I’ve never got into or had to get into a debate on religion and belief but I know if I did, I would fear of being preachy on my view as like any opinion and argument, you’re explaining why you’re right or why you think you’re right. And when I think of religion and the “does ‘God’ exist” debate, I do feel myself of being a bit arrogant as people with my view may be perceived as this, because it is seen as cynical. Even though in recent years there have been an increase in people who hold my view, however it would probably be fair to say the majority of the world are all in one unanimous view and as you would put it, religious.
So as you’ve probably guessed the view I refer to having is atheism. Even stating that I am an atheist, I feel qualms because I may be an agnostic as the very latter denotes what I am questioning even on my own view, that uncertainty and uncertainty in belief. However I then go full circle and say, “no, I am an atheist” as the meaning of it is what I am, a non-believer in God. What the blurred distinction I conflict with in my mind is that I also think maybe I believe in a God, but in taking the name and not the meaning as using it as a representation of something greater in general i.e. nature to me could be God.
Even as a young child I felt a little different and maybe it was my close relationship with my father, who is a science believer, mixed with my genes from my father and my own adaptedness. And so me and my dad would debate God and he would teach me what he has learnt on his atheistic stance. I loved it and seeing our mutual affection, awe and fascination of science. I remember in secondary school, it annoyed me that I didn’t finish my R.E exam (which was one of the longest at 2 hours) because I think I went rambling philosophically in my answers.
What has spurred me to write this is because earlier this evening somebody made a comment on not comprehending why some people don’t believe in something or thinking something doesn’t exist. Then there was a discussion about spiritual encounters and talks of ‘weird’ happenings with spiritualists telling them about their passed loved ones as they had recently lost people in the family. This girl had lost her father recently and obviously her belief is probably more significant as you could tell when she spoke of hoping to see him again. Sitting there as a non-believer (I say non-believer in terms of God but really you could say I am a believer, in my God, my belief in science and nature and reason) I was tempted to question something. But it then dawned on me with a thought that flew in my brain that I feel many other atheists may have had too. This thinking of a sense of guilt of the atheist view because these people were religious and speaking of personal ties of passed family members with their views. You do feel as an atheist, even though you have the right as they have to speak a view, to keep quiet as it would feel cold and discourteous to basically tell someone who is in grievance and an emotional phase to deprecate their belief and say why they won’t see their father again.
The girl who was speaking and had lost her father said something along the thoughts of atheists not having something to look forward to after death and must lack an awe. I then posed the idea, as I explained many atheists do have awe and don’t fear death but rather accept it and the beauty of science. She then asked do I believe in God and there I said in a brief statement my non-believing in God and why I have this view and seeing death as a part of life. She and the other women as I knew accepted what I was saying and I knew there wasn’t going to be a tense debate as I didn’t preach (for want of a better word) and neither did they as I was asked my view and gave it. I didn’t have to get into one and even so, it was that thought I had that made me reflect that I did feel more cautious as of the nature of the views being shared. Yet they as they are speaking of unfortunate losses in their lives are still making their own statements.
Just as in this writing, I haven’t gone into my atheist view and declared why billions of people are wrong because just like in speaking earlier to the girl, I don’t feel I have to and even though I would have a right, just like a religious person going into detail on their view, it wouldn’t interest me unless I was asked. Honestly I haven’t had a debate on it as far as I can think of at least not recently,and I would like to be prepared. I’ve just took debates with my father and youtubed (yes, I’ve coined that) obsessively other inspirational atheist people (Stephen Fry, Derren Brown, Ricky Gervais). Basically what they say is exactly what I have learnt in my own intelligent outlook (not meaning to sound egotistical) as these people resonate intelligence. It does have a correlation don’t you think is what I’m saying? I would urge anyone to youtube them on their thoughts and just even their shows. I would be tempted to end on the clichéd ‘everyone has the right to a belief’ and all that but I will end on a Gervais quote which I think is better.
“Everyone has the right to believe anything they want. And everyone else has the right to find it fucking ridiculous.” :]