All my reasons for being atheist! Attn: Bill Connor
Organization: ITC, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
From: email@example.com (Jeffrey Clark)
Firstly, not all my reasons are purely logical but some are merely
subjective evaluations. For the purposes of this article Atheist is
defined as "one who does not believe in the existence of God or Gods
and operationally believes that there is no God". Note the use of
the word operationally, meaning that I believe such a thing for the
purposes of decision making within my life but I am not 100% certain.
(N.B. I particularly like point 19).
1. I have received no IMO trustworthy accounts of any interaction of any
God or Gods with any humans. All accounts of such encounters that I
have encountered thus far have been clouded by alterior motive, need
for self-convincing, drugs or hoax.
2. There are thousands of differing religious belief structures which
are mutually exclusive and equally believable. Some of these belief
structures do not involve deities. The major point being which one?
And if one, why one? Why any, isn't just as likely that all of them
got it wrong?
3. As history has progressed the role of Gods has decreased as
understanding has replaced supernatural explanations for natural
events. If there were no God, then one would think it likely that
in our stage of development, the hypothetical God would only be
responsible for those things which we do not currently understand.
In other words the remaining God or Gods in our modern society will
only be necessary for the "possibly" supernatural parts of existence.
However if 500 years ago God/s were necessary to explain the
perfection of the heavans, where as now we know it's to do with
the 4 forces of nature and the 3 families of matter, then I do not
see why this trend will not continue, as it has for thousands of
years now, until understanding will eventually replace all of the
hypothetical God's reasons for existence.
4. If there is a God, how did such a being come into existence? The Big
Bang Theory is, on the surface, a remarkably simple idea. However I
have heard no such ideas contemplating the creation of God.
5. People who seem to have a broad knowledge about the workings of the
universe as we know it so far do not think that a God is necessary
to obtain a working hypotheses of the world around them. E.g Albert
Einstein. Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, David Suzuki, Arthur C. Clarke
etc. Here I am talking people who know a lot about a large number
of fields of science and philosophy.
6. Much of the work of religion seems to be based on guesswork or pure
creativity. The age of the Earth, the age of homo sapiens, history
as it happened over the thousands of years seem to differ from
religion to religion and, most importantly, differ from the objective
findings of archeologists, geologists, biologists etc.
7. I could not enjoy Monty Python half as much, were I a theist.
8. I have never seen the distinction between Santa Claus, Easter Bunny,
God, the Googy Monster, or distinctly pink invisible unicorns. All of
these things seemed to be stories told to you by your parents that you
eventually grew out of.
From now on I'll deal distinctly with why I am not a Christian.
9. I have discussed religion with many theists (3 of which I have
converted to atheism) and most of them cannot answer the most simple
inconsistencies in their beleif systems. Most of them make great
sacrifice for their belief systems and therefore undergo dissonance
when confronted with ideological impasses. This leads therefore to
not think about the inconsistency, it's better to bury the dissonance
(avoidance behaviour) rather than confront the dissonance and move
your belief system accordingly, which may cause much dissonance.
This is why I believe we should set up Zealots Anonymous all over
the world to help christians and other cultists come down from
their mind bending cults.
10. Having done psychology I have come across the Gazzanigga split brain
studies and numerous studies involving personality alteration via
neurotransmitter infusion. These operations and drugs which affect
the synaptic gap in neurones can and do radically alter peoples
personality profiles. Their basic awareness, their memories, their
mores, their reactions, their processing capacity, their motor
functions: every function of the brain which has been hypothesised
as part of the mind or soul can be and is effected by these
treatments. Why would the soul alter due to physical changes in
the brain? Isn't it much simpler to believe that these personality
functions are the direct result of the brain and not of some
intermediary supernatural soul which accomplishes nothing?
11. History has shown that those viewpoints or ideologies with the most
aggressive doctrine are more likely to survive the centuries.
