Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters
socratic

Tired of faith

I've been on a skeptical kick recently. I was always a skeptic, but in a passive way. I was raised as an atheist and taught not to believe in superstitions or scientifically unprovable claims, while also being aware of the limitations and problems with science and scientists (namely that they can lie and/or be wrong, just like any other human.)

Lately I have found myself becoming a more and more active skeptic and atheist. My views haven't really changed, but I've become more vocal about them.

Part of this has to do with Richard Dawkins' book, "The God Delusion," which cemented, for me, the sheer irrationality, and even anti-rationality, of belief in the 'divine.' Part of it is delving into right-wing anti-Islamic tracts, which frequently devolve into "THEIR set of irrational completely unsupported beliefs is heinous and deadly, while MY set of irrational completely unsupported beliefs is GLORIOUS." Likewise from the left comes a "Look, we can't fault them for believing the ravings of a 6th century madman, only what they do to US in the name of those ravings."

What a load of horse shit. Reading, watching, and listening to materials on www.richarddawkins.net and www.randi.org has been a reminder of just how much time and energy is spent on complete hogwash. From organized religion to the insanity of homeopathy, and people who don't think homeopathy is insane simply have not done the research into what it actually is, we spend trillions of dollars and countless hours in what amounts to fantasy play. And not even good fantasy play. I'll grant that the Bible has some neat stories in it, but there are plenty of sci-fi novels with characters more compelling than Moses or Jesus.

On Wednesday I learned that my pseudodate was with a woman who had gone to Catholic school from elementary through college. I was quite relieved that she had come to hold a skeptical worldview and no longer believed in God. I was sad that she seemed so apologetic about it, and suggested that she felt guilty about not attending church. Why should she feel guilt about a rational view of the real world as it actually is, and not as some guys said it was 1700 years ago. She was aghast when I mentioned that the New Testament is inconsistent, and that Jesus is frequently a violent and intolerant person. Of course all she would have to do to see that I am correct would be to actually read the thing.

While watching a segment from a TV show on Dawkins' website I saw a man declare, seemingly in earnest, that proof for the bible's authenticity was contained both in its numerous adherents and the story of Cain and Abel, which revealed that morality MUST come from the bible. I guess until then I didn't think that anyone actually believed that sort of ludicrous circular logic. It is, to me, literally the same as believing in the Easter Bunny. A 5 thousand year old book with no substantiating evidence and innumerable contradictory sources is virtually worthless as a historical document, except in revealing what certain people believed to be true.

From now on I'm not even going to pretend to respect religion, though of course there are billions of religious people who I do, and will continue to, respect as individuals. Religions are just silly conflicting stories. There is a saying among atheists, popularized by Dawkins most recently. "We are all atheists with regard to thousands of gods, I simply take it one god further." If you don't believe in Zeus or Ba'al, there's no reason to believe in Yahweh or Allah.
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