I have spent a long time back-pedaling from the statement “there are no gods.” It doesn’t seem scientific to make such a broad claim without evidence. Then again, I’m not a scientist. I took a lot of science classes in college, but I was never any good at them. So fuck it, I don’t represent the scientific community.
There are no gods.
I make this statement after having read about many gods and the cultures who dreamed them up. Sure, I have not read about every deity ever worshipped (especially those from long forgotten, non-literate societies), but it turns out there’s one particular god a lot of people really care about.
Why is that? There have been millions of gods to roam the imagination of men, but monotheists deny the existence of all but one. No one challenges the Christian to disprove the existence of Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the Moon. It would be a tough challenge, too, since you can actually see the moon. How did Christians manage to sidestep this dilemma?
The gods exist, but only in an abstract sense within our minds. They have power, but only that which we attribute to them. Religion is a system of autosuggestion, and it turns out that when people stop believing in the pantheon of gods, they lose their influence over society. This is pretty definitive evidence against the gods, because the faithful are warned that horrible things will happen if you don’t pay tribute with sacrifice and prayer… yet nothing happens when they stop. If you no longer believe in something and it goes away, the only place it ever existed was in your head.
It is important to understand that there is very little difference between the monotheistic rejection of foreign gods and atheism. Both deny the existence of countless gods, and both are content to do so with little specific evidence for each individual deity. It is understood that each unique god does not require its own in-depth study in order to be philosophically ignored. However, monotheism rejects all but one, while atheism rejects them all.
The only theological difference between monotheism and atheism is the cognitive dissonance embodied in partial skepticism and selective superstition. Truth is mightier than the gods, because it exists even when we cease to believe in it. Knowledge is like a god, only better.
I am glad to finally know there are no gods.