Friday, March 13, 2009


People reject the notion that one cannot have any faith. To theists, atheism is a faith because they cannot “prove” the non-existence of god(s). The root of this problem is that atheism is not a belief, but a lack of belief. However, theists do not view it this way because they see the disbelief in their theory of God as a leap of faith, even though they have presented a situation that cannot be disproven (which makes the statement utterly pointless to discuss).

In light of this attitude, a prevailing theory for those who do not believe in god(s) must be presented. A competing idea would be more substantial than an empty rejection, which relies on defining itself solely on its opposition to a proposed belief. This competing idea must coincide with the theist’s theory of god, but it must also be scientifically relevant.

The theory of God claims the existence of one or multiple deities. These deities are defined as having attributes including, but not limited to: creator of mankind/earth; controller of mankind/earth; provider of benefits; demander of respect; and ultimate destroyer. There is already something empirically proven to possess all these godly traits, and it’s something that we can all agree exists.

Life on this planet is not possible without the Sun. Every atom on Earth was fused in the center of the Sun at the birth of the solar system. We literally are borne out of the Sun. The cycle of day and night is governed by Earth’s rotational relationship to the Sun. The seasons are governed by the Earth’s tilt in relation to the Sun. The weather is a result of unequal heating of the Earth by the Sun. The Sun’s energy is converted into a usable form for life on Earth through photosynthesis. It provides the energy needed to drive farming, the lifeblood of human existence in the modern word. It bestows vitamin D upon exposure to human skin. The absence of the Sun causes many people to become depressed. Humanity relies upon the Sun.

The Sun has many other godly traits. The Sun cannot be stared into, perhaps out of respect for its greatness. The Sun can also punish those who do not follow this rule by blinding them. Skin cancer can be seen as ignoring or flaunting the Sun's power. These attributes demand reverence and are compounded by the fact that our planet revolves around the Sun. It is quite literally the center of our existence.

The Sun is also the bringer of the end. Assuming the Earth survives until the hydrogen in the Sun is used up, the Earth will be charred by the increased heat as the Sun expands and eventually engulfs our planet. The Sun created us, and the Sun will destroy us. At least the Sun probably won’t destroy the Earth for another couple billion years, so the Sun has not only given us life, but also the time required to become cognizant of our situation. The Sun is a merciful deity.

Knowing these facts, one can begin to explore the deeper aspects of what Heliolatry must entail. It gives man a purpose, and quite a positive one at that. Survival of the species relies upon our ability to leave our home, which is ultimately doomed. It may be all we have ever known, but it is apparent that our planet cannot support us forever.

It does not appear the Sun requires any type of worship. It is there every morning, and we know it isn’t really gone at night, nor when it’s cloudy, or even during an eclipse. Most importantly, it is a deity that we can prove exists and has a measurable influence. I urge everyone to try meditating in the sun (perhaps in a bathing suit on a beach) and then try to tell me you don’t feel heavenly.


  1. Very clever post.

    Interestingly, some of the earliest deities were associated with the sun. Ra is one example.

    Many religions that have Solstice celebrations revolve around the frequency of sunlight and harvests which depend on the sun.

    Yes, you posted a very interesting entry, indeed.

  2. Amenhotep IV (the predecessor of King Tut, and some would say his father) renamed himself Ahkenaten, meaning Spirit of Aten, and tried to move Egypt towards a monotheistic worship (the first recorded) of the god he called Aten, the perfectly circular disc of the sun. After his death, temples he shut down moved quickly to reinstate the traditional pantheon. About two centuries later, we are told Moses leaves Egypt with a faith in one god. Thinkers like Freud have argued this is likely no coincidence, and have pointed to the similarity between Aten and one of the Hebrew words for god, Adonai. Perhaps Moses was a priest of Aten, forced to leave as his faith was pushed from Egypt.

  3. Hmmm . . . that's an interesting thought about Moses. But, some hefty archeological evidence says that there was no Exodus from Egypt.

    However, perhaps "Moses" actually did leave Egypt, but not in grandeur as the Bible says.

    The Israelites are also thought to be indigenous people of Canaan, not the conquerors of it by Joshua's leadership. For them, God seemed to have a consort of some kind, at the very least. Until something or someone started to encourage monotheism.

    Archeological evidence presented by The Bible Unearthed suggest that some of their monotheism was written into their scriptures as they formulated before canonization.

    Ever hear of Joseph Campbell?

    It's quite possible that separate cultures would come up with very similar ideas about God. Not because well all have a "god sized hole in our heart". Rather, because our brains are wired very much alike.

    Either way, your post was very thought provoking for me and I have wondered about how the sun may have contributed to the birth of theism in humanity. You said a lot of interesting things to me.

  4. I'm actually reading The Hero With A Thousand Faces now. I'm pretty sure the biblical account of the exodus is symbolic/overstated. However, I see the symbolism of the faith of Atenism being forced into flight as possibly expressed in the story.

    Monotheism is a strange beast of a religion; inherently jealous, selfish, and intolerant. It's a lot to deal with beyond the mere idea of hierarchy established within pantheons.

  5. > I'm actually reading The Hero With A Thousand Faces now.

    I've got a copy, but havne't pressed through it yet. For me, it's pretty thick reading.

    Might I suggest that you rent the DVD set Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth? This is a two part DVD set where Bill Moyers interviews Joseph Campbell. The interview is very down to earth, but is still very rich with insight. I think that might help you read his through his book.

    That assuming you find it a challenge like me. You might find it easier to read than I have so far!

    I plan to finish it one of these days. It's worth it based on all the information he offers in his interview with Moyer.

  6. Once you understand Freudian and Jungian psychology (which is really Campbell's starting point), I would recommend reading something like Northrope Frye's Anatomy of Criticism (which will have you reading every classic work of literature trying to keep up with his examples). If you understand those, Campbell's only unique idea is that of the monomyth. I guess also having an understanding of multiple religions wouldn't hurt, but you can wiki any references that seem foreign.

    If I can find a library that has those DVDs, or a pirated online copy, I'll check out that interview.


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