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Purpose without a God

There’s no point in living if you don’t believe in God.

Boy, have I seen this normative argument plenty of times. Especially since this is completely wrong. Whether or not you believe in a God or not, doesn’t change a thing about the value of life. It’s not just western atheists that don’t believe in God, but also many Asian and African civilizations. Buddhists, though they have spirituality, have absolutely no God that they worship, just a man that lived and relived. Yet, you don’t see these people committing suicide because live serves no purpose. Instead, they live on and in their own friends and families.

Many years ago, I remember watching a documentary on ancient Egypt. I remember watching a man pull out an old broken up pot and explaining what that pot was used for. At that moment, I had the most amazing epiphany ever in my life. The person that made that pot is immortal. Odd to think that someone who has no name or face lives on in immortality. No, not because of a God or Heaven, but because of his work done here on Earth. That one simple pot helped others, and even today, still helps others. That pot may bought by someone who used that pot to make their life more simple. In return, that pot was paid for and that money was used to help the person that made that pot. Those people went on to live their life through their friends and their families. They passed on experiences that brightened up someones’ day, or maybe even changed the society. Also, those people may have passed their experiences and genes on to their offspring which, in turn, helped keep their society alive, and ultimately, all of humanity. Finally, the fact that they existed in the first place, no matter the magic or force used, can never be erased. These thing alone are more than enough to keep giving me value and purpose to live my life with, or without, a God.

Now, thinking about life is fine, but what of the afterlife? Many claim that it’s complete bliss. You receive the things you want and get to stand and worship the God that you spent your life loving. This, to me, seems completely empty. Much like cheating on a video game, you would become very bored with it all. You put no effort into getting any reward you desire. One of the main great factors of being human is the fact that your hard effort and time and rewarded with not only the things that you pleasure, but that pat on the back that you accomplished something. Can it be that the idea of a Heaven and afterlife completely removes a huge part of what it means to be a human being?


Understanding “Militant Atheists” and “militant Christians”, and why they’re a bad thing.

Many Christians like to use the term “militant atheist” to describe an atheist that uses aggressive tactics and belittling comments to attack their religion and get them to see reason. Now, Christians aren’t out of this hot water, either. Atheists use the term “militant Christian” for any Christian that is literally hell bent to stop their fellow man from going to hell, and will use just as nasty threats and aggressive comments as well. As scary as it sounds, both of these groups have nearly identical intentions.

The “militant atheist” stems from a sense of revenge. Many are past members of cults, or even past preachers of the gospel, and feel that they have wasted their money, time, and all around lifetime tending to mindless dogma. They do partially want to destroy belief, but this is not the main drive for their actions. Though they use aggressive tactics like pointing out the strong fallacies and immoralities of the bible, the hypocrisies of the church, and then follow through with  personal character attacks, amazingly enough, they want the same outcome that many “militant Christians” want.

The “militant Christian” is deep into their faith to the point where they become hypocritical and then begin to hate. Generally, this hate is more driven upon what their pastor says, than what their holy book says, and therefor is seen as hypocritical. To them, atheism is viewed as either the inner workings of  the devil or their lack of presence of the “holy ghost”. The promise of hell and eternal tormenting pain is always in their arsenal of attacks and then is followed by either a belittling remark based on their pride in Jesus, or a personal attack. Scary that “militant atheists” pair so well with this group, right?

I can prove that both parties want the same exact outcome. They both want to “save” the other party from either their religious zealotry, or “save” their fellow man from hell. Ultimately, both of these actions are directly geared towards the bettering of human kind. It is interesting to think that two nearly radical groups could have the same exact basis for their actions, but it is there. In the end, though, both of them are completely wrong with how they handle themselves, and how they assert their beliefs.

Back in the days of my elementary school, I was forced to take an anger management course. Now, in all reality, I didn’t need this course at all since my “anger” was rooted in the fact that I had childhood depression, but the idea that children could be depressed, too, was not formed until long after those school days. Either way, I came out with a bit of wisdom from that course. I learned that it’s “OK to be mad, but not OK to be angry”. In other words, it’s OK to feel mad, but it’s not OK to act aggressive because you’re mad. I have a personal theory that when people act aggressive towards one another, they are not actually being aggressive towards that other person, per-say, but rather being aggressive towards themselves.

A “militant atheist’s” aggression lies in the fact that they both want to “save” humanity from dogmatic practices, but this aggression stems from their past dealing with how they were treated in church, or how they personally view their experiences in the church. This then creates a feeling of desperation within themselves since they want to both “save” that person from their dogma, and better humanity. For a “militant Christian”, they want to save humanity from the eternal torment of hell, but this aggression lies in the fact that they have a misplace form of self-righteousness; they literally want to do God’s work for either brownie points, or self gratification.

How do we get past this? Well, we need to stop with the direct attacks and start actually using words, reason, and facts; instead of turning a simple argument into nothing more than a sizing up of genitalia. The key to removing aggression is to practice patience. The moment you can calm down and actually think, is the moment that you have taken one step closer to winning that argument. If you can take some time to step out of the room room or away from the computer to cool down, you are then the “bigger man” in the battle. You can also then go back into battle with a newly refreshed and clear mind.

“Atheists don’t believe anything!”

This statement in the title is actually amazingly false. Atheists have an awe filled diversity in beliefs, and can range from spirituality to a complete non-believer. I not only call myself an atheist, but I have also been considering on calling myself a humanist, too.

As I have discussed before, the term “atheism” literally breaks down to “without [a] God”. Basically, you can believe anything that you want and still be considered an atheist. The only thing that you can not believe in to be considered an atheist, is a God, Gods, or a governing being. I have met atheists that do believe in ghosts and spirits. I have also met atheists who still believe that there is a heaven, they just believe that no God or man governs this heaven or earth. I tend to call these people “spiritual atheists”. Although I do not agree with them and still call it all a form of imagination, I still respect that they have a belief and are not forcing it onto others. Furthermore, Buddhists and the new up and coming LaVeyan Satanists are considered forms of atheism.

Personally, as an atheist and possible humanist, I believe that humanity is born an almost blank slate. We learn about our surroundings as we grow, and this includes all of our social interactions and beliefs. The only things that we are born knowing, are almost automatic. Things like suckling, and other slight mechanical processes like moving our limbs. I also believe that we are born with a very vague subconscious understanding of our gender, personality, and sexual attraction, and as we grow into society, these are things that we attach as our identities and they grow with us, too. Does this mean that we can change people by changing how they’re raised? Of course, but you will not achieve exact results each time because people do naturally perceive events differently, and do not follow the same paths in life.

Confusing the masses with semantics!

A recent flurry online has been to completely change the name of the word “atheist”. I understand peoples’ needs to apply a label to something in order to understand it fully, but to battle over a change of the word “atheist” is near foolish. The term “atheist” can literally be broken down to what the majority of atheists “believe”.

A- Latin root for “without”
Theo- Greek for God

In other words, the word “atheist” means “without [a] God”. Whether you’re skeptical to the belief of a God or other form of higher being, or just a pure non-believer, you can still call yourself an atheist because you are without a God. If you just don’t have an opinion or care about your belief, you’re “agnostic”. If you have a belief in a God, but not one that organized religion follows, you’re a “deist”. Then of course, there’s “Christian”, “Muslim”, “Jewish”, and so on, so forth.

Let’s all stop battling over semantics, and let’s fight the big fish. Pick your label that best fits, and run with it. If you need to explain it further when someone decides to debate, feel free to explain your stand point further, but drop the “bright”, “nihilist”, “non-religious”, “humanist”, and more. All you’re doing is leaving the masses confused and further frustrated.