Why Atheism Makes Sense

However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)

Atheism makes sense in light of the religious alternatives (ie: denoms in Christianity).  

Christianity is inflexible and believes some of the strangest things; which in turn makes it quite implausible. The conservative aspects of this faith are staunch and refuse to change (ie: change is bad according to God). God seems like someone I would not want to meet in all honesty…yet the claim is he can have a ‘personal relationship’ with you (and that’s the good news?). Christianity, historically, has been used to justify many things like racism, murder/war, slavery, segregation, and a mass dislike of the Jews (who I think are a pretty cool cultural group) over many centuries. It is not better, morally speaking, then the people they criticize – and sometimes far worse (ie: Catholic abuse scandal cover up)…so what is the actual role of religion?

Christianity lives mainly in a state of denial with regards to their flaws, and upholds an image of something that just isn’t there (spotless, clean, and unblemished bride). The church is more a whore than a bride I would want to marry…it’s basically partners with corporations and gov’t the world over (it has a few lovers to which it tallies out its allegiance). Yet the church will offer you salvation as their ‘deal of the week’…salvation from what exactly? This is the same church that is no different than the society around it and so insitutionalized it is controlled more by itself (ie: the issues are now systemic) than by the people that attend. Spirituality that serves as entertainment value. Interpretation of scripture that contradictory and hypocritical. On and on and on.

Atheism makes sense… and Christians are helping make this movement swoon

The parable I quoted from Luke was about Jesus coming back and looking for faith on this planet, and Luke feels there is so little that it is best explained as ‘none’. This charge should be firmly laid at the feet of the institutionalized church – since the best reasoning to not attend a church comes from the churches themselves (athiests need say nothing really). Or is the charge laid at the feet of people that leave and did not stick to it to see change? They gave up faith, or having faith, or even that spark of humanity that binds us all – trust.

I just came back from blogging on a site about gay inclusion in the church…and most Christians are for it – on blogs. Fact is, the minority opinion on blogs is the majority opinion in churches…no inclusion for gay people, they are going to hell, blah blah blah. I thought about it and realized ‘I cannot serve that God, that God fails to understand His own creation’.

Atheism makes sense…I am there some days, I understand, I get it, I am on board 1/2 the time, I see the dirt you do.

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40 thoughts on “Why Atheism Makes Sense

  1. While I could never go back to aethism, I can sympathize with the struggle. It is hard to identify with something that you often revile.

    The hardest part about chrisitanity is the desire to take what is presented and reason it to themselves. It causes so many just flavors out there and most of the flavors don’t get along with each other as they differ on key issues.

    The only real advice I have is to hold on to your beliefs firmly enough to let them guide you, but not to firm that you are unwilling to be changed.

  2. Many thousands of people that actively attend a church, synagogue, etc are complete non-believers in god or they are agnostic. I read in a Zizek book (‘Violence’) that a poll was done a few years ago and it stated that nearly 70% of Jewish people are complete non-believers in god but they understand the role of the tradition in the community. This says more about the faith itself than it does the community. The people respect and enjoy the communal aspect but do not really believe in the god aspect.

  3. i like what sabio said once, that all religious ppl should nuture their inner atheist. i agree to an extent, but think that atheists should also nuture their inner believer.

    this post has too many generalizations for my taste. if you put “conservative religion” i would agree. or even “pop-Christianity” then yes… but we both know that there are radical communities out there that never have done this, nor would. please go out and find yourself one.

  4. “this post has too many generalizations for my taste” (Luke)

    I agree, to some extent. There are a lot of general ideas presented and I think things are changing – but in general – most churches do hold views that leave many a truth seeker with something to be desired. When you become a pastor you will butt heads with this same problem…I can’t see you escaping the obvious. Even Naked Pastor, the most liberal pastor I have ever seen, left the Vineyard.

    “please go out and find yourself one” (Luke)

    Blogs are likely the closest I will ever get to this idea of a ‘radical community’ – and this is true for many people.

    The fact is the churches (in general) do not want to change – they have stagnated…they are not leading the way in very much these days making them an institution without a reason.

    I guess this is where my critique finds much resonance – in the fact most churches agree that they are not more ‘moral’ than the next thing out there. Isn’t the churches role that of morality and a ‘better path’? If it is not offering that anymore, and hasn’t been for some while, than they are followers to other leaders…and are always a pace behind the big issues that effect us.

