Archive for May, 2010

My name is Chris…and I’m an atheist.

Posted in Uncategorized on May 24, 2010 by moegreeb

So…I found myself in a church the other day. Not really by choice…I was a guest at the wedding for a co-worker of my wife. I don’t do well in churches. It really isn’t much of a secret that I’m athiest. To me, religion just doesn’t make sense. I plain don’t understand it.

I can understand a time when humankind had not yet evolved the reasoning skills to explain where we came from. Stories are a handy way of filling in those blanks. How did the sun rise? The work of the Gods. Where does this weather come from? It was sent by the Gods. It was a handy way of covering up our lack of knowledge. Anything we didn’t understand became something that was the domain of a higher power. As our understanding has grown though for the world and the universe around us we haven’t discounted this practice and I can’t understand why.

We now have what is referred to by some as the God of the Gaps. When we reach a point where our current knowledge cannot explain some phenomenon, we attribute it to God. “This is where the divine providence lies. This is the proof of his existence. Since we have no explanation it is therefore the work of the Lord”. It instead, to me, seems a much more fitting logic to say that there is just something we have not yet discovered. It would be arrogant to assume that we have at our disposition all the tools and knowledge to unlock the secrets of the universe at this time…but it is just as arrogant to assert that lack of said explanations automatically proves the existence of a higher power. It would seem to me to be evident that everyday we are discovering more. That every day we are closer to being able to explain how it is that the world came to be and yet many of us still try to hold on to the idea that there is still a God that created everything. I liken it all to still deciding to believe that there is a Santa Clause living in the North Pole even though our parents have already sat us down and explained how every year they put the presents under the tree and drink the milk and eat the cookies that have been laid out. I prefer to put aside that reasoning. To no longer accept that illusion and to instead try and see the universe through logical and scientific eyes. There is so much natural beauty and wonder in the universe that I fail to see how there is need to attribute it to a supernatural being.

We live in a world of beauty. With changing weather…orbiting a a massive nuclear reactor at a distance of 149, 597, 870.7km. The scope of this universe is mind boggling. It is impressive enough when we picture our place in the world. When we try to wrap our minds around our place in the solar system or the universe at large…it is very very humbling. If we were to guess at the number of planets in the whole of the universe it would not be unreasonable to put the number somewhere around 1000000000000000000 (thank you Carl Sagan). Dr. Sagan uses this little factoid for one of my favourite arguments. If there are a billion billion planets in the universe, and the odds of life developing on a planet such as we have is 1 in a billion…then there are roughly a billion planets in the universe that hold life (extreme paraphrasing here since the book is all the way upstairs).

There is an unfortunate trend today of a sense of superiority amongst nonbelievers such as myself. I have read the works of such writers as Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens and I agree wholeheartedly with their underlying messages…I just wish that they could argue their points in a manner that wasn’t so condescending or condemning of people that choose to hold onto a faith. It isn’t for me. I don’t understand religion, I don’t understand faith. I realize that the point of faith is supposed to be believing in something despite the lack of evidence or proof but that rings hollow to me. All I ask is that we can try and keep everything out of the way. I don’t believe that someone else’s religious views should affect my life in any way and in return I will not argue with you about how I feel in regards to the mythology of your religion.

I do no need need the fear of divine retribution to live a moral life. I have no fear of hell but that does not mean that I live a life in sin. I live holding to the thought that we all have to share the world so we might as well try to make it a decent place for all of us. We’re all in this together. What’s more…I believe that we only get one shot at it. This is it. So…let’s try and do it right.