Saturday, 17 December 2016

What my Atheism means for believers & religious people

Let me unpack the atheism concept a bit. Theism is belief in a deity, a creator. Such belief is a default position in society, because of how we are all born into Christian, Hindu or Muslim families.. and that's how we end up with Hindu-sounding names like Krishnaraj or Christian-sounding names like Lata Tauro. Based on our names, everybody, including State, assumes that we are followers of Hinduism, Christianity, etc.

However, some of us (like Lata and I, for instance) analyze our childhood indoctrination and conditioning little by little (or all at once) and we conclude that our earlier beliefs were based on mythology rather than reality. We come to the conclusion that our religious faith is totally unsupported by evidence. (Simultaneously, we also process the available information and come to the conclusion that other religions besides ours are also similarly unsupported by any evidence.)
Nor is it just a question of lack of evidence in the existence of a deity. Atheists like us actually find lots of EVIDENCE THAT THERE IS NO DEITY. The existence of any kind of deity defies our logic entirely, and requires huge amount of suspension of disbelief.

A lot of theists are habitually suspending disbelief, rather than actually believing in a deity. Suspension of disbelief is not the same thing as actual belief. Suspension of disbelief means, "I don't believe in god, demons, ghosts, soul, the supernatural, etc. but I am willing to act as if I do, just to go with the flow of society and my family."

Theism and atheism are intellectual, emotional and social positions that we adopt, just like conservatism, liberalism, etc. There is a strong element of conscious choice, and atheists are probably the first to recognize the "conscious" part of it, because they make a conscious shift from their socially-given default position.

The theists -- the people who believe in one deity or another -- tend to feel that their faith -- Hinduism, Islam, etc. -- is the "only right choice", and everybody else is just plain deluded. They tend to be self-righteous because they feel that a higher authority -- namely their god and their scriptures -- validate and sanction the use of force in making people believe and bow before their god. They tend to rely on crowd-support to make their point.

Atheists also naturally feel that their position is the only correct logical position to adopt, but they aren't driven by feelings of self-righteousness. The primary source of their self-assurance is knowing that they could overcome their own social & religious conditioning, and that they can stand apart from the crowd.

Atheists don't necessarily want to convert believers into non-believers. There is no need for you guys to feel threatened by us. We are just stating our position in our own space. If you guys want to keep your beliefs, that is just fine by us, and we can all be friends

No comments:

Post a Comment