Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What's up with theists?

Atheism: 1580s, from French athéisme (16c.), from Greek atheos "without god" (see atheist). A slightly earlier form is represented by atheonism (1530s) which is perhaps from Italian atheo "atheist." Ancient Greek atheotes meant "ungodliness."

Theists seem to be more ignorant about what the word atheist means and particularly what atheists believe then they are of their own beliefs. So I thought it was high time that I set the record straight! I have heard a bunch of stupid and even rather entertaining opinions about what atheists stand for or what atheists believe.Oftentimes Christians in particular try to turn the tables on atheists by trying to shift the burden of proof on us when it is they that are making the absolute claim that God exists. They improperly try to force atheists into a corner by demanding that we prove that God does not exist. In philosophy that is known as what is called "proving a negative" but when it comes to gods or God it cannot be done conclusively.

It amuses me how theists claim to know God through the scriptures or what they believe they have learned through the interpretation of the scriptures. But the truth of the matter is that theists themselves don't even know what it is they believe. The fact that the bible is open to human interpretation eliminates it as the word of God in my book. As the 35,000 plus Christian sects in America are a testimony to; the bible can basically be made to say whatever it is you want it to say.

Some of the common things these sects argue about are the following:
1. At what age should someone be baptized?
2. Do babies need to be baptized?
3. Should baptism be full immersion under water or just a sprinkling of water on the forehead?
4. Is venerating saints prohibited in the bible?
5. Is purgatory real?
6. Is the trinity real is God three entities in one or simply just one god?
7. Do miracles still happen today as in faith healing?
8. Do the gifts of the Spirit still manifest themselves today?
9. Are believers going to heaven or are they going to live in a New Jerusalem here on earth?
10. Is praying to Mary a form of idolatry?

The list goes on and on without end. Thus we have so many Christian sects worldwide all in some cases incorporating Christianity into their cultural beliefs.Various forms of Christianity can be found all over the world. If you were to compare their doctrines and tenets to one another you would think you are not studying the same religion.

If theism means a belief in god; then atheism simply means without a belief in god. One thing that is common of all atheists is that we enjoy our freedom of speech, our rights to think and hold beliefs freely about a myriad of subjects. We take pride in being called freethinkers where our minds are not shackled by set doctrines or dogmas. I have personally corresponded with atheists who do not believe nor accept the theory of evolution in its entirety. Others accept evolution as a well known and established scientific fact.

Calling myself an atheist does not extend into other fields of thought. When I say I am an atheist I am specifically speaking about my position about where I stand when it comes to the issue of the existence of gods or the biblical God and other supernatural entities. Not all atheists are pro-choice when it comes to abortion, nor do we all agree on political issues, we do argue about science much, and we definitely don't worship science. We demand proof that can be verified and repeatable using the scientific method.

When I personally say that there is no God or gods I say so because the alternative seems irrational to me. My journey in fundamentalist Christianity and my subsequent escape from it has been a long and conflicting process which spanned about six years of self-doubt and the illogical fear of the consequences I would suffer for turning my back on God. But I did a thorough investigation and found explanations for all of my so called supernatural experiences while a believer and evangelist.

You can never generalize when speaking about atheists because of the simple fact that we don't all agree on many things. We take pride in being able to make up our own minds as to what we believe or reject. We take pride in being able to reasonably analyze whatever situation life throws at us and coming to rational conclusions on how to handle those situations or the information we learn from them.

To say that atheist are immoral, full of hate, god deniers, etc. just demonstrates the ignorance of those making these claims as to what an atheist is and what it represents. I've been accused of confirmation bias, or even ignoring the so called evidence for the existence of God. But the truth is that theists simply don't have any evidence for the existence of their god. The day a theist can provide objective evidence for the existence of God he/she will win the Nobel peace prize and will go down in history as the man/woman who brought down God from the heavens.

I firmly believe that that will never happen, but I am open to it if it does. My dilemma with God is that if his so called message is so important then why doesn't he just make himself known to everyone in a manner that would simply be outright undeniable. For instance when the apostle Thomas did not believe in the resurrection he appeared to him and dined with him and the other disciples. Why couldn't he do something similar today to all that asks? He is omnipresent so appearing to billions at once shouldn't be a problem.

Oh and one last thing: stop threatening us with eternal suffering in hell! Let me lay it out for you. As an atheist we reject everything your bible says about supernatural beings and imaginary places. We don't believe in God, Satan, demons, angels, cherubim, seraphim, prophecy, heaven, hell, purgatory, paradise, Jesus as God incarnate or any other cockamamie ideas your beliefs represent. Telling an atheist that he will know God is real when he finds himself burning in hell is like telling a grown up that if they don't behave that the boogie man is going to come out of the closet and eat them! It's nothing more than an idle threat with no substance.

That last paragraph should clear up a couple of things. Just because we don't believe in gods or God does not mean that we worship Satan, eat babies, or have sold our soul to the devil. Just reading this as I write it gives me a chuckle at the thought that some idiots that share this planet with us actually believe these things.


