The Uninspired Manifesto
Sunday, August 5, 2007
God Bless Atheism/Understanding
Understanding why some people become atheist
"I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up - they have no holidays."
Henny Youngman (1906 - 1998)
A common misconception is that people become Atheist in reaction to life's event: failed relationship, death, deep loss, etc. These people would attribute their misery to God's failure to look after them. But to put the responsibility of a life event on God's back, one has to believe in the influence of God on human life. Atheists don't believe in such a thing.
People don't become atheists. They are born atheists. They become religious with social influence. If children weren't told about God, they wouldn't believe in supernatural being. Atheism is the natural state of the human being. Religion is a social phenomenon implanted through education. From many atheists' point of view, it isn't to the atheists to invalidate the existence of God: it falls upon the theists to prove the existence of God.
For those who were raised religiously, or were in contact with religions, atheism is not a choice. Someone cannot wake up one morning and choose to not believe in God. One can choose to not believe in a religion anymore, religions being institutions created for regulating religious practice among humans who share the same beliefs. But an atheist doesn't choose to not believe in God. It is a conclusion that is naturally reached by oneself after observation, studying or another form of reaching an answer about "life, the universe and everything" (ref. Douglas Adam.)
The rejection of religion may, in turn, lead to the rejection of the existence of God. But many non-religious people do believe in God, or in a supernatural being. The rejection of the institution or of the theology (discourse on God) of an institution doesn't automatically imply Atheism. Most real atheist have studied many religions and have come to the conclusion no institution possesses the truth about God. An atheist can reject the idea of an institution as possessing the truth about divinity, and still recognize the possibility of the existence of supernatural beings. But atheists don't recognize deities to have influence on the realm of human life. If God exists, it is an impersonal power that doesn't need, and may even be unaware of the existence of humankind.
This video is from comedian Pat Condell.
Have a good night, everyone...