I am an atheist who wonders if God does not exist after all. It occurs to me that if she exists (and I use the feminine pronouns for a concrete reason), then all of us can see the decisions she makes. Indeed, the nature of God, if she exists, is quite evident for all to see. Her true character, the one you can see with your eyes, is almost completely opposite to the character taught in our scriptures and traditions. She is very beautiful and benevolent and very easy to love, and, if it is true, that she does not exist at all, I find myself missing her, wishing that she did exist, if only so there would be someone to express gratitude for the exquisite universe and the life we find abounding within.
But alas, poor me, I cannot find any evidence for her existence, anywhere. Perhaps it is existence itself, the astonishing beauty of life in all its forms that evokes in us the wish to find the reason to stand in for her until we find her, to be beautiful and benevolent to each other, to love the things she so clearly loves if she does indeed exist.
Now, some atheists might disown me for this, and some theists might do the same, but that can hardly matter, this is the truth I see and it must be written, come what may. So, where is the rationale and logic for all of this? How can I hold these positions? When I say we all can see her beauty and benevolence, what am I talking about?
Well, what do you mean when you use the word “God?” Is it the same thing that I mean? What is the simplest definition of the word that we can both share and accept in order to continue our discussion?
Does she create life? Is this what you mean when you use the word, that God is the creator of life? I am willing to agree with you on this. I do not see any other definition that will serve us very well. After all, if we agree that she is NOT the creator of life, why are we thinking about her at all? We might as well be thinking about some being that lives on another planet, far away, that cannot impact our world in any way.
Is the origin of life the result of thinking or non-thinking processes? The evidence is rather overwhelming that our universe is the result of the operation of natural physical laws, some of which we understand, some of which we are still discovering. However, if there is a thinking entity involved that had any choice in the matter, than it is that entity we are referencing when we use the term “God.” If we are agreed, then the rest of this will make sense. If you believe God does not create life, then please, send me an email and let me know why you think of her at all.
If she exists, then this is the God we see. She has been creating hundreds of thousands of infant children every day for as long as we have existed. The most astonishing act is to then entrust these infant children to us, thereby she entrusting us to each other. We all see this, every day. We see her expressions of hope for us, that we will find reason to love the things she so dearly loves, we will love each other. She is very beautiful, is she not? She creates us, and she entrusts us with her precious things, every morning and evening of every day. Is she not so easy to love in return?
Do you see the rationale now? If God exists at all, then she is not like anything you have ever read or heard before. You can see this with your own eyes; the truth has always been there, right in front of us. All of us can see the decisions of God.
How then could we have been so wrong? Why have we written books of scripture that suggests that God, with perfect fingers, sets fire to perfect flames of hell, who with perfect eyes watches forever the burning bodies of living people, who with perfect ears listens forever to their anguished cries? Why would we ever think such a horrid thing? How can one observe the decisions of God and think of her as of such malevolent character?
We have evolved to our intelligence and along the way, not too long after we descended from the trees in bands of creatures communicating in concert to conquer the beasts of the land, we evolved more extensive language and began to see each other as individuals, as agents, as beings of intent. We heard the overpowering sounds and we witnessed the forces of nature. Thunder frightened us and lightning cut us down. We naturally wondered if there was also agency and intent behind the forces of nature and we discussed these things.
We sharpened and aimed our spears and with intention hurled them at the beasts to kill them. This small power of ours paled in comparison to the sudden sharpened bolt of lightning that set a loved one aflame. We naturally concluded agency and we naturally derived our concept that there must be some great being who, with angry intent, struck man down in flames.
We evolved to our intelligence in ignorance; we did not understand the forces of nature. From these ancient discussions about the angry agency, we evolved our understandings of God. We naturally believed that if we could find a way to appease him, he would with his great power bless us instead. And so we created our laws of worship and sacrifice. This happened in all corners of the world. Some thought that the anger of God could be headed off if we simply sacrificed human beings ahead of time and more often than not we chose our children for the sacrifice.
And so I hope you can see why I am so content with atheism. Mans traditional beliefs in the angry nature of God have led him to unthinkable acts of torture against each other. And this continues to this very day, millenniums after our ancestors first began to sacrifice their children to the non-existent angry God. We stone each other to death and cut off each other’s heads to honor the non-existent angry god. We fight wars to honor the non-existent angry god. We consider the believers of a different book to be condemned by the non-existent god to burn forever in the fires of hell. We remain in abject ignorance. In summary, we are ill. If anything will save the world from such a sad state, it must be atheism, because the believers in the angry god are unable to act with reason.
