The Man Without a Faith

There is no god.

There, I said it. I pull no punches when it comes to this shit because I think it’s an extremely important point to make. Though I think I should include a few qualifiers: There is no evidence of any god’s existence and it’s irrational to assume there is a god. Therefore, there is no god.

I believe only what has been proven through science, or more broadly, through experimentation and study. Though ‘believe’ is probably the wrong word. Belief is associated with faith, and I find faith to be, honestly, a bad thing.

So many people in today’s society use religion to justify some really stupid shit. Like a ban on gay marriage or a ban on stem cell research, or a ban on teaching evolution. Now look, those are all fine issues to discuss, but when the reasoning for them is faith-based, there can’t be a discussion, because people with faith can’t possibly be proven wrong…at least in their mind. They ignore logic and reason and all the evidence in the world cannot get them to change their mind. That is a problem.

It’s called solipsism. The state of mind that says one cannot be wrong. I once saw this illustrated perfectly on Law and Order (which, thanks to my OCD and mad research skills, I found out was Season 17 Episode 13: Talking Points) where an Ann Coulter caricature was talking at a university and the people got violent because she said things they disagreed with and they couldn’t verbalize a proper rebuttal. You know, if you can’t verbalize a proper rebuttal, it’s possible you are wrong. But of course they can’t be…right?

Of course solipsism isn’t exclusive to religion, but unlike politics, religion requires it. Never have I heard a religious person allow the core tenets of their faith to be debated. Nor have I heard a devout Christian say: “hmm, maybe you’re right, maybe Jesus didn’t rise from the dead.” This unmoving nature has caused me to reject all religion. Now some people think atheists are the same way, that we refuse to believe in god, and we refuse to listen to reason, it even says so in the bible. But that is ridiculous. If proof of god appeared before me, like, for instance, actually seeing god descending from the heavens, when I’m not high. I’ll become a Christian, as would any self-respecting atheist. Hell, it doesn’t even need to be that extreme. Evidence for me could be as simple as multiple independent studies showing that rates of financial success (which if you ask me is a very objective measure of success) are significantly higher among Christians than atheists. After all, many Christians talk about how god has personally touched their lives. That seems to be something one should be able to prove, and this sounds like a good a method as any.

Now, since we are dealing with the general misconceptions of atheism, I think it’s important to bring up morality. Many Christians think atheists have no moral code. This is so provably wrong. I, as an atheist, can tell you that I have a moral code, and a pretty strong moral code at that. It’s based on a few simple principles: Freedom is paramount; treat others the way you would like to be treated; and assume the best in people. That should cover everything, and I didn’t need to look it up in some book. Of course this moral code is one I adopted from society and my own experiences. Which one could argue is originally from Christianity. That may be true, but it doesn’t prove the existence of any god. It simply means the ancient Jewish leaders thought these were good rules to live by. Besides, when you really think about it, Christians get their morality from the same source, society, not the bible. No Christian…actually scratch that, very very few Christians, believe it’s right to execute disobedient children, gays, or people who work on the sabbath. Nor does any Christian believe slavery was a good idea. The bible disagrees. Now look, if you want to cherry pick the bible, that’s fine, but to say you get your morality from it…well…that’s just wrong, if you did, you would take it all as it is, and not eliminate elements based on societies morals. My point is simple, morality is not the exclusive providence of religion.

Besides, let’s look on the flip side, if you want to talk evil and immoral, look no further than Hitler, who, guess what, was a Christian. Of course some say he rejected Christianity, and that may be true, but he did use Christian symbols to empower his troops and if you ask me, that doesn’t sound like someone who rejected the Christian faith. If he did reject Christianity, he wouldn’t have put a Christian Symbol on the belt buckle of all of his soldiers. It would make absolutely no sense.

Finally, I think there is one question I should answer before capping this off. What if I’m wrong. Now, I’ve actually thought about this, and I have my own explanation, but so does Richard Dawkins, whose answer I really like:

But mine response is a little more elegant. It’s likely there is no god, because believing in the Christian god is just as logical as believing in Shiva, or Amaterasu, or Loki. (I know this sounds identical to Dawkins’ response but bear with me on this.) This is primarily because all of these faiths each popped up in one place, and one place only. For instance Christianity only made an appearance in the Middle East. Why didn’t prophets pop up in Asia, America and the middle of Africa to talk about the God of Abraham? Why is it only the Middle East that gets a prophet. Now of course some would argue they are here now, so what difference does it make? Well what about the Natives, who were here a thousand years ago? Why couldn’t they hear the word of god? Also, what about the African Bushmen? Until recently they were completely cut off from the modern world, and I’m willing to bet some still are. So why didn’t god send his word down to those people?

There are three possible ways to explain this. Number one: God doesn’t exist. Number two: God does exist and he doesn’t care whether or not we believe in him, and when people die, they go up to heaven and are judged purely on the actions they committed in life. They are judged based on whether or not they are good people, not on what they believed. In that case I’m good no matter what, as long as I’m a good person, I’ll still get into heaven.

