The problem with religion, cults, ideology, atheism even

I recently read through [well almost :-)] a 62-page document on atheism, titled Thank God, There is No God, by a fellow-atheist. It contained the usual arguments about belief and non-belief that you would find in hundreds of books and on-line resources; nothing new.

However, after going through the document, I came to realise what is most probably the real problem with religion and even atheism. While religion is dogmatic beyond a shadow of a doubt, atheism is slowly following the same path. Atheists have the same fascination for non-belief as theists have for their various religions and cults. We make the same mistakes as believers; having discovered the real possibility that a god or supernatural entity probably does not exist, we become mesmerized by this idea, and wind up being stuck in the same place, unable to move further. I should know; I’ve been guilty myself.

While the discovery of non-belief (atheism) should have been a mind-liberating event, too often we atheists are guilty of becoming fascinated with, and entwined in the very concept. Atheism should be the springboard to greater things like critical and liberated thinking, understanding humanity, and accepting that thinking must change with the receipt of new information.

It is for this reason that I can now admit that there was a time I was convinced that belief in a god was indicative of irrational thinking. But recently, thanks to another atheist friend, Daniel S, and a book I’m reading [by Sharon M Kaye] on critical thinking, I’ve come to accept that “human beings are born with the natural ability to reason logically. But we are also born with the propensity to make logical errors.” I now realize that critical thinking enables one with the tools to minimise or eliminate the logical errors we make while thinking.

You live and learn, but therein is a new problem; you don’t unfortunately live long enough to learn enough.

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4 thoughts on “The problem with religion, cults, ideology, atheism even

  1. Well Lennie,the problem is that Christians keep telling us about God. Most of my old friends keep writing about God and Jesus and their church in their emails. They talk about it all the time so I just stop reading. That is why we retaliate. If they would just shut up, we would as well. Do you follow PZ Myers here, and the criticisms of’Unscientific American’, a new book just out, criticizing the ‘new atheists’?

  2. Hi Terry,

    I’m simply trying to create an awareness that atheists are just as guilty as theists by being overly immersed (for want of a better word) in their respective little worlds. Just remember that the onus is on theists to prove what they assert; we atheists don’t have to prove anything.

    I’ve come to realize that by “retaliating”, we subject ourselves to the same behaviour (sometimes irrational) as theists. We should not have to resort to common mudslinging.

    We can point out errors in reasoning, attempts at common trickery, obvious frauds etc, but in an acceptable way. Skepticism and critical thinking – that’s the way to go.

    Atheism is not an alternative religion; don’t give the impression that we worship it…

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