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Atheism: A Rational, Positive, And Life Affirming Worldview


Brother Jeff

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The purpose of this article is to reveal the truth about Theism and to highlight the failures and falsity of Theism as a worldview, and to set the record straight and to counter the lies promoted by Christian Fundamentalists about Atheism. Theism is a false worldview and has brought much harm and very little good to Mankind. That is the verdict of history.

Theists, mainly Christian Fundamentalists, spread several misconceptions and lies about atheism and atheists on a regular basis. Theists would have us believe that atheism is evil and leads to immorality and the social ills that plague our society. History soundly disproves these assertions, and in fact, proves that Theism and Religion are the cause of most of the suffering and social ills that have plagued Mankind throughout history.

Atheism is a view of life, our world, and our universe that is built upon the foundations of reason, logic, and rational thought. Atheism is absurdly called a religion by some of the more radical Christian Fundamentalists but, of course, it does not in any way resemble one. Atheism has no god or gods and no tenets of faith, and therefore cannot properly be called a religion. Atheism is the lack of belief in any gods. Period. That's it in a nutshell. Atheism is about non-belief rather than belief. But, at its core, atheism and atheists deal with the facts and the evidence for divine beings as it is. Atheists generally do not engage in the wishful thinking, faulty logic, and intellectual dishonesty so prevalent among theists. There is no convincing evidence for the existence of any God or gods. If there was, there would not be so many atheists and agnostics in the world. Theists have come up with many arguments for the existence of god, but the fact remains that they have not come up with even ONE argument for the existence of god that is valid or that even gives strong evidence for the existence of god. If they had, theists would not have to continually revise failed arguments and come up with new ones.

Theism fails as a viable theory for the origins of the universe and our world. Theism is built on a very old belief - that of Anthropocentrism. The men of the ancient world, including the writers of the Bible, were ignorant of science and they held a cosmology and a worldview that we now know to be absurd and patently false. For a more detailed discussion of this issue, please see the following link:

Argument against Anthropocentrism . We now know that the universe is a staggeringly enormous place. Earth is but one planet in one solar system among many in one galaxy among many. Earth is not at the center of the universe or the galaxy or even our solar system. The simple fact of the matter is that Earth is rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things in the universe. Our knowledge of the cosmos provides proof beyond doubt that neither the Earth nor Mankind is anything central or special in the universe. The mythology of the Bible simply does not match up with Reality. The worldview of the Bible is ignorant and naive, and it is time to let Religion and religious myths die their natural deaths. Education and knowledge are the natural enemies of Religion.

The Theistic worldview may well sound nice and religions based on theism may be comfortable to believe. That does not, however, make them true. It is very important to deal with truth, facts, and Reality in all areas of life no matter what our emotional reactions may be or how much we may not like certain realities, and that includes religious belief and/or the belief in a god. Sure, it sounds nice to believe that there is a Loving God up there in the sky or in some spiritual realm who created us and that there is an eternity in Heaven waiting for those who serve this God, and that those who disagree with us and whom we do not like are destined for an eternal punishment. That belief may be comfortable, but does it have any basis in Reality? The answer, based on the evidence and facts that we have available to us, is a resounding NO.

The failure of theism to explain the universe and our origins still leaves us with deism, polytheism, and pantheism as major theories in the "god" paradigm.

Deism - the form of theological rationalism that believes in God on the basis of reason without reference to revelation. WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University

Polytheism - The worship of or belief in more than one god. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

 

Pantheism - A doctrine identifying the Deity with the universe and its phenomena. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

I reject the above three options for basically the same reasons that I reject theism - they are not based in demonstrable truth, facts, and Reality. Deism is the most rational of the above three, but I reject it also due to the lack of evidence for the existence of god, and the lack of evidence for intelligent design in the universe. We live in a universe and a world that is explainable by naturalistic forces and causes - no deity required. All of the failed arguments, logical fallacies, and wishful thinking of the theists does not change this fact.

Having rejected theism and competing theories and doctrines, one is left with no god and no belief in or doctrine of an afterlife. How then can Atheism be positive since it denies any supernatural reality or life after the death of the body? In the remainder of this article, I will attempt to show that, contrary to the assertions of theists and religionists, atheism is fundamentally and innately a positive position, while theism and religion are fundamentally negative and innately harmful.

