By Bob Patterson
I'm frequently asked why I pursue promoting atheism. I'm told that atheism is a negative and wouldn't it be better to promote something positive?
Au contraire! Atheism is a very necessary and positive force in opposition to irrational superstition.
Let me elaborate.
The world is a finite place. The "blue ball" is only 7918 miles in diameter. The world population is over 6.6 BILLION people (6,600,000,000). The earth is said to be about 4.5 billion years old. Man, as we know him, may go back at least a million years from our chimp ancestors, but has only matured to technology in a mere smattering of years in geological terms. The technical achievements of man is staggering, in such a short time. I remember the first 4-bit memory chip in the 60's; it could count to ten! I was impressed! From the time of the Wright Brothers' first flight (1903) until we put man on the moon (1969) was a mere 66 years! Man did the work and man alone deserves the credit.
As an atheist, I see religious belief as nothing more than superstition perpetuated by those who are monetarily rewarded and assisted by those either looking for a reward or avoiding a hideous punishment. Atheism is simply a lack of belief that a god exists. Atheism is NOT a belief system or a religion. There is no way to logically prove that something doesn't exist. One would have to explore the entire universe to say something did not exist. As an open-minded freethinker (I hope I am) I would once more become a 'believer' if the following questions were to be answered and verified. I will NOT acknowledge 'faith' as evidence of anything except self-induced delusion. Neither will I accept unverifiable stories about magic or miracles as evidence.
There are about 2500 recent gods and more than 10,000 ancient gods; How do I know your god is the real god? After all, other religions claim that their god is the real god.
Where is God? Define God? If God is real he should be able to be defined. The earth is an infinitesimally small object in a vast universe. Isn't that an unnecessary waste of space if humans exist as pawns to entertain this emotionally unstable deity who drowns and murders those who fail to satisfy his need for praise and recognition?
What kind of intelligence does God have? If God is real, he must have mass or matter to have intelligence. I cannot conceive of intelligence in the vacuum of space.
What does it take to communicate with the big guy? I have talked and listened (but not since 1951) and have never gotten a response. I submit those who claim to hear from God would do well to schedule some couch time with Dr. Phil.
Many claims are made on the big guy's behalf, yet war, disease and much suffering still persists. What about birth defects? How long are we supposed to wait before he does something?
Is there any difference between a god who can cure disease, but doesn't and one who claims to but cannot?
Is there really any difference between your god and the Wizard of Oz?
Is it as embarrassing for you, as it was for me to be asked to pray in public?
Isn't it confining to be taught that these kind of questions are 'off limits'? I submit that no question is off limits.
Isn't it true that your god has no more basis in fact than Santa Claus, the tooth fairy or harry Potter?
Isn't it as embarrassing for you, as it was for me, to have to admit to believing this 'stuff'?
Isn't the fact the Catholic church has paid out BILLION's of dollars in pedophilia cases convincing enough to think if a god was involved, he'd have intervened by now?
The basis for all religious dogma is faith, not facts, which is why every religion is different. Shouldn't that make one skeptical?
Most every crooked scam in the world is a confidence game based on the victim having 'faith' in the scam artist. How is religion any different from this?
Man is the only animal with an imagination that allows him to create religions and gods.
All religions are NOT alike, some are much worse than others.
Christianity is a 'designer' religion by Constantine and was forced on the world through the Roman occupation. When Christianity flourished in Europe, the period was called "The Dark Ages."
Man is (or should be) his own complete self. The desire for an invisible sky daddy is an admission of immaturity. Having a god may also be a means of not having to accept full responsibility for one's self.
The credit for man's great achievements should belong to man alone. Religion's desire to remain in the dark ages is only beneficial to the gurus who benefit from it. Humanity should free itself from religious superstition. It cannot do that if good men refuse to speak. I know too many 'closet atheists' who are afraid to admit it.
That great Statesman and orator, Jesse Ventura once said: Religion is a crutch for those too lazy to think for themselves". Only George Carlin could top that!
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)