Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Atheist Survey!

Why do you not believe in God?

To date I have not been shown sufficient evidence for the existence of god. I search all of the time. I am the Fox Mulder on Jesus and god, meaning “I want to believe. I am simply not willing to accept these ideas without any evidence. It would be wonderful if there was an afterlife and I was going to live forever in paradise with unlimited margaritas and a little stone mansion. This simply seems like a farfetched promise that no one will ever have to make good on. In the meantime I have to make good on subscribing to a system of mind control and indoctrination in order to be accepted into a community of people who believe that there is a man in the sky watching every move that we make.

Where do your morals come from?

This certainly seems to be the questions of the year with Christians doesn’t it? Christians have been force fed the idea that the only standard for morality can be their god. Not only does this philosophy have many weaknesses when held up to the countless recorded civilizations that had strict moral codes before Christianity but it is blown out of the water the moment that an atheist lives his/her life in a moral fashion. The fact is that morals have been developed as part of human evolution and have been essential in the survival of a species that has very few physical defenses and must rely on intelligence and community in order to survive on a daily basis.

What is the meaning of life?

Life only has meaning to the individual who is living it. Ultimately there is no purpose or goal to life. We were lucky enough to win an exclusive genetic lottery through some surprising odds. You do not get to choose what part of the world you were born to or whether or not you are born rich or poor. The decisions you get to make in your journey through life are what make life beautiful and purposeful. Meaning is therefore relative. Some people find meaning in being parents while others could only feel life had meaning if they were a high powered CEO of a large company. Others even still prefer to live life exploring the world in which they were born to. All of these choices imply that they are meaningful to the chooser.

Is atheism a religion?

Atheism is a lack of religious belief or dogma. More specifically atheism is a non-belief in deities. This is not specific to the Christian god although the Christians seem to take atheistic and agnostic belief systems as a personal attack. Dawkins says it best when he talks about everyone being an atheist in respects to ancient gods like Thor. Dawkins says that the difference between the atheist and the Christian is just that the atheist believes in one less god than the Christian does. I believe this statement to be a good representation of the atheistic viewpoint.

If you don’t pray, what do you do during troubling times?

During troubling times I tend to problem solve and take actions that will improve and make my situation better. Even when I was a Christian I never put a ton of stock in prayer. I prayed daily but I always had the notion that god wanted me to be active in the problem solving process. It has always perplexed me that in the middle of a crisis a Christian will stop and pray when they could actually do something to help alleviate a particular situation.

Should atheists be trying to convince others to stop believing in God?

I do not believe that it is anybody’s place to try to convince another human being to stop believing in a particular belief system unless that belief becomes dangerous to society or innocent individuals. With that being said, there are many situations were religion is somewhat good or helpful to people in their given situations. I believe that if anyone is going to have their mind converted it is going to be because they were seeking knowledge on their own. The atheist and the agnostic should simply be available to discuss the issues with the inquisitive mind. They of course have no obligation to do this if they do not wish to.

Weren’t some of the worst atrocities in the 20th century committed by atheists?

Weren’t they committed by Christians? Even the atrocities that were actually committed by secularist were often done for religious reasons. I have actually covered this topic in great detail here. Anyways atheism is not a unified dogma or belief system. It is rather the lack of a belief system. Atheist tend to be more diverse than snowflakes. Since what we consider to be evil exist in humanity, it tends to exist across the board. This means you can find evil in any thought process that is a human creation.

How could billions of people be wrong when it comes to belief in God?

How could 10s of millions of people have purchased Brittney Spears CDs? Humans have a blessing and a curse of having a highly overdeveloped frontal lobe that is capable of advanced thought processes and self realization. Having the knowledge that we will one day die it is no wonder that we began to ponder what happens after death. It is easy to see how these myths could easily be created, amended and passed on from generation to generation.

Why does the universe exist?

The universe exist because random matter progressively followed uniform and complex laws over billions of years to create strands of protein that overtime would develop into one of the many life forms that will eventually become extinct. The universe has no direction or purpose and therefore we should enjoy what we have every single day and count ourselves lucky that we had a chance to enjoy our experiences in this lifetime.

How did life originate?

Obviously this question is under investigation. As human beings living on an impressive planet in a small corner of the universe, we have taken it upon ourselves to study and understand the world that we live in. There are many questions that we have answered and many more answers that we are searching for. I would recommend “The Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin as a springboard for the foundation of your understanding to this question.

Is all religion harmful?

It certainly seems like it can be in the wrong hands. I think that there are things about religion that make it exceptionally dangerous. One of those things is the idea of infallibility. If people are able to justify something in scripture then they cease to think for themselves about whether or not it might actually be wrong or harmful. It is an especially dangerous situation when these doctrines make it into the minds of someone who is mentally ill or unstable. We have very good documentation of tyrant leaders and religious wars that were led in the name of god. Countless people have been killed and put to death simply because they have not agreed with a specific version of religious thought or ideology. You would think that this type of behavior would be something of the past, but you would be wrong.

What’s so bad about religious moderates?

I don’t believe that there is anything sinister about religious moderates. The only thing that I consider to be bad about them is the way that they tend to vote.

Is there anything redeeming about religion?

I do believe that there is. I believe that there is a large portion of society that would not be capable of continuing life on a day to day basis without the thought that there might be a higher purpose or an afterlife. These people would become distraught and desperate without this belief system and the power that it harnesses. This would be a very scary situation because there is nothing more terrifying than desperate people.

What if you’re wrong about God (and He does exist)?

I guess I will go to hell.

Shouldn’t all religious beliefs be respected?

No, only actions should be respected. Beliefs make people do all sorts of silly things. Actions are really the only thing that we can judge people by.

Are atheists smarter than theists?

The issue with this question is causation. I think that across the board you will find the same degree of intelligence in most differing belief systems. Interestingly enough though the more education one receives the more likely they seem to be to embrace atheism.

How do you deal with the historical Jesus if you don’t believe in his divinity?

I for one believe that Jesus was likely to have existed. I believe that he was a man and that the stories about him were exaggerated in order to establish an organization that could gain public trust and collect their money without an argument.

Would the world be better off without any religion?

I am not certain. As a system of control it seems to have some pleasant and unexpected benefits. Of course the flip side of that is that there are some horribly evil atrocities that can be attributed to it as well.

What happens when we die?

Your brain ceases to function and your body proceeds on a journey through several stages of decomposition. In most cultures you are placed in a coffin and buried 6 feet deep beneath the earth.


tina said...

I like your answers to those questions. Especially the last one.:)

Clint said...

I thought that your questions were very informative and non-abrasive to a potential reader. I am a fellow Atheist and think sometimes we come across as being a little bit rude when questioned but you did quite well. :-)

angelsdepart said...

Thanks to both of you for your kind words!

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