Theists and believers in religion would have us believe that religion and belief in god has been a positive force and had a positive effect upon Mankind and his history. This claim is patently and demonstrably false. History clearly shows us otherwise. Religion and belief in a deity has a long history of visiting tremendous suffering upon Mankind and causing bloody conflicts due to the differing ideas on what god has revealed or what god's will is.

Theists and believers in religion would have believe that religion and belief in a deity offers hope. Again, history clearly shows otherwise. Religion has not offered real hope to Mankind. Religion has done little positive for Mankind and has caused a great deal of harm down through the centuries. All of Mankind's religions can easily be shown to be false. The only hope that religions offer is false hope. False hope is, in reality, no hope at all!

Theists and believers in religion would have us believe that religion and belief in a deity has furthered social progress. History again clearly shows us otherwise. Religion in general and Christianity in particular has, in fact, done much to stifle social progress. The Bible condones slavery, human sacrifice, child abuse, and it denigrates women. It contains atrocities and sexual content that, if present in any other book, Christians would be strongly opposed to. The Bible's take on morality and moral standards is not one that encourages social progress. Hammurabi's Code predates the Bible, and is regarded by many as superior to the morality presented in the Bible.

Theists and believers in religion would have us believe that religion has been the friend of science and scientific progress. Again, history clearly shows us otherwise. Religion has, in fact, been the historic enemy of science and scientific progress. The period in history when Religion and the Christian Church ruled supreme is commonly known as The Dark Ages. Science and scientific knowledge has only progressed as Mankind has thrown off the shackles of religious ignorance and dogma. Christian Fundamentalists today would like very much to take us back to the Dark Ages via the pseudo-science of Creationism. Creationism is faith. It is not science, and it is not even remotely scientific or based in Reality. The notion that it should be taught alongside science and scientific facts is absurd. Unfortunately, due the abysmal state of science education in our schools and in our country in general, religious ignorance has found some acceptance, which is an appalling and very frightening reality. Religion and religious ignorance do NOT belong in our schools, and it is my fervent hope that our system of education will not be the victim of religious ignorance, and certainly not ignorance and idiocy of the magnitude represented by Creationists and Creationism. I, for one, do NOT wish to see a return to the Dark Ages in America.

Theists and believers in religion would have us believe that morality comes from religion and/or that god dictates morality and/or moral standards. History once again disproves this assertion. The Bible god makes Hitler look wonderful by comparison. Let's examine the Christian historical record on morality at this link:

Victims of the Christian Faith . I dare any Christian to talk to me about morality and utter ignorant bullshit about how wonderful Christianity has been for Mankind after reviewing the facts of history.

We have seen that the claims of theism are false and the claim that Religion is good for Mankind is also false. Belief in a deity and Religion have both had a profoundly negative effect upon Mankind. So, why do I believe that Atheism is positive?

Atheists are not hindered by a religious belief system or religious dogma, and are therefore able to think about any issue that they wish to, and come to their own conclusions. Atheists do not have to deny truth, facts, or Reality in order to satisfy the demands of a religion or religious dogma or some god that they believe in. Atheists are free thinkers. Freedom of thought is one of Man's most precious freedoms. Religion and religious dogma rob us of that freedom.

Atheism elevates and affirms the value of life. Life is precious. We are here purely by chance. Think about it. If your parents had not been expressing their love for each other at a certain time on a certain date, you would not be here to be reading this article! Life is a wonderful thing, and our time in this universe is finite. Our existence will come to an end. All of us must face death at some point in time. My mortality, the fact that my existence would one day end, used to bother me. I spent a lot of time thinking about it and talking about it with friends and family. My thinking on it now can be summed up in a quote from Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain):

Mr. Clemens was once asked whether he feared death. He said that he did not, in view of the fact that he had been dead for billions and billions of years before he was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.

