As I peruse the various EzineArticles on religion, I don’t see many on the other side. And I don’t mean Satan, I mean atheists like me, those who think that all religions are mythology. So, I’m going to give you my point of view.
Many think that atheism is a religion, but it is not. It is exactly the opposite. Atheism means a lack of belief in god (s) and their respective religions … nothing more, it’s that simple.
We are not an organized group, but we should be. We come from all walks of life. We don’t spend our lives worrying about going to hell and we don’t have weekly meetings or sing atheistic songs. In general, we are moral and ethical Americans who have most of the same wants, needs, and desires as our fellow citizens. Most atheists don’t even think about it, they just don’t believe in God.
For the most part, we are not evil people as religious people like to characterize us. We are conservatives, we are liberals, we are Republicans, we are Democrats, we are charity volunteers and we are your neighbors … we walk among you, we raise and we vote. We also don’t believe in Satan, so we can’t work for him. We believe in science, logic and reason.
Being an atheist has many challenges, especially when one openly declares that he does not believe in any god. At first, the religious do not know what to think. You hear things like “if you knew God like I know God, you would believe.” They are even more perplexed when I tell them that there is nothing they can say or do to convince me otherwise. If a burning bush spoke to me, I would seek a speaker.
The most common argument I hear to make me accept his point of view is a reference to the Bible that I quickly dismiss as a book of distorted fairy tales, fiction, and history. This really makes them incredulous. How could I say something like that? When pressed, the religious cannot tell me who wrote the various books, when they were written, how many times they were edited or rewritten, how many times they were translated, and how they can tell the difference between fact and fiction. How do you explain the plethora of contradictions and the many supposed deletions? And why should I believe it without scientific evidence?
I find it hard to believe that, in modern times today, people still believe most biblical stories as “creation.” God created everything in six days and then rested on the seventh day. Does a supreme being need to rest? The story of Noah’s ark is also quite implausible. Yet millions believe these stories. I don’t do it because I believe in science, logic, and reason.
So I have to ask “if the message is so clear, why are there so many different sects and denominations? Who should I believe and why should I believe them? Since none of them can provide any scientific proof, why should I believe a nun? Does Joyce Meyer know more than Glenn Beck?
If you really stop to think about it, religion is learned. People are taught religion from a very young age and learn to accept it as “as it is.” This belief is reinforced by family, friends, society and experts such as Joel Osteen or Franklin Graham. Few stop and question religious teachings, and if they do, they develop deep feelings of guilt that often bring them back into alignment with dogma. Many stop actively practicing their religion but, when pressured, still claim to be believers. That is why the churches are full on Easter Sunday.
Occasionally one becomes religious as a result of a traumatic event or to meet some brain need. Few become religious as a result of a revolution or other epiphany that can claim to be a message from God. Have you ever noticed how often criminals “find God” after being convicted?
I am not in a campaign to persuade theists to abandon their beliefs. I don’t care what you believe as long as you don’t judge me, try to cover me up, or try to rewrite or usurp the Constitution. However, he distorts history by stating that the Founding Fathers wanted America to be a Christian nation. In fact, they went out of their way to make sure it wasn’t.
I will respect your constitutional rights to practice your religion as long as it respects my right not to believe. And it does not try to insert its religious beliefs in the government. I strongly believe in the separation of church and state. For my views on religion and politics, visit http://www.middlebuzz.com.
Please don’t tell me you’re going to pray for me. I don’t want it or need it.