Saturday, April 10, 2010

Is atheism just a negative?

To begin with, for the sake of keeping things simple, atheism is in fact just the non-belief in deities. But does it really end up being "just" that?

I think atheism is a moment of transformation, it's a radical change in focus. It's like when you stop running after the mirage far away in the desert (the one that when you get close you realize there's nothing there) and start paying attention to what's immediately around you, having a good chance to find something that could really give you a means of survival.

The moment we stop believing in any deity, most people also stop believing in any supernatural fenomenon, soul and afterlife. When we drop these concepts, the focus of our lives end up changing radically. Since we're not going to have a "second chance with the people we love, all that's left is to pay attention to them now, be with them and treat them well while they are here with us.
We become humanists.

Since there are no supernatural fenomena, there's no point in waiting for a "divine intervention", we have to act and make decisions on our own. Since there's no "soul", the idea of "sin" also loses its meaning, and what matters are the concrete consequences of our acts.
We become practical.

We start to understand that we have to act here and now, and that knowledge is fundamental for us to be able to act more effectively. Studying and learning more about the world around us becomes more and more important, and we also want to share our knowledge with other people.
We analyse the evidence and draw conclusions instead of believing.

We start giving more importance to compassion and empathy towards all others, instead of worrying about some rules written in a book.
More humanism.

I have already said this in other occasions, and I will say it again: atheism is not something we decide to adopt, it's a conclusion that we draw after analysing the facts and comparing to what we have been told. Nobody convinces anybody to become an atheist, it's an inner, private process of each person. It might seem something simple and small but, as I tried to show above, it has dramatic consequences on the way we look at our lives.


  1. For me, being an atheist is everything you described.

    But in my particular case, I've become extremely skeptical of just about anything. I'm behaving like a woman who was hurt by a man and has swore all men off.

    In other words, anything I'm told gets sifted quite heavily. I still don't know if that's good or not :(

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  3. Atheism is not a religion as some detractors point out in an useless effort directed at debunking atheists and atheist thought and philosophy. Atheism would not even exist as a word and and an idea were it not for the existence of the belief in supernatural forces and divinities. Atheism is a DENIAL of such beliefs. It's like not believing in Schrucksism and in Schrucks. Anyone can invent an entity and a concept, say like...Schruck and Schrucksism and argue that those who deny its validity and the existence of Schrucks are Aschrucksists and profess Aschruckism. Well, I'll tell you, not a single aschrucksist will know they're aschruckists as long as nobody tells them what a Schruck is supposed to mean. I only acknowledge the belief in a god as long as some people have created an ideology around some myths and refuse to share their beliefs. I would also deny the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster if someone told me it existed.