As I begin this post I want to make something clear, if you are an atheist I have no desire to convert you from atheism by force of will or even with logic. I provide my views on Deism and other beliefs for those that have interest in it. I simply am examining all belief systems here, atheism is in fact a belief system, in fact I consider it a religion. A religion that believes in chance and mechanics vs. spirit.
Personally I feel that the question of why some people choose to believe in nothing, is an interesting thing to examine. The reality is about 16% of the total world population by best estimates are not affiliated with any religion at all. Yet only 2% are actual atheists as in they believe in no higher power, no creator or architect of the universe. So even the vast majority of “non believers” still believe in some sort of a “God” like intelligence. That would be 14 of 16 or 7 out of 8, simple math says that is 87.5% of NON BELIEVERS are still not atheists.
One must only conclude than that the atheist is not just a minority but a statistical anomaly. I personally think as a Deist this is because as we are part of the creation we intrinsically know there is something more to the universe than mechanics and random chance. The atheist therefore has to override this inherent knowledge and apply a certain logic to do so, almost like the fictitious Vulcan does with emotions in the fantasy world of Star Trek. So that leads to the question of why?
Let me start out with a concept that should pacify the atheist I have thus far offended, it could simply be because they are right. The reality is we don’t know that God exists, we have surmised it so as Deists solely via logic and our examination of the universe and the creation. As Deists there is no risk of hell for lack of faith, so we must be open to the possibility however so slight, that we could be wrong. I don’t think I am wrong, but no believer in any faith, including atheism thinks they are wrong, if so they would not believe what they do. So let us just say, may be it is because they are right, but if not, then why?
I would say it is a direct reflection of the failure, lies and deception of revealed religions. Like I said yesterday, atheists are generally intelligent, very much so. Some of my favorite people and most intelligent contemporaries are atheists. So when such people are told if you do X you go to hell but you can do X and if you say certain words and believe certain things you go to heaven, well they know that makes zero sense. When they see churches taking money from people and claiming to do “Gods work” frankly it makes them sick.
When they see people denying not just components of but the entire concept of evolution they see it as denial of fact, and frankly it is. When fossils are explained by some fringe members of Christianity as “God creating the illusion of age to test our faith”, they see it for the madness that it is. When they are told God destroyed all life with a flood, they know it is nonsense because it makes no sense to kill a child for his parents deeds and know that no just God would do such a thing. Just keep the list going, it is why so many of us left organized faiths, walked a path that eventually led us to Deism.
So why do atheists walk strait past the simple belief in a higher power of some sort all the way to the concept of “there is no God, there is no higher power, things are what we see and nothing more”. I think many are so sickened by the twisted components of religion they simply throw out the baby with the bath water. They want it all gone from their lives, no more fake guilt, no more lies, no more period, they just want freedom and see any faith as a false burden or a false promise.
I think though many don’t realize Deism exists, what it is or understand it as an option. When I speak to most atheists I find first that most are really agnostics, they doubt the existence of God, if pressed though they do not 100% deny the possibility of a higher power, very few actually go that far. They realize just as I do that since we don’t actually know, that any of us including them, could be wrong. Yet even if they have heard of Deism, they don’t understand what it is or how it benefits someone.
I’ve been asked questions like, “so what does a Deist have to do”?
To whit I have simply responded, “a Deist believes in a higher power, an intelligence that is behind the design of the creation, that is all they don’t have to do anything, it is something you believe, not something you do”.
Another question is often “so what happens to bad people when they die”?
I simply say I don’t know but whatever it is it is likely not much different than what happens to a “good person”. I figure either we simply return our energy to the creation or we have a consciousness, I am not sure which. If we don’t it doesn’t matter, if we do likely a “bad person” would end up with some sort of self assessing but there is no fires of hell, no gates of heaven, just what ever is, well, is.
Discussions like this with atheists never leads to instant conversions, and frankly unlike many on fire born agains for us that isn’t the goal at all. It is just a logical discussion of belief. I’ll tell you what though, 9 times out of 10 these answers are not what the atheist expected, most have never even considered such as an option before. Which always leads me to ask, if you have never considered something before, why would you just write it off? Would you do so with any other compelling and interesting or important part of life? The answer to those questions are almost always, “you shouldn’t” and “no”.
I mean in short, I think many choose atheism for the same reason we choose deism. Organized faith simply makes no logical sense when fully examined devoid of programmed belief systems (benevolent brain washing). I just think quite often, the atheist is simply not aware that a choice in the middle exists. That one can believe in a higher power, a creator and not have any religious obligations and not be required to throw logic to the wind.
I just don’t think most have ever considered that faith is not a binary code, where 1 is religion and 0 is no faith at all. That there is an option that accepts that so many things in the universe are so perfectly designed that something must have done it or frankly it must be something in itself, that one can acknowledge higher existence without defining it or worshiping it.
For God to exist doesn’t require that it need or even desire our worship, I think most atheists don’t even consider that.
But again, I could be wrong.