    Not that I hate church, but I am starting to see my leaving as very healthy. And I do agree, there are lots of great people in these faiths – but have foound a trend in the last few years that is seeing more and more good Christian men and women either leave the church or abandon their faith altogther because the institutions that administer their faith are shallow.

    The church, for all of it’s talk about ‘truth-seeking’, is really anything but. Unless you arrive at their version of ultimate truth (which is usually Jesus as messiah or God) to almost any question then whatever you find is pale in comparison and needs to be treated as such (basically the church can rob you of an opinion). Basically, I believe the ‘truth will set you free’, ‘will make you free indeed’, but you know as well as I do – most interpretations of those ideas means truth = Jesus (the person; not his teachings).

    Although I can see value in church as a community, I am not sure I have ever seen a healthy one? I hate to rip on the institution but Luke, we both know it needs an awakening and if someone doesn’t say something – who will? I am saying something that needs to be considered…like a man in the wilderness yelling at Herod to knock off his adulterous ways as a king of the nation. I am knocking on the door of the church and asking ‘are you still relevant?’.

  5. I see why you want it to adapt and change, but that goes against the principal of what it really is. Religion by design is supposed to present absolute truths and standards. A clear way for people to get to what ever destination the religion is claiming. People will take what is presented and merge that into their social belief system, but when they look back at the source, it doesn’t match up and will not make sense.

    So you find yourself at the crossroads of submitting to the religion, which is what it says you have to do, or continuing on your own path as you try to find truths that make sense to you.

  6. I have called myself a Christian since the age of thirteen, that’s twenty-eight years! But, after watching how the “Church” totally condemns anyone that deviates from their so called truth; I can no longer in good conscience
    call myself by that name. Atheism, however, isn’t an option for me because I still believe in God, just not the God of Christianity

  7. Atheism, however, isn’t an option for me because I still believe in God, just not the God of Christianity(Chris)

    I concur, though you could lump in every other doctrine on a creator for that matter.

  8. “Religion by design is supposed to present absolute truths and standards. A clear way for people to get to what ever destination the religion is claiming” (Xander)

    If it is presenting absolute truths and standards, then cannot the way those things look also change (become more clear) with time (revelation and knowledge)? What if it is the church that refuses to change because of the exact reasoning your using here?

    “People will take what is presented and merge that into their social belief system, but when they look back at the source, it doesn’t match up and will not make sense” (Xander)

    But Xander, every single Christin denom is doing this – none is exempt. I know we want to believe it is just us doing this, the church in general has been changing for some 2000 years…and is still…and I think that is a process we can easily trace historically and biblically. This seems to be the norm in the search for God (which is what theology is).

    “So you find yourself at the crossroads of submitting to the religion, which is what it says you have to do, or continuing on your own path as you try to find truths that make sense to you.” (Xander)

    True, I am just making an honest admission. I think churchianity sucks and the option of ‘no God’ is just as bad (for me). Maybe I just need to be a grown up and admit to God ‘I have matured to this point, what next?’.

    Like Chris, I likely will not leave this faith – I enjoy the teachings and they have done a lot for me. I see the beauty of Christ in his discipleship method.

  9. I think there needs to be some distinction about atheists because not all atheists were hurt by their religions. Some people are raised without any religious instruction and just do not care for religion. Some people also do not believe as they were convinced by other logic.

    Richard Dawkin’s said belief is a scale. We have on one side 100% belief in a deity (or deities) and on the other side 100% non belief. Personally I am 80% Atheist. I was burned by the church and that started me on the path to atheism but not what makes me an atheist. In meeting people who grew up without any religion, I found them just as nice and moral as religious believers. Many I found were better people than the Christians I knew. Why? They didn’t see a need to preach to me every moment about salvation or warn me about the dangers and ills of so called sins. They treated me like an adult when it came for me to make a decision. Right or wrong, I was not condemned or made to feel like I commit a crime, I was taught to learn from my mistakes. It was liberating.