Finally number three: God does exist, and he’s a dick. He is a jealous asshole who requires that you believe in him as opposed to Thor, who doesn’t actually exist. Which is like your girlfriend dumping you because you keep fantasizing about Betty Rubble. He’s a bigot who will only let one group of people (the Jews) into his playground, and will throw any other race into a pit of fire for all eternity, not because they were bad people, but because they were Black…or Asian, who were never even told he existed. He’s also the kind of guy who will torture people with natural disasters either to punish them for not believing, or to test their belief. The first group I kinda get, but the second group? That’s like your best friend punching you in the face randomly every once in a while, to test your friendship…and he shoots you if you fight back. Is that really a god you want to worship? I know I don’t.

It’s just as logical to believe in one god as any other, which tells me none of them are real. If one of them was real, we’d have evidence to support that. Society once needed a god to answer all the questions we didn’t have answers to, specifically those about the natural world (like how lightning works). So the leaders of our society created gods to answer those questions (he throws lightning bolts from a cloud). Nowadays, almost every question has an answer grounded in nature, not god (positive and negative electrical charges in the clouds and the ground are equalized by an energy transfer that manifests as lightning). So where does that leave god? As a cosmic babysitter? If the only reason you haven’t murdered your neighbour is because you are afraid god will kick your ass, than guess what, you are a horrible human being. I got a better reason not to kill people: because it’s wrong! If that’s not enough for you, then you do not deserve to be a part of our society.

Besides, the fact that I don’t believe in god means I can focus on this life, and making the world better for me and my future children, or my younger cousins. Instead of ignoring the world’s problems because I think god will refresh the world next week anyways. This is all we have, let’s make it the best it can possibly be.

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5 responses to “The Man Without a Faith

  1. ok, as a fellow rational person and someone who has been to a Catholic and a Protestant church, participated in a Wiccan coven, and believed in Darwin’s evolution for quite a while until learning about the virus and platypus (both completely unexplained btw) i get why someone wouldn’t believe in gods, and i have nothing against you or any atheists that are just atheists (won’t say what i believe, mostly because i don’t know)

    warning below may be uninformed as i haven’t read “The God Delusion”

    but honestly, fuck richard dawkins, i’ve seen him speak and he’s just a smug asshole with no understanding of the people he so openly and condescendingly mocks
    and i’m pretty sure he doen’t have any degree in quantum physics, biology, OR genetics, at least 2 of which should be required of anyone before they feel qualified to say that there definitely isn’t a god (which i think he’s said)

    • …Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist, he has an ScD, he teaches at Oxford, and you’re ‘pretty sure’ he doesn’t have any degree in biology or genetics?

      You don’t know what words mean do you?

      Even if he didn’t, why would expertise in those fields be required to say there is no god?

      Also, I don’t think he’s smug, I think he’s just sick and tired of bullshit. Give him a reasonable argument and he might sound a little more humble.

      Look, I didn’t read the God Delusion yet either, but I can use Google.

      Now, something else bugs me. You say the virus and platypus are completely unexplained. Now, I’ll be honest, I can’t explain how they evolved either, but, once again, I can use Google, and a quick search gave me some interesting information.

      Recent genetic analysis of the platypus shows they evolved from early mammals. Which ones specifically? I have no idea, nor do I care. It’s likely some animal we don’t have fossil evidence of, which is most animals in the history of the planet.

      As for viruses, well, they don’t leave fossils, so it’s not surprising that we don’t have evidence for their origins. I have a theory though: they evolved in the same way early cellular life did, just in a different way, leading to a different result. Basic chemicals came together to form extremely primitive proteins, and evolution did the leg work.

      This isn’t rocket surgery. Even if I didn’t have an explanation, that would prove nothing because lack of evidence or explanation does not mean “god did it.” That’s a cheap argument, and a logical fallacy. Ad Ignorantium, look it up. You can even look it up here! I post this stuff here!

      I assume you got most of that information from some Christian or more specifically, a “Christian scientist,” which is an oxymoron by the way. Not to say Christians can’t become scientists, but religion is based on immutable concepts and faith, science is based on evolving concepts and evidence. Two very conflicting philosophies, and if someone tries to merge them, one of them is going to suffer.

      I’m sorry if I sound mean here, that is not my intention. I just want to make that clear because some people end up misinterpreting what I write.

  2. So you say there is no god. Good for you. I disagree and I’m going to focus on my life just as much as you are going to focus on your life.

    One thing you could do is just to be an atheist and not care about those who choose to believe in god. If it all comes down to moral choice whatever choice I make you can criticize but it is, in the end, my choice and if you can’t respect that then what’s the point of even arguing?

    • I don’t understand the antagonism. I didn’t rush into your home and yell in your face did I?

      I posted this on my blog. If you have a problem with that, perhaps you wouldn’t mind elaborating.

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