Monday, May 01, 2006

A New Beginning

True to my word, I am beginning my month long commitment to posting on my blog at least once a day. And boy, what a doozie I'm starting with.

Atheists. What does it mean to be an atheist? You don't believe in the God or just a god? And is that the Christian God? Muslim God? Satanist God? If it's just the Christian God then the world is full of atheists, very spiritual ones: Buddhists, Taoist, Shintoists, Hindus. The word atheism as I've typed it and as you read it, is a Christian term. But surely they have the same word in other languages and in other religions, so I can't accept that the concept of atheism is just a Christian one. If that's true, that means atheism refers to the lack of belief of any faith's God, then I've got you. Because gods are a dime a dozen. Oh, not your god you say? Why is yours different?

Atheism literally translates to 'without god.' What's a god? Is it a humanoid being responsible for the creation of you? Is it something that spoke? Had a book published on its ideas or dialogue? No that doesn't apply to every religion (since atheism isn't limited to just one religion we must define it in general) but the one thing that does, I think, all religions have in common is that a god is simply an entity who has believers. That makes a god. A god just needs believers to be a god. It doesn't need a book or church or rituals. Just people to acknowledge its existence in same fashion.

And if I'm right, then I don't think there can be any atheists in the world. The term is invalid. It's even a paradox as I'll explain later. If belief and the support of something is a part of your life, and I'm pretty sure it is and you'll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't believe in anything, then you can't be an atheist. Even funnier, if you accept my belief in this matter and support it, you just made a god for yourself mister.

I love my fifteen month old daughter. She is my world. My life revolves around her and I would give anything for her, even my life. Isn't this the definition of the ultimate worshipper? Wouldn't many gods love to have me as a faithful follower, the one who would sacrifice anything?

If I am a worshipper, doesn't that make my daughter my god which automatically makes me a (drop the A) theist of something? I now have a god in my life and she is not the only one I have either. I believe in my wife, I believe in peace and the good nature of man, I believe in being happy. I believe in money to get me the things I want or to keep me out of situations I don't want. I believe and worship many shows on television that entertain me. I believe in the love and support of family members. I worship and want all of these things in my life and call for them to support me, so that I may depend on them when I need them. Isn't the purpose of a god? What do you use your god for?

What does your god require? Church? Hymns? Speaking in tongues? Meditation? Helping the needy? Whipping yourself bloody? If you can define your own religion (therefore god) then so can I. If what you say or what your ancestors said make your religion, I can make one too. And if you can make your own religion, your own god and its simply based on what you love, believe in and support, I don't think anyone is an atheist. Even to believe in atheism is to believe in something and now you have a god. A paradoxical one but a god isn't required and in fact many times thrives on not making logical sense.

Then there's the other term...Agnostic. I have a problem with this term but not for the same reason as atheist and that's my very point.

I don't think agnostic is the opposite of atheist. I don't think it's even the same discussion. If agnostic were a ballgame, it'd be the fans and atheism is Bigfoot. The two labels are very different schools of thought.

Agnosticism is uncertainty of the existence of a god. So what? How many countless things are we unsure of? If you tell me the final number of pi is going to be 8, well I'm just not sure. It could be but last I heard pi didn't have one. Does that mean he's wrong? Just because pi doesn't currently have a last number, doesn't mean it can't have one. And if it can have a final number, it means I have to consider the possibility that it does exist (will exist if that's easier for you). Does that make me agnostic about the final number in pi? How can you be atheist about it? It just means we don't know and who doesn't know everything? Aren't we all agnostic then if we haven't seen evidence of a god just like we haven't seen evidence of the last number in pi? How can you deny something the potential of existing simply because it currently doesn't exist? That's why I don't think the two terms are even on the same field. I don't think being an atheist is even possible and I happen to think we are all agnostic, rendering it a useless term if we're all the same thing. It's like asking someone, "Are you human?"

If people ask me if I'm atheist, I don't know how to answer because I don't know what they mean by the question. Eventually the answer for me is no, I am not an atheist because I believe in things, many things. If asked if I am agnostic, I would say. "Of course! Duh."

An atheist will say you can't become atheist. That you are born atheist. If you are religious it is because you have come to religion at some point in your life, leaving atheism behind and actually you're not born religious. You're also born pretty stupid, but it doesn't mean you should stay that way as you mature. I think self-described atheists should quit pointing this out.

But I would argue, you're not born atheist. That you are indeed born into religion. You have a god even at birth. You worship the comfort of your mother, the voice of your father you heard in the womb, the warmth of the breast and the nurturing milk it delivers to give you life. You want these things, you desire these things even at a basic, instinctual level and that's all a god is too. A need.

John Lennon said "God is a concept, by which we measure our pain." Well it's still a concept and therefore exists. John's criticism must be on how God was being used even though in the same song he said that he doesn't believe in Him. He also didn't believe in Beatles, Dylan or anything else that did exist for him at some point.