    So then I read some great books and they made some pretty convincing arguments about the non-existence of the Christian god.
    1) Lord Raglan’s scale was very beneficial- Jesus story is not new or original
    2) “Born Again” experience is common in all other religions
    3) Religious fanatics and liberals exists in all religions
    4) Lastly, we are all atheists to some god, i just believe in one less god than you. Tel me why you do not believe in all other gods and I will tell you why i do not believe in yours.

    But I concede that I do not know everything and that it is possible a god might exist somewhere. What are the characteristic or behaviors of that god? I don’t know. We have no knowledge of it as far as I know. If you say the christian way is the revelation of that god and then I would ask, why not the Muslims way or my First Nation’s traditions? There is no proof that one way is better than another or that’s one revelation is better than another.

    Faith build community, but so does non-faith. There is a community outside of religion and it’s just as good.

  10. Non-Faith is like this, it is easier to not work than it is to work under the constraints of the company.

    Faith is like this, it is easier to ignore the abuses of the company than it is to whistle-blow.

  11. I agree that some things can and should change in the church. What those things are is hard to decide. Do we change the things that we are specifically told not to do? If you do, you have made more than just a change of interpretation. If you play in the gray area of things that are implied but not implicit, there is always the chance that you can move outside of the intent. There has to be points that are absolute truth though. Otherwise there is no stability and it is not worth following.

    Your right. Denominations are collections of people who share a similar belief. I don’t think any one of them is a true and complete picture of Christianity, but each one represents where people are in their understanding of God. Some are smart and will change denominations as their thoughts and understanding changes, but most will stay where they are because they are complacent. They will not read the Bible to see what it says and will instead rely on someone telling them the meaning.

    You have to be honest with yourself or you end up living a lie that makes you miserable. I don’t agree with people 100% of the time. I am ok with that. I can listen to what they say and remain open enough to hear what they are trying to share. I take it back to scripture and experience and either find it to be truth or I discard it. That is all I ever suggest that people do.

  12. “Non-Faith is like this, it is easier to not work than it is to work under the constraints of the company.

    Faith is like this, it is easier to ignore the abuses of the company than it is to whistle-blow.” svs

    I agree with the faith part, but not the non-faith part. You are saying atheists are lazy or “non workers”. Non faith is choosing to work for yourself rather than the company.

  13. “You are saying atheists are lazy or “non workers”. Non faith is choosing to work for yourself rather than the company.” (Wolf)

    I am saying, within the analogy, they just don’t want to work for the company anymore – their vested interests in the plight of religion is done.

  14. What I think is missing in the argument is the default position for all humans: the absence of belief due to a type of zero-point in human knowledge, i.e. – being born without any kind of preconceived cognitive map.

    We know that belief is not a mystical “out there” phenomenon in humanity. Belief, of any kind, is disseminated through social agents: the family unit, schooling, peers, dominant social systems, various types of ideologies, etc.

    Non-belief is the mental default position for all humans. A particular theistic strand of belief is presented as an explanation by an agent. This belief is then coded, or at least considered, in the brain. It is obvious that the role the social agent plays in imparting beliefs is imperative in all our systems.

    There is no single human being that is born with an innate beliefs about what the cosmos is, what theology is, what god is, or what religion is, because these things are learned. Thus, if we have to teach our children about ‘our god’ and ‘our faith’ then it would stand that they are born without sharing our faith. Their zero-point is the absence of religious belief which presupposes a faith. The zero point is a type of atheism (not the rejection of god but an innate non-belief).

    Thus it is no coincidence that we all re-imagine and repeat the religious-faith of our parents or peer cohorts; children do not need to “convert” to a religious belief because they are taught that belief before being given the opportunity to convert.

  15. “There is no single human being that is born with an innate beliefs about what the cosmos is, what theology is, what god is, or what religion is, because these things are learned” (Johnny)

    There is a truth to this, since we are born with brains that develop from birth up until our late teens. I think it is true we are born into ‘no belief’ whatsoever as babies. In fact, most kids have little concern for religious studies outside the cool stories (just the way kids are).

