Athiests Make The Best Theists

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2011 by knightofsummer Tagged: , ,

I don’t find faith and atheism at nearly the odds people seem to hold them at. In fact, I think atheists can provide the strongest defense of faith in the face of logical or reason-based challenges to the value of seeking meaning in an uncaring universe.

Humans are built with religion, through both nature and nurture. The placebo effect now appears to be a measurable value of ritual, for example. Religion emerged early in humanity’s development, it is demonstrably reflected in our physiology. It pervades our history, our culture, our society. Atheism is the approach that can declare the mutually contradictory Truths simultaneously true, for the value of truth that matters. Arguing about the existence of God is, for me, like arguing about the existence of Race. The “truth” is totally irrelevant in the face of what humanity has imbued into these concepts.

At that point it is possible for the discussion to move beyond truth/non-truth and onto pragmatic questions about the relative answers proposed to “Why?” My goal would be to find those “becauses” that lead to healthy, vibrant, fulfilling, connected societies full of creativity, innovation and priorities all members of the society support.

I believe religion is of central importance in my life, and that God exists in all the ways that matter. However, if a religion says anything about the measurable world, eventually it will be disproven through the process of science. I don’t want my answer to “Why?” to be reliant on a fragile misunderstanding of reality, and I think as understanding becomes easier to obtain, more widely distributed, the religions that do rely on “proof” of any kind will find themselves marginalized. Those religions that rely on humans, today, that offer better lives than people lived without them, those are the religions that will continue to answer that question of “Why?” At least some of humanity is programmed to need a better answer than “just because”, and some of humanity is willing to accept that there is no answer.

Life emerged, because if it didn’t we wouldn’t notice the lack of it. We aren’t lucky to live in a universe with rules and coincidences conductive to life; we live in this universe because it has rules and coincidences conductive to life. Causation is inverted, and if we, as humans, are capable of accepting that emergence is amazing, is beautiful, is sufficient, is the product of all the decisions made by the organisms that emerged and all the physical processes of the world, that free will has a greater effect than religion allows and is less important than it maintains, that death is inevitable and when it happens we simply cease to be, we will be able to leave religion behind. However, by then perhaps we will better understand religion itself, and we will no longer need to in order to avoid the power structures, oppression, excuses for violence and moral hypocrisy it currently embodies.


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