Thursday, 10 March 2011

Why I am presently an atheist

Why am I an atheist?

I'm not exactly opposed to the idea of God. It's just that I haven't seen any proof that God exists. And in the absence of proof, I see no reason to believe in something on faith alone, just for the sake of believing in something.

Let me put it this way.

There is no conclusive proof that God is real. This fact equates the theory of God's existence with any number of other theories dealing with our origin. For example, I could say that the universe and everything in it was created by a race of supernatural space monkeys and there would be no way for you to either prove, or more importantly, to disprove this theory. And so it is with God. There is no way to either prove or disprove God's existence. Why then are we so ready to have faith in God's existence, and not in the existence of a race of supernatural space monkeys, when we really can't disprove the existence of either?

Let me put it another way for the Christians.

A theory is formed around facts. You don't first develop a theory and then pick and choose the facts that most justify this theory and ignore the ones that contradict it. Yet Christian science does this all the time. It's just a bunch of scientific facts twisted to justify Bible stories as being real. Which is why it's unscientific.

I'm not saying the Bible and Christian science are wrong. I have no proof of that. I'm just saying that there's no way to prove or disprove the truth of them either way. And by default, when you hear something that you cannot either prove or disprove (like if I told you the world would end tomorrow), you would simply choose not to blindly believe it until you had proof. Why then is belief in God any different?

You may say you believe in God because there's no other explanation for how we came into this world, and all other theories of our origin are incomplete. It's true that the theory of evolution is incomplete, full of holes and widely debated. That is why it is just a theory. There is no conclusive proof that evolution is real, any more than God is real. But that's no reason to automatically believe in God, is it? Disproving a contradictory theory doesn't make your theory any more real, does it? You'd still be left with having to prove your own theory. 

There's no reason why evolution and God can't both be complete rubbish. The 2 theories are non-dependent. Disproving one of them doesn't make the other true. Disproving the theory of evolution doesn't make God's existence real, just as disproving God's existence doesn't make the theory of evolution a fact. The truth is we can't disprove anything, so why bother believing in anything to begin with? Why can't we just let our lives revolve around facts?

This line of reasoning can be applied to any form of belief - Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam Judaism, etc. - where reason is sacrificed to faith in the supernatural, on the basis of lack of alternatives. You can't justify your belief in God on the basis that you don't believe/don't like/can't prove any alternative theories to God. That's no reason to sacrifice your reason and intelligence. Because your theory is equally unproven, you're just believing for the sake of believing. And there's no reason to do that.

Again, I'm not saying that God isn't real. Just that in the absence of proof either way, there's no reason to treat the theory of God any differently to my theory of space monkeys, or any form of imagination or fantasy.



Magali said...

According to this post, I think you are more of an Agnostic than Atheist. You yourself said your not too sure whether God exits or not, & that's what agnosticism is all about.

Daniel D'Mello said...

Well, terminology can be confusing (for me), and rather than be slotted into a specific group, I'd prefer to say that I simply won't believe in anything on faith alone, whether that thing be God or goblins.

Cutting Kahlua said...

We all need something to believe in, don't we?

Daniel D'Mello said...

Really, you sure about that?

Magali said...

Yeah I kind of agree with Cutting Kahlua. As much as I feel happy knowing 'the truth' about religion, I miss the the old me, the one who had a 'strong faith in God'. It might be false, but it got me through a lot. As much as I begrudge religions for all the wars etc that they cause, they serve a purpose, don't you think. How do you explain concepts of morality to lesser minds & kids otherwise? Religion is like panacea for many.

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