This past week I fell into a snake pit – I mean I bumped into a few radical atheist blogs. I instantly felt like I had entered a den, creatures peering at me, ready to break my neck and hang me upside down should I tell them I’m a believer. I told them I’m a humanist and they let go but not without much interrogation. We had an interesting discussion though. One thing I admire about atheists, is their brutal honesty with regards to their thoughts.
Most atheists believe in evolution or natural selection. They reject a belief in God or gods because they say there is no evidence for the existence of God or gods. But the truth, the real truth, is that everyone has faith or a belief in something. Without which, psychologically, one will have to live in ageless confusion.
Since radical atheists believe that, once upon a time we were all apes or prehistoric lizards or monkeys, it gives us an impression that they put their faith in archaeology and chance occurrences. Meanwhile, just as no one has seen God or any gods, so has no one seen one organism transform into another. We are all inferring. Sometimes science infers with “concocted” facts.
I am saying this from a humanistic perspective. A sweetened thousand-page-story can sometimes be told of a single common jaw bone with missing teeth. And sometimes they even go as far as telling us at what age the creature died, what it ate, its typical schedule for the day and many other absurd specificities; they often sound certain that the creature is the missing link between ape men and humans. Today it may be “Lucy”, tomorrow it’s “Turkana boy”, the next day it’s Neanderthal. What are we to believe?
How do we know the history of this insufficient fact (jaw bone) is not coloured with human imagination that suits expectations. Faith indeed, is a fine invention as Emily Dickinson puts it; when gentlemen can see but microscopes are prudent in an emergency. They put their faith in scientific labs and theories and insignificant truths that can never be harmonized. This compels me to conclude that atheism is a type superstition. A superstition not based on fear but on misinterpreted facts.
In as much as true religion is a powerful tool for the organisation of society and the inculcation of certain ethics and moral precepts, my type of Humanism is closer to theism than it is to atheism. I admit, lately, religion has been used for more evil that good but I believe the world will be much worse without religion. The truth is that most of these religious extremists are actually disguised radical atheists. They worship death.
But this is not to say that there are no mild atheists who are concerned about human welfare.
PS: I am told “Turkana boy” is now “Nariokotome Boy.” So hilarious! a new role has been created for another imaginary actor.