Are we trapped by all of this? Some would say we are doomed by all of this: that we are like countless species slowly evolving to our own extinction. The reasoning goes like this:
We are trapped by the scriptures, the books, chapters and verses of Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur’an. All of them command that we worship the angry non-existent God and honor him by killing those that would disparage or disbelieve the books, or the prophets, or the non-existent God. We are well and truly trapped, and there is no way out. We are doomed to generations of mindless violence, to the physical torture of children, to the corruption of the minds of children by the active denial of education, to the abuse of women and girls, to hating each other forever. We are trapped because we have been told that the scriptures are the very word of the non-existent angry god and after all, we cannot prove they are not as claimed. We are trapped by our very nature as autonomous thinking beings, capable of choosing the things we will believe. And we hear what has been said, that the angry god will burn us in hell if we do not kill to honor him and believe every word that has been written, and we cannot prove this to be untrue. We are reduced to fear to doubt and in this cowardice we carry our sad violence against each other. And we are arming ourselves over time with weapons sufficient to wipe each other out.So, are we trapped? If we are, then it is clear to see the thing that keeps us bound. It is the idea that what has been written is the word of the angry creator of hell, that indeed, the creator of life is intent on observing people burning alive forever in hell.
But wait, let us repeat that phrase: “…the creator of life is intent…”
We can know her intentions. We are not trapped at all. We can see the decisions of God. The scriptures are all wrong, they have always been wrong; man has been deluded by his own ignorant ideas for thousands of years. We have the evidence. This has always been true, we have had only to close our sad books of scripture for a while, and open our eyes.
Atheism and theism are not important to her at all. She does not have such poor character that requires jealous attention and belief and worship. That is the tantrum of a child, trying to be the center of attention. If she exists she is wiser than our traditions allow us to think she is. Her only question to us is clearly expressed with the gift of each newborn child: Will you be a worthy repository for the trust placed in you? She is not commanding it; she is only asking what it is that you will stand to be. Will you make certain that at the end of your life those that encountered you found in your eyes a place of safety and trust? Will you die in the knowledge that at least one person existed who was a repository of trust?
Do you look back on your life with sadness now, observing that this has not been true, that you have on one occasion or another been less than worthy of trust? Well, what about the rest of your life, the time of your life defined as this point forward? What kind of person will you stand up, in courage, to be? That is the only person that matters, the person you stand to be today. Some might rise to strike you down for one past sin or another but that cannot matter in your eyes or in mine, or in the eyes of our beloved God if she does indeed exist. What is it that the three of us, you, me and she, will say about the way you led your life from this point forward? That is the only person worth caring about; neither I nor she has any interest in your past ignorance or in your past sins.
Love yourself as she loves you. She sees you as a child after a long day in a garden, perhaps a bit muddied from the world, knees and elbows bruised, a bit afraid of things unknown. Do you not love your muddied children; do you not bring them to your embrace? So as such you are brought this very hour to her embrace.
So I coined the word theamology, deriving it from the Greek and Latin roots for God, love, and knowledge. Whereas theology is the traditional study of God, theamology is the study of the love of God because this is the God we see if God exists at all.
So, if I write like this, how can I be an atheist? I love existence, I love this world and this world needs courage, this world needs atheists, and I shall be one of them, living as a repository of trust for my fellow man. And she does not mind at all. She is happy with my atheism and my occasional theism because in each state I am loving the things she loves, I am loving you.
But, if then the scriptures cannot be trusted, what will we use to guide us? How can we know the difference between good and evil?
It has always been clear to see. We have never needed a scripture or a book or a cleric or a scholar or a priest or a pope or even a single word of God. We can see a clear choice: we can be repositories of trust for one another, or we can be something less than that. Our ancient ancestor tried to reason this out, muddled as he was from the false idea of the angry God, and he expressed this in the simple question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
As atheists, we can clearly see we are all in this together and that we have a simple choice: To fight, or to get along. We are free to choose to fight and, using reason, we can see that if we do fight, there will be only one of us left standing and this person is mortally wounded, the last to die. And so, if we value death, if we cannot stand to live, we know how to end it all, just take up arms and fight each other. But, if we value life, then, we, who value life, will use reason to create laws that enable us to engage freely with each other, trusting each other to watch each other’s backs. Those that resort to violence will be seen as sick rather than evil and they will be restrained and reeducated until they learn to see that violence leads only to their own destruction.
As theists, it is easy to see the same thing the atheists see. We will work with the atheists to create laws that value life and serve to restrain and reeducate those that do not.
We have a great common ground to go forward and so all of this is the reason for this blog. I will write articles about current events in the light of rational theism and rational atheism.
And I will trust you to let me know when I have missed the mark. If there is anything at all of my writings that I hope survives, it is that all writings must be inspected and corrected. If you find that you fear to doubt the written word, you have become ill. Observe the universe, read books of science, crawl your way out of the darkness, have courage, correct the writings everywhere that need correction, educate all children, proclaim the truth you see.