Is Atheism A Kind of Superstition?

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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.

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7 thoughts on “Is Atheism A Kind of Superstition?

  1. “disguised radical atheists” Interesting. I imagine there would be WWIII if those crazies were called that to their faces. One thing I find in common with all radicals and fundamentalists: absolute refusal to have an honest discussion. They are the most weak and frightened humans on the planet….so why are they able to scare us with their bluster and bravado and weapons? If we really knew how scared they were, we could rise up and take care of it. ah well…

    Anyway, thanks for the caveat there at the end, allowing that there are atheists who have humans’ best interests in mind. I believe I am both humanist and atheist. I have taken to using the category of atheist because I am making a point: I do not want to be even slightly associated with organized religion.

    But then, if you get to know me a little, you’ll see that I agree with your original point completely: I am a woman of great faith. I even have a stubborn belief in powers of positive and negative energy, and I believe that humans can use it.

    I think what sets me apart from religion is that I do not believe there is a conscious intent behind any of what happens in the Universe. That there is a being to pray to, or that something happened for a reason, or that if you behave a certain way the being will punish or reward you… I think that is all total hogwash. We are alive and conscious by accident. It’s a beautiful, magical, accident, but there is no special message.

    I live my life trying to make the most out of what I have, because I am so grateful to have stumbled accidentally into Life. Makes no sense to me to waste this precious short life on being hateful to others.

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    • Thanks for your comment Crystal. You are right the weak and the frightened often attack first and they are also noisy and boastful. But life is a puzzle. The Pope said sometime ago that people subscribe to religion but it doesn’t mean they are good people or true believers. I do not know why people chose to be atheists but I am sure they have their reasons.

      I like the humanist part and I ‘m glad to have you as part of the community of cooperative humanists.

      I think the being called God actually comprise abstract ideas such truth and love and peace etc. I don’t remember the last time I prayed but I believe in morality and the power of accurate knowledge including trusting the unknown.

      Suppose the universe is a big pool, if one continues to swim in the dirty part, one tends to believe the entire pool is dirty and that it probably has no designer and no purpose.

      I have a separate philosophy for my inner world and another for my outer world so I may sometimes sound contradictory or confusing but there is objective truth in what I say.

      As an artist, I will always see design in the universe and I believe everything happens in our life for a reason. The positive and negative energies are just different terms for good and evil forces.

      Like I said earlier, life is a puzzle, I may not understand every aspect of it but one must live and my philosophy is to follow my good instincts and be happy. Be well my friend.

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      • Thanks for your response. I am sorry that you have had such poor interactions with atheists that you assume we are “swimming in the dirty side of the pool.” I have a lot of love in my life. I have amazing beautiful generous intelligent friends. I am blessed to have family and an exquisite child. My atheism does not come from a dark place. I am a loving, caring soul AND I do not believe there is a designer or a purpose – it’s all one big beautiful accident. And I think it’s delightful and brilliant! 🙂 I don’t understand everyone else’s beliefs either, so you and I are together on that one. Be well, friend.

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        • Then I think you are more of a humanist. Also, I should explain what I mean by “cooperative humanism.” It’s any communal activity that promotes the common good.

          Sorry you had the impression that atheism comes from a dark place. The people I know in my neighbourhood go to church every sunday but their attitude shows they don’t believe in God or take him seriously.

          Many think God could have made life easier and sweeter but he chose not to. I am speaking from personal experience and I believe this may not be the case with you.

          I can generally understand why many deny the existence of higher powers but it doesn’t change anything anyway. Thanks for your input. All the best my friend.

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