So Emily, Why are you an atheist?

Well, because what is real matters. The truth is better than a lie no matter how hard it is to accept.If you believe in something that is false, say for instance that homosexual acts are a sin worthy of torture, then in order for you to act morally based on that belief, you have to convince gay and bisexual people not to act on their attractions, which does a real harm in the real world. But since their is no evidence that homosexual acts are a sin, then you are doing a real harm that has consequences in this world without reducing any other harm. So why atheism? Because there is no evidence for any god or gods. If there is no evidence, why should we believe? We shouldn’t. Empiricism is the only reliable way to know what exists outside of a mental construct. And our desires have no bearing on reality except how they influence our actions.

But atheism alone is not enough. It is just one right answer. Having that answer has consequences though. If their is no god to help us, then we must help each other. No one is going to make the world a better place just by wishing, praying, or hoping. We must take action.

If you don’t have empathy, then nothing I say will make you want to make the world a better place. An atheist without empathy is useless to me. If you don’t use reason, evidence, and logic to justify your positions, then how is that different from religious faith?

So atheism alone is not enough, we also need skepticism, empathy, reason, logic, and evidence.

So you people who read my blog, why do you believe what you believe? This question is open to people of all religions and none.

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10 thoughts on “So Emily, Why are you an atheist?

  1. I believe that God loves everyone equally, and rules and laws are made by man to control us, and the rules in the Bible are just a record of the laws that stood at the time it was written. Things have changed a lot since then and trying to mimic them is very close-minded and will not allow us to grow as a society.
    I have guilt that I blamed God for giving me a female body and refusing my prayers to change me, and so losing faith. I have tried to find my way back into Christianity and the Church community in recent years and I know that God is there.
    As I grew up as a self proclaimed Atheist (although I now realise I always had a feeling He was there), I understand the arguments against religions. I’ve told them to myself and others many times over the years. I’m a scientist and engineer. I know that evidence-based support and everything you mentioned in your post is important, I’m just not sure that it can be applied to religion which is spiritual. That’s just my opinion :)

  2. @ TheRealNicky

    1. You never answered my question, why do you believe in god, and specifically the christian god, and not say Zeus, Odin, Ra, Vishnu, Amaterasu, or any of the many others? All you’ve given me is that you believe in god and used to be an atheist.
    2. If religion is spiritual and cannot be tested based on evidence then it has exactly 0 relevance to any question of morality or existence, and is therefore meaningless. So why bother? It seems like a useless construct that has been posited that doesn’t explain anything. And forgive me for being blunt, what exactly is the difference between that and playing pretend?
    3. Feelings are not evidence for anything that has an independent existence outside of the mind.
    4. If the bible is a man made construct, which has no relation to how your god supposedly is, then what is the basis for Christianity?

  3. 1. I believe in the ‘Christian’ God because that is how I was raised, and Christianity, specifically Church of England, is where I feel like my ideas of God belong. There are many religions around the world, and many more which are no longer practiced, which contain similar views as each other on main points like compassion for others. There are also many different denominations within each religion which emphasize different parts and interpret text in different ways. The God I believe in is influenced by myself and my experiences, and ‘choosing’ the Christian God fits with my views. This isn’t everyone’s experience, obviously.
    2. There have been studies that suggest that believing in any God, and having a supportive religious community can increase recovery from diseases. I’m not saying that God Himself heals, but allows the sufferers to better heal themselves. Therefore it is not meaningless. Of course, not seeking any medical help at all is not going to work. As for morality, I suppose in a rough translation it could be seen similar to the justice system. Be evil in life and sufferer the consequences. Even if the perceiced consequences are incorrect, the fact that there are consequences after death may be more important to the believer than the threat of imprisonment. Existence, well I don’t know about you but I feel I am here to help fellow man as much as I am capable. If I did any less I would not be fulfilling my potential. This is my, and many peoples, view on existence.
    3. Feelings are not evidence, as they are also not in court. However, your feeling that there is no God is also just a feeling. There is no evidence that God does not exist.
    4. The Bible is the basis of Christianity, specifically the New Testament. You know, the bit with Christ in it. Christ taught love and forgiveness and acceptance, among many other lessons. The Old Testament is often used in arguments against things like homosexuality, but Christ never said anything about that. The view of God is also very different between the Old and New Testaments, essentially being wrathful in the Old and loving in the New (a sweeping generalisation).
    Do these answer your questions?

  4. . There have been studies that suggest that believing in any God, and having a supportive religious community can increase recovery from diseases.

    The key there has been shown that it is having supportive communities.

    As for morality, I suppose in a rough translation it could be seen similar to the justice system. Be evil in life and sufferer the consequences. Even if the perceiced consequences are incorrect, the fact that there are consequences after death may be more important to the believer than the threat of imprisonment.

    Yes, but you’ve said that the spiritual world cannot be shown to exist, so why should anyone be influenced by it?

    Existence, well I don’t know about you but I feel I am here to help fellow man as much as I am capable. If I did any less I would not be fulfilling my potential. This is my, and many peoples, view on existenc

    And I’m not talking about the meaning of life (42) here. You’ve said that the spiritual is not testable. So how do we know if anything, say, such as God exists?

    However, your feeling that there is no God is also just a feeling. There is no evidence that God does not exist.

    Yes. There is no evidence that God does not exist. There is no evidence that a teapot orbiting Pluto does not exist. There is no evidence that invisible pink unicorn does not exist. But what reason do we have to believe that they do? I have never said that no gods definitively exist. I have said that there is no reason to believe that they do. And specific god claims can be proven false.

    The Bible is the basis of Christianity, specifically the New Testament. You know, the bit with Christ in it.

    and the rules in the Bible are just a record of the laws that stood at the time it was written.

    So how can you say that X part is true when Y part is false? What is the basis?

    among many other lessons.

    Yes, like the belief in hell, one of the most evil concepts ever created.

    The Old Testament is often used in arguments against things like homosexuality,

    Romans 1:26-28

    1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
    1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
    1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

    Romans 1;31-32

    1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
    1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    Timothy 1:10

    1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

    Jude 7:8

    7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
    8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

    So yeah, new testament too. Also Matt 5:17

    5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

    The view of God is also very different between the Old and New Testaments, essentially being wrathful in the Old and loving in the New (a sweeping generalisation).

    Acts 5:1-11

    5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
    5:2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
    5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
    5:4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
    5:5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
    5:6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
    5:7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. (5:7) “Three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.”
    (5:8) “Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.”

    5:8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
    5:9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. (5:9) “Peter said … How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.”
    (5:10) “Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost.”

    (5:11) “And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.”

    (5:12) “By the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people.”

    5:10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
    5:11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

    doesn’t sound much different to me.

    The difference between the god of the old testament and new, is that the one in the new testament won’t just kill you, he’ll torture you for eternity.

  5. Thanks for the great post. I’ve shared it on my WordPress – check it out; I post a lot of atheist-related material as well as many other important themes.

    Liked, followed, and reblogged!

  6. I don’t believe in any gods because I haven’t found any good reason to do so (believing because my parents told me to no longer being a good enough reason now that I’m not 5 years old anymore). I have searched for a reason to believe in the god I was taught to believe in, and I was sure I would find it for a time, but all I have found are reasons not to believe. It would be dishonest to keep trying to believe in something in such circumstances.

    I’ve reached the best conclusion I can with the information that I have, which is that there is no good reason for me to believe in any gods, that I can find.

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