Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Something to believe in

Some people who believe in one of the Bronze age religions love to claim that if you're an atheist then you believe in nothing. And that's untrue. I can't speak for, and would never presume to speak for, any other atheist but I believe in many things and here's some of them:
  • I believe religion is a racket designed to enrich a few people, witness the untold wealth of the Vatican and the Protestant mega churches. The gospels speak against amassing great wealth yet modern Christian ministers have twisted and parsed scripture to allow themselves to become wealthy and to assuage the consciences of wealthy people.
  • I believe all religions are a way for the few to control the many.
  • I believe in science and the scientific method. Science doesn't claim to have all the answers but we know for a fact that what science discovers is true because of the scientific method.
  • Even though we've been awful to one another and we will stab each other in the back if it suits us, I believe in the essential goodness of people. There are some bad apples among us, both religious and non religious, but by and large people do the right thing or want to do it and are kept from it by corporations, religions, or governments.
  • I believe in doing the right thing because it's the right thing to do, not because I fear the wrath or judgement of a deity if I don't.
  • I believe that when we die our energy goes into other things, so that means I believe in reincarnation of a sort.
  • I believe in speaking out against hypocrisy.
  • I'm not perfect and I know that others aren't either. I don't expect perfection from myself or others.
  • I believe that you should avoid: any one who says they have all the answers, anyone who tells you they are a Christian within 30 seconds of meeting you, any business that uses a Jesus fish in it's advertising, any business that calls itself 'Golden Rule_____.'
  • I believe you can believe in any religion you like as long as it doesn't infringe on me or as long as you don't try to convert me to it.
  • I believe religion is like your genitals. I'm happy for you if you like yours but don't try to show them to me unless I tell you it's okay to do so and don't force them on kids.
  • I believe we all evolved from a single common ancestor. And the fact that we did so was a matter of chance and natural selection.
  • I believe that we are not alone in the universe and that many planets contain all sorts of forms of life.
  • I believe that the only reason we haven't found life on other planets yet is because the universe is so vast a place that looking for and finding life on other planets is like trying to find the head of a pin that's been dropped somewhere in the Pacific ocean.
  • I believe that one day humans will get off this planet and colonize other planets and I hope that we don't make the same mistakes there that we made here.
  • I believe the world will be a much better place to be when we leave all Bronze age religions behind. Or at least recognize that they are all myths.


Blueberry said...

I believe that I will be tortured for eternity by an invisible being if I don't vote for Santorum.

No, seriously, I prefer to believe in things that actually exist. Good post DrM.

Wings1295 said...

We are quite alike in many of our beliefs! I believe our energy goes out when we die, not like a "spirit" or "ghost", just the electricity that keeps us going, that's all. And our matter rots and is recycled by nature, so that is a "reincarnation", in a broad sense.

And the part about life on other planets, I just think maybe other life hasn't evolved the "awareness" humans have. And if it did, maybe its just dealing with its own issues right now, as are we here.

Like I said, agree with almost everything here.

Professor Chaos said...

W.s. Burroughs: If you're doing business with a religious s.o.b. Get It In Writing!

C said...

I just can't help but love your religion / genitals simile!

Lazarus Lupin said...

As a believer there is much common ground between us apart from the larger issue of course. I don't excuse the historical (and sadly often current) failings of humans. It was bound to happen but that doesn't make it better or justified.

Keep up the good work!

Lazarus Lupin

Anonymous said...

Similarly, one of my friends who moves about in the world of finance once told me, "If you're dealing with people that advertise their Christianity, always keep your hand on your wallet and your back to the wall."

LegalMist said...

My Dad likes to say that the only difference between God and Santa Claus is that everyone's parents always eventually tell them that Santa Claus isn't real.

Life As I Know It Now said...

I stopped believing in Santa when I was around 9 or10 years old.

I stopped believing the Bible was the word of God when I was 14-15 years old.

I stopped believing in the American dream when I was 47-48 years old.

It took me a lot longer to stop believing in the lies our government tells then it did the lies of my parents or of my local community!

dguzman said...

I believe religion is like your genitals.
Only you, Monkey!

gmb said...

I believe that the major religions will crap out and die, but not in our life time. The catholic church, however, has crippled itself while we are still here. Won't die before we do, but at least we get to hear the beginnings of the death rattle. Hope the rest follow them.

gsw said...

Asimov wrote a book - The Currents of Space, in which he talked of the vastness of the cosmos and the ratio of matter to 'Nothingness'.

Fleets of spacemen whose slogan was "We analyze nothing" flew through vast reaches of space, looking for anomalies.

I too believe in Nothing, since it is greater than any little man-made god.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

You're an idiot gsw. You obviously didn't read this post. I don't believe in nothing. I believe in many things. One of the things I don't believe in is religion.