 

I have come to feel the same way. Life is a wonderful thing, and we should make the best of our lives and strive to leave this world a better place for our having been here. Immortality actually bothers me now more than the thought of my own mortality. I think that immortality would eventually become rather boring and pointless, and that it would eventually become a hell unto itself. Spend some time really thinking about it. If we didn't die, what the hell would we do after we had done it all? What would there be left to feel after we had felt every emotional state that humans are capable of many, many times over. Even joy would not be joyful after several hundred years, I would think. Immortality has its pitfalls and shortcomings, and I think it would ultimately be a good definition of Hell. Life is temporary, and our lives are finite. I personally do not wish to live or exist forever. If there is nothing at all after this life, I will not exist to be concerned about not existing. This fact is summed up beautifully by Mark Twain in the above quote. Mark Twain has been dead now for 92 years. I doubt that he has suffered any inconvenience from it at all. The kind of immortality that I wish for is not continued conscious, personal existence after the death of my body. I consider reincarnation a possibility, but I think that that is another concept that is riddled with wishful thinking and seeing what we might wish to see when evaluating the evidence. Reincarnation might be true, but then again it might not be. I don't know and really don't care. The immortality that I hope for is to make a real, positive difference in the lives of those who I touch and influence, and to live on in a positive way in the memories of my family and friends who survive me. That is the best kind of immortality. Personal conscious existence forever is not a thought that I find appealing. But that should not be taken to mean that I am negative about life. I do suffer from Bipolar Disorder, and I have to deal with the trials and tribulations that come with having that illness. Overall though, I find life very much worth living. Atheism, far from being a negative or depressing worldview, is actually one that I have found to be very freeing and life affirming. Atheism is life without mental, emotional or spiritual shackles. Atheism allows us to live life to the fullest without the guilt, shame, and fear that characterize religions and religious dogma. When death comes to those who I know and love, I honor their life and the time that I had with them. They live on in my memory. That is currently the case with three of my grandparents. They are gone now, and I have grieved their deaths and the loss of them. Should I live long enough, I will one day have to say goodbye to my parents. It is not something that I look forward to or something that I want to have to face. But it is a fact that it will happen, and when it does, I will grieve but I will honor their lives and their memory. They will live on in my memory and I hope to bring honor to them in life and in death through living a good and positive and meaningful life. Atheism removes the fear of death, which is based in religion and superstition. I do not fear death. I am not anxious to die, and I want to live a long and full life, but death will one day come to me, and I do not fear it. Everything that lives will eventually die. There are no exceptions. Religion and religious dogma make death a fearful thing. The reality is that death is as natural as life is. It is not something that we need to fear. We may fear the pain and discomfort that can be and often are associated with the death of the body, but death itself should not be something that we need to fear. Religion causes that fear. Atheism removes it. Atheism is freedom - freedom of the mind and freedom of the human spirit. Atheism is freedom from fear, guilt, and shame. Atheism is, without a doubt, a positive and life affirming worldview.

Religious believers, especially religious fanatics, would have us believe that atheism is negative, empty, and hopeless. I once believed that of atheism. I saw it as empty and hopeless, just as the Christian Church had taught me that it was. I saw atheism as an excuse to disobey the God that I firmly believed in, at least in my acceptance of Christian dogma, and I thought that atheists were immoral, unhappy, and even evil people. I had been taught that view by the Christian Church and the writings of Christian apologists. I am here to tell you that atheism is not about not having hope and it is not about defiance of a god. Atheism is about appreciating and honoring our lives and our minds and our freedom of thought, and our time in this universe, and of course appreciating and honoring the lives of those that we love and those who we are able to share this thing called life with. Atheism is about freedom - the freedom to live the life that we have in the here and now to its fullest potential. Atheism is the freedom to make the best of our lives without the baggage of worry about an alleged afterlife for which there is no proof and our fate after death, if any. Religion is a mental prison of guilt, shame, brainwashing, and fear. Atheism and free thought are the metaphorical keys to the prison door, and they point the way out of Religion's Prison to ABUNDANT LIFE. Glory!

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There's only two things I'm nitpicky about just because I'm nitpicky like that. Atheism isn't really a worldview mostly for the same reason atheism isn't a religion. I think it would be more accurate to describe atheism as a conclusion that can incorporate many of the worldviews you mentioned in your post just like theism in itself isn't a worldview but is likewise a conclusion that can incorporate many of the worldviews you mentioned theists have. I think the worldview you're describing would be more accurately called secular humanism rather than atheism whereas atheism is simply the conclusion one reaches about the existence of gods. The other thing is that not all atheists are necessarily more rational than theists, like Raelians are atheists yet their beliefs can be just as irrational as most Christian beliefs. Otherwise, I mostly agree with your post and it's interesting how much of reality is the complete opposite of what Christianity would want us to believe.

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