October 21, 2011

The god nonsense

The other day I visited Blue Collar Atheist, one of the blogs at the new Freethought Blogs site. Hank, the really nice guy who runs Blue Collar Atheist, wrote about the way christians think atheists must believe in god, way down deep inside. Made me chuckle. No way, hon. There ain't no god.

I commented on the post to say that I'm the reverse of this christian notion: I don't believe anyone truly believes in god. I'm sure lots of people think they believe in god but that just means they haven't taken their brains out for a test drive. They've never actually thought about anything. Their "belief" is merely a way of life -- it's posturing as a lifestyle. They live as if they believe in these gods. Sorry, but I don't buy it.

Look at christians who are close to death. They're terrified, every last one of them. If they actually believed in god, why would they fear death? There's a simple answer: they're afraid because they don't believe. They say there are no atheists in foxholes. I say there are no believers on death beds, only people who want to believe.

The evil, self-effacing notion of "faith" is a large part of the problem. Faith means believing in something even when you don't believe in it. Handy, that. It's a trick you're supposed to use in moments of doubt. Just have faith, the priests wheeze. What this translates into, in a practical sense, is don't think, just follow.

No, I don't believe anyone believes in god. Priests just want to keep their jobs, especially in this economy. They know there's no god.

If you ask christians what they believe, you'll get a wide range of mushy answers. They're not even consistent, one to the other, in their "beliefs". That's because they have none.

I may be an outlier on this, but that's my opinion. No one believes in god. It's too stupid a notion.


Roy Sablosky said...

I actually wrote a whole book on this topic. You can find it at noonebelievesingod.com. It's a free download.

The only other serious treatment I have seen of this hypothesis is the chapter by Adèle Mercier in "50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists" (edited by Russell Blackford and Udo Schuklenk). Mercier says: can you believe that slithy toves gyre and gimble in the wabe? No, you cannot, because you don't know what it means. (You could be looking at a gimbling tove right now and you would not recognize it.)

Can you believe that Jesus loves you? No, because you don't know what it means.

What is "Jesus"? Is it a person? No, he died long ago (if he ever existed). Is it a pile of bones in the desert? No, bones can't love anyone. OK, so it's some kind of immortal spirit. And what do we know about immortal spirits? Absolutely nothing. Now, in what way does this undefined entity love people? Does it hug us? Call us on the phone? Send flowers? No, it does none of the things that we associate with a human being loving someone. But what should we associate with an abstract concept loving someone? Again, we possess zero information on this topic. So "Jesus loves you" is a sentence in which both the subject and the verb are perfectly undefined. No one knows what it means, and therefore, no one can possibly believe it.

Most people to whom I explain this idea dismiss it. In fact, most seem to actively dislike it. Sometimes I "congratulate" myself on having discovered a theory of religion that is distasteful to people who believe in a god and to those who do not. (That covers a lot of people.) But I'm still confident in my arguments, and some day I will try again to find a publisher for this thing.

writenow said...

I can't believe someone agreed with me, and at length, no less. I'm so pleased. As for your book, why not self-publish it on Amazon for 99 cents in addition to giving it away on your site? Makes sense to me. Thanks for commenting, Roy.