Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Atheists Against the World

I'm thinking there's a secret organization of uber-intelligentsia who participate in clandestine meetings debating the nature of religion and how it reflects on the collective IQ of humanity.

And they call it!

The AAW.

Seriously, I was in class a few days ago when someone was talking about indigenous cultures and their religion. Somehow the person managed to get off-topic into some random statement about how, "I personally think anyone who believes in God is an idiot."

Only in San Francisco would this not incite a full-scale riot. As it was, a massive debate did ensue, and I surprised myself with this trinket of wisdom inspired by Søren Kierkegaard, "How is it more foolish to believe in something than to believe in nothing? Can we not just agree to our differences? Or does the religion of nonreligion require unanimous consent? Some people believe in God, and are still, magically, intelligent. Get over it."

The most shocking part about this is that I'm not actually sure if I believe in God! Despite being raised as a Jew, both culturally and religiously, I find myself unable to fully believe, to maintain the depth of faith required in these modern times. (For more information, please see my post: [A religious conversation at Union Square])

But whatever. It was more than pleasant to rub a well-crafted argument in the face of self-righteous pricks. My face still grins in pure smug-infused joy at the memory.

However, this is beside the point. The point is that as much as I am for the religion against religions, I am also incapable of refusing to believe in... something. Be it God, Allah, Jesus H Christ, or Shiva The Destroyer of Worlds.
It seems like too often we merely replace one form of intolerance for another. First religions persecuted heretics, then heretics became established religions which began persecuting yet others who believed differently. Now we've come full circle where those who claim no religion actively disparage those who do. It seems that all hierarchies are overturned through the inexorable march of time, even the most well-entrenched...

For me though, I just don't like the condescension. Maybe God exists, maybe God doesn't exist. Does it matter? Only if you let what you believe affect how you act towards others, in which case you're a damn hypocrite. Whether your faith is in Buddy Jesus or Science, religion is religion, and it shouldn't make you -- or keep you from being -- a good person.

As it stands, I'm still uncertain about God. And if she exists she'll just have to get used to it.


**Author's Note: I do not really believe that Atheists want to eat babies, or condone cannibalism in any form. Also, I don't really give a shit what religion you are, just as long as you don't eat my babies... because I'm hungry!***

2 footnotes:

Mira said...

I was raised as an atheist. All people in my family are atheists. We were told religion is for old and stupid people. Well, we did have a religion, Religion sux, socialism rulez. That sort of things.

Later in life (when I was 10), I started to question my atheism and I became a believer. It just came naturally to me. It still makes my mother uncomfortable. My husband claims to be an agnostic, although I think he believes in God, just not in organized religion.

In any case, I really dislike when people judge others based on any set of beliefs. No, wait. That sounds cheesy. What I'm trying to say is that there are some beliefs, hobbies and "stuff" that are considered to be "for smart people" only. That make you look intelligent, you know. Better and smarter than the others. The "unusual", unique one. Etc. The funny thing, the main stuff in my culture (at least with young people) is music. In short, smart people like rock music. Stupid people like folk. End of story. Yes, I know it sounds silly when compared with faith, but if some atheists you know really do think they're smarter than the other people, it might be the similar case.

PS- Honestly, what you wrote here about your religious beliefs sounds like you might be an agnostic.

Zek J. Evets said...

@mira: my story is similar to yours, only with a few more ups & downs. i was raised in a religious household, but when i got to school i started questioning my faith. however, as i neared graduating high school i stared to notice that a lot of people were describing themselves as "atheist/agnostic" and generally not believing in anything. it bothered me frankly, especially because they had no good reasons for their beliefs. they just believed them because they believed them.

nowadays i tend to believe in god, but god is a fluid concept for me. at the moment i believe god is a woman, or at least incarnates as a woman.

although really, a supreme deity doesn't need gender (or anything else for that matter) to define itself.

in the end, i turn back to judaism to refine my beliefs. to me, god is eyn sof, which means "no end" or, "without end" in classical hebrew.

in a sense, existence is beyond the capacity for man to understand completely. to strangely relate this to science, it is like when you look at an atom. either you know exactly where it is, or how fast it's going, but you can't know both.

life is a delightful mystery.

however, the point of my post is, as you said, that atheism seems to think it's not a religion, and that it's smarter than religion. both are blatantly false. and even more, atheism is as bad for the lack of tolerance it has towards those who choose to believe in... something.