Tuesday, 1 December 2009

On Unbelief

Ok let's quickly establish something. I'm an atheist. And it's massively not to do with belief. I don't merely believe there's no god.

I was brought up a catholic, confirmed and all. I became atheist a couple of years ago. I haven't just had a crisis of faith or anything. This is what my mother doesn't understand. She says she knew lots of people that said they stopped being religious, but then later in life matured and returned to religion. And she tells me this like one day I'll do the same.

This is about why I won't.

I didn't stop believing in god because I had a crisis of faith, or something. I think that's the misconception. Some people lose faith for a while because they're concentrating on some other part of their life, like university or career. They're just not thinking about god dring that time. They're merely taking a hiatus from their faith. Some people lose faith becuse they have rebellious radical thoughts. But those thoughts may be just as irrational or scientifically unfounded as the religious beliefs themselves, so it doesn't take a huge leap of faith (pardon the pun) to return to the religion. Some people have this crisis of faith situation where they suddenly quetion god's existence based on some event that they may interpret as evidence against god, but those people are just as succeptible to re-gaining faith (seeing the light) based on some other event that they interpret as evidence for god.

However, I didn't stop believing in god in any of these ways. That's the difference. My disbelief isn't temporary. I'm not being fickle. I base my atheism on real evidence and proper scientific reasoning. The fact is that one looking at all available knowledge with a clear mind, following logic and reason cannot but conclude that god is not a part of this world. The same goes for anything 'supernatural'.. healing crystals, psychic powers, ghosts etc. Any idea based on belief and not evidence simply doesn't have a place in our world. It doesn't exist until we can provide significant evidence for its existance.

There's another difference that muddles things. Religion doesn't advance very fast. At least not nearly as fast as science. Science is always looking to improve itself and update itself. As such, new findings are reported daily in the name of science, and sheds more and more light on the world. And as more and more knowledge is gained, the more it becomes obvious that god is non-existant. Therefore, it's incorrect to compare me to my mother's aquaintances that lost and regained faith, since they were exposed to a whole lot less science than I have been.

You could say that I can see further, because I'm standing on the shoulders of giants.

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