…and all that other stuff.

So yeah, I’m an atheist. Don’t believe in a god. I’m also a skeptic, which probably fuels my atheism, but also makes me not believe in pseudoscience (ghosts, psychics, spiritual energy, etc.) or things in general without evidence. You could also call me a naturalist/materialist because I think all there is is matter and energy, not spirits. And you wouldn’t be wrong in calling me an infidel, heathen, nonreligious, freethinker, rationalist, blah blah blah.

But why? Why don’t I be a Real AmericanTM and believe in God?

Well, there are a lot of reasons. They can probably be roughly separated into two groups:

  1. Lack of evidence
  2. Preponderance of contrary evidence

By “lack of evidence” I mean not only that there isn’t any testable, empirical data that has been gathered supporting the existence of a deity, but also that the logical arguments typically given for the existence of a deity have been disproven. Things like the argument from design, the teleological argument, and the ontological argument have all been disproven by various people. I’ll go into those refutations in future posts.

In essence, there’s no good reason to believe in God.

There’s also the many observable facts about the universe that point away from a deity. At least, deities that are usually worshiped. Evolution, the size of the universe, and a great deal of suffering in the world point away from a benevolent, interventionist being that has created the universe just for us. And those are just a few. In a future post I’ll go over some of the things I would expect to see if there were a deity.

So not only is there no good reason to believe, but there are compelling reasons not to believe. There you go.

Another question you might ask is ‘why am I not religious?’ I mean, there must be some good in a community that has a common link even if you don’t believe in it, right?

Well, no. I don’t think so. I think religion is a source of many more problems than can be compensated for by the small amount of good it does.

Religion breeds conflict. Sure, not within the religion (unless you count denominations and sects), but certainly between religions. And unless you’re eager and willing to convert for the sake of a global religion of peace, you shouldn’t assume other people will be, either.

Religion also keeps alive misinformation. People these days, in two-thousand-fucking-ten, still believe Jews use the blood of Christian children in ceremonies. People still think the only way the diversity of life is explained is by a creator deity and not the scientifically evident method of evolution via natural selection.

And religion does a lot of harm. Brushing aside the religious wars of the past, there are still religious killings happening every day. Muslims are killing Muslims across the Middle East and Asia. Muslims and Christians are killing each other in Africa and Europe. Muslims and Hindus are fighting in India. Jews and Muslims are fighting in Gaza. (Are we seeing a pattern here?) Christians are fighting Catholics in Ireland. (Guess not.) The Pope recently said that condoms don’t protect against AIDS, in Africa, where there is an AIDS epidemic. At the same time, the Pope is protecting child rapists within his own church. Muslims are on edge, waiting for people like Molly Norris to come up with something to piss them off so they can attempt to murder them.

Okay, enough ranting… but to wrap this question up, no, I wouldn’t go join a community that I didn’t agree with just for the sake of community. So the final reason (I can think of off the top of my head) why I’m not religious is because I don’t believe any of the nonsense they believe in. We wouldn’t have much in common.

On the other hand, I do enjoy having a beer or five with some fellow infidels. And while that is in fact a group of individuals who have similar opinions on one or more religious issues meeting for the sake of community, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a religion. Would you?

~peace, RR

I welcome comments and suggestions. Comments can go below, suggestions to radiantreason[at]gmail[dot]com 🙂

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