    • I think its better to say no “quantifiable belief”. I think it is hardwired into most people to ponder the origins of our cosmos. Just like eating is inate. Now saying you know what it is is another thing altogether. 😉

  16. “we both know it needs an awakening and if someone doesn’t say something – who will? I am saying something that needs to be considered…like a man in the wilderness yelling at Herod to knock off his adulterous ways as a king of the nation. I am knocking on the door of the church and asking ‘are you still relevant?’.”

    i found that it’s far more effective to elicit change from the inside.

    if you’re knocking on the door, best turn around and see if you’re on the inside or outside of the building… if on the outside, go in and talk to someone… if on the inside, turn around and find a microphone.

  17. i found that it’s far more effective to elicit change from the inside.
    if you’re knocking on the door, best turn around and see if you’re on the inside or outside of the building… if on the outside, go in and talk to someone… if on the inside, turn around and find a microphone. (Luke)

    Unfortunately, which is no comment on you only a comment about the church and its structure, I think you are mistaken about eliciting change from the inside comment.

    I have been both inside and outside of the door and regardless of my efforts to create change, the church remains the same. It will not change now or ever, only the faces of the organization will.

    • “, I think you are mistaken about eliciting change from the inside comment.”

      and i think you didn’t find the right community. i have been an effective change agent in three separate churches i had the pleasure to spend time in. maybe it’s personality… maybe it’s style.. maybe it’s context and setting… but whatever it is, i must say that i cannot agree with you.

  18. I am knocking on the door of the church and asking ‘are you still relevant?’

    It’s about as relevant as 7-11, its there and it provides a service, but in reality it does very little for the community.

    At one time a church and its leaders may have been counted on to provide moral guidance and wisdom, but today all its good for is providing a person with the latest self help strategy, 7 step program, or pre-packaged make your life and spirituality wonderful seminar

  19. “if you’re knocking on the door, best turn around and see if you’re on the inside or outside of the building… if on the outside, go in and talk to someone… if on the inside, turn around and find a microphone.” (Luke)

    In essence, I agree of course – change can only occur from the inside – however – it can be influenced bt relevant ‘outsiders’ as well. Most change does not occur because people on the inside came up with the best ideas – usually outside influences help the church see a better direction.

    “and i think you didn’t find the right community. i have been an effective change agent in three separate churches i had the pleasure to spend time in. maybe it’s personality… maybe it’s style.. maybe it’s context and setting… but whatever it is, i must say that i cannot agree with you” (Luke)

    I think it depends on your denominational affiliation maybe? Some churches are open to change and the way they do things – some are not (Evangelical churches I would suggest fall into this category).

    Now maybe your experience Luke was with change – and you had to ‘find those communities’…I agree it happens. However, for First Nations people, who live in an established and smaller minority community and want to stay connected, there are less choices. So I can see where Just1 is coming from as well (whom I have attended church with for several years in a variety of churches).

    • ” However, for First Nations people, who live in an established and smaller minority community and want to stay connected,”

      ahh… i knew i was missing one consideration or another and was trying to be humble about it… thanks for clarifying dawg.

      • well exactly, why not a church that beleives in more about us being connected then us being connected by some guy on a floating cloud or something. they pertend like we are all connected in the church but of course not. we all go to church for like an hour, then we just leave and go on about our lives with no connection to anyone else there if we don’t know them

  20. Although the First Nations thing plays a part in my situation, I don’t think it fully reflects what I believe about the church and change.

    SVS is right, First Nations people have less choice when it comes to finding a church community that reflects and appreciates a First Nations person’s perpspective. For example, I live in Regina, Saskatchewan, home to about 30,000 First Nation and Metis people. Although, there may be as many 10 churches which are 100% lead by First Nations people, I would say there are zero (0) churches that are actually FN in thought, theology, and practice. You would think with that many First Nations people, at least one church would be more reflective of the culture. But no, not one, and I don’t really care right now, anyways.

    However, this is only one small piece of much larger complex church problem. The church world by and large does not change and refuses to change. I don’t think it can, thus it remains as relevant as my local 7-11.

    Luke’s church experience may have been an exception, but personally, I don’t believe it. But, perhaps me and Luke have different thoughts on what is meant by change and our expectations of the church

    • you’re more than likely right, the difference is in the change and expectations of the church we’re looking for.

      i am surprised though that there is no FN Church represented. i would like to hear more about that as well, like what would it look like, how it would be different, and what you would expect. maybe Jay can post something about it.

      in a nutshell: i am expecting the church to be missional, radically inclusive, and open to questions. many call this a “seeker” church but whatever you want to call it, i think all churches should be a place of challenge to go out and make the world a better place. that’s my two cents for now.

