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The Rational Atheist

In the past few decades, there has been an explosion of people who consider themselves to have no religious affiliation.  While some of this population, when asked, will answer that they simply possess a set of beliefs, (or lack of belief), that falls into no current religious system, a large majority of this group consider themselves “Atheist”.

It is difficult to define this word universally, but for the most part, an atheist is a person who does not believe in god, deity, or any other words with divine implications.

“Divine” is another word that is difficult to define, but for now lets just say that it means “pertaining to holiness” and/or “relating to god”.

I myself was brought up jewish, however at a very young age, I called bullshit on the whole thing and moved to agnosticism, (which to me means one who is unsure of whether god exists or not), and then with a little more age, and faulty childhood wisdom, I moved to a definitive belief that there was no god, I.E. atheism.

Now, I believe that I have finally come to a definitive answer to the age old question “do you believe in god.”

The answer to this question, is actually another question.

When asked, my response is consistently “That depends… what do you think god is?”

My theory, is that atheism is a direct response to the mass religious teachings, which have greatly simplified this infinitely profound subject matter.  This was done, because the overwhelming majority of the world population did not have the mental capabilities to comprehend the abstract truths of god.  Infact, it’s possible that while some people get close to understanding, it can never be fully understood.  This is shown by the one word that most people can agree is the only word that can be used to describe god ; INCOMPREHENSIBLE.

Here are a few more synonyms that I’ve heard ;

Indescribable, Unimaginable, ineffable, etc, etc.  I think you get the point.

However, the most intelligent, rational, intuitive people who have ever existed have spent entire life times trying to know god, AND put what they have found into words.

Most people don’t care to take this incredibly deep, overwhelming journey down the rabbit hole, and it is for these people that mass religion was created.

But for most, if not all, surface level religious teaching, there is an inner circle of people who at some point possessed real knowledge of the divine.  These mystical truths are what eventually, after a certain amount of simplifications, became packaged and distributed to the world for certain reasons which I can’t be sure of.

A few obvious ones would be to keep people in line, establish moral systems and codes of ethical behaviors, and most importantly, to give people PURPOSE.

Also, I feel it can be used as “bread crumbs” to lead people back to the source, if and when they decide to take the leap and dedicate themselves to wisdom and truth.

But for now, we are left with the outcome of people who realized that having “faith” in something with no proof attached to it, is an unintelligent and ignorant thing to do.

With all the scientific progress that has been made recently, it seems that in this age more than any other, people are skeptical of everything they hear until it is “proven”.  This seems to be where atheism stems from, because the backbone behind the “dumbed down” truths of Christianity, Judaism, and many other world religions, is FAITH.  You can’t need proof and have faith of something at the same time; it is a fatal contradiction.

But maybe atheism is a step in the right direction.  We could be experiencing an evolution in consciousness soon, and atheism might be necessary in order to get rid of the old, and establish a new, more evolved and intellectually based, system of religious belief.

Image

The Man in The Sky With The Beard

Atheism is more of a negation of the current religious systems rather then a negation of religious and spiritual beliefs in general.  Most Atheists, when asked why they are atheist, will answer with something along the lines of “Because there is not a man in the sky, with a beard, sitting on the clouds, watching everything we do, and torturing us for fun!”

In reality, the majority of atheists are just getting hip to fact that the mass religious teachings are simplified, and ultimately, make little to no logical sense.

But I have had deep philosophical discussions with many atheists, and not ONE of them has TOTALLY disagreed with my beliefs, and guess what?  I BELIEVE IN GOD!

But the question “do you believe in god?” is not a yes or no question, because the word itself registers a completely unique conception in every single persons mind.  How can we argue about something that we can’t agree on the meaning of?  If you think a couch is a table, then there will always be a miscommunication when discussing couches!

I really do have my own unique set of beliefs when it comes to the mysteries of life, and I encourage everyone to think for themselves and come to their own conclusions on these topics.

But don’t ignore them, because they were meant to be pondered.

Peace, Love, and compassion for all.

-AM

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13 Responses to The Rational Atheist

  1. rob says:

    I do agree with the vast majority of what you say. I have come around to your way of thinking myself quite recently. This has partly come about as a result of teaching religious studies, it made me explore religion and spirituality much more than I would have done otherwise and it’s become an increasingly fascinating journey.

    My position now is to say that when I sit in silence and let my mind settles I become more aware of how amazing and mysterious this existence is – God can be found in silence. The experience is not easy to put into words as you say.

    I met with a benedictine monk on a school trip a short while ago and he was asked about the corruption in the church, ‘do you think the church has learnt its lessons now, if it had great wealth and power, as it did from the 11th to the 16th century, would it use it more wisely today’? The monk said something that struck me, he said that wealth and power are not bad things, all things have the potential for both good and evil and each generation has to learn this lesson for them selves. He added thatoften the things that can offer the greatest blessing can be corrupted to our worst evils.

