- Oct 18, 2015
- Brighton, UK
The problem as I see it with atheism is it's not based on anything. Instead of a person simply stating that if there is a God then I'm not interested or I don't want to even think about it or even that I couldn't careless, or even that science hasn't proved it so it can't be. Many people instead try to justify themselves as atheists with 'there is no God' as if that is some type of logic.I tend to think animism and other early belief structures arose as a folkloric means for explain phenomena, create lore to pass on to newer generations, and attempt magical influence on the environment. The concept of other beings that influenced or controlled things dates all the way back to this phase. I'm not confident the sort of individual existential questions we associate with religion today (and you quoted) were significant motivators in this folkloric era.
I'm pretty sure what we know now as "organized religion" arose later as a power structure to codify and enforce social order as settled populations grew larger and the hierarchical levels of authority grew more prominent. The concept of only one or a few "Master God(s)" to whom one owed allegiance emerged during this later phase. "Atheism" arose as a pejorative concept formulated by stakeholders in organized religion that could be used to smear those who weren't "with the program".
In other words, I believe some measure of belief in supernatural or paranormal forces / entities / etc. pre-dated organized religion.
Others speculate on how religion may have come about but that is again based around 'there is no God'. So it's back to square one. We can't go back in time and experience whether religion did in fact evolve for this reason or that reason no matter how qualified the expert in history, etc, may be.
The argument that religion causes wars, caused and causes oppression and is a means to control the masses, that may be true but that is not caused by religion per say but by corrupt and unscrupulous people doing that in the name of religion and many confuse the two.
One other problem with atheism is that most western people only have knowledge of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, all of which come from the same source. To take Christianity as an example, the Bible is rather hazy on even the simplest of questions. Jesus taught to love God. How does a person love someone they don't actually know anything about? Most atheists think on what they know of the Bible and conclude it doesn't have any substance and it's all based around faith and sentiment and then apply that to every religion, even the ones they know nothing of.
Most atheists know nothing about the actual science of coming to know and have an understanding of God along with knowledge simply because they have never tried. There is an actual process. All atheist have never tried or began to follow that process and only it's very beginnings are found in the three main religions.
I'm not trying to convert anyone to any religion or set of beliefs. That is for each person to decide. It all happens according to what's in the heart and what desires lay there. For me I wanted way, way more than what all the major religions offered and I found it but that is not my point though. My point is that proper atheism is based on no desire to know if there is a God or not. It doesn't need any explanation or theorising. It just is.
Also, Buddhism isn't a religion. Buddhists don't accept there is a God as a person.
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