Throughout the history of Christianity and Islam is numerous examples
of this aggressive viewpoint. This is why they are the dominant views
today. So why, in particular, should the most aggressive ideologies
necessarily be the right ones.
12. A lot of testimony about the existence of a supreme rightness or God
comes from Xtians and Moslems who claim to have felt God due to this
spiritual ecstacy they had felt during a "religious experience".
However I also have felt similar feelings to what they described as
i sit upon a country hill at night underneath a cloudless sky and
can "feel" Earth as a giant spaceship speeding through the Galaxy.
I become so overwhelmed by the immensity and beauty of it all that
I stare for hours. However I still understand the basic principles
behind how the whole of the universe exists, and none of it
requires a God.
13. Beleiving anything with a conviction that it precludes questioning is
merely beyond my capacity. I simply can't do it. I have an enquiring
mind and I have found my beleifs to be wrong before so why not again in
the future. To believe beyond question in a supreme, all-loving deity
seems absurd to me for the mere reason that it asks you to suspend
14. Too often in the past has religion been used as an excuse for the great
evils of human beings. Kings have promised the subjects that they rule
by divine right or that they themselves are descendant from Gods and
are therefore Gods themselves. Torture, genocide, racism, slavery,
invasions, mass rape, and war have all been justified under the auspices
of divine authorisation. This represents to me that religion is a
powerful tool used by those smitten with power for unscrupulous ends
(was that poetic or what). I do not want to be associated with such vile
acts any more than being human already implicates me.
15. Too often the church does backflips and makes errors. If the chuch
heirarchy were truly led by a divinity (as most claim) they would not
make such glaring errors. It is because of this desire to maintain a
divine public image that the church is loathe to admit to mistakes until
the mistake is shown to be ludicrously obvious (eg Galileo).
16. As I point out the problems with each individual denomination under the
Christian umbrella, Christians will often defend by saying "Oh well,
THEY'RE not real Christians, but my church or I AM". This is so common
that for each claim of true Christianity there is probably over a hundred
other denominations chastising them as not real Christians.
17. Church teachings are sexist, judgemental, arrogant, inconsistent, filled
with authoritative eplanation rather than rational explanation and are
therefore not conducive to learning a good life philosophy.
18. The Bible has literally hundreds of ambiguities, inconsistencies,
falsehoods, and ascriptions to God of horrific, peurile behaviour.
Anyone who does not acknowledge that this is true really is not reading
the Bible seriously or has a major mental block in the way of them
seeing it. The Bible is bunk, there is NO denying that.
19. The anthropocentric view is a dangerous view for humans to have at this
point of time. Humans, even non-theists, believe for some reason that
the universe is here for them and that we will not be destroyed because
there is some purpose. This abrogates responsibility. In order for our
species to survive, and personally I think that this would be a good
eventuality, we must realise that the universe is as ignorant of us as
any other piece of space dust and cares nought whether we propagate and
fill the universe or extinguish in a nuclear blase. We are responsible
for our own survival. We cannot look to some all powerful Daddy to come
in, when we have sufficiently stuffed it up for us to learn our lesson,
and make it all right again. Once we stuff it up, it's stuffed up.
Religions promote an anthropocentric view, to the detriment of our
species. It is for this reason that I actively oppose Christianity and
any other anthropocentric religion.
20. Religions have played their role in history. They were one of the major
cultural influences in uniting peoples into close-nit communities. It
enabled the survival of the species through some of it's toughest tests.
But we have reached adolescence now and we must give up our childhood
fantasies. We must quickly reach maturity before we become another
teenage drink/driving or drug overdose or suicide statistic in the
Universe's intelligent race survival book. I'd like to be part of the
maturing process not the part that holds on to childhood days.
21. Any one of these reasons may be refuted, but in collaboration they shore
up their strength in order to make only one option available to me in my
choice between theism and atheism.
I think this is, in effect, the start of an "Atheist manifesto". Not bad for
a first draft. If anybody else would like to edit bits or add bits gives us