    This intrigued me and I started to see the world as a place that is constantly on a knife edge, each moment about to be realised as a blessing or a blessing gone wrong. If we look at the world this way and we are asked what is it you desire for each moment – ithink it would be rational to expect each of us to say that we wished each moment to be realised as a blessing and for each of us to play a role in co-creating each moment as a blessing. In this sense I think it is our deepest heart’s desire to will goodness. The world has an ongoing potential for us to live in a sublime and blessed way – though not a perfect way.

    I’ve come to see that much of what matters in life revolves around sharing our blessings, our visions and the goodness that lies in our own hearts. I can’t say anymore than this. I’m reading it and thinking this sounds a bit mushy and it’s not capturing what i really mean, much of what I want to say lies at an intuitive level and i can’t do it justice at this time. So, I’ll leave things there. The origin post I’m responding to is a great post, though, very inspiring!

    All good wishes,

    R

    After

  2. Fictitious Man says:

    Bam. Exactly what I always say. I am asked “Do you believe in God?”, I answer “Absolutely. However, the arguement is going to be, how we define God. Ask me that, and it will take the rest of eternity to answer.”

  3. Fasstronaut says:

    Nice post! Christianity in particular makes it very easy for people to believe or if anything, subscribe to the religious traditions and beliefs. With this kind of faith you don’t have to think much. Just embrace, and be saved. There is very little discovery and learning done on your own, in your own way. How much can one expand spiritually when everything is mapped out for them?
    Though Christianity, etc… can be interpreted in meaningful ways.

    • Dumnezero says:

      If you interpret stuff, you produce the meaning, you don’t extract the meaning. By interpretation you can produce meaning out of anything. You can even derive life’s most profound truths from a piece of steaming turd. And the more abstract and vague it is, the easier it is.

  4. bekah says:

    So true, and sadly something that causes so much conflict across the world just because everyone interprets it so differently! It would be great if people could, like you say, share their different opinions and talk, instead of fight, about it.
    Also just another relevant perspective on this from Richard Dawkins, that I found really entertaining, funny and thought provoking: http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_dawkins_on_militant_atheism.html
    I love that he talks, and near the end has a great quote from Carl Sagan about, having a sense of wonder at our world without the need to assign it to some mysterious mystical higher being – in fact being amazed and enthralled by the world as equally, or more, miraculous from a scientific standpoint than religious. 🙂
    Personally, I am an atheist but i do worship something bigger than myself, that I am part of.

  5. rastelly says:

    The answer to the question “is there a god”
    depends on what one curently perceives
    god to be.” I wrote this down thinking I was
    the first person to draw such a conclusion.
    What you’ve just said blows my mind. I also
    have applied similar notions to good and
    evil – they need to be clearly defined before
    anything coherent can be said about them –

    I’ve defined good as one being driven by
    a general impulse – a basic need to avoid
    the causing of harm to another consious –
    or susposedly consious being/s – all moral
    arguments must be rooted in this notion
    for me to give them any logical
    consideration.

    of course this doesen’t mean that those
    under the influence of “Good” can not
    cause great harm. It is merely my attempt
    to describe a basic human impuse. I may
    be over-simplifing, I’m not asking you to
    agree, but I wonder – have you thought
    of such things as well? Can the whole
    world be on verge of drawing the same
    conclusions?

    • ascendedmasta says:

      Good is almost as difficult to define as god! (and it contains the word “god” within it!)… Its tough because good is a subjective word, meaning that each person has there own concept of what it means. Some people may think that something is good, and someone else may think that EXACT same thing is horrible! so who is right? I’m unsure if there is really a universal meaning for the word good. But if i had to define it, I would say a good action is one which benefits at least one person other than yourself, and the more people it positively influences, the better the action.
      But the original drummer of the Mars Volta (Blake Fleming) once told me that there is no good or bad ; only action and consequence.
      or something close to that! I don’t remember the exact words but it was wise non-the-less and i thought it seemed appropriate!

      reading back over our comments, I see that our definition of good is pretty similar, so to answer your final question, yes, I believe we may be close to agreeing on things as a race and species… it is my hope that the year 2012, as well as the coming century can be dedicated to peaceful resolution…
      Namaste

  6. Alan H. Dawe says:

    Brilliant! I am 100% with you. So much so that my own blog is in much the same vein, although I have only being going for the past month. Thank you AscendedMasta, I will watch for your further posts with interest.

  7. Moiz Billah says:

    Hi,

    You are right on the mark! I discuss this, and offer a unique hint at who is God, in the following posts in my blog: http://moizbillah.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/the-caterpillar-the-butterfly and http://moizbillah.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/786110/

    • ascendedmasta says:

      thanks! and i just wanted to say that i LOVE the poetry on your page! well done…keep it up!

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