  1. I would also like to add, we are not mad at a god we do not even believe in. But some of his followers piss me off.

    1. Absolutely! That is one of the most common accusations against us by theists. It's so self-contradictory it's insane!

  2. Without their hell threat, religions, their sales people and the legion of those afflicted with it have nothing to offer. The sell is that if we subscribe to the baby jesus, munch on his flesh and blood on a regular basis, we can avoid their fictitious hell. Without it there's no readon to bother. It's a flimsy proposition and it is amazing that so many people are prepared to treat what is absurd nonsense as some sort of truth.

  3. It is interesting that you actually started a blog about something you think doesn't exist and/or is irrelevant. If you had paid attention in Bible school (if you attended one), you will find answers to all the questions you posted. Regards.

    1. It's even more interesting how Christians think they are the only ones who have the truth and are antagonistic to anyone who opposes their beliefs. I blog about Christianity because you are trying to force your beliefs on the rest of our society. You try to influence politicians and legislation based on what? Faith!

      God might not exist but his human advocates do and it against them that I mostly stand. If it were not for secularism and science we would probably still be casting out demons from epileptics.

      By the way, I am interested. Please give me an example of a question that has been answered in the bible that I have not grasped.

    2. Oh by the way those are not questions of mine as stated in the post those are common issues Christian sects argue about. It seems theists also suffer from reading comprehension.

    3. "Bible school" = classes taught by self-styled "experts" to tell the masses what the bible *really* means, since the omnicient and omnipotent god didn't have the common sense to make "his" words understandable in the first place.

  4. "You try to influence politicians and legislation based on what? Faith!"

    The last time I checked, I avoid discussing my faith and/or religion. I'm a physician in Chicago and all my co-workers are Jews and Muslims. We all work and hang out together. Even if the topic of religion pops up, it turns into a healthy chat or debate. No one is forcing anything on anyone, and no one is claiming to know everything. Even Jesus didn't know everything.

    "Christianity because you are trying to force your beliefs on the rest of our society."

    Try living in Saudi Arabia. If you speak a word against their religion, they'll separate your head from your shoulders. Try writing one blog post against Islam and I'm sure they'll bomb your house. Try living in North Korea (atheists) - if you mention the word "religion" they'll move your entire family into concentration camps and feed your kids to dogs.

    I think you need to travel more. You don't know anything about the world. Trust me, there are more horrible religions and/or governments out there than "Christians forcing their religion on everyone." I have seen it all myself.

  5. "If it were not for secularism and science we would probably still be casting out demons from epileptics."

    You need to read some history and make some more friends. Most of the scientists - Newton, Kepler, Einstein, believed in God. Mozart, Beethoven, and many more musicians believed in God.

    As I said, I'm a physician, and all my physician coworkers are Jews, Muslims, and Hindus. Most of the smartest people I know are part of a religion. They may not be Christians, but they're believing in something. The next time you visit your doctor or a lawyer, try asking them about their religious background.

    1. Granted, some scientists were theists; that is an historical fact, but they made the discoveries they did not because of their beliefs. They did so because of their research and the proper use of the scientific method. Scientists have been said to compartmentalize their faith from their work. So there is no surprise there. By the way some of the scientists you mentioned were not traditional believers some were deists.

      I don't write much about Islam, not because of fear of what they may do. I don't write about them because I know next to nothing about their religion. I've never read the Koran and I have no interest in doing so. Physical harm or death does not intimidate me I grew up around violence in New York so I've been witness to murders up close and personal. I've even been stabbed and have had to stave off several mugging attempts in my lifetime.

      But you make a great point. In other countries that are dominated by religion or are as most of the middle east a theocracy; violence caused by religious zeal is a problem. Remember during the various Inquisitions in Europe it was Christianity who was doing the killing. They were killing anyone from competing religious groups and even other sects of Christianity which they labeled heretics.

      I don't fear Yahweh, Allah, or any other imaginary god that man has created. The zealous followers of those and many other beliefs are much more dangerous than the deities they claim to represent.

  6. Well, R April, sees perfectly all the damage - and is perfectly aware of it too, it seems - that religion makes in the world and still chooses the wrong side of the fence...mmmmm. Who is the deluded one?

    I´m an atheist and i´m against religion because of all the things R. April mentions and all the things Chatpilot mentions. I have, by the way, no problem with a person believing in a deity (if he/she must) in a deist way, because that the most humble, beningn, rational way to do such a thing (again, if you must and feel the need). Religious dogma (and the social consecuences derive from it: attacking science, attacking sexual minorities, getting in the way of women rights, etc, long etc) on the other hand, is a cancer to human happiness, a toxic way of thinking that does nothing of well (without sickeningly strings attach: you must believe and think like we do, hate what we hate, limit yourself like we do, etc, long etc) to anybody and is hypocritically self deluding itself into thinking that it is doing good¡¡

    And - I think - R. April is symptomatic example of this. Passive aggressiveness at its worst...

    1. Great points Pablo! Reading your reply reminds me of the position of Christopher Hitchens in 'God is Not Great' How religion poisons everything. Theists want us to overlook the damage that religious have caused throughout history and just look at the supposed good that they have done.

      But even in today's modern society religion continues to poison the minds of the masses with the imagined prejudices of their god. I'm pretty sure that if the U.S. became a full fledged theocracy theists would revert back to the savagery that was the inquisition, Salem witch hunts, and even fight wars to establish their religion as the one and only religion for the world.