Actionable atheism

EmPulse for Week of December 6, 2010

Actionable atheism

No, really…, there’s a lot to be said for atheism. Just think of it—

  • No theological squabbles about which religion is the true one.
  • Since there’s no after-life one only need be concerned for this life— so go for it! Go for it all!
  • Morality is self determined (or a social agreement). There’s no reason to fear a future judgment.
  • Friendships can come and go as utilitarian affairs. [Actually, sexual affairs should be considered as merely utilitarian as well.]
  • Without a deity in the picture, self-reliance & self-determination are far simpler matters.

To be sure, though, there is a down side to atheism.

  • Belief in God has merely been replaced by belief in non-god; which is an odd definer.
  • Being concerned for just this life-span must view death as the final resting place. Whereas, from another viewpoint, death is the one aspect of life that does not fit in with the rest of life’s accomplishments, dreams, and aspirations.
  • Morality, without an external reference point, like the Ten Commandments, the Code of Hammurabi, or the US Judicial System, becomes somewhat capricious, if not socially destructive and life threatening.
  • Friendships more readily become utilitarian; the primary question being “What can I get out of it?” rather than striving for a deeper bond thru trust and transparency.
  • Touting self-reliance and self-determination feels a tad arrogant for any species on one planet in one solar system in the myriad of galaxies that populate our universe. [No insightful thanks to “Man is the Measure of all Things“- Protagoras of Abdera ( c. 480-410 B.C.)]

Then there’s the question of what to celebrate? Christmas? NO. Chanukah? No. Thanksgiving? No. Definitely not Easter, or Ramadan, or Mahashivaratri.  Ah…, the Super Bowl. Fourth of July. Labor Day. There must be more.

Actionable Atheism, that is, atheism that effects the daily lives of its adherents, is tough to implement. It takes more work to NOT believe in God than to believe in Him. Sure, some scientists assert that someday science will be able to explain everything; but that is not the case as of this writing. It takes a great deal of faith to believe an assertion of that immensity. So what makes an ath

eist’s faith in someday any different than a Christian’s faith in someday soon, or in the God who is There? Let’s not rewrite history or reinvent the future just yet.

Have a nice week.


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