I have been on a philosophical journey since I learned the world is knowable. I take every opportunity to learn new skills, practice old skills and improve my knowledge to better understand myself, my perception, the subjective world, the objective world, other perspectives and how all of that seems to work together for what seems like eternity; 13.8 billion years is approximately eternity compared to a single human life.

My step father invited me to join his church bible study. I really admire this man for many reasons, chief among them, my mother loves him at least as much as myself. The church meetings revolve around 6 week sessions of focus. This section just happened to start off with Atheism! Of course it did...

A 15 minute lecture covering 6 "requirements" of the Atheist philosophy (I KNOW! It is a strawman. I see it.) The presenter gives us pillars of thought which support modern, humanist, scientifically informed Atheism. I don't debate the requirements or how they use Atheism or Atheist as I agree with most of the premises although they are obviously presented in a negative fashion. Lots of focus on the new Atheists; Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens' books were all referenced.

One comment struck me as very true;
Presenter: "Do we all need God?"
Person A: "Yes, definitely."

Presenter: "Do none of us need God?"
Person B: "Yes, definitely."
Thus, the answer is completely knowable depending on who you ask.
Yet both Person A and Person B are both average people; reasonable, approachable, non-violent without serious threat. Both people have managed to live their lives and make it far enough to answer the question in their adult lives.

As an Atheist, I have no need for the God head.
As a Humanist, I recognize I am not alone here and sometimes have to work with even the most devout believer.
As a Step Son to a Believer, I recognize my step father is a peaceful, genuine man who holds the concept of God deep within himself, but does not press his idea on others further than questions and invitations.

So, as I sit at a table with 4 other intelligent, thinking men and notice we all face the same problem, "How do I understand all of 'THIS'?", I noticed the question again.

Do we need God?
No, I do not. But maybe someone else does.

I can't tell another, "God isn't real", because God is real in their opinion. I know I do not want violence between us and as long as we both maintain the peace, there is eternal peace.
I have come to accept their perspective and through listening to enough educated believers have come to appreciate the combination of emotional and intellectual arguments which makes them tick.

I may disagree with their interpretation, but I cannot force my perspective. Use the Socratic method to learn more.
Be humble, know nothing, be ignorant, because the one who knows their ignorance is the wisest among us.

I am an atheist while being open to all perspectives so that I may grow and learn more about the amazing Cosmos stretching out to infinity right in front of my eyes.

Views: 263

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on May 12, 2017 at 6:04pm

If when sitting at your round table where all the chairs are the same size and Person A were to ask you “Do you believe that the god I believe in is real”, what would be your reply?

Comment by Andrew Brown on May 12, 2017 at 6:08pm

Please tell me what you believe and why.

Comment by Davis Goodman on May 12, 2017 at 6:24pm

What do you mean with the post in Post Atheism?

Comment by Andrew Brown on May 12, 2017 at 6:30pm

I explained it in the post.
Do you want me to Define the idea?

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on May 12, 2017 at 7:17pm

I will not “maintain the peace” if it means I have to pretend that I believe what they believe. Most of the time the religious dislike me for that. I may have disturbed their peace but while they are entitled to respect, their beliefs are not. They usually see my “unbelief as a sin” that started back in the dark ages by their heroes like Aquinas. I see no intellectual merit to their beliefs. I would prefer that the minds that sit around my table would relish the thoughts of discussing dangerous ideas. I am more than happy to dare to disturb the Universe.

Comment by _Robert_ on May 12, 2017 at 7:19pm

Belief in God is harmless unto itself. It rarely ends there. The next step beyond that (my god vs yours) is divisive. Eventually people are throwing others off of rooftops because of who they love.

Comment by Davis Goodman on May 12, 2017 at 7:45pm

Yes please Andrew.. I read the whole blog and i don't see any explanation of post-atheism.

post usually means something like "after" or "the new stage of" as in "post-modernism" or "post-truth". I'm quite dumbfounded how there can be a post-atheism.

Comment by Pope Beanie on May 13, 2017 at 3:02am
I's wondering about post-atheism too, hence held back my comment that post-atheism could come about if theism finally died, and there'd be no need for a pushback to it... but a reasonable successor could be humanism.

That is the most official guess I am able to muster at this time, but a tiny leprachaun hanging on my ear lobe is laughing at me and telling me I have been wasting my time and creative energy, am I'm about ready to swat him...
Comment by Davis Goodman on May 13, 2017 at 9:24am

Two things to be careful with when using the term "atheism" and "post".

Whenever you use the term atheism in a broader sense, you should say it outloud replacing atheism with "a lack of belief in God". For example, when the religious say atheism is a belief....all you have to do is say "lacking a belief in God is a belief"? and it sounds pretty stupid. The same is the case for other things like "atheism is an agressive anti-God movement" and when you put it literally "lacking belief in God is an agressive anti-God movement" then it seems a little silly, especially if you think of the majority of atheists from the other side of the world who are barely aware of the concept of God.

The same is the case with "post-atheism". That's like saying post-lacking-a-belief-in-God. That doesn't make sense. If we continue lacking a belief in God then there isn't a new phase or a new step. Atheism is a lack of belief, not a wider world view or ideology or movement. The term that makes most sense is post-theism or post-religion.

Even post-humanism doesn't make sense. Just replace humanism with "lack of supernatural beliefs, placing the dignity and future of human agents ahead of other things and use rational-empirical knowledge and arguments" and you'll also see why post-humanism doesn't make sense. Get rid of the God believers and nothing changes. You still lack all supernatural belief (which is more than just god), you still put the dignity of the person first and refer to empirical/rational argument/knowledge.

The only thing I can think of that would have a "post" is post-secularism. Because indeed, if religion dissappeared there would be no need for secularism. Post-atheism or post-humanism though make no sense.


We should also be careful with the use of the word "post". Without much surprise, post-modernists use this term quite carelessly and it has gotten to the point that in most cases it doesn't make much sense (or is even barely defined). Even post-moderism is a nebulous term. Post-post-modernism, post-structuralism, post-science, post-truth, post-hegemony etc are often extremely conceptual, lacking any remotely clear definition and is often followed by french-philosophy-style babble. These terms have been heavily and scathingly critiqued by philosophers and non-philosophers like Chomsky, "Dennet, Harris, Hitchens, Dawkins" Popper, Boghosian, Scruton and endlessly more. Post-atheism is just the kind of term that will be used to discuss, not the end of religion, but some wishy washy idea of going "beyond religion and belief" while still having belief and non-belief. Try to make sense of it...and you won't.

Comment by Andrew Brown on May 15, 2017 at 12:06pm

Atheism - Lack of belief in any God.
Theism - Belief in any God.
Post Atheism - Both Theism and Atheism are true as objective reality is not affected by belief.

IMO, there is no debate as we can prove and justify all existence using math, logic, philosophy and science without the God hypothesis.


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