Thursday, February 12, 2009

Is Atheism a Faith?

Religion is a funny thing, but only because it takes itself so seriously. It seeks to tame man, even though it is our wild, natural ambitions that drive us to run against the leash of tradition towards progress. Religion fills the follower’s head with ideas of what to do, say or even think. This would be fine, except that it inevitably drives the follower to impress these ethics upon others. Religion is infectious ideology. Religion is contagion. This is the only regrettable trait of religion: its inability to acknowledge what limited scope of influence it deserves.

Speaking only for myself (as this is all I can ever do), I do not believe in any gods. This is distinct from the statement, “I believe there are no gods.” That is a statement of belief. For whatever reason, I lack the ability to suspend reason. Atheism may be a religion, especially for those who seek to convince others to believe in the absence of anything divine. However, for me it is not. Perhaps I am not an Atheist with a big A, but an atheist with a small a. To be honest, I prefer to the term “apatheist,” as I simply don’t care whether or not there are gods.

Despite these views, I see religion as playing a vital role in the world. It is like the sewers of society: an unseemly system for funneling refuse away from where it is not wanted. I would hate to see a day when religion is crushed, leaving the dogmatic masses with nothing to do but descend upon science with their blind trust and resistance to change.

Science is for constructive skeptics; it is for those who not only question, but also seek answers. Science must evolve over time, acknowledging and correcting its errors. It must relish in every opportunity to redefine itself. It must never become so comfortable with a “theory” as to accept it as the complete and total truth. Ideologies, philosophy, morality, and ethics can maintain a façade of constant tradition in the follower’s belief that they are mimicking the actions of their ancestors – though anyone who studies traditions through history knows they are only unchanged for generations at best. Some, perhaps even many people become reluctant to alter their familiar thoughts, and this is the sin which science must avoid.


  1. Interesting love/hate feelings about religion.

    Yeah I like science.

    Yeah "blind trust" isn't good.

    You don't think there is anything unchanging?

  2. I'm not sure if I'm qualified to discuss whether anything remains unchanged, but I know that religions never remain the same for long. There may be aspects of a religion that never seem to change, but I think every fundamental tenant (not to mention many minor points of detail) has been up for debate in every religion that survives long enough.


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