Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Atheist or Agnostic?

I call myself an atheist, but the fact of the matter is a little more complicated.

I feel comfortable saying I’m an atheist, because whenever someone asks me if I believe in God, I assume they are talking about their god, so I say no. Their god is a projection. Your god is a projection. If I had a god, it would be a projection too. In fact, I have a model in my mind of the kind of god I would believe in if I did believe in god, and that god is a projection before it even gets out of the gate. So, no, I don’t believe in your god, my god, or their god. I am an atheist, but if you asked me what kind of god I would believe in I could tell you, and you wouldn’t be surprised to see that my god looks as much like me as your god looks like you and as their god looks like them. We could have fun going down that road.

There are some gods that I am not just atheistic towards in my attitudes. I become downright anti-theistic towards gods that create hells for non-believers, gods who encourage and reward faith over reason, and gods who create value systems for the world to live by out of whole cloth. Gods who allow ‘sin’ to be passed down genetically from generation to generation, gods who give us brains and then punish us for using them, gods who give us moral compasses and then ask us to believe things that we know deep inside are immoral and bad for us, and gods who are proponents of vicarious salvation all do poorly with me. I am not just an atheist to these gods: I am part of the opposition. I am nakedly hostile to them. To the god who says ‘love me...or else’, I say...

There are other gods that I feel warmer towards. These gods are nicer, like the people who believe in them. Nice people have nice gods, isn’t that strange? There are no perfectly nice gods though, because there are no perfectly nice people. We all have idiosyncrasies, dark spots, and desires to punish ourselves and people who we don’t approve of for one reason or the other. I find these gods among more socially conscious and liberal people more often than not. There are some gods that make no sense at all to me. These are often found in more socially conscious liberals as well, but usually they’ve made it a little farther along in college.

So I am an agnostic because I know about as much about the divine origins of the universe as you do. I am an atheist because all of the best guesses of all of the best (and worst) guessers seem far less likely than guesses that don’t involve any gods at all.

And I am a blogger because I feel compelled to share every random thought, idea, opinion, or hypothesis that bounces through my pretty little skull with the general public.

1 comment:

Willie Y said...

I love reading about your thouhgts on religon. You explore the subjects in depth and make your pronouncements. I on the hand say to myself "Gee willikers the idea that there is something or someone in the sky who is all knowing and who sits there and judges everyone is really bizarre. I'm a atheist"

Great post Spencer.