I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism. Atheism is not believing in God. Not believing in God is easy -- you can't prove a negative, so there's no work to do. You can't prove that there isn't an elephant inside the trunk of my car. You sure? How about now? Maybe he was just hiding before. Check again. Did I mention that my personal heartfelt definition of the word "elephant" includes mystery, order, goodness, love and a spare tire?

So, anyone with a love for truth outside of herself has to start with no belief in God and then look for evidence of God. She needs to search for some objective evidence of a supernatural power. All the people I write e-mails to often are still stuck at this searching stage. The atheism part is easy.
But, this "This I Believe" thing seems to demand something more personal, some leap of faith that helps one see life's big picture, some rules to live by. So, I'm saying, "This I believe: I believe there is no God."
Having taken that step, it informs every moment of my life. I'm not greedy. I have love, blue skies, rainbows and Hallmark cards, and that has to be enough. It has to be enough, but it's everything in the world and everything in the world is plenty for me. It seems just rude to beg the invisible for more. Just the love of my family that raised me and the family I'm raising now is enough that I don't need heaven. I won the huge genetic lottery and I get joy every day.

Believing there's no God means I can't really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That's good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.
Believing there's no God stops me from being solipsistic. I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I'm wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate. I don't travel in circles where people say, "I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith." That's just a long-winded religious way to say, "shut up," or another two words that the FCC likes less. But all obscenity is less insulting than, "How I was brought up and my imaginary friend means more to me than anything you can ever say or do." So, believing there is no God lets me be proven wrong and that's always fun. It means I'm learning something.

Believing there is no God means the suffering I've seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn't caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn't bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future.
Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-O and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.

Views: 52

Tags: I, Jillette, Penn, This, believe:

Comment by Bradley James Ballard on November 29, 2009 at 2:41am
Def a good read
Comment by shawn brian judd on November 29, 2009 at 3:01am
good post! It is the times we live in that define us.It is the faith in humanity that confounds us.It is the truth that eludes us,and when all else fails we have only Logic to console us. SBJ
Comment by Galen on November 29, 2009 at 3:54am
@Nathan - As Penn pointed out, you don't *have* to prove there is no God. A negative cannot be proven. Trying to prove that something "isn't" or "doesn't" is the act of subtracting from an infinite pool of possibilities. It's a fundamental rule of logic that you cannot prove a negative. That is why science works to prove what IS, not what ISN'T.
Comment by Bradley James Ballard on November 29, 2009 at 4:18am
It is never scientific to assert anything with absolute certainty. I consider myself an atheist because I am against theism, however on the god question, it will always be an uncertain. although, i will say that i am 99.999- percent sure there is none.
Comment by Lord Atheist on November 29, 2009 at 10:36am
I've always wanted to know what are people who COMPLETELY dont claim religion at all? not even atheism.
Comment by Bradley James Ballard on November 29, 2009 at 11:58am
well, Atheist is not a belief; it is the absence of belief. if there is not evidence to support an idea, the idea should not be believed.
Comment by Bradley James Ballard on November 29, 2009 at 11:59am
so, really atheism is not a religion bc by definition, it is without belief.
Comment by B. on November 29, 2009 at 2:35pm
You can prove love & goodness.
Both produce measurable biochemical phenomena in our own physiology ;)

I agree that atheism is an absence of belief, and without evidence, ideas should not be believed.

Furthermore, I feel the agnostic approach is just an introduction: further exploration of science & philosophy requires one to conclude there is no god of any kind or any supernatural forces at work. I think it's an appropriate position to hold in the beginning, but when I see people persist in agnosticism, I can't help but think, "you must not be trying hard enough". There is absolutely no evidence that suggests the potential of an omnipresent being. I don't think this is an issue that will always be uncertain. Philosophy (reason?) dictates it is most appropriate to accept the most plausible explanation (and if I could remember who was first to bring up this very logical deduction and put it in a much more eloquent explanation than my own, I would type it here, but it's old in my head and I have no idea at present).
This is why even though we don't know what gravity is just yet, we don't attribute it to invisible microscopic gnomes holding everything together (btw, this is one of my favorite arguments against Christians, so please use it at your leisure. It's best employed against the anti-evolution movement, when argument arises that it's "just a theory" and we don't have enough fossils or the right fossils or the proof that it can occur. Once you point out that we don't actually know what gravity is, only that it is, they completely lose their shit. First, they argue vehemently that Newton figured it out ages ago, while secretly googling "scientists don't know what gravity is". Then, once they realize I'm telling the truth: argument = pwnt. It's one of my personal favorites).
Comment by B. on November 29, 2009 at 2:41pm
NO RELIGION, atheism isn't a religion. Don't be a tool. This is an irrational argument employed by fanatics because it was screeched by their moronic pastor at a common Sunday service. If you wish to hash it out, we can, but since we already know the outcome, let's just skip to the end where you are enlightened and chastised into not making the claim in the future.

I seriously don't want to do the work though, so why not just type "religion" into dictionary.com and save me the trouble?
Comment by Bradley James Ballard on November 29, 2009 at 7:14pm
well said B.

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