"Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That's their natural and first weapon." ~ Gloria Steinem

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Atheists can't blaspheme, either.

I'm sure we've all heard from at least one Christian that we've just replaced the Christian god with science. Or "atheists answer to nobody but themselves, and therefore they are their own god."

These people are falling into erroneous logic; they assume that everyone lives as they do. Not only that, but they assume that humans inherently construct their lives around a single entity--inherently. Note my word choice here, please. These are the same people who set out to disabuse native peoples of the tenets of polytheism, believing that the only way a person can live correctly is to worship only one god.

When you tell me that I am now worshipping science or myself, you assume that I am hardwired to focus my behavior, choices, and lifestyle around a central idea; having abandoned your god, I must therefore have replaced it with another single entity, and since I like science, it must be science. Alternatively, I might focus on my individuality; my god must be myself.

Sam Harris, in End of Faith, discusses the nature of belief, pointing out that every belief requires other beliefs as support. If you believe in the first commandment, you must also believe that it is impossible for humans to avoid setting up something as a god. This belief is erroneous, condescending, and egocentric.

It is quite possible to construct your life around a number of things, none of which rank above or below any of the others. In my opinion, this is the belief at the core of atheism; if you accept atheism as a possibility, you must also accept that humans do not need one all-encompassing influence over their lives.

Currently, my life is indeed constructed around many things, and in no particular order of effect or influence. Tomorrow it may change; tomorrow it may not. My life has no center, not even me; it is fluid and responds to its environment. Thus far, this has been the most freeing aspect of atheism for me.

I am the Lord your God; thou shalt have no other gods before me.

I don't need any gods at all--before, during, or after you. Thanks for the concern, but I'm good.


  1. It is rather odd how many believers continue to insist that we must be worshiping something - whether science, Darwin, ourselves, etc. Why is it so hard to understand that a person can live just fine without worshiping anything?

  2. Well written. It stems from the fact that they just can not lower their ego enough to admit that they might be wrong. And because they can't lower their ego enough, they can not conceive of anyone else doing it either.

    That's why they honestly believe that Atheism is a religion. They can't understand the concept of "not knowing", and therefore can't understand that "not believing" is the exact opposite of "believing".

  3. Replacing God with science is something that theists do all the time without question - they use an electrical appliance or computer without thanking their god for it (probably due to it being made in China it was made by someone else's god who's better at these things). Whereas 4 generations ago this would surely be a miracle and the work of some god or other, or several! They've moved on from superstitious belief, to a scientific understanding.

    Gods themselves are just primitive scientific theories that mankind is in the process of growing out of. Some of us quicker than others.

    Whether or not the moon is made of cheese is no longer a matter of opinion. Likewise evolution is no longer a matter of opinion. Anyone who wants to make these a matter opinion really should do so quietly, on their own in a locked room where they can do no harm to anyone or themselves.