Email Response

On Sat, 27 Jul 2013 21:49:23 -0000 “christiankc13” <deleted> writes:

“ I am not ready to lose my faith and i refuse to. That would be giving up my best friend, real or imagined. Who wants to loose a friend that has promised you eternal life? If there was no God, then I would die and that’s it, no afterlife, so technically I’d never really know that i was wrong or right.”                                       _____________________________________________________

How egocentric. That is true, you will die and know nothing, god named God or not. You will die, your god (the one named God) will fade from your brain, and its existence will cease. That leaves nothing open to discussion. Your imaginary friend will disappear and your fantasies will end. You will not know nor care what truths you avoided for your whole wasted lifetime in the name of that pretended friend while you serve those who created it for you, and enrich them while you suffer the stress that comes from living a lie. You will, of course, deny that and insist you feel quite happy. You have made your choice and will stand by it. That leaves nothing the rest of us can do for you.

Because you made a choice, you assume in error that atheism is an alternative choice. We who are apostates know atheism as a simple absence of goddish belief, with which some of us struggled for years to avoid acknowledgement. Unreinforced belief ebbs when life gets overwhelming, dedication goes unrequited, prayers go without response, you are blamed for your own illness and debt, and recognition of cognitive dissonance begins. It is not that belief gets rejected; it erodes away till nothing of it remains. The choice it leaves behind is between honesty and insanity. To become an apostate involves only a choice between apostasy and hypocrisy. Atheism arrives on its own, and rides in on the failure of God’s messengers to be believable.

Atheism involves an open acceptance of falsifiable facts and principles of logic learned as we go. That no god exists can be rendered false by the verified presence of a god. Any god will do. That is true of all the multiple thousands of them, including those effigies represented by idols. It remains true of those same multiple thousands that not one of them can make that claim. For your claim that “a god does exist” to be falsified requires the complete disappearance of something that has never been present.

That is illogical and absurd, even were you willing to proclaim, “That is exactly what has happened,” that your claim of immaterialism amounts to. Where would you find witnesses from that time whose signed documents attest to that as fact? In your bible? I see a god of several names in there, ordering genocides and abortions, but no signatures witnessed by others of those ancient times, and only the words of apologists making their excuses.

People never exposed to reasons to question their beliefs are innocent of wrongdoing except for their criminal acts. People who chose honesty over insanity and hypocrisy feel no need to apologize for that. We may need to find excuses for whatever else we’ve become, but never for a god’s absence. That is for you to do. Yet, you insist upon its presence by gas-lighting, the opposite of a correct approach. The god named God awaits in abeyance for you to draw it forth. What I don’t believe in is not mine to demonstrate; what you profess to exist is yours to demonstrate. If you show nothing, that is the same as my belief. I did not choose that. When I looked for a god, that’s what I found. If I cannot trust my own senses, I surely can’t trust yours.

We have equal rights by law. By that same law we can judge each other only for criminal acts and not for our beliefs, as some would have it. We will not be arrested for our beliefs unless they incite a criminal act. The right to state our beliefs and speak out in their defense is a matter of good stewardship honored in our laws. As  awareness of cognitive dissonance increases, the number of people forced to make that choice between honesty, insanity and hypocrisy will increase. Keep up the good work.

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What Is Atheism?

Atheism is actually nothing more than failure of religion’s messengers to be convincing. Far be it beyond my skill set to indulge in a discussion about linguistics or semantics. The best I can do with my own writing is try to remember my effort is intended for other people to read and understand, so I must choose carefully to assure that the meaning is clear and elicits an accurate mental image. The process makes me slow, and I generally hold my posts in a cue folder to age, and then edit again just before posting. Even so, rereading my older posts often brings forth, “EEEW! How did I miss THAT?

If you call yourself ‘Atheist’, I believe that you, like myself, live without organized religion, cult free, in a life free to act as our culture prevails upon us and our personal histories train us, still free to refine what we are into what we can become. We both have been sometimes called upon to explain ourselves to churchers who express disbelief that we accomplished what they will not. In the heat of inevitable battle, while they struggle to affirm (to themselves as much as us) that no one can live without religion, we fire back with whatever words come first to mind. “An atheist is anyone who lacks religion.”

Whoa! What’s wrong with that?

It’s incorrect: Lack gets defined as a state of need. Do you feel a deficiency—want—need for religion? No? Then, why do atheists everywhere use that word, and argue against not using it?

While not entirely correct, I suggest substituting ‘absent of’ in place of ‘lack’. In my opinion, it offers improvement without altering the sentence structure.  I try to (and often forget to) avoid both words, especially when writing about atheism. I always expect argumentative Xian readers, and try to read my own words using their wile-guided eyes. I live in a very rural part of Tennessee, and have many opportunities to learn their thought processes. It helps that I spent the first 4 decades of my life as one of them.

It also helps to have learned there are two (that’s TWO) kinds of religion (something more for us to dispute). Ecclesiastical religion, the kind that builds all kinds of structures dedicated to itself, that stand as public idols in every city, town and village, can be recognized as such all over the world. While more complex, temporal religion involves the memes and memeplexes that reside in the minds of every person with a functional brain. Not personal religion because memes make it spreadable and sharable. Not science, which follows strictly controlled processes for data gathering and relies on repeatable demonstrability; not secular, which involves working knowledge, shared with others, about everyday natural topics, temporal religion retains the opinions, methods and overall knowledge we all depend on in life. It differs from person to person. It involves our compulsive daily rituals, the things we think are true but can’t prove, my reasons for being a nudist versus your reasons for thinking that is gross, the moral values we share and those we don’t, and our differing reasoning on which each was based.

Ecclesiastical religion is what atheists live without, or insult themselves by proclaiming a lack of it. It is to what governments favor with a tax-free status. Temporal religion is to what atheists must grant their own recognition to halt the diminishment of atheism. Only when favoritism is removed from government practices by granting tax-free status to temporal religion, or removing tax-free status from ecclesiastical religion, will true religious freedom ever be achieved.