  21. “But, perhaps me and Luke have different thoughts on what is meant by change and our expectations of the church” (Just1)

    That likely is the crux of the differences.

  22. “maybe Jay can post something about it” (Luke)

    I probably should at some point, in gist it’s about the combination of the First Nations culture into the church – which hasn’t happened very well where we are from.

    “i think all churches should be a place of challenge to go out and make the world a better place” (Luke)

    I agree, this is my personal hope for the role of churches…to allow us to deal with life’s issues (good, bad, and ugly) and how to process this in a constructive way.

  23. I love it. You won me over with the first sentence of Christianity being inflexible. Why? Can we point fingers at someone who made it inflexible? I get so angry when I see people who call themselves Christian and forget to think.

  24. im a catholic and i cant say that i dont beleive in god but i dont find the physical proof aswell, see its annoying how people alwase try to say “we did evolve from apes” evolution only make sense but no we are not stupid its becuase they feed us lies becuae they are losing ground and people arent as dumb as they used to be. see the lines have changed very dramaticly you used to be stoned for sinning but now its something that can be forgiven. i agree there are different types of christians that are stupid about their religion, like baptist and catholics, yes i know my religion is stupid becuase aparently the parish beleives that st. peter could float becuase he loved jesus so much or something. but my point is just beleive in what you want to beleive its not stupid to beleive in religion but its stupid not to beleive in science. as einstein said: I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.

  25. Brett, i don’t think faith is stupid, I think faith can and does make sense. I think everyone has faith in something – ie: even believing in one’s future goals is a type of faith.

    I admit faith can be stupid, but so can politics – or economics, etc.

    • ah yes of course i don’t think you are a bad person, but acctuly an invator, explaining why religion does not make sence makes the world a better place aswell

  26. i forgot to mention this in my last post, but i think showing your side of view only makes a religiouse side of view better towards a so called “non beleiver” it is hard to beleive in something you aparently can’t prove, but that is exactly the point you can’t prove religion yet you can prove common sence. so i think it is perfectly fine to be atheist since it hurts no one except butthurt christans

  27. You applied your logical mind and hence found the contradictions in Christianity, as you put it “Interpretation of scripture that contradictory and hypocritical”. Such an issue undoubtedly had a hand in your abandonment of Christianity.

    In that you are right, but your error came for being an atheist without assessing Islam first. I urge you to read the Quran, and apply your logical mind the same way as you did with the Bible, then decide (preferably after inquiring about any seemingly questionable points in the Quran). If the Quran is logical, believe in God the right way, but if you don’t then drop it.

    It is our right upon God that He shows us His rightful religion, since He declared that He will punish those that don’t follow it. That is why He made the religion He sent to be the only one that makes total sense (not just partial sense), so we can identify it by ourselves.

    If you are interested in the logical arguments presented in the Quran, read my book:
    https://www.xinxii.com/en/the-religion-that-captivated-minds-with-its-logic-p-373076.html
    Or contact me for a free copy no problem.

    • I’ve studied Islam and other religions that have some from the same influences – like Mormonism and Jehovah witnesses.

      Islam offers nothing extra to the conversation except it became a nationalistic cultural phenomenon. That’s fine but let’s call it out as well for its shortcomings when and where they exist. Are you allowed this right? Is your faith perfect? If your faith is perfect you must question even more because that’s impossible with flawed humans.

      Religion is just not logical from point A to point Z and maybe it’s not meant to be – since it’s all about filling in the unknowns we are uncomfortable living with.

      • If a religion doesn’t hold in front of logic, then it is as false (made up) . I have subjected Islam to logic and it stood through, so I would like to know what are the shortcomings you see by giving examples. I am a person of evidence and not just blind faith.

      • Well for starters it makes claims to to be bonded to Judaism and Christianity – a sort of continuum on that religious tradition(s).

        However, Judaism and Christianity are nothing alike and they don’t play off one another – as claims from Judaism clearly show. Christianity is not a continuum of that faith system – not recognized by Judaism whatsoever.

        Now enter Islam. It claims to admonish both but how can it do that when those two faith systems are not compatible.

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