or the minute someone says “thank God...” just after some awful disaster, I will pipe up, as politely as I can.
We have to try and discuss with people who believe in the Bible. They believe in The Ark, Noah, Adam and Eve, the Virgin Birth, the resurrection, etc, all without any proof at all. There is no proof of Moses, and his exodus with the jews into the desert for 40 years. There is no evidence of a character called Jesus, and we don’t know who wrote the gospels. We have no evidence os a crucifixion, and we have no evidence of a teacher at the time, healing people, and resurrecting. It consists entirely of chinese whispers, witness statements 100+ years after the fact. This all, however, egts argued down at the first hurdle with the triumphant proclamation of faith. That age old argument that ends an argument there, and then, because when someone uses that against you, you realise that there is no discussion to be had. Mere details like evidence, or corroboration mean absolutely nothing, (and I’m sure they will argue that faith means nothing to me, and they would be right). It;s a dead end, and it will be like that for eternity, I think. Religion will always be a part of human existence, because people are naturally superstitious, and afraid of what they do not have knowledge of. They cannot see that nature has an inherent beauty, and when you look at a mountain scene, or a stream, or animals, or the stars, there doesn’t have to be anything supernatural behind it. The concept of it just being there is alien. maybe humans need to stop being so inquisitive, but then that would stop both the scientific, and religious side, so neither would win. I just want my voice heard. I don’t want to have my life dictated to by religious types, or any other types, be they PC nut-jobs, or hippy tree-huggers. I am me, and I won’t be dictated to.
(First posted on my little website http://web.mac.com/blue_meanie1976/